Schedule **Schedule is subject to change

SECOND BANANAS AND BOOK SIGNING WITH KLIPH NESTEROFF

Club TCM at The Hollywood Roosevelt

Think of the great comedy teams of movie history and the names Abbott & Costello, Burns & Allen, or Martin & Lewis spring to mind. But some of the most enduring two-person comedy teams were never actually billed as such. Historian and author Kliph Nesteroff (The Comedians: Drunks, Thieves, Soundrels and the History of American Comedy) presents great moments from the mid-century “comedy teams” of Milton Berle & Arnold Stang, Jack Benny & Eddie Anderson, Lucille Ball & Gale Gordon, Kathleen Freeman & Jerry Lewis, Mary Wickes & Arthur Lake, and more. Nesteroff explores the story of these unofficial comedy duos with an in-depth presentation, followed by a Q&A.

A CONVERSATION WITH PETER BOGDANOVICH

Club TCM at The Hollywood Roosevelt

Legendary director/author Peter Bogdanovich will discuss his prolific career in this one-hour conversation. Beginning his career in the 1960s under the wing of director Roger Corman, Bogdanovich made his directorial film debut with Targets (1968). After making two more films, he co-wrote and directed The Last Picture Show (1971), making stars out of its newcomers and cementing himself as a forerunner of the American New Wave.  He followed the film with a series of cult classics and Oscar-winning pictures with Hollywood’s finest, and today continues to make films and write books about the history of cinema.

BRING ‘EM BACK ALIVE: TALES OF FILM RESTORATIONS

Club TCM at The Hollywood Roosevelt

Classic films are often rescued from obscurity by tireless champions of movie history. Although challenges abound in assembling these films for new and existing audiences alike, persistence, patience, and hours of detective work, sometimes with partner archives, result in renewed recognition for many of these movies. Hear from these unsung heroes on the front lines of film restoration, the art and skill of bringing movies back from oblivion.  Panelists:  Amy Heller, co-founder Milestone Films; Jeff Masino, President, Flicker Alley; and Bret Wood, VP and Producer of Special Projects Kino Lorber.  Moderated by Eddie Muller.

HAND AND FOOTPRINT CEREMONY: CARL AND ROB REINER

TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX

The multitalented and award-winning father-and-son Carl and Rob Reiner, whose careers in film and television have encompassed acting, writing, producing and directing, will have their hand and footprints immortalized in cement in the forecourt of the historic theatre during a ceremony to honor their iconic careers.

THE PRINCESS BRIDE ( 1987 )

FESTIVAL TRIBUTES

TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX

The rare film that succeeds in spoofing itself, THE PRINCESS BRIDE appeals to younger audiences as a straight-up swashbuckling fantasy and to adults as a parody of the genre. A good deal of the ironic edge comes from the casting. With narration by Peter Falk (as a grandfather reading William Godlman’s book to a sick child) and witty performances from Mandy Patinkin, Christopher Guest, Billy Crystal, Carol Kane and Wallace Shawn, the film maintains a sly comic air even as the action blazes most fiercely. Robin Wright stars as a commoner promoted to royalty so she can marry the evil Prince Humperdinck (Chris Sarandon) and is repeatedly rescued by childhood sweetheart Cary Elwes. Their adventures throw them in with a vengeful Spanish adventurer (Patinkin as Inigo Montoya), a gentle giant (pro wrestler André the Giant) and a wacky wizard (Crystal). Golding had written the book for his daughters and sold it to 20th Century Fox in 1973, the year it was first published. It then sat on the shelf for 14 years, with executive changes derailing each attempt to film it. Finally, Rob Reiner got his former All in the Family boss, Norman Lear, to back what would become a modern classic. (d. Rob Reiner, 98m, DCP)

THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI ( 1957 )

ESSENTIALS

TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX

This film ushered in an age of international blockbusters. Inspired by the 1943 construction of a railway bridge over the Mae Klong and novelist Pierre Boulle’s experiences as a POW in Thailand, the film traces the involvement of British POWs in the construction of a strategic bridge for the Japanese. After winning a battle of wills with the camp commander (Sessue Hayakawa), the British colonel (Alec Guinness) determines to use the project to demonstrate the superiority of British engineering, even though it could help the enemy win the war. Producer Sam Spiegel gave the script to two blacklisted American writers, Carl Foreman and Michael Wilson, even though he had to credit Boulle with the screenplay. After approaching American giants like John Ford and Howard Hawks, he brought on David Lean, marking the British director’s transition from small personal films to epic productions. Spiegel had the POW who escapes to lead an assault on the bridge changed to an American allowing them to cast William Holden. The film was a huge success and won seven Oscars, including Best Picture, Director, Screenplay and Actor (Guinness). In 1984, the Academy awarded posthumous Oscars to Foreman and Wilson. (d. David Lean, 161m, DCP)

