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FROM HEADLINES TO TICKET LINES: JOURNALISM ON THE BIG SCREEN FROM HEADLINES TO TICKET LINES

Club TCM at The Hollywood Roosevelt

A compelling conversation with director James Vanderbilt (Truth [2015]) and Oscar winning writer Josh Singer (Spotlight [2015]as they discuss the challenges of dramatizing the work of journalists to transform their stories into captivating films.  They’ll speak to the difficult choices that have to be made when walking the fine line between the cold hard facts and the need to make the subject matter entertaining, and talk about what role the real-life reporters played in shaping the big screen story. They will be joined by broadcast producer and author, Mary Mapes and print journalist, Ben Bradlee, Jr., who will share their experiences of watching their lives and work portrayed on the big screen.    

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MAN'S BEST FRIEND: DOGS IN FILM

Club TCM at The Hollywood Roosevelt

Movie icons are stars that evoke an immediate emotional response, and Rin Tin Tin, Lassie, Old Yeller, Benji and Beethoven are right up there with the best of the two-legged variety. Even cute children can find themselves upstaged by the improvisational skills of a Hollywood hound. Join Randy Haberkamp of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as he shares stills and clips from the Academy’s collections of dogs in movie history, and then interviews three of Canine Cinema’s biggest stars and their “handlers” during a rare public appearance.  Meet Clyde of Marley & Me (2008) with Mathilde de Cagny, Brigitte, the original Stella from Modern Family and Sarah Clifford, and the latest Lassie and Chelsea Riggins. You’ll be left panting for more!  Michael Mortilla will also be in attendance.

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VAUDEVILLE 101

Club TCM at The Hollywood Roosevelt

Live vaudeville was once the leading form of American entertainment—until talkies killed it. But it was a training ground for movie icons like Buster Keaton, Fred Astaire, the Marx Brothers, Mae West, Judy Garland and even Cary Grant. Film Forum’s Bruce Goldstein, who at past festivals presented “Pre-Code 101” and “Character Actors 101,” will re-create vaudeville’s golden age with some of its greatest acts.

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HAND AND FOOTPRINT CEREMONY: FRANCIS FORD COPPOLA

Special Presentations

TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX

Five-time Academy Award-winning filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola will have his hand and footprints immortalized in cement in the forecourt of this historic theatre during this ceremony to honor his legendary career.

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THE CONVERSATION ( 1974 )

Festival Tributes

TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX

Francis Ford Coppola pulled off a unique trick by winning the Oscar for Best Picture and Director as well as the Palme d’Or at Cannes for two different films in the same year. The former awards were among the six Oscars won by The Godfather: Part II (1974). The latter went to THE CONVERSATION, the film Paramount had to finance to get him to make the former. This paranoid thriller follows an aging surveillance expert (Gene Hackman) whose latest job involves recording a couple as they walk through San Francisco’s Union Square. As he repeatedly refines the audio track, he becomes convinced he’s unearthed a crime in the making. Coppola first wrote the outline for the film that would become THE CONVERSATION in 1966, influenced by a conversation about surveillance with director Irvin Kershner and Michelangelo Antonioni’s Blow-Up (1966). When the film came out during the Watergate hearings, however, it became closely associated with the Nixon Administration’s surveillance of political opponents. Although the film performed modestly at the box office, it has become a fan favorite because of its paranoid atmosphere and the presence of future stars like Harrison Ford, Cindy Williams and Teri Garr. It also has been cited as Coppola’s favorite of his films because he wrote both the story and screenplay as well as directed. (d. Francis Ford Coppola, 113m, Digital)

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IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ( 1946 )

Essentials

TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX

The film that brought Frank Capra and James Stewart home from World War II has become the little movie that could. Although it ranked among the top-grossing films of 1946, the cost of building Bedford Falls on the RKO ranch made it so expensive it lost half a million dollars on initial release. Moreover, despite strong reviews, complaints about sentimentality led many in Hollywood to write Capra off as a has-been before he was 50. In the ’70s, the picture fell into the public domain, and that’s when the magic happened. Through numerous television showings, new generations discovered the story of a small-town man who despairs at having given up his dreams until a miracle shows him how important a single life can be. Always Capra and Stewart’s favorite movie, it now boasts millions of devoted fans drawn to its idyllic picture of small-town life, focus on the beauty of human connection and Stewart’s powerhouse performance. He’s helped greatly by Donna Reed as his wife, Henry Travers as his guardian angel, Lionel Barrymore as a small-town Scrooge, Gloria Grahame as the woman he saves from a life of sin and such Capra stalwarts as Thomas Mitchell, Beulah Bondi and H.B. Warner. (d. Frank Capra, 112m, Digital)  

