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Mary Pickford Theater

Archive of past screenings:

2018 -2017 -2016 - 2008 - 2007 - 2006 - 2005 - 2004 - 2003 - 2002 - 2001 - 2000

Thursday, October 4th at 7:00 p.m.

The John W. Kluge Center and the Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division at the Library of Congress present a screening of Hospital (1970), preceded by a Q&A with Alan Gevinson, Kluge Staff Fellow 2018, and Kluge Center Director John Haskell.

HOSPITAL (Osti Films / Zipporah Films, 1970). Directed by Frederick Wiseman. (84 min, black & white, 35mm).

Poster for Hospital

"Hospital" (Osti Films / Zipporah Films, 1970).

Frederick Wiseman’s Emmy-winning observational documentary on New York City’s Metropolitan Hospital goes behind the scenes of an overburdened institution, offering an unblinking look at the various roles the general hospital plays in modern society serving its mostly poor clientele. Without narration or interviews, Wiseman’s embedded camera captures highly dramatic interactions, heroic staff interventions, bureaucratic frustrations, and even bits of absurdist comedy coloring life-and-death situations. "I have a very strong feeling that it gets very close to ‘telling it like it is,’" Patricia Perrier wrote in American Anthropologist. “Hospital” was inducted into the Library of Congress National Film Registry in 1994. Preserved in 2015 by the Library of Congress Packard Campus Film Preservation Lab from 35mm duplicate picture and track negatives in the Zipporah Films Collection.

Reception: 5:30 – 6:30 pm

Q&A: 6:30 – 7:00 pm

Screening: 7:00 – 8:30 pm.

Seating is on a first-come first-serve basis.

Thursday, October 18th at 7:00 p.m.

ONLY YESTERDAY (Universal, 1933). Directed by John M. Stahl. Screenplay by William Hurlbut, Arthur Richman and George O’Neill, based on the book of the same name by Frederick Lewis Allen. With Margaret Sullavan, John Boles, Edna May Oliver, Billie Burke, Benita Hume, Reginald Denny. (104 min, black & white, 35mm).

Lobby card for Only Yesterday

Lobby card for "Only Yesterday" (Universal, 1933).

A powerful pre-code melodrama chronicling the love of a single mother for the man who had fathered her child and then forgot her. Spanning the period from 1917 and America’s entry into World War I to the stock market crash of 1929, the film was nominally based on a bestselling social history of 1920’s America by the editor of Harper’s Magazine. Unofficially, however, the story was adapted from Austrian author Stefan Zweig’s novella "Letter from an Unknown Woman," which fifteen years later would serve as the source for Max Ophüls’s celebrated film of the same name. "Only Yesterday" marked the film debut of Broadway actress Margaret Sullavan and is undoubtedly one of the finest achievements of director John M. Stahl, "the master of melodrama" best known for a series of sophisticated women’s pictures produced at Universal in the 1930’s. Preserved in 2016 by the Library of Congress Packard Campus Film Preservation Lab from original nitrate negatives in the AFI/Universal Pictures Collection.

Seating is on a first-come first-serve basis.  Doors open at 6:30 pm.

Friday, October 26th at 7:00 p.m.

Screened in conjunction with Frankenreads, an international celebration of the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein organized by the Keats-Shelley Association of America.

FRANKENSTEIN 1970 (Allied Artists, 1958). Directed by Howard W. Koch. Screenplay by Richard Landau and George Worthing Yates, from an original story by Aubrey Schenck and Charles A. Moses. With Boris Karloff, Tom Duggan, Jana Lund, Donald Barry, Charlotte Austin. (83 min, black & white, CinemaScope, 35mm).

Lobby card for Frankenstein 1970

Lobby card for "Frankenstein 1970" (Allied Artists, 1958).

Twenty-seven years after creating Frankenstein’s iconic monster, Boris Karloff appeared as a descendant of Baron Frankenstein himself in this low-budget horror set in a distinctly late 1950’s looking future. Moving with the times, the Baron, hunchbacked and crippled from being tortured by the Nazis during World War 2, now uses an atomic reactor for his experiments and rents the family’s German estate to an American TV crew making a movie about his famous ancestor. Reflecting the writers’ efforts to update the Frankenstein story to the modern era, the film’s publicity trumpeted, "The One… The Only KING OF MONSTERS as the new demon of the atomic age." Archival print from the Library’s Copyright Collection.

Seating is on a first-come first-serve basis.  Doors open at 6:30 pm.

Thursday, November 8th at 6:30 p.m.


Each year, the Librarian of Congress selects 25 films of enduring importance to American culture for inclusion in the National Film Registry. The selection takes into account thousands of titles nominated annually by the public, as well as recommendations of the National Film Preservation Board and the Library’s film curators. Once a film is inducted into the Registry, the Library determines if it has already been preserved, and, if not, seeks to ensure that it eventually will be preserved by the institution or individual holding the best master material. In anticipation of next month’s announcement of a new batch of inductees, the Pickford Theater will screen two classics (see also Nov. 28) already on the Registry as "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant” works, both in new 35mm prints made from the studios’ preservation elements for the Library’s National Film Registry Collection.