HIGH ANXIETY ( 1977 )

MOVIE SPOOFS

TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX

From The 39 Steps (1935) to Family Plot (1976), Mel Brooks runs rampant through Alfred Hitchcock’s filmography in this inspired spoof. The master of suspense was so impressed that he sent Brooks a case of wine, only criticizing the shower scene because the shower curtain had too many rings. The script starts out doing Spellbound (1945), with Brooks as a psychoanalyst taking over management of an asylum whose head has died under mysterious circumstances. His efforts to solve the crime force him to confront his fear of heights (1958’s Vertigo) while leading to a fight with pigeons (trained by the same handler who had worked on The Birds in 1963) and continued encounters with an evil head nurse (Cloris Leachman) with echoes of Mrs. Danvers in Rebecca (1940). There’s even a cameo by Hitchcock’s regular special effects man, Albert Whitlock, who also did the effects on this film. The cast is a who’s who of Brooks’ films, with Leachman joined by Madeline Kahn, Ron Carey, Harvey Korman and Dick Van Patten. As if satirizing Hitchcock wasn’t enough, Brooks also throws a hilarious send-up of Frank Sinatra when he sings the title number, which he wrote himself. (d. Mel Brooks, 94m,DCP)

RAFTER ROMANCE ( 1933 )

DISCOVERIES

Egyptian Theatre

This rarely seen romantic comedy stars Ginger Rogers just before her first film with Fred Astaire, Flying Down to Rio (1933). Here, she possesses a delicious lightness in her performance as a woman sharing an apartment in 12-hour shifts with a man she’s never seen (Norman Foster). As each begins to resent the other’s bad habits, their meeting and falling in love outside the apartment becomes almost inevitable. As a pre-code film it is filled with risqué bits, but the plot, as suggestive as it seems, was not a code issue as the film was remade under stricter code enforcement as Living on Love (1937). Rafter Romance was one of half a dozen films handed over to former RKO head Merian C. Cooper to settle a lawsuit. He removed the films from circulation (except for licensing them to television in 1955-56). TCM acquired the films in 2006 and created restored prints with the help of the Library of Congress and Brigham Young University. This is one of the few theatrical screenings of RAFTER ROMANCE since its initial circulation in 1933. This 35mm print courtesy of the TCM Collection at UCLA Film & Television Archive. (d. William A. Seiter, 73m, 35mm)

ONE HOUR WITH YOU ( 1932 )

DIVORCE/REMORSE

Egyptian Theatre

The last of Ernst Lubitsch’s Paramount musicals shimmers with sophistication as married couple Maurice Chavalier and Jeanette MacDonald almost divorce after he’s seduced by her best friend (Genevieve Tobin). The whole thing feels lighter than air, belying both its steamy pre-Code plot and the turmoil going on behind the scenes. Lubitsch was busy directing a dramatic film, Broken Lullaby (1932), when Paramount asked him to produce another Chevalier film. He settled on a remake of his silent hit The Marriage Circle (1924), but with production on the other film dragging on, the studio assigned newcomer George Cukor to direct. When Lubitsch was finally free, he decided Cukor’s footage had the wrong tone and, with Chevalier’s encouragement, took over the direction. The film previewed with Cukor credited as director, but it did so well that Lubitsch insisted on taking the credit. When Cukor filed a lawsuit, the studio credited him as dialogue director and let him out of his contract early so he could move to RKO, where his career would take off. Meanwhile, Lubitsch took home glowing reviews for his subtle treatment of the sexuality and theatrical touches like occasional rhyming dialogue and Chevalier’s talking directly to the audience. (d. Ernst Lubitsch, 80m, 35mm)

MONKEY BUSINESS ( 1931 )

ESSENTIALS

Egyptian Theatre

After filming two adaptations of their stage hits in Paramount’s Astoria studios, the Marx Bros. moved to Hollywood for their first film written directly for the screen (in part by S.J. Perelman). This time out, they’re four stowaways on an ocean liner who get forced to work for rival gangsters. After they land, one gangster kidnaps the other’s daughter (who happens to be Zeppo’s girlfriend), leading to a slapstick finale. This was also the first of two films to feature Thelma Todd as their female foil instead of Margaret Dumont. (Groucho had complained that Dumont wasn’t sexy enough). Todd was certainly sexy and an expert comedienne to boot and her love scene with Groucho is one of the film’s highlights. Another treat is the brothers’ attempts to get through customs with a passport stolen from Maurice Chevalier (one of Paramount’s biggest stars at the time) as each one, even Harpo, tries to imitate him. With the film’s success, the Marx Bros. would join the ranks of Paramount’s biggest stars, even though the picture was banned in Ireland, where officials feared it would promote anarchy. (d. Norman Z. McLeod, 77m, DCP)

