Mary Pickford Theater
2019 Archive of Screened Films
Thursday, January 10th at 7:00 p.m.
A film series presented by the Music Division of the Library of Congress and part of the 2018-2019 season of Concerts from the Library of Congress.
Hollywood has long had a lucrative and symbiotic relationship with Broadway, with productions transformed from stage to screen – and vice versa – at a dizzying pace. This series celebrates the often bizarre and always dazzling cinematic spectacles that imagine a Great White Way that doesn’t exist outside of the film. With a selection of much-loved classics and seldom-revived flops, we explore the breadth of the Library’s vast film holdings to give audiences something beyond the usual repertory fare.
The Music Division of the Library of Congress presents a screening of All That Jazz (1979).
ALL THAT JAZZ (Columbia Pictures, 20th Century Fox, 1979). Directed by Bob Fosse. Written by Robert Alan Aurthur and Bob Fosse. Music by Ralph Burns. With Roy Scheider, Jessica Lange, Leland Palmer, Ann Reinking, Cliff Gorman, and Ben Vereen. (R, 123 min, color, 35mm).
Starring Roy Scheider as Joe Gideon, a character loosely based on the life of director Bob Fosse, All That Jazz is a no-holds-barred movie musical that captures the darker side of Broadway.
Tuesday, January 15th at 6:30 p.m.
PRE-CODE DOUBLE BILL
A pair of pre-code classics recently preserved by the Packard Campus Film Preservation Lab from nitrate negatives in the United Artists Collection.
THE HATCHET MAN (First National, 1932). Directed by William A. Wellman. Screenplay by J. Grubb Alexander, based on the play "The Honorable Mr. Wong" by Achmed Abdullah and David Belasco. With Edward G. Robinson, Loretta Young, Dudley Digges, Leslie Fenton, Edmund Breese. (73 min, black & white, 35mm).
Edward G. Robinson plays an enforcer for a Chinese syndicate who must execute his childhood friend, but promises to care for his daughter. Expertly made, albeit with Hollywood’s customary indifference to race and ethnicity, the film features another of Robinson’s remarkable portrayals of immigrant outsiders, a role he honed to perfection during the 1930’s. Curiously dismissed by the actor as "one of my most horrible memories," "The Hatchet Man" has over the years grown in stature both as an intriguing take on the conventions of Warner Bros. crime dramas, and as one of director William Wellman’s most underappreciated works (author Frank T. Thompson called it a "film of great beauty and style").
HARD TO HANDLE (Warner Bros., 1933). Directed by Mervyn LeRoy. Screenplay by Wilson Mizner and Robert Lord, from a story by Houston Branch. With James Cagney, Mary Brian, Allen Jenkins, Ruth Donnelly, Claire Dodd. (76 min, black & white, 35mm).
After a six-month absence from Hollywood due to a dispute with Jack Warner, James Cagney returned to the screen as the fast-talking publicity man Lefty Merrill in the appropriately titled "Hard to Handle." Promoting everything from marathon dance contests to skin creams and Florida real estate, "Lefty" is a quintessential Cagney character, a shrewd, streetwise operator, ready to bend the law for success and profit. Frenetically paced, packed with zingers ("the public is like a cow, bellowing to be milked"), and with the grapefruit making a comeback following its legendary application in "The Public Enemy" (1931).
Thursday, January 17th at 7:00 p.m.
The Music Division of the Library of Congress presents a screening of Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933), part of the Fraudway film series. This presentation is part of the 2018-2019 season of Concerts from the Library of Congress.
GOLD DIGGERS OF 1933 (Warner Bros., 1933). Directed by Mervyn LeRoy. Musical sequences directed by Busby Berkeley. Screenplay by Erwin S. Gelsey and James Seymour. Music by Harry Warren and Al Dubin. With Warren William, Joan Blondell, Dick Powell, Ruby Keeler, and Aline MacMahon. (97 min, b&w, 35mm).
