November 18, 2016 Packard Campus Theater Spotlights Pearl Harbor, Holiday Classics, Live Music
Press Contact: Sheryl Cannady, Office of Communications (202) 707-6456
Public Contact: Rob Stone (202) 707-0851
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The Library of Congress Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation in Culpeper, Virginia will mark the 75th anniversary of the Dec. 7 bombing of Pearl Harbor, the event that triggered the entry of the United States into World War II, with a series of films. Two of the films in the series include John Ford’s “They Were Expendable” and “From Here to Eternity,” which was added to the National Film Registry in 2002. More information about the National Film Registry can be found at loc.gov/film.
The Martin Family Circus, a vocals-driven melodic band of two parents and four kids, will give a live family-friendly concert on Dec. 17. Free tickets for this event can be reserved at EventBrite.com, beginning Nov. 21.
Academy-Award-winning actor Kirk Douglas, who will celebrate his 100th birthday on Dec. 9, will be recognized with screenings of three of his movies, including Billy Wilder’s film noir masterpiece “Ace in the Hole.” To celebrate the holiday season, favorite classics such as “White Christmas”—starring Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye—and Jean Shepherd’s “A Christmas Story,” which was added to the National Film Registry in 2012, will round out the month.
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-served basis. For general Packard Campus Theater information, call (540) 827-1079 ext. 79994 or (202) 707-9994. 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.
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Library of Congress Packard Campus Theater Schedule
Friday, Dec. 2 (7:30 p.m.)
“Air Force” (Warner Bros., 1943)
Made at the height of World War II, this epic account of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor focuses on the personal dramas of the crew of an Air Force B-17 bomber that arrives in the aftermath of the bombing and is sent to Wake Island and later Clark Field to help with the defense of the Philippines. Directed by Howard Hawks and starring John Garfield, John Ridgely, Gig Young, Arthur Kennedy and Harry Carey, the film won an Academy Award for best editing. It also garnered nominations for best original screenplay, cinematography and special effects. While “Air Force” struck a chord with the public for voicing some of the emotional issues that many Americans felt at the time, it also responded to the overriding theme of the importance of teamwork and collective responsibility in winning a war.
Saturday, Dec. 3 (2 p.m.)
“From Here to Eternity” (Columbia, 1953)
Daniel Taradash earned an Academy Award for his adaptation of James Jones’ explicitly gritty best-selling novel set in Hawaii just prior to the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Director Fred Zinnemann translated the Taradash script into a lavish, star-studded blockbuster that won him and the picture Academy Awards. This epic features Montgomery Clift as a soldier who boxes and bugles with equal skill, Donna Reed as a nightclub hostess with whom Clift falls in love, and Frank Sinatra—whose faltering career was rejuvenated with an Oscar for his performance—as a wisecracking enlisted man at odds with a bullying sergeant played by Ernest Borgnine. At the center of the ensemble is Burt Lancaster as a sergeant involved in a torrid affair with his commander’s wife, Deborah Kerr, culminating in the famous lovemaking scene on the beach. “From Here to Eternity” won a total of eight Academy Awards and was added to the National Film Registry in 2002.
Saturday, Dec. 3 (7:30 p.m.)
“They Were Expendable” (MGM, 1945)
John Ford directed this true story of a U.S. Navy squadron of PT boats that fought a rear-guard action against the Japanese invasion of the Philippines in the months after Pearl Harbor. John Wayne and Robert Montgomery star as the Navy lieutenants in charge of the mission, with Donna Reed, Jack Holt, Ward Bond and Marshall Thompson in supporting roles. Film critic Leonard Maltin calls the film, “One of the finest (and most underrated) of all WW2 films – a moving, exquisitely detailed production.” The movie will be introduced by film historian Lou Sabini, author of “Behind the Scenes of They Were Expendable: A Pictorial History,” which features a collection of photos by U.S. Navy photographer Nick Scutti.
Wednesday, Dec. 7 (7:30 p.m.)
“Tora! Tora! Tora!” (20th Century-Fox, 1970)
As a follow-up to the highly regarded war film “The Longest Day” (1962) depicting the invasion of Normandy, Fox Studio set out to make a dramatization of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. Seeking an objective and balanced perspective, veteran 20th-Century-Fox executive Darryl F. Zanuck developed an American-Japanese co-production, allowing for “a point of view from both nations.” Directed by Richard Fleischer, Toshio Masuda and Kinji Fukasaku, the film went into painstaking detail for authenticity, using locations in Hawaii and Japan, vintage aircraft and full-scale replicas of battleships. Production took three years to plan and prepare for the eight months of principal photography. Though it opened to mixed reviews, the film was acclaimed for its powerful action scenes, and it stands out as one of the most impressive reconstructions of a battle on film. “Tora! Tora! Tora!” was nominated for five Academy Awards, winning one for visual effects. The ensemble cast includes Martin Balsam, Joseph Cotten, Sō Yamamura, E. G. Marshall, James Whitmore and Jason Robards.
Thursday, Dec. 8 (7:30 p.m.)