SO THIS IS PARIS ( 1926 )

DISCOVERIES

Egyptian Theatre

Ernst Lubitsch had fled Germany’s post-war economic turmoil to come to Hollywood, first to direct Mary Pickford in Rosita (1923) and then to become Warner Bros.’ first star director. Star directors and Jack Warner weren’t a good mix, however, and this witty comedy, from the same source as the operetta Die Fledermaus, would be his final picture there. Monte Blue stars as a married man tempted to cheat on wife Patsy Ruth Miller with former flame Lilyan Tashman (one of Hollywood’s greatest and wittiest clotheshorses). Miller is about to succumb to the advances of Tashman’s husband (Andre Beranger) when she hears on the radio that Blue, who’s supposed to be in jail for speeding, has just won a Charleston contest with Tashman. The dance scene is one of Lubitsch’s most kinetic, with rapid cutting and superimpositions that create a kaleidoscopic effect he would use again in The Merry Widow (1934). According to the New York critics, the premiere audience applauded when the scene was over. The film was a box office winner, and Lubitsch went on to even bigger successes at Paramount. Keep an eye out for Blue and Miller’s maid, an early role for Myrna Loy. (d. Ernst Lubitsch, 80m, 35mm)

RED-HEADED WOMAN ( 1932 )

DISCOVERIES

Egyptian Theatre

MGM went through great pains while adapting Katharine Brush’s scandalous novel to the screen, but came out with a hit. The story of a secretary sleeping her way into high society was the kind of material that drove censors wild in pre-code Hollywood. In order to get it by them, production head Irving G. Thalberg decided to hire Anita Loos to turn it into a comedy. Then Thalberg had a hard time finding the perfect actress to carry the picture. After testing everybody on the lot (even Marie Dressler put on a red wig and demanded an audition), he took a chance on the young Jean Harlow. She tackled the part with such vibrant energy, it’s hard today to see how anybody could have been offended. At the time, however, audiences actually laughed at her and cheered when boyfriend Chester Morris’ wife (Leila Hyams) told her off. The film’s success made her a star as the studio tailored roles for her in Red Dust (1932) and Dinner at Eight (1933). Also helping put contemporary audiences on her side is her ultimate love interest, a French chauffeur played by Charles Boyer. The role helped his career, but too late for MGM, which had let his option lapse. (d. Jack Conway, 79m, 35mm)

LAURA ( 1944 )

NITRATE

Egyptian Theatre

Romance, murder and one of the greatest plot twists of all time have made this pioneering film noir a fan favorite for over 70 years. The investigation of an advertising executive’s murder takes two shocking turns as the detective on the case (Dana Andrews) begins falling for the victim. With Gene Tierney at her most beautiful and vulnerable in the title role, the film was bound to be unforgettable, but add a powerful supporting cast including Vincent Price, Judith Anderson and, best of all, Clifton Webb returning to feature films after 19 years of stage stardom and you had an instant classic. Much of the film’s success, including Webb’s casting, is owed to director Otto Preminger. He found Vera Caspary’s original novel for 20th Century-Fox, took over directing after Rouben Mamoulian was fired, pushed to preserve the most important plot turns and fought to cast Webb. The film established Preminger and Webb both as major Hollywood figures, with Oscar nominations for both Preminger and Webb. Film composer David Raksin also benefits from the film, with his haunting theme featured prominently in one of the first hit movie soundtracks. Nitrate projection made possible through support of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, Turner Classic Movies, and The Film Foundation in partnership with the American Cinematheque and the Academy Film Archive. Print courtesy of the Academy Film Archive and Twentieth Century Fox. (d. Otto Preminger, 88m, Nitrate)

THE MALTESE FALCON ( 1941 )