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THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE ( 1962 )

Essentials

TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX

Despite being out of circulation for almost 15 years after its initial release, this combination satire and political thriller has had a lasting effect on culture. Not only has its title come to mean sleeper agent, but historians have also credited it with helping fuel conspiracy theories related to the Kennedy assassination. With the backing of star Frank Sinatra, Richard Condon’s novel about survivors of a Communist brainwashing experiment sent back to the U.S. as sleeper agents was given top-drawer treatment by United Artists. John Frankenheimer filled the film with baroque flourishes—unsettling camera angles, deep-focus and startling point-of-view shots—on an amazingly brief 39-day schedule. One week of that schedule was devoted to the brainwashing sequence, which required three different sets as it intercut fantasy and reality from multiple perspectives. Sinatra, Laurence Harvey and leading lady Janet Leigh are at their best, but they’re almost overshadowed by Angela Lansbury as Harvey’s mother, one of the screen’s great villains. Although she was only three years older than her on-screen son, she perfectly captures the character’s smothering obsession with him and her amoral political ambitions. After a profit dispute with United Artists, Sinatra kept the film from circulation from 1974 until a 1988 re-issue, when audiences found it as powerful and relevant as if it had been made yesterday. (d. John Frankenheimer, 126m, Digital)  

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THE MORE THE MERRIER ( 1943 )

Essentials

Egyptian Theatre

During World War II, Washington, DC was hit with a housing shortage that proved a serious problem for many engaged in the war effort. At the same time, it provided a useful plot device for a series of Hollywood comedies like Without Love (1945), The Doughgirls (1944) and, best of all, this confection starring Jean Arthur, Joel McCrea and Charles Coburn. Arthur stars as a workingwoman looking for a roommate. She reluctantly rents half her apartment to eccentric millionaire Coburn, only to have him rent half of his half to enlisted man McCrea. You won’t have to think hard to guess where all that leads. Arthur had been turning down so many scripts at Columbia Pictures that she finally hired Garson Kanin to develop a suitable story for her. Then, she had her husband, Frank Ross, work on the screenplay. Director George Stevens wanted to finish-off a three-picture deal with Columbia so he could join the Army, and this was the perfect choice. Critics and fans loved the deft way he found humor and romance in the situation without ever going too far. He won the New York Film Critics Award for Best Director, while Coburn picked up an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. (d. George Stevens, 104m, 35mm)

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HE RAN ALL THE WAY ( 1951 )

Discoveries

Egyptian Theatre

Careers cut short by the Hollywood blacklist are highlighted in this film noir. John Garfield, starring as a petty thief on the lam who takes Shelley Winters’ family hostage, was blacklisted when he refused to name names two months before the film’s release. This would be his last picture. A year later he suffered a fatal heart attack at 39, a death many historians link to the stress of trying to salvage his career. By the time the film came out, director John Berry had been blacklisted as well after being named by director Edward Dmytryk, one of the original Hollywood Ten. Early release prints credited the direction to his assistant, Emmett Emerson. Berry slowly rebuilt his career in Europe before returning to the U.S. for some television episodes and the romantic comedy Claudine (1974), starring Diahann Carroll and James Earl Jones. Blacklisted writer Dalton Trumbo co-wrote the script (without credit) with Hugo Butler, also blacklisted by the time the film came out. As an independent production released through United Artists, HE RAN ALL THE WAY was quickly forgotten, despite solid reviews. More recently, however, it has come to be appreciated for its subtle evocation of paranoia and Garfield’s intense performance. (d. John Berry, 107m, 35mm)

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TRAPEZE ( 1956 )