Where else can you hear Ginger Rogers sing "We’re in the Money" in Pig Latin? See what it takes to write and produce a fake show in the 1930s.
Thursday, January 24th at 7:00 p.m.
The Music Division of the Library of Congress presents a screening of Staying Alive (1983), part of the Fraudway film series. This presentation is part of the 2018-2019 season of Concerts from the Library of Congress.
STAYING ALIVE (Paramount, 1983). Written and Directed by Sylvester Stallone. Music by the Bee Gees. With John Travolta, Cynthia Rhodes, Finola Hughes, Steve Inwood, and Frank Stallone. (PG, 96 min, color, 35mm).
This sequel to Saturday Night Fever flopped despite the best efforts of John Travolta and director Sylvester Stallone, but Frank Stallone’s song "Far From Over" was nominated for a Golden Globe for best original song, and there are other moments to treasure in this unusual film.
Thursday, January 31st at 7:00 p.m.
The Music Division of the Library of Congress presents a screening of Stepping Out (1991), part of the Fraudway film series. This presentation is part of the 2018-2019 season of Concerts from the Library of Congress.
STEPPING OUT (Paramount, 1991). Directed by Lewis Gilbert. Written by Richard Harris. Music by Peter Matz. With Liza Minnelli, Shelley Winters, Bill Irwin, Ellen Greene, Julie Walters, Robyn Stevan, Jane Krakowski, Sheila McCarthy, Andrea Martin, and Carol Woods. (PG, 106 min, color, 35mm).
Stepping Out could have been a career-revitalizer for its star Liza Minnelli, but the film about a crew of tap-dancing misfits never took off. Now is your chance to see actors like Jane Krakowski and Ellen Greene "step out" in a toe-tapping musical comedy you may have missed in 1991.
Thursday, February 7th at 7:00 p.m.
The Film Music of Erich Korngold
A film series presented by the Music Division of the Library of Congress as part of the 2018-2019 season of Concerts from the Library of Congress.
Erich Wolfgang Korngold was a highly respected composer whose film scores influenced generations to follow. While his music for The Adventures of Robin Hood is perhaps his most well-known score, the Library holds prints and scores from many of his films that do not get screened as frequently, and this film series will offer the public an unusual opportunity to see them on film, as they were originally presented. The series draws on two collections: the Erich Korngold collection in the Music Division, which contains holograph manuscript materials related to each of these films, and the 35mm film print collection of the Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division, which has excellent prints of each of the selected films.
The Music Division of the Library of Congress presents a screening of The Sea Hawk (1940).
THE SEA HAWK (Warner Bros., 1940). Directed by Michael Curtiz. Music by Erich Wolfgang Korngold. Written by Howard Koch and Seton I. Miller. With Errol Flynn, Brenda Marshall, Claude Raines, Donald Crisp, Flora Robson, Alan Hale, Henry Daniell, Una O’Connor, Montagu Love and Gilbert Roland. (127 min, black & white, 35mm).
Korngold was nominated for an Academy Award for his rousing score to this film Featuring a swashbuckling Errol Flynn as privateer Geoffrey Thorpe, this film is one of the great pirate romances of the time.
Tuesday, February 12th at 7:00 p.m.
DOWN IN THE DELTA (Amen Ra Films – Chris Rose Productions / Miramax – Showtime, 1998). Directed by Maya Angelou. Written by Myron Goble. With Alfre Woodard, Al Freeman, Jr., Mary Alice, Esther Rolle, Loretta Devine. (112 min, color, 35mm).
We celebrate Black History Month with the only film directed by poet Maya Angelou, a powerful tale of a drug addict and single mother struggling to rebuild her life after moving with her two children from a rough Chicago neighborhood to her uncle’s home in rural Mississippi. Anchored by an exquisite performance by Alfre Woodard (a long-time member of the Library’s National Film Preservation Board), the film skillfully avoids the trappings of melodrama and subtly builds the case for the healing power of strong family ties. Wesley Snipes, who was also one of the producers, is impressive in the role of Woodard’s lawyer cousin. Archival print from the Library’s Copyright Collection.