ESSENTIALS

Chinese Multiplex House 1

Usually hailed as the first film noir, this detective story is too much fun to be simply relegated to some cubbyhole in film history. To direct his first film, John Huston picked a Dashiell Hammett novel Warner Bros. had filmed twice before and had the wisdom to stick close to the source, something neither of the earlier versions did. He also assembled the perfect cast, starting with Humphrey Bogart, who got his first big push toward stardom as Detective Sam Spade, Hammett’s knight in shining armor who’s not above cutting a few corners or sleeping with his partner’s wife but still has a moral line he won’t cross. Huston got stage actor Sydney Greenstreet to make his film debut as international con man Kasper Gutman, then matched him with his perfect foil, Peter Lorre as Joel Cairo. He even lucked on to a minor player like Elisha Cook, Jr. and gave him his perfect role as Wilmer, the patsy in the hunt for the stuff that dreams are made of. For some reason, Mary Astor’s casting as Brigid is considered more controversial (the studio wanted Geraldine Fitzgerald), but she’s both funny and sexy as she spins one lie after another. (d. John Huston, 100m, DCP)

BORN YESTERDAY ( 1950 )

ESSENTIALS

Chinese Multiplex House 1

Judy Holliday shot to stardom as the screen’s definitive “dumb blonde” in this adaptation of Garson Kanin’s hit play. Holliday’s Billie Dawn is an ex-chorus girl who’s the mistress of a junk king (Broderick Crawford) on the way up the ranks in political circles. When he hires liberal reporter Paul Verrall (William Holden) to smooth out Billie’s rough edges, she is transformed into a vibrant, intelligent woman with ideas of her own about her lover and her future. Kanin and director George Cukor fought to cast Holliday in the role re-creating her stage triumph. After paying an unprecedented $1 million for the film rights, Columbia Pictures head Harry Cohn wanted to cast anyone but Holliday in the role until Holliday’s performance in Cukor’s Adam’s Rib (1949), written by Kanin and wife Ruth Gordon, convinced Cohn of her screen potential. BORN YESTERDAY became a personal triumph earning Holliday the Oscar for Best Actress, and convincing Cohn to create more starring vehicles to exploit her mix of brassiness and wit. The star-director-writer collaboration (with Gordon co-writing their other films) led to The Marrying Kind (1952) and It Should Happen to You (1954). (d. George Cukor, 103m, DCP)

BAREFOOT IN THE PARK ( 1967 )

ESSENTIALS

Chinese Multiplex House 1

After seven years in the movies, Robert Redford scored his first box-office hit in a role that couldn’t have been further from himself. He had played Paul Bratter, an uptight young lawyer married to a free spirit on Broadway, where the play ran for four years. More of a free-spirit than his character, Redford would change to a cowboy hat and boots whenever he was off-camera. Neil Simon’s play, filled with running gags about the decrepit fifth floor walk-up in Greenwich Village the wife rents as an adventure, would become a classic on stage and screen. With Simon doing the screen adaptation, Redford, Mildred Natwick as his mother-in-law and Herb Edelman as a telephone repairman repeated their stage roles, but the producers wanted a box-office name for the leading lady. Fortunately, Jane Fonda proved to be the perfect on-screen match for Redford, making them a very sexy pair of newlyweds. They had already appeared in two lesser films together and would reunite over a decade later for The Electric Horseman (1979). To play the couple’s upstairs neighbor, who flirts with both Fonda and Natwick, Charles Boyer did a comic take on his classic continental lover roles. (d. Gene Saks, 106m, DCP)

BROADCAST NEWS ( 1987 )

ESSENTIALS

Chinese Multiplex House 1

James L. Brooks took a swing at the challenges facing network journalism in this romantic comedy, while also focusing on what he does best—exploring human relationships. He did so by making the issues covered the center of a romantic triangle involving a Washington, D.C. news producer (Holly Hunter) fighting the rise of infotainment, a socially inept Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist (Albert Brooks) and their new pretty-face anchor (William Hurt). The film was Brooks’ first after winning Oscars for writing, producing and directing Terms of Endearment (1983). He even brought along two actors from the earlier film, Brooks and Jack Nicholson (who cameos as the network’s prime-time anchor). He originally wrote the producer’s role for Debra Winger, who also had starred in Terms of Endearment, but she had to drop out two days before shooting when she learned she was pregnant. That left the door open for Hunter, in a star-making role that brought her an Oscar nomination and the New York Film Critics Award for Best Actress. The critics also honored the picture along with Brooks’ direction and screenplay. Other cameos include Joan Cusack as a fired messenger and composers Marc Shaiman and Glen Roven as composers. (d. James L. Brooks, 133m, DCP)

TWENTIETH CENTURY ( 1934 )