Festival Tributes

Egyptian Theatre

Two major European talents—director Carol Reed and superstar Gina Lollobrigida—made their U.S. film debuts in this taut romantic triangle set against the backdrop of the circus world. Lollobrigida’s renowned beauty made her perfect casting as a female acrobat who comes between the partners in a trapeze act, while her acting skills helped lend credibility to the character’s shifting loyalties. The film was part of a longstanding ambition of star Burt Lancaster’s to make a film about the circus, where he had started out as a young man. He found the opportunity in Max Catto’s novel, The Killing Frost, which he and producing partners James Hill and Harold Hecht bought for the screen. For his role as an older trapeze artist, he was even able to do many of his own stunts. Only the triple, which was considered too dangerous, had to be done by the film’s technical advisor, Edward Ward of the Ringling Brothers Circus. To play the younger flyer Lancaster trains for the big time, he considered his From Here to Eternity (1953) co-star Montgomery Clift but then chose Tony Curtis (at the time, best known for his sword- and-sandal epics at Universal). Curtis turned in a surprisingly good performance, convincing Lancaster to cast him in his next project, Sweet Smell of Success (1957). (d. Carol Reed, 105m, 35mm)

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VOICES OF LIGHT: THE PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC THE PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC ( 1928 )

Religious Films

Egyptian Theatre

Experience one of the greatest movies ever made in an entirely new way as Dr. Mark Sumner conducts a live orchestra and vocalists performing Richard Einhorn’s 1994 oratorio Voices of Light, composed to accompany this silent classic from Danish director Carl Theodor Dreyer. Joan of Arc has fascinated filmmakers since George Hatot directed the silent short Jeanne d’Arc in 1898. She has appeared on the large and small screen as interpreted by Ingrid Bergman, Jean Seberg, Genevieve Bujold and Julie Harris. No version, however, has ever matched the power of this depiction of her trial and execution, with a script drawing on actual trial transcripts. Dreyer discovered his leading lady, Maria Falconetti, playing a comedy in Paris. Beneath her fashionable makeup and clothing, he saw the raw beauty he would photograph without makeup. The 18-month shoot, done in sequence, was an ordeal for the actress, as Dreyer shot take after take in extreme closeup, often as Falconetti knelt on stones or felt flames closing in on her. The result was simply one of the greatest performances ever put on film. THE PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC was unsuccessful on its initial release, despite glowing reviews. Shortly after its premiere, a fire destroyed the original negative, leaving only altered versions in circulation until an original print was discovered in a Norwegian insane asylum in 1981. (d. Carl Theodor Dreyer, 82m, 35mm)

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REPEAT PERFORMANCE ( 1947 )

Discoveries

Egyptian Theatre

Film noir meets The Twilight Zone in this rarity, which was almost impossible to find until the Film Noir Foundation restored it. After fighting to get out of her Warner Bros. contract, Joan Leslie discovered that Jack Warner had put her on a semi-blacklist so that no major studio would hire her. So, Leslie went to Poverty Row studio Eagle-Lion for a distinct change of pace. In REPEAT PERFORMANCE, she stars as a temperamental actress who kills her philandering husband on New Years Eve. When she wishes she could do the past year over again, her wish comes true—but can she fight fate, or will things still end the same? Fortunately for Leslie, Eagle-Lion was trying to pull itself up to A-status, so she’s surrounded by a solid cast that included Louis Hayward as her husband, Virginia Field as the playwright with whom he cheats, Tom Conway as Leslie’s producer, Richard Basehart (in his film debut) as a poet who might be gay (he was in William O’Farrell’s novel), Natalie Schafer as his sponsor and John Ireland as the narrator. The studio even sprung for Oleg Cassini to design Leslie’s wardrobe. The result is a taut, moody piece that allows Leslie to sink her teeth into a dramatic role after years of lightweight fare at Warners. (d. Alfred L. Werker, 91m, 35mm)

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SHANGHAI EXPRESS ( 1932 )

Essentials

Chinese Multiplex House 1

When Marlene Dietrich proclaims “It took more than one man to change my name to Shanghai Lily,” you know you’re in the strange, exotic world of director Josef von Sternberg. The star and director’s fourth collaboration is often hailed as their best, with von Sternberg’s sense of style infusing everything from sets and costumes to cinematography and performances. Dietrich even claimed he supervised the chiaroscuro camera work, though it was Lee Garmes who won the film’s Best Cinematography Oscar. The story of one-time lovers, fallen woman Dietrich and military surgeon Clive Brook, reunited on an express train held hostage by bandits was inspired by an actual event in 1923 on the Beijing-Shanghai line. Screenwriter Jules Furthman kept the dialogue clipped at von Sternberg’s request to mirror the rhythms of train travel. Then von Sternberg filled the settings with exotic details—and over 1,000 extras. The result is a total package, an almost seamless blend of all of the cinematic elements to create a magical world that could only exist in the movies. Although cynics dubbed it “Grand Hotel on wheels,” the film won ecstatic reviews and became the top box-office picture of 1932, as well as the Dietrich-von Sternberg team’s biggest hit.