“The Strange Love of Martha Ivers” (Paramount, 1946)
Kirk Douglas made his movie debut in this gripping film noir, directed by Lewis Milestone. As weak, alcoholic D.A. Walter O’Neill, he shares a deadly secret with his callous wife Martha (Barbara Stanwyck), a secret they fear will come out when a childhood friend (Van Heflin) arrives in town. “Variety” called it “… a forthright, uncompromising presentation of evil, greedy people and human weaknesses. Characters are sharply drawn and Lewis Milestone’s direction punches home the melodrama for full suspense and excitement.” The film is based on the short story “Love Lies Bleeding” by John Patrick, who received an Academy Award nomination for best writing, original story.
Friday, Dec. 9 (7:30 p.m.)
“Act of Love” (United Artists, 1953)
Filmed in Paris, this romantic drama stars Kirk Douglas as a lonely American soldier who, after trying to help a down-and-out French girl (Dany Robin) by posing as her husband, soon begins to fall in love with her. Anatole Litvak directed the film, which was based on Alfred Hayes’ novel “The Girl on the Via Flaminia.” Also featured in the cast are Robert Strauss, Sydney Chaplin and 17-year-old Brigitte Bardot in a small role. Douglas met his wife, Anne Buydens, while making the film.
Saturday, Dec. 10 (2 p.m.)
“Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol” (UPA, 1962)
This animated, musical version of Charles Dickens’ timeless classic “A Christmas Carol” features Jim Backus as the nearsighted Mr. Magoo/Ebenezer Scrooge who learns the true meaning of Christmas from three spirits who haunt him one Christmas Eve. The original songs by Jule Styne (music) and Bob Merrill (lyrics)—who collaborated on the musical “Funny Girl” soon after their work on this special—helped to make this a Christmas classic. “Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol” first aired on NBC in 1962 and was broadcast as a TV special during a 20-year time span. The voice actor cast includes Paul Frees, Morey Amsterdam, Joan Gardner and Jack Cassidy. Also on the program is the 1971 animated made-for-television version of “A Christmas Carol,” based on John Leech’s illustrations for the original edition of Dickens novel. Winner of the Academy Award for best-animated short film, it features the voice of Alastair Sim as Scrooge.
Saturday, Dec. 10 (7:30 p.m.)
“Ace in the Hole” (Paramount, 1951)
Kirk Douglas gave one of the finest performances of his career as Chuck Tatum, an amoral newspaper reporter who ends up in dead-end Albuquerque. He happens upon the scoop of a lifetime and will do anything to keep getting the exclusive lurid headlines. Directed by Billy Wilder and inspired by actual events, the film was a financial failure at the time of its release, but performed better overseas and won the highest prize at the Venice Film Festival. It is considered by contemporary audiences as among Wilder’s best films. Jan Sterling won the National Board of Review Award for best actress for her portrayal of the callous wife of a cave-in victim and the film earned an Oscar nomination for best story and screenplay.
Thursday, Dec. 15 (7:30 p.m.)
“The Homecoming: A Christmas Story” (CBS-TV, 1971)
This made-for-television movie about a family in Depression-era rural Virginia was the inspiration for the popular series “The Waltons” that aired on CBS for nine seasons. Written by Earl Hamner, Jr., it was based on his book “Spencer’s Mountain,” which was also the source for the 1963 theatrical film of the same name, starring Henry Fonda and Maureen O'Hara. Except for actors who portrayed the children and Ellen Corby as Grandma Walton, the other performers in “The Homecoming” were not the same as those in the later series. Patricia Neal won a Golden Globe for best actress for her role as Olivia Walton and the movie was also nominated for three Emmy Awards.
Friday, Dec. 16 (7:30 p.m.)
“White Christmas” (Paramount, 1954)
Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye star as a top song-and-dance act accompanying Betty and Judy Haynes, a pair of sister entertainers (played by Vera-Ellen and Rosemary Clooney), to perform at the Columbia Inn in Vermont during the Christmas holidays. They arrive to discover that the inn is run by the boys’ former World War II commanding officer who is about to go out of business because of 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 “White Christmas.”
Saturday, Dec. 17 (7 p.m.)
“Martin Family Circus – Live in Concert”
This self-contained vocals-driven melodic band of two parents and four kids, ranging in age from nine to 18, brings rich family harmonies in a blend that Rolling Stone magazine calls “exuberant.” Representing four generations of musical heritage, Martin Family Circus delivers soulful family harmony, steeped in traditional roots. Reservations for free ticket to this family-friendly concert will be available at martinfamilycircus.eventbrite.com, beginning on Nov. 21.
Sunday, Dec. 18 (2 p.m.)
“A Christmas Story” (MGM, 1983)
Humorist Jean Shepherd narrates this memoir of growing up in Hammond, Indiana, during the 1940s when his greatest ambition was to receive a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas. The film is based in part on Shepherd’s 1966 compilation of short stories titled, “In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash,” which originated on his radio and television programs. Writer-director Bob Clark had long dreamed of making a movie based on Shepherd’s work and his film reflects an astute understanding of human nature. Peter Billingsley—with his cherubic cheeks, oversized glasses and giddy grin—portrays Shepherd as a boy. Darren McGavin and Melinda Dillon are his harried but lovable parents. “A Christmas Story” was added to the National Film Registry in 2012.