November 16, 2015 Bing and Bogart Featured in Library's December Film Series
Press Contact: Sheryl Cannady (202) 707-6456
Public Contact: Rob Stone (202) 707-0851
The Library of Congress Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation in Culpeper, Virginia, celebrates the holidays in its December film series with stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood such as the late Maureen O’Hara, James Stewart, Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Bob Hope and Humphrey Bogart. Animated classics on the lineup include Disney’s “Lady and the Tramp” and a trio of Christmas television specials digitized by the Library’s Video Preservation Lab.
December’s schedule will showcase films named to the Library of Congress National Film Registry. They include “The Shop Around the Corner,” “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “Miracle on 34th Street.” Films named to the registry have been selected for preservation because they are “culturally, historically or aesthetically” significant. For more information on the National Film Registry, visit loc.gov/film.
Short subjects will be presented before select programs. Titles are subject to change without notice. Screenings at the Packard Campus are preceded by an informative slide presentation about the film, with music selected by the Library’s Recorded Sound Section.
All Packard Campus programs are free and open to the public, but children 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Seating at the screenings is on a first-come, first-serve basis. For general Packard Campus Theater information, call (540) 827-1079 ext. 79994 or (202) 707-9994 during regular business hours. For further information on the theater and film series, visit loc.gov/avconservation/theater/. In case of inclement weather, call the theater information line no more than three hours before showtime to confirm cancellations.
The Library of Congress Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation is a state-of-the-art facility funded as a gift to the nation by the Packard Humanities Institute. The Packard Campus is the site where the nation’s library acquires, preserves and provides access to the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of motion pictures, television programs, radio broadcasts and sound recordings (loc.gov/avconservation). The Packard Campus is home to more than 7 million collection items. It provides staff support for the Library of Congress National Film Preservation Board (loc.gov/film), the National Recording Preservation Board (loc.gov/rr/record/nrpb) and the national registries for film and recorded sound.
Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution. It seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs, publications and exhibitions. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its website at loc.gov.
Library of Congress Packard Campus Theater ScheduleThursday, Dec. 3 (7:30 p.m.)
“Love Actually” (Universal, 2003, R-rated *)
The intertwining stories of more than 20 characters in London are followed during the busy month leading up to Christmas in this romantic comedy, written and directed by Richard Curtis. The film received BAFTA nominations for best British film and best supporting actress (Emma Thompson) and a best-supporting-actor win for Bill Nighy who brilliantly portrays aging rock star Billy Mack. Also in the ensemble cast are Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Colin Firth, Laura Linney, Alan Rickman, Keira Knightley and Rowan Atkinson.
*No one under the age of 17 will be admitted without a parent or guardian.
Friday, Dec. 4 (7:30 p.m.)
“The Shop Around the Corner” (MGM, 1940)
This romantic comedy, one of director Ernst Lubitsch’s most enduring works, takes place almost entirely within a store in Budapest shortly before World War II. James Stewart is the earnest, slightly awkward head salesman and Margaret Sullavan is the novice clerk who gets under his skin. What neither realizes is that they’re pen pals who have just begun to fall in love through each other’s letters. As the romance develops, Lubitsch uses point of view to let the audience in on each character’s experiences at just the right moment to heighten anticipation and empathy. The film was remade in 1949 as “In the Good Old Summertime” and in 1998 as “You’ve Got Mail.” It was named to the National Film Registry in 1999.
Saturday, Dec. 5 (2 p.m.)
“Lady and the Tramp” (Disney/Buena Vista, 1955)
Lady, a pampered cocker spaniel belonging to Jim Dear and his wife Darling, runs away from her comfortable home after the arrival of a new baby, an arrival soon followed by the insufferable Aunt Sarah and her two malicious Siamese cats. Lady runs into Tramp, a free-spirited outdoor mutt, and the two share an unlikely romance and adventure despite their differences. This was Disney’s first full-length cartoon based on an original story rather than an established classic and was the studio’s first Cinemascope animated feature. In addition to outstanding animation and visual effects, “Lady and the Tramp” features several memorable songs written by Sonny Burke and recording artist Peggy Lee. In the film, Lee sings “He’s a Tramp,” “La La Lu,” “The Siamese Cat Song” and “What Is a Baby?”
Thursday, Dec. 10 (7:30 p.m.)
“The Lemon Drop Kid” (Paramount, 1951)
Bob Hope stars as The Lemon Drop Kid, a small-time New York City swindler who illegally touts horses at a racetrack. When he accidentally cheats a notorious gangster, the Kid must scramble for a way to repay his looming debt by Christmas. With the help of his girlfriend (Marilyn Maxwell), the quick-thinking Lemon Drop Kid and his gang launch a scam using Santa suits to raise money for homeless women. The film introduced the now-classic holiday tune “Silver Bells,” written by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans. Directed by Sidney Lanfield, this holiday comedy is based on a story by Damon Runyon.