(d. Josef von Sternberg, 82m, Digital)

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THE WAY WE WERE ( 1973 )

Love and Loss

Chinese Multiplex House 1

The pairing of Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford in this politically tinged romance was so potent that fans are still clamoring for a reunion. The tale of a one-time college radical’s romance with a handsome young writer made both bigger stars than ever, giving Streisand her first number one single on the U.S. charts and earning her an Oscar nomination. Yet, it was a notably tense set, with director Sydney Pollack trying to bridge the stars’ different working methods (Streisand liked lots of rehearsals while Redford peaked on earlier takes). He was also at odds with screenwriter Arthur Laurents over the film’s focus. Laurents had based the story on his friendship with a college classmate who got him into liberal politics. Wanting to create a film with a clearly Jewish heroine, he shaped the role for Streisand, who was eager to play it. He also wanted this to be one of the first Hollywood films to deal with the blacklist. Laurents had suggested Pollack as director because of his work on They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? (1969). Then, Pollack kept cutting the political material to focus on the romance. Although the film became a huge hit, Laurents never forgave Pollack for changing his original script. (d. Sydney Pollack, 118, Digital)

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AMAZING FILM DISCOVERIES ( 2016 )

Special Presentations

Chinese Multiplex House 1

French archivist Serge Bromberg presents one of the greatest finds in film preservation history at this special screening featuring a collection of slapstick shorts including The Battle of the Century. Long known for containing one of the most acclaimed pie fights in film history, The Battle of the Century is actually the tale of Oliver Hardy’s attempts to make money off failed prizefighter Stan Laurel by setting up an accident that leads to the classic pie fight. pie-in-the-face gags were a staple of early silent comedy, but were so overused top clowns like Buster Keaton eventually refused to use them. In 1927, Laurel decided to bring the gag back, bigger and better than ever before for his fourth official teaming with Hardy. It took 3,000 pies and impeccable timing, but the scene became a classic. Like most silent films, The Battle of the Century played out its theatrical run and faded from view, though remembered by fans like Harold Lloyd and critic James Agee. Documentarian Roger Youngson featured a shortened version of the pie fight in his compilation film The Golden Age of Comedy (1957), but that was all that survived until the film’s first reel turned up in 1979. It wasn’t until 2015 that silent film expert Jon Mirsalis discovered the second reel and handed it over to Bromberg for restoration. (d. Clyde Bruckman, 19m, Digital)  

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BOYZ N THE HOOD ( 1991 )

Coming of Age

Chinese Multiplex House 1

One of the best and most important American films, this semi-autobiographical drama sheds light on the lives of inner-city youth. A single mother (Angela Bassett) sends her son, Tre, to live with his father (Laurence Fishburne) in South Central L.A. Years later, the teenage Tre (Cuba Gooding, Jr.) is on the way to a promising future when the area’s gang violence threatens to pull him in. This was the first feature written and directed by John Singleton, who based the script on his own youth and modeled Fishburne’s character on his father. He convinced rapper Ice Cube to make his film debut as a teen already committed to the gang life. Fishburne was a friend from Singleton’s days as a production assistant on Pee Wee’s Playhouse, during which time he had consulted with the actor and Paul Reubens on the script. With its powerful performances, scrupulously honest writing and a pounding soundtrack featuring performances by Run-D.M.C., 2 Live Crew and Ice Cube, the film was a huge hit, becoming the most profitable picture of its year. It brought Singleton the New York Film Critics Award for Best New Director and Oscar nominations for directing and writing, making him the first African-American directing nominee and the youngest ever in that category. (d. John Singleton, 112m, Digital) Shown in collaboration with Sony Pictures

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MY SISTER EILEEN ( 1955 )