**Thursday, February 14th at 7:00 p.m. (Rescheduled for February 21st at 7:00 p.m.)
**NOTE: This screening has been postponed to Thursday, February 21 at 7pm due to circumstances beyond our control.**
The Music Division of the Library of Congress presents a screening of Kings Row (1942), part of the Film Music of Erich Korngold film series. This presentation is part of the 2018-2019 season of Concerts from the Library of Congress.
KINGS ROW (Warner Bros., 1942). Directed by Sam Wood. Music by Erich Wolfgang Korngold. Screenplay by Casey Robinson, from the novel by Henry Bellamann. With Ann Sheridan, Robert Cummings, Ronald Reagan, Betty Field, Charles Coburn, Claude Rains, Judith Anderson, and Maria Ouspenskaya. (127 min, black & white, 35mm).
Korngold’s rich score adds to the power of this dark and cynical film about turn-of-the-century America, which includes Ronald Reagan in what many consider to be his best onscreen role.
Saturday, February 23rd at 11:00 a.m.
KORNGOLD LECTURE AND DOUBLE BILL
The Music Division of the Library of Congress presents a screening of Captain Blood (1935) and The Goonies (1985), preceded by an introductory lecture by Paul Sommerfeld, part of the Film Music of Erich Korngold film series. This presentation is part of the 2018-2019 season of Concerts from the Library of Congress.
#DECLASSIFIED: IN SEARCH OF KORNGOLD, lecture by Paul Sommerfeld, Music Division
Considered one of the most influential film composers for early Hollywood sound-film, Erich Korngold is arguably most remembered for his swashbuckling scores for The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) and The Sea Hawk (1940). Yet his lyrical melodies, rich textures, virtuosic orchestration, and pronounced theatricality remain constant threads in all of his film scores—threads that continue to inspire composers in the present era, from John Williams to the late James Horner.
Followed by double bill screening at 12:00 p.m.
CAPTAIN BLOOD (Warner Bros., Cosmopolitan, 1935). Directed by Michael Curtiz. Music by Erich Wolfgang Korngold. Screenplay by Casey Robinson, based on the novel by Rafael Sabatini. With Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Basil Rathbone, Lionel Atwill, Ross Alexander, and Guy Kibbee. (119 min, black & white, 35mm).
THE GOONIES (Warner Bros., Amblin, 1985). Directed by Richard Donner. Music by Dave Grusin. Screenplay by Chris Columbus, from a story by Steven Spielberg. With Sean Astin, Josh Brolin, Corey Feldman, Kerri Green, Jeff Cohen, Martha Plimpton, Ke Huy Quan, and John Matuszak. (PG, 114 min, color, 35mm).
Fans of pirate films know of the connections between these two films, released half a century apart, so it is only natural to present them as a double bill. Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland are featured in Captain Blood, the film that made them household names, in a story that helped to solidify the swashbuckling genre. The now-classic adventure The Goonies, while not scored by Korngold, benefited from the imaginative music of Dave Grusin.
Thursday, February 28th at 7:00 p.m.
The Music Division of the Library of Congress presents a screening of The Sea Wolf (1941), part of the Film Music of Erich Korngold film series. This presentation is part of the 2018-2019 season of Concerts from the Library of Congress.
THE SEA WOLF (Warner Bros., 1941). Written and Directed by Michael Curtiz. Music by Erich Wolfgang Korngold. Screenplay by Robert Rossen, from the novel by Jack London. With Edward G. Robinson, Ida Lupino, John Garfield, Alexander Knox, Gene Lockhart, and Barry Fitzgerald. (100 min, black & white, 35mm).
Our nautical theme continues with The Sea Wolf, one of many film adaptations of Jack London’s novel. Seal your fate with that of the “Ghost” and its mutinous crew as they set sail under a cruel captain.