DIVORCE/REMORSE

Chinese Multiplex House 1

With its fast-paced dialogue and archetypal characters, Howard Hawks’ first sound comedy is considered one of the first screwball comedies. It was a genre at which Hawks would come to excel with such films as Bringing Up Baby (1938) and His Girl Friday (1940). TWENTIETH CENTURY is also the film that established Carole Lombard as the “Queen of the Screwballs.” After years of just looking glamorous, she came into her own as Lily Garland, a temperamental movie diva tempted to return to the stage with the producer-director and ex-husband (John Barrymore) who first made her a star. When Hawks made her stop acting and just be herself, she shot to stardom as never before. The film is primarily set onboard the Twentieth Century Limited, and the train’s rapid journey from Chicago to New York mirrors Hawks’ trademark fast-paced, overlapping dialogue. As the over-the-top Broadway showman Oscar Jaffe, Barrymore was at the height of his powers. He would later call it his favorite role and name Lombard as the finest actress with whom he had ever worked. When his career was fading three years later, she insisted on casting him in True Confessions (1937), one of his last great performances. (d. Howard Hawks, 91m, DCP)

ZARDOZ ( 1974 )

DISCOVERIES

Chinese Multiplex House 1

Described as both a brilliant visionary work and one of the silliest films ever made—sometimes in the same review—ZARDOZ was almost destined to become a cult film. The plot about a future world ruled by apathetic Eternals who live off the work of primitive Brutals has echoes of H.G. Welles and more than a few references to The Wizard of Oz (1939) Sean Connery stars as an Eliminator, a Brutal raised to enforce the Eternals’ laws. Smarter than he should be, he sneaks into the Eternals’ home, the Vortex, to learn what makes his world tick. Director John Boorman was working on an adaptation of The Lord of the Rings (1978) when he got the idea for ZARDOZ. When the studio decided the Tolkein films would be too expensive, he pitched his new idea and then worked with cinematographer Geoffrey Unsworth and production designer Anthony Pratt to create his unique vision of the future. Boorman originally wanted to cast Burt Reynolds, one of his Deliverance (1972) stars, as Zed. When Reynolds had schedule conflicts, Connery jumped at the role as he was eager to find work after leaving the James Bond series. (d. John Boorman, 105m, DCP)

CRY, THE BELOVED COUNTRY ( 1952 )

DISCOVERIES

Chinese Multiplex House 4

Sometimes a film becomes an act of revolution. In 1951, Hungarian-born British director Zoltan Korda took on the British Empire by filming Alan Paton’s blistering indictment of Apartheid, a novel banned in Paton’s native South Africa. Paton and John Howard Lawson adapted the book, though Lawson could not take on-screen credit because he had been blacklisted. Korda wanted to shoot in South Africa, which posed problems for his two African-American stars. Canada Lee and Sidney Poitier had to pose as the director’s servants in order to enter the country to shoot the film surreptitiously. Lee stars as a South African minister who travels to Johannesburg to locate his missing son, Absolom. With the help of local preacher Poitier, he finds his son, now on trial for murdering a white liberal, and tries to forge a détente with the victim’s once-racist father. The film won international acclaim, though it was badly cut in the U.S., where it played initially as African Fury. By the time it opened here, Lee had also been blacklisted. According to legend, he was reduced to shining shoes across the street from the New York theatre in which his last picture played. (d. Zoltan Korda, 103m).

LADY SINGS THE BLUES ( 1972 )

HEY, THAT'S NOT FUNNY

Chinese Multiplex House 4

Hollywood insiders screamed nepotism when Motown’s Berry Gordy signed on to co-produce this biography of jazz legend Billie Holiday and then announced the role would go to his protégée, Diana Ross. When the film opened, however, her performance turned out to be one of the most dazzling starring debuts in movie history. Ross researched the role tirelessly, worked with an acting coach and adapted her singing style to capture the spirit of Holiday’s most famous recordings. The role would have been a huge stretch for any actress, as it encompassed a lifetime of suffering, including child abuse, prostitution and drug addiction. Ross not only threw herself into the dramatics but displayed an on-screen energy that made her performance almost irresistible. When she and co-star Billy Dee Williams (in his first major film role) played their love scenes, they had a light, improvisational quality that made them both funny and incredibly sexy. The other principle character, her accompanist, gave Richard Pryor a rare chance to shine in a more serious role, while smaller roles went to veterans like Isabel Sanford, Virginia Capers, Scatman Crothers and Sid Melton. Ross won a well-deserved Oscar nomination for Best Actress. This print is courtesy of The UNCSA-Moving Image Archives. (d. Sidney J. Furie, 144m, 35mm)

THE MAGIC BOX ( 1951 )