Discoveries

Chinese Multiplex House 1

After winning a Tony Award for choreographing The Pajama Game on Broadway, Bob Fosse got his first big-screen choreography credit with this musical adaptation of the classic 1942 comedy about two sisters trying to make it big in New York. Even in his 20s, all of his trademarks are there—particularly in the ensemble number “Give Me a Band and My Baby” and his “Competition Dance” with co-star Tommy Rall. Columbia decided to make a musical version of their earlier hit after the Broadway success of another musical version, Wonderful Town, in 1953. Studio head Harry Cohn couldn’t afford the Leonard Bernstein score, so he hired Jule Styne and Leo Robin to write new songs. To avoid plagiarism charges, he stationed an attorney on set to make sure they didn’t copy the stage version. Judy Holliday was his first choice to play the older sister, Eileen, but she was having a contract fight with him. Instead, he defied the blacklist to cast Betty Garrett, teaming her with Janet Leigh, in her first musical. They’re matched by a strong cast, headed by Jack Lemmon, as the publisher who falls for Garrett. Richard Quine, who had originated Fosse’s role on Broadway and in the first film, directs. (d. Richard Quine, 108m, Digital)  

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ROAR ( 1981 )

Discoveries

Chinese Multiplex House 1

This family adventure has been dubbed the most dangerous movie ever made. Real life couple Tippi Hedren and Noel Marshall star as wildlife preservationists sharing their African home with a pride of lions. Hedren’s experiences shooting Satan’s Harvest (1970) in Africa inspired a lifelong interest in animal rights that led to this story. The couple sold and mortgaged everything they owned to make the film and then cast her daughter, Melanie Griffith, and his sons, Jerry and John, to play their children. When none of Hollywood’s animal trainers would rent them the 150 animals they needed, they assembled the cast themselves, even raising a lion cub in their own home. They shot the film on their ranch in Acton, CA, where working with that many big cats presented endless problems. Griffith was mauled by a lion, requiring plastic surgery. When a lioness unexpectedly bit the back of Hedren’s head during shooting, they kept the footage in the film. Although ROAR was shot in 1977, a lion attack on Marshall and a flood at the ranch kept them from completing it until 1981. Initially, the film flopped with audiences and critics, but a recent re-release won more favorable reviews, with critics praising their daring approach to such an ambitious project. (d. Noel Marshall, 102m, Digital)

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NEVER FEAR ( 1949 )

Discoveries

Chinese Multiplex House 4

Ida Lupino made her official directing debut with this tale of a young dancer stricken with polio as her career is about to take off. She had actually taken over direction of her production Not Wanted earlier that year when director Elmer Clifton fell ill, but she refused a credit for it. She and then-husband Collier Young had founded Emerald Productions to create small productions representing a woman’s point of view, dealing with such issues as adoption, rape and marital rights. With this film, Lupino drew on her own experience battling polio, which she contracted in 1934, just as she was starting her career in the U.S. She shot the film like a documentary, taking her cast to Kabat-Kaiser Institute in Santa Monica, CA, where patients undergoing rehabilitation served as extras. Casting newcomers Sally Forrest as the dancer, Keefe Brasselle as her partner and fiancé, and Hugh O’Brian as a fellow patient, she made the film as persuasive as possible. It may have been too persuasive: it did not do well at the box office and pretty much faded from sight when distributor Eagle-Lion went out of business. Fortunately, a print wound up at the Museum of Modern Art, which supervised its restoration.   (d. Ida Lupino, 82m, 35mm)

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DOUBLE HARNESS ( 1933 )

Discoveries

Chinese Multiplex House 4

Ann Harding plays the screen’s most patrician gold digger in this sophisticated pre-Code comedy in which she stars as an heiress whose family’s declining fortunes inspire her to trick playboy William Powell into marriage. When he realizes it’s a loveless match, they agree to part, only for Harding to fall for her husband and set out to reform him. Like many films released before strict Production Code enforcement, the picture seems surprisingly adult, treating marriage as more of a financial than a romantic relationship, showing Harding seducing Powell before marriage, detailing their sexless marital life and leaving no doubts about his continuing liaisons with mistress Lillian Bond. Ann Harding, RKO’s first big female star, is in top form, displaying the grace, naturalness and charm that excited fans in the early 1930s. Double Harness has been one of her least seen films. It was one of six pictures given to former RKO head Merian C. Cooper to settle a lawsuit against the studio and after a few TV appearances, they languished in a film vault for years until TCM acquired the rights in 2006. The film’s print was missing the pre-marital sex scene, which was later found in the National Center for Cinematography in France. (d. John Cromwell, 69m, 35mm)

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TEA AND SYMPATHY ( 1956 )