Thursday, March 7th at 7:00 p.m. - Remembering Burt Reynolds (1936-2018)
THE LONGEST YARD (Albert S. Ruddy Productions / Paramount, 1974). Directed by Robert Aldrich. Screenplay by Tracy Keenan Wynn, from a story by Albert S. Ruddy. With Burt Reynolds, Eddie Albert, Ed Lauter, Michael Conrad, Jim Hampton, Harry Caesar. (120 min, Technicolor, 35mm, rated R).
In a Florida state prison, an ex-quarterback assembles an inmates’ football team for a game against the guards. Fast-paced, brutal and funny, with director Robert Aldrich adroitly steering both the dramatic and comic elements to their maximum, testosterone-driven effect, "The Longest Yard" confirmed Burt Reynolds as one of the ten most popular box office stars in the U.S., a position he first achieved in late 1973 and would retain for the next ten years. The film won the Golden Globe for Best Film – Musical or Comedy, and was remade three times, in the U.S., U.K. and Egypt. Archival print from the Library’s Copyright Collection.
Thursday, March 21st at 7:00 p.m. - Remembering Penny Marshall (1943-2018)
A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN (Parkway Productions / Columbia, 1992). Directed by Penny Marshall. Screenplay by Lowell Ganz, Babaloo Mandell, based on a story by Kim Wilson, Kelly Candaele. With Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, Madonna, Lori Petty, Jon Lovitz, David Strathairn, Garry Marshall, Bill Pullman. (127 min, Technicolor, Panavision, 35mm).
Penny Marshall scored her second major hit as director (following "Big" in 1988) with this delightful story of the first women’s professional baseball league. A little-known chapter in American sports history, the league, established in 1943, was a reflection of the changing roles of women during wartime, and the film lovingly recreates both the era and its characters’ trailblazing stature. Don’t miss the closing credits with the original members of the women’s league playing an exhibition game at Doubleday Field in Cooperstown, NY. Selected for the National Film Registry in 2012. Archival print from the Library’s Copyright Collection.
The two features we are presenting this month provide a glimpse into American cinema’s engagement with the atomic age, which not surprisingly reached its heyday during the 1950’s when the simultaneous fear and fascination with the "bomb," combined with the threat of the Cold War, provided fertile ground for filmmakers to explore and/or exploit the subject in a wide variety of genres.
Tuesday, April 2nd at 7:00 p.m.
SPLIT SECOND (RKO, 1953). Directed by Dick Powell. Screenplay by William Bowers and Irving Wallace from a story by Chester Erskine and Wallace. With Stephen McNally, Alexis Smith, Jan Sterling, Keith Andes, Arthur Hunnicutt, Richard Egan. (84 min, black & white, 35mm).
An escaped convict holds a group of people hostage in a Nevada ghost town which is about to be leveled by an atomic bomb test. One of the few film noirs to deal with the nuclear threat, “Split Second” marked the directorial debut of actor Dick Powell, opening another chapter in a remarkable career that had already seen him successfully transition from heartthrob crooner in 1930’s musicals to hardboiled tough guy in 1940’s thrillers. Noir stalwart Stephen McNally creates what is arguably the most memorable of his many screen thugs, and Richard Egan and Alexis Smith are surprisingly effective as a divorced couple wearily resigned to the end of their relationship. Preserved in 2015 from original negatives in the AFI/RKO Collection.
Preceded by a 1953 Universal newsreel with "Aftermath of Atomic Blast" as the lead story.
Thursday, April 4th at 7:00 p.m.
The Music Division of the Library of Congress presents a screening of Reformat the Planet (2008). This presentation is part of the 2018-2019 season of Concerts from the Library of Congress.
REFORMAT THE PLANET (2 Player Prods., 2008). Directed by Paul Owens. Produced by Paul Levering (82 min, color, DVD).
Reformat the Planet is a documentary about the first annual Blip Festival that explores the ChipTunes movement, in which composers create new electronic music using repurposed video hardware.