Friday, Dec. 11 (7:30 p.m.)
“White Christmas” (Paramount, 1954)
Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye star as a top song-and-dance act that accompanies Betty and Judy Haynes, sister entertainers (played by Vera-Ellen and Rosemary Clooney) to the Columbia Inn in Vermont where the women are scheduled to perform over the Christmas holidays. They arrive to discover that the inn is run by the boys’ former WWII commanding officer, who is about to go out of business due to a lack of snow. The foursome decides to put on a show to save the establishment. Michael Curtiz directed this Technicolor Christmas classic that features Irving Berlin songs “Sisters,” “Snow,” “Love, You Didn't Do Right By Me,” the Oscar-nominated “Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep” and, of course, “White Christmas.”
Saturday, Dec. 12 (2 p.m.)
“Christmas Television Specials” (1965 -1979)
A trio of animated Christmas specials, digitized by the Library of Congress Video Preservation Lab, will be shown on the big screen, with the much-loved “A Charlie Brown Christmas” kicking off the matinee program. Based on the comic strip “Peanuts” by Charles M. Schulz, the program made its debut on CBS on Dec. 9, 1965. It went on to win both Emmy and Peabody awards and the soundtrack album by Vince Guaraldi was voted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2007. It was named to the Library of Congress' National Recording Registry list of “culturally, historically, or aesthetically important” American sound recordings in 2012. “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” (CBS, 1966), directed by Chuck Jones and based on the children’s book by Dr. Seuss, features the voice of Boris Karloff as both the narrator of the film and the speaking voice of The Grinch. The final selection is “Bugs Bunny’s Looney Christmas Tales” (CBS, 1979), featuring Bugs Bunny and other Looney Tunes characters in three newly created cartoon shorts with seasonal themes. Mel Blanc provided the voices of Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, Foghorn Leghorn, Tweety Bird, Yosemite Sam, Road Runner, Wile E. Coyote, the Tasmanian Devil and Santa Claus.
Saturday, Dec. 12 (7:30 p.m.)
“It’s a Wonderful Life” (RKO, 1946)
Director Frank Capra created a holiday favorite with this story of a once-ambitious young man, George Bailey, (James Stewart) who sacrifices personal adventure to stand up against the despot Potter who tyrannizes his small hometown (Lionel Barrymore). When it looks like Potter has finally beaten him, George wishes he’d never been born and an apprentice angel (Henry Travers) grants his wish. Shown the bleak parallel universe that might have been, George recants his wish and is restored just in time to see his family and friends come to his aid against Potter. Suggested by a short story written as a Christmas card by author and historian Philip Van Doren Stern, Capra and writers Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett crafted the screenplay for this film, which has become synonymous with Christmas. Named to the National Film Registry in 1990, the film also stars Donna Reed, Thomas Mitchell and Beulah Bondi.
Thursday, Dec. 17 (7:30 p.m.)
“We’re No Angels” (Paramount, 1955)
Humphrey Bogart, Aldo Ray and Peter Ustinov play three escaped inmates from Devil’s Island who concoct a plan to steal from a shopkeeper on Christmas. Their plans change when they find themselves growing to like their target and his family. Besides, the luckless merchant’s business is failing and he is about to lose his shirt. The men decide instead to help out by fixing up the place and bringing in more customers. Michael Curtiz directed this comedy, which co-stars Joan Bennett, Basil Rathbone and Leo G. Carroll.
Friday, Dec. 18 (7:30 p.m.)
“Miracle on 34th Street” (20th Century-Fox, 1947)
This holiday favorite, written and directed by George Seaton, depicts a kindly old man calling himself Kris Kringle (Edmund Gwenn) who is hired as the Macy’s department store Santa. The trouble is he thinks he really is Santa Claus. When he meets the young daughter (Natalie Wood) of the store’s personnel manager (Maureen O’Hara), he endeavors to teach the girl to become a normal, imaginative child instead of the miniature adult raised by her no-nonsense mother. To avoid being sent to an asylum for life, Kringle goes on trial to prove he’s Santa and is defended by a sympathetic attorney (John Payne). This delightful comedy-fantasy won Oscars for best original story, best screenplay and best supporting actor for Edmund Gwenn. The film was named to the National Film Registry in 2005.
Saturday, Dec. 19 (2 p.m.)
“The Greatest Story Ever Told” (United Artists, 1965)
This epic religious spectacle is a retelling of the story of Jesus Christ, from the Nativity through the Resurrection. Directed by George Stevens, it features an all-star cast with the principal role of Jesus compellingly played by Swedish actor Max von Sydow. Filmed in Death Valley and in Utah, Nevada and Arizona, the production garnered Oscar nominations for best cinematography, best score, best art direction, best costume design, and best visual effects. Claude Rains appears as Herod in his final film appearance. Also in the cast are Dorothy McGuire, Charlton Heston, Jose Ferrer, David McCallum, Van Heflin, John Wayne and Roddy McDowall.