MEDIUM COOL (H & J Pictures / Paramount, 1969). Directed and Written by Haskell Wexler. With Robert Forster, Verna Bloom, Peter Bonerz, Marianna Hill, Harold Blankenship. (110 min, Technicolor, 35mm, rated R).

Lobby card for Medium Cool

Lobby Card from "Medium Cool" (H & J Pictures / Paramount, 1969)

Against the backdrop of the tumultuous 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, a TV news cameraman struggles with his conscience and ambition while pursuing a budding relationship with a single mother and her son. The youth counterculture and antiwar movement of the 1960’s had a significant impact on American cinema, and only at the peak of its influence could a politically charged cinéma vérité drama with a cast of unknowns have been released by a major Hollywood studio. Directed by cinematographer Haskell Wexler, one of the most respected and influential artists in his field, "Medium Cool" skillfully blends fictional storytelling and documentary techniques to paint a visceral portrait of an era of social and political upheaval, or, as critic Vincent Canby put it, "a picture of America in the process of exploding into fragmented bits of hostility, suspicion, fear and violence." Selected for the National Film Registry in 2003. New print acquired as a gift from Paramount Pictures.

Seating is on a first-come first-serve basis.  Doors open at 6:30 pm. No one under the age of 17 will be admitted without a parent or guardian.

Saturday, November 10th at 3:00pm

Screened in conjunction with the symposium on the veterans’ "road back," focusing on the use of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction as a means of healing from the trauma of war. Presented by the Library's Poetry and Literature Center, Veterans History Project, and Exhibits Office.

THE ROAD BACK (Universal, 1937). Directed by James Whale. Screenplay by Charles Kenyon and R.C. Sherriff, based on the novel of the same name by Erich Maria Remarque. With John King, Richard Cromwell, Slim Summerville, and Andy Devine. (100 min, black and white, 35mm).

Lobby card for Medium Cool

Still image from "The Road Back" (Universal, 1937)

"The Road Back," based on the novel of the same name by Erich Maria Remarque, is considered the sequel to "All Quiet on the Western Front." The film follows a group of German soldiers returning from the trenches of the First World War as they try to reintegrate into civilian life. This screening will present Whale's original production, recently restored by the Library of Congress in association with UCLA Film & Television Archive, Universal Studios, and The Film Foundation. Restoration funding provided by The Film Foundation and the Library of Congress. Screening rights provided by New York University, executor of the Erich Maria Remarque Estate.

Tickets are recommended, but are not required. Doors open at 2:30 pm. Please request ADA accommodations at least five business days in advance by contacting (202) 707-6362 or [email protected].

Thursday, November 15th at 6:30 p.m.

The Music Division of the Library of Congress presents a screening of the biopic Howard (2018). This presentation is part of the 2018-2019 season of Concerts from the Library of Congress. A representative from the film will introduce this special screening.

HOWARD (Stone Circle Pictures, 2018). Directed by Don Hahn. (94 min, color, DVD).

Image of Howard

Image courtesy of IMDb

This new biopic gives fresh insight into the life and work of Howard Ashman, the lyricist for beloved musicals and films including The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast and Little Shop of Horrors. Behind-the-scenes footage chronicles his work in the months before his untimely death due to complications from AIDS.

Doors open at 6:00 pm. All Music Division screenings are ticketed. Get free tickets from Eventbrite.

Wednesday, November 28th at 7:00 p.m.


THE LOST WEEKEND (Paramount, 1945). Directed by Billy Wilder. Screenplay by Charles Brackett & Billy Wilder, based on the novel of the same name by Charles R. Jackson. With Ray Milland, Jane Wyman, Phillip Terry, Howard Da Silva, Doris Dowling, Frank Faylen. (101 min, black & white, 35mm).

Poster for The Lost Weekend

Poster for "The Lost Weekend " (Paramount, 1945)

An uncompromising look at the devastating effects of alcoholism, this landmark social-problem film seamlessly combines documentary realism with expressionistic flourishes to immerse viewers in the harrowing experiences of an aspiring New York writer willing to do almost anything for a drink. Made despite opposition from the studio, the Hays Office, and the liquor industry, "The Lost Weekend" was ranked as one of the best films of the decade, winning Academy Awards for Best Picture, Direction, Screenplay and Actor (Ray Milland), as well as sharing the top prize at the 1946 Cannes Film Festival. Inducted into the National Film Registry in 2011. New print provided by Universal Pictures.

Seating is on a first-come first-serve basis.  Doors open at 6:30 pm.

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  October 17, 2018
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