Part of Augmented Realities: A Video Game Music Mini-Fest - April 4-6, 2019.
Thursday, April 18th at 7:00 p.m.
THEM! (Warner Bros., 1954). Directed by Gordon Douglas. Screenplay by Ted Sherdeman from an adaptation by Russell Hughes of a story by George Worthing Yates. With James Whitmore, Edmund Gwenn, Joan Weldon, James Arness, Onslow Stevens. (93 min, black & white, 35mm).
Giant mutant ants go on a rampage after the first atomic test in the desert of New Mexico. Developed into an intelligent script and filmed in a semi-documentary style, this simple premise produced one of the best science fiction films of the decade, taut, menacing, yet completely credible. “Them!” was the highest-grossing Warner Bros. release of the year, spawning a host of mostly inferior giant insect pictures, incl. "Tarantula" (1955), "The Deadly Mantis" (1957) and "The Black Scorpion" (1957). The finale in the Los Angeles sewers is unforgettable. Archival print from the Library’s Copyright Collection.
Thursday, May 16th at 7:00 p.m.
WHO'S MINDING THE STORE (York Pictures – Jerry Lewis Pictures / Paramount, 1963). Directed by Frank Tashlin. Written by Frank Tashlin & Harry Tugend. With Jerry Lewis, Jill St. John, Ray Walston, John McGiver, Agnes Moorehead. (90 min, Technicolor, 35mm).
Determined to break up the engagement between her daughter and a lowly dog walker, a wealthy department store owner gives the fiancé a job at one of her stores and sets him up to fail. While not subdued, and with plenty of opportunities for elaborate gags, Lewis’s performance here stays away from overt sentimentality, undoubtedly due to the influence of director and co-writer Frank Tashlin, who doesn’t allow the star to overplay the pathos, thereby making his character’s perseverance and idealism thoroughly convincing. According to Lewis himself, "This was totally Tashlin’s project. I came to it strictly as an actor."
Preceded by the Looney Tunes cartoon "Scrap Happy Daffy," one of the many animated shorts Tashlin directed for Warner Bros. during the 1930’s and ‘40’s. (8 min, black & white, 35mm).
Thursday, June 20th at 7:00 p.m.
THE BITTER TEARS OF PETRA VON KANT (Die bitteren Tränen der Petra von Kant) (Tango-Film, West Germany, 1972). Directed and Written by Rainer Werner Fassbinder, from his own play. With Margit Carstensen, Hanna Schygulla, Katrin Schaake, Gisela Fackeldey, Eva Mattes, Irm Hermann. (124 min, color, 35mm, in German with English subtitles).
We celebrate LGBT Pride Month with a seminal work by German filmmaker Rainer Werner Fassbinder, a giant of world cinema whose short but extremely prolific career produced more than 40 features, two dozen stage plays, and a groundbreaking TV series (Berlin Alexanderplatz). Focused on a tormented romance between a successful fashion designer and an aspiring model, "The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant" is a reflection of Fassbinder’s recurring interest in stories of same sex lovers of different social and economic standing. It was based on the director’s own play, a painfully personal account of his affair with a young actor, and shot as a chamber piece on a single set with a six member all-female cast. Campy and highly aestheticized, with mesmerizing camerawork and powerful performances, the film is a disconcerting, claustrophobic, and emotionally wrenching experience. Print courtesy of Janus Films.
What better way to relax in the summer heat than with a pair of cool 1960’s caper flicks, rarely seen (especially on the big screen) and mostly forgotten (undeservedly so!). Hip characters, slangy dialogue, and groovy soundtracks abound!
Thursday, July 18th at 7:00 p.m.
THE JOKERS (Gildor – Scimitar, U.K., 1967). Directed by Michael Winner. Screenplay by Dick Clement & Ian La Frenais, from an original story by Michael Winner. With Michael Crawford, Oliver Reed, Harry Andrews, James Donald, Michael Hordern. (94 min, Technicolor, 35mm).