DISCOVERIES

Chinese Multiplex House 4

Film history is filled with pioneers and visionaries, not all of whom found lasting acclaim. One of the most controversial was the British William Friese-Greene, who patented one of the first motion-picture cameras but died in poverty and obscurity in 1921. As part of the Festival of Britain in 1951, director-cinematographer Ronald Neave produced this lavish biographical film directed by John Boulting. Robert Donat stars as Friese-Greene, who gave up a successful portrait-taking business to make movies, eventually creating early versions of color photography and even 3D (the latter is not mentioned in the film). Neame wanted to commemorate Friese-Greene’s career with an all-star cast, but had trouble getting anybody to sign until Laurence Olivier agreed to play the small role of a policeman. He was quickly followed by Peter Ustinov, Michael Redgrave, Margaret Rutherford, Glynis Johns and more than a dozen other reigning British stars. Composer and conductor Muir Mathieson even signed on to play Sir Arthur Sullivan (of Gilbert and Sullivan fame). Jack Cardiff shot the film in Technicolor and, like most of the crew, worked for a reduced salary and a percentage of the profits. This print is courtesy of The BFI National Archive and Rialto Pictures. (d. John Boulting, 118m, DCP)

VIGIL IN THE NIGHT ( 1940 )

HEY, THAT'S NOT FUNNY

Chinese Multiplex House 4

Carole Lombard wanted to stretch into more dramatic roles after a successful reign as the queen of screwball comedy. She found what she wanted in this adaptation of A.J. Cronin’s novel about a dedicated nurse who sacrifices her career to cover up her sister’s mistake. After being fired, she goes to work at an impoverished hospital where she and doctor Brian Aherne fight to bring their patients better treatment. This was an A production all the way for RKO, who assigned George Stevens, one of their best directors (it was his last film at the studio). It also provided a change of pace for Anne Shirley, the studio’s perpetual ingénue, who got a nice stretch as Lombard’s flighty sister. Shirley’s love interest is a very young Peter Cushing, working briefly in Hollywood years before his run of Hammer horror films. Fans did not take to the new, more serious Lombard, and she stuck to comedy for the rest of her all too brief career. The film, however, remains as a testament to what she could do with a more serious role. It also features some beautiful cinematography by Robert De Grasse, who captures Lombard and Shirley at their best. (d. George Stevens, 96m, 35mm)

CAT PEOPLE ( 1942 )

ESSENTIALS

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While some horror films go for the jugular with explicit mayhem, this picture launched a series of scares aimed directly at the psyche. Producer Val Lewton had been a story editor for David O. Selznick helping him turn classics like A Tale of Two Cities (1935) into hits. When he went to RKO to produce, they stuck him making low-budget horror films with lurid titles, and he gave them a string of subtle psychological thrillers with philosophical overtones. For his first outing, he and writer DeWitt Bodeen created the story of a Serbian woman (Simone Simon) who responds to sexual arousal by turning into a bloodthirsty panther. Thanks to director Jacques Tourneur and cinematographer Nicholas Musuraca, the horror was created by suggestion in a series of set pieces that still shock. The only explicit moment, a shot of a panther slinking through the shadows, was forced on them by the studio. The picture was a surprise hit that helped RKO recover from the losses sustained on Orson Welles’ films. Though executives complained that the films weren’t scary enough, somebody must have gotten the point when they created the tagline “The strangest story you ever tried to get out of your dreams!” (d. Jacques Tourneur, 73m, 35mm)

BEYOND THE MOUSE: THE 1930s CARTOONS OF UB IWERKS BEYOND THE MOUSE ( 2017 )

SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS

Chinese Multiplex House 6

The most important cartoonist and animator in the early days of the Disney studio was Ub Iwerks, the “hand behind the mouse.” Iwerks and Walt Disney first met as teens in Kansas City forming a powerful collaboration and friendship. Iwerks was the artistic heart of the company developed by Disney in the ’20s serving as head animator and Disney’s chief character designer and co-creator of Mickey Mouse. This program features recent restorations of Iwerks’ greatest and rarely seen shorts, and original animations including Oswald the Lucky Rabbit in Africa Before Dark (1928), Mickey Mouse in Plane Crazy (1928) and the first “Silly Symphony” short The Skeleton Dance (1929). Iwerks moved on to MGM to experiment with color on the first Flip the Frog cartoon Fiddlesticks (1930), and also with Willie Whopper in the pre-code short Hell’s Fire (1934). His elaborate mid-30s “ComiColor” series included Jack and the Beanstalk (1933) and Balloon Land (1935). Iwerks concluded his solo career at Columbia Pictures with their “Color Rhapsodies” cartoons including Merry Mannequins (1937), an art deco masterpiece paying tribute to the Fred and Ginger musicals of the era. Curated and presented by animation historian Jerry Beck. (d. Ub Iwerks, 90 minutes, Digital)