How do two aristocratic brothers relieve the boredom of a summer in London? By stealing the Crown Jewels, of course! Romping around "swinging London," Michael Crawford and Oliver Reed, "the best double act since Laurel and Hardy" (Evening Standard), poke fun at the monarchy, the media, and the military – the opening credits have yet to roll as Crawford’s character is expelled from an elite military academy. Before moving to Hollywood and partnering with Charles Bronson (the "Death Wish" franchise), director Michael Winner established himself with several witty and inventive films which accurately captured the mood of 1960’s Britain, in particular its disaffected youth. Archival print from the Library’s Copyright Collection.
Thursday, August 15th at 7:00 p.m.
DUFFY (Columbia, 1968). Directed by Robert Parrish. Screenplay by Donald Cammell & Harry Joe Brown, Jr., from an original story by Cammell, Brown, Jr. & Pierre La Salle. With James Coburn, James Mason, James Fox, Susannah York, John Alderton. (101 min, Technicolor, 35mm).
An American ex-pat is hired by two English half-brothers to hijack a boat carrying several million dollars of their father's fortune. Having starred in two campy spy comedies as secret agent Derek Flint, James Coburn was at the time "Mr. Cool" himself, and as such a natural choice for the title role of a master criminal turned laid-back hipster. He is supported by an A-list British cast including a pair of hot new talents (Fox & York). Co-written by filmmaker Donald Cammell ("Performance") and filmed in and around Almeria, Spain, standing in for Tangiers, Morocco. Archival print from the Library’s Copyright Collection.
Thursday, September 19th at 7:00 p.m.
DOWNSTAIRS (MGM, 1932). Directed by Monta Bell. Written by Lenore Coffee & Melville Baker (screenplay), John Gilbert (story). With John Gilbert, Paul Lukas, Virginia Bruce, Hedda Hopper, Reginald Owen, Olga Baclanova. (77 min, black & white, 35mm).
Hired by an Austrian nobleman and his wife, an unscrupulous chauffeur proceeds to exploit both his employers upstairs and the servants downstairs. Based on an original story that John Gilbert had been trying to get off the ground since 1927, the film was a conscious effort on the actor’s part to move away from his "Great Lover" image. It also represented a challenge to the widely held view that his talents were not suited to sound pictures. Gilbert made only three more films, including "Queen Christina" with Greta Garbo, but none of them managed to revive his career and he died of a heart attack at the age of 38.
Preceded by the Laurel & Hardy short "Towed in a Hole" (Hal Roach/MGM, 1932). (21 min, black & white, 35mm).
Thursday, October 10th at 7:00 p.m.
In conjunction with the exhibit "Shall Not Be Denied: Women Fight for the Vote"
SUFFRAGETTE (Ruby Films – Pathé – Film4 – Redgill Productions – BFI, U.K./France, 2015). Directed by Sarah Gavron. Written by Abi Morgan. With Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter, Brendan Gleeson, Anne-Marie Duff, Ben Whishaw, Romola Garai, Meryl Streep. (106 min, color, widescreen, 35mm).
A rare screen dramatization of the history of the women’s suffrage movement, an exceedingly underrepresented subject in cinema, this timely and stirring film portrays the personal and social awakening of a laundry worker caught up in the struggle for women’s right to vote in London in the early 1910’s. While the main character (a remarkable Carey Mulligan) is a composite of several real life working class activists, the narrative also features a pair of historical figures, Emily Davison (played by Natalie Press) and Emmeline Pankhurst (Meryl Streep), both instrumental in achieving suffrage for British women. Archival print from the Library’s Copyright Collection.
Thursday, October 17th at 7:00 p.m.
Remembering Doris Day (1922-2019)
TEACHER'S PET (Pearlsea / Paramount, 1958). Directed by George Seaton. Written by Fay & Michael Kanin. With Clark Gable, Doris Day, Gig Young, Mamie Van Doren, Nick Adams, Marion Ross. (120 min, black & white, 35mm).
After being mocked as a relic from the past by a female journalism instructor, a gruff newspaper editor joins her class to exact his revenge. Sharp dialogue and credible depiction of the inner workings of the fourth estate provide a pitch-perfect framework for the pairing of Clark Gable, in the twilight of his career, and Doris Day, at the time more than twenty years his junior. With its playful take on gender issues and a spunky, single career woman as its heroine, "Teacher’s Pet" set a template for the most successful phase of Day’s acting career, which would start a year later with "Pillow Talk." Archival print from the Library’s Copyright Collection.
Thursday, October 24th at 7:00 p.m.
Trick or Treat
DR. TERROR’S HOUSE OF HORRORS (Amicus, U.K., 1965). Directed by Freddie Francis. Written by Milton Subotsky. With Peter Cushing, Neil McCallum, Alan Freeman, Roy Castle, Christopher Lee, Donald Sutherland, Max Adrian. (98 min, Technicolor, widescreen, 35mm).
A chillingly atmospheric collection of five stories linked by a framing device in which Peter Cushing’s seedy Dr. Terror reveals the destinies of five people travelling with him in a railway carriage. The first and best of the horror anthologies produced by the British outfit Amicus Productions, the film is a virtual compendium of the genre’s favorite motifs, bringing together werewolves, vampires, voodoo, spectral body parts and killer plants. The cast consisted of two seasoned horror practitioners (Cushing & Lee), several stalwarts of British TV, and a 30-year-old Donald Sutherland in only his second big screen role. Archival print from the Library’s Copyright Collection.
Thursday, November 7th at 7:00 p.m.
NATIONAL FILM REGISTRY
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 films (see also Nov. 21) already on the Registry as "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant" works.
SMOKE SINGNALS (ShadowCatcher Entertainment / Miramax, 1998). Directed by Chris Eyre. Written by Sherman Alexie, based on his short story collection "The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven." With Adam Beach, Evans Adams, Irene Bedard, Gary Farmer, Tantoo Cardinal, Cody Lightning, Simon Baker. (89 min, color, 35mm).
A 2018 addition to the National Film Registry, "Smoke Signals" is considered to be the first feature-length film directed, written and produced by Native Americans. A hit on the independent circuit upon its release and winner of multiple awards (incl. the Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival), the film uses the road movie format to create a humorous and unpretentious portrait of contemporary Native American culture while also providing wry observations about the injustices of the past. A groundbreaking work, the debut feature of then 28-year-old Cheyenne-Arapaho filmmaker Chris Eyre needed, in the words of Janet Maslin "no dispensation for novelty" – it stood "beautifully on its own merits." Archival print from the Library’s Copyright Collection.
Thursday, November 21st at 7:00 p.m.
MAKE WAY FOR TOMORROW (Paramount, 1937). Directed by Leo McCarey. Screenplay by Viña Delmar, based on a novel by Josephine Lawrence and a play by Helen and Nolan Leary. With Victor Moore, Beulah Bondi, Fay Bainter, Thomas Mitchell, Porter Hall, Barbara Read. (92 min, black & white, 35mm).
After a bank forecloses on their home, an elderly couple must separate and move in with their selfish and ungrateful adult children. Orson Welles called it a film "that would make a stone cry," it served as a template for Yasujiro Ozu’s masterpiece "Tokyo Story," and director Leo McCarey considered it a personal favorite among his films. Despite all that, and notwithstanding the prominent champions it had over the years (John Ford and Jean Renoir were fans), "Make Way for Tomorrow" has been consistently overlooked as a classic of American cinema and to this day is not as well-known as it deserves to be. A love story among the elderly with a brutally honest view of old age, the film made no concessions to popular taste at a time when sentimentality and happy endings were the norm (New York Herald Tribune called it "a picture that violates every cinematic rule"). Selected for the National Film Registry in 2010. New print acquired as a gift from Universal Pictures.