BEAT THE DEVIL ( 1953 )

MOVIE SPOOFS

Chinese Multiplex House 6

Jennifer Jones’ surname in this film provides a key to its tone: in Yiddish folklore, “Chelm” is the name of a village ruled by fools. On-screen and off, this takeoff on international caper films seemed to be a tale told by idiots. The plot, from a serious novel by Claud Cockburn, involves a group of misguided con artists out to snare a uranium mine in North Africa. Humphrey Bogart backed the project expecting to make a tense thriller, but then Huston threw out Cockburn’s screenplay and brought in Truman Capote. With director and writer so far behind schedule they had to read the script to the actors before each day’s shooting, the film took on a more comic tone. Wisely, Huston had the cast play it straight, which was hilarious, particularly for Jones as a compulsive liar and Peter Lorre as one of the crooks. Capote may have been the only one on the film who truly understood the plot and early audiences were baffled. As a result, the picture lost money. In almost record time, however, the film shifted from flop to cult favorite as more sophisticated audiences took to its absurd plot, offbeat comedy and deliciously deadpan performances. (d. John Huston, 94m, DCP)

PANIQUE ( 1946 )

DISCOVERIES

Chinese Multiplex House 6

After spending the war years in Hollywood, where he managed to work within the studio system while maintaining a unique poetic vision, director Julien Duvivier returned to France to create one of the country’s greatest thrillers which will be shown here in a West Coast premiere restoration. His adaptation of a Georges Simenon novel builds suspense mercilessly as a small town loner (Michel Simon) gets taken in by a beautiful ex-con (Viviane Romance) and her murderous lover (Paul Bernard). Simon has evidence that Bernard killed and robbed a lonely older woman, but keeps it hidden as he grows attracted to Romance. When she and her lover plant incriminating evidence in his rooms, it sets the stage for a series of intense encounters that capture the zeitgeist of post-war France, particularly with the revelation that Simon is a Jew. Simon was already one of France’s most acclaimed actors when he delivered his powerful performance as a man in love who eventually has to run for his life. He’s matched by Romance’s venal beauty, which helps push the picture into film noir territory. Originally derided by the New Wave critics and directors, Duvivier has only recently returned to critical esteem with with the rediscovery of this and his other post-war thrillers. (d. Julien Duvivier, 91m)

NEVER GIVE A SUCKER AN EVEN BREAK ( 1941 )

ESSENTIALS

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After years of battling Hollywood studios to make movies his way, W.C. Fields turned his last starring vehicle into a blistering attack on the studio system. Even then, he had to make concessions. The studio forced him to change the title from The Great Man to one of his most famous film lines (from the 1936 Poppy), while the censors made him move one scene from a saloon to an ice cream parlor, something he noted with an on-screen aside. The plot, what there is of it, concerns Fields’ attempts to sell a script to a studio producer (Franklin Pangborn). His proposed plot comes to life as he falls from an airplane into a mythical kingdom where he attempts to swindle a wealthy woman (Margaret Dumont). When the producer kicks him off the lot, it all ends with a breakneck chase through the Los Angeles streets (at one point you can spot in the background the Great Mausoleum of Forest Lawn, where Fields would be interred five years later). The film ended Fields’ contract with Universal, while declining health ended his reign as a star. He would only play cameos in his final three films. This screening will include the short "The Barber Shop." (d. Edward F. Cline, 71m, DCP )

THE GREAT NICKELODEON SHOW ( 2017 )

SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS

Chinese Multiplex House 6

Director and producer Russell Merritt, along with music director Frederick Hodges, invites spectators to relive the days of yore with The Great Nickelodeon Show. This exhilarating experience recreates the Nickelodeon shows of the early 20th century, a time when the earliest films were projected to viewers for a nickel or two. These short one-reelers often ran for less than 15 minutes, sharing the stage with vaudeville acts, illustrated songs, hand-colored projection slides and lecturers by men in frock coats. See and hear this grandiose spectacle as early filmgoers did. Six contributors will bring the images and sounds of the past to life through live musical accompaniment and vibrant displays. Shorts from pioneers of cinema—both world renowned and obscure—such as Segundo de Chomon, Gaston Velle, Georges Méliès and D.W. Griffith will be shown with live music for some and vivid, hand-painted colors for others. Silent theaters of the past used the theater owner or vaudeville performers to narrate the on-screen action or double as on-screen voices. Today, you can experience this anomaly with The Great Nickelodeon Show’s performers. (89m, Digital)

THOSE REDHEADS FROM SEATTLE in 3D ( 1953 )

SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS

Chinese Multiplex House 6

Beating MGM’s Kiss Me, Kate (1953) to the screen by a month, this holds the distinction of being the first musical shot in 3D. Both films went into release in that format, although the fad was fading at the time of their respective releases. This screening offers fans a rare chance to see it as originally intended in a world premiere restoration. However, what will really knock your socks off is the talent assembled for this tale of a redheaded mother and her four daughters, who travel to a small town in Alaska to help the family’s head run the local newspaper—only to discover he’s been murdered. Their attempts to raise money turn some into newspaperwomen and another into a dance-hall girl. Beyond stars Rhonda Fleming, Gene Barry and Agnes Moorehead, Paramount recruited four recording stars, all in their feature debuts: Teresa Brewer, Guy Mitchell and The Bell Sisters. They also gave them songs by Oscar-winners Johnny Mercer, Hoagy Carmichael, Jay Livingston and Ray Evans. This screening includes the short film "Stardust in Your Eyes" (1953). (Lewis R. Foster, 90m)

BACKLOT TRIVIA TOURNAMENT ROUND 1 BACKLOT TRIVIA

Roosevelt Lobby at The Hollywood Roosevelt HotelRoosevelt Lobby

Who knows the most movie trivia?  TCM Backlot members face off against each other for the chance to play in the Final Round against a team of TCM staffers!

BACKLOT TRIVIA TOURNAMENT ROUND 2 BACKLOT TRIVIA

Roosevelt Lobby at The Hollywood Roosevelt HotelRoosevelt Lobby

Who knows the most movie trivia?  TCM Backlot members face off against each other for the chance to play in the Final Round against a team of TCM staffers!

BACKLOT TRIVIA TOURNAMENT ROUND 2 BACKLOT TRIVIA

Roosevelt Lobby at The Hollywood Roosevelt HotelRoosevelt Lobby

Who knows the most movie trivia?  TCM Backlot members face off against each other for the chance to play in the Final Round against a team of TCM staffers!  

WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE? ( 1962 )

ESSENTIALS

Poolside at The Hollywood Roosevelt HotelPoolside

Comebacks were nothing new for Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. Both had been declared finished in Hollywood at various times, only to bounce back more popular than ever. When they joined forces for this psychological horror film, however, they created a new genre, known as the "psycho-biddy" film or the "grande dame horror” film. They star as sisters—one a great vaudeville star (Davis), the other a former movie star (Crawford)—tormenting each other in a decaying Hollywood mansion. Davis does most of the tormenting, turning in a harrowing, fearless performance as a woman who has long since crossed over from eccentric to insane, while Crawford provides the calm eye of the storm. The production was dogged by rumors of the stars' hatred for each other, generating hundreds of legends, books and even a television series. Although there is no substantiation for tales of on-set clashes, once the film came out and Davis won the lion's share of the reviews and an Oscar nomination, their rancor reached truly biblical proportions. As a result, the film has acquired a cult status as a camp classic, an inside look at the seamy underbelly of Hollywood glamour. Digital Courtesy of Warner Brothers Classics. (d. Robert Aldrich, 120m. Digital)

IT’S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD ( 1963 )

SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS

ArcLight Cinemas’ Cinerama Dome

Ads screamed “Everybody who’s ever been funny is in it!” and the film almost lived up to that hype. In Stanley Kramer’s hands, William Rose’s original concept for a film about thieves chasing each other through Scotland, became an epic comedy of greed set in the American West. Kramer had previously specialized in serious social issues like the Nuremberg trials, racism and religious hypocrisy. For his first comedy, he set out to make an epic, with a starring cast of ten top comics (plus Spencer Tracy and Dorothy Provine) and cameos by everyone from Buster Keaton to Jerry Lewis. The picture marked Jonathan Winters’ big screen debut, Zasu Pitts’ final feature and Leo Gorcey’s first film since quitting the Bowery Boys series in 1956. Even then, Kramer missed out on a few greats. Stan Laurel and Bob Hope turned him down, while Judy Garland’s TV schedule prevented her from reteaming with Mickey Rooney. It was a herculean task for Kramer to build a comedy that ran over more than three hours, yet he pulled off some enthusiastic scenes like Winters’ destruction of a gas station, Ethel Merman’s attacks on just about anybody in range of her purse and Terry-Thomas’ zingers about American life. (d. Stanley Kramer, 159m) Attendees can view a 70mm camera on display in the theatre lobby before and after this presentation courtesy of Panavison. Special thanks to Jim Roudebush and  Dave Kenig for providing this opportunity.