Coming of Age

Chinese Multiplex House 4

Sixty years ago, if a young man was bullied for being gay, he could only be saved by an understanding woman and, even then, she had to pay for helping him. Though screen standards have changed, this classy MGM production still provides a powerful condemnation of bullying and features one of Deborah Kerr’s best performances. Kerr had starred on Broadway in 1953 as the housemaster’s wife who tries to help a young man (John Kerr) that her husband (Leif Erickson) and the other students think is gay because of his interest in the arts. The play was a big hit, but when Hollywood came calling, the censors working for the Production Code Administration deemed it unfilmable because it mentioned homosexuality. At first, Anderson announced he would make the film independently and release it without Code approval, but he finally sold the rights to MGM for $100,000 and a contract to write the adaptation. For the film, the boy’s naked swim with a male teacher was gone, as were suggestions that Erickson was persecuting the boy to hide his own latent homosexuality. Instead, the boy was just different, not masculine enough to win approval from his classmates (except for his roomate, Al, played by Darryl Hickman. Vincente Minnelli directed stylishly, with lush color photography by John Alton. (d. Vincente Minelli, 122m, 35mm)

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PLEASURE CRUISE ( 1933 )

Discoveries

Chinese Multiplex House 4

From the opening shot of PLEASURE CRUISE, a naked woman seen from behind, you know you’re in the weird and wonderful world of pre-Code Hollywood. Made before the Production Code Administration got on-screen immorality under control, the film revels in naughtiness. The plot concerns a married couple, working woman Genevieve Tobin and househusband Roland Young, who decide to take separate vacations. She goes off on a cruise to the Baltic, not knowing he’s taken a job in the ship’s barbershop to keep an eye on her. In short order, they’re both being pursued by other passengers, with daffy heiress Una O’Connor showering Young with lingerie. When he’s not dodging O’Connor’s attentions, Young is planting lies about his wife to discourage anybody from going after her. That works fine until Ralph Forbes sets his sights on her, setting the stage for a startling plot turn with echoes of the sole Alfred Lunt-Lynn Fontanne film, The Guardsman (1931). Like most pre-Code films, PLEASURE CRUISE is filled with risqué situations and off-color dialogue, some of it quite witty thanks to screenwriter Guy Bolton, a musical comedy specialist and frequent collaborator with P.G. Wodehouse. Stars Young and Tobin, better known for supporting roles, get a rare chance to shine in this trifle. (d. Frank Tuttle, 72m, 35mm)

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6 HOURS TO LIVE ( 1932 )

Special Presentations

Chinese Multiplex House 4

The early Hollywood films of William Dieterle are ripe for reappraisal, as they provide a fascinating bridge between the German matinee idol who worked for such masters of Expressionism as F.W. Murnau and Paul Leni, and the director of such glossy Hollywood features as The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939) and Portrait of Jennie (1948). This 1932 release is doubly fascinating as it was one of Fox Pictures’ rare forays into science fiction and horror. Warner Baxter stars as a delegate to an international trade conference who’s murdered and brought back from the dead to find his killer. In the six hours he’s given before returning to death, he not only solves the mystery but sways the conference to help his fictional European homeland, makes peace with his fiancée (Miriam Jordan), comforts a grieving mother (Beryl Mercer) and reforms a prostitute (Irene Ware). Dieterle kept the production values high, while also drawing on his experience with German Expressionism to give the film a fascinating, sometimes nightmarish look with the help of cinematographer John F. Seitz. Seitz would later move to Paramount, where his collaboration with Billy Wilder would produce such classics as Double Indemnity (1944) and Sunset Boulevard (1950). Like Dieterle, he showed his promise early in films ripe for rediscovery, a process aided greatly by this world premiere restoration from the Museum of Modern Art. (d. William Dieterle, 72m, 35mm) In Attendance: MoMA Film Curator Anne Morra    

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THE PRIDE OF THE YANKEES ( 1942 )

Inspirational Sports Movies

Chinese Multiplex House 4

Although now considered one of the great baseball films, this biography of Lou Gehrig, the famous Yankee first baseman who had to leave the game after contracting ALS (now called Lou Gehrig’s disease), almost didn’t get made. At the time, sports films were considered box-office poison and independent producer Sam Goldwyn didn’t want to make it until newsreel footage of Gehrig’s retirement speech moved him to tears. Although he announced a nation-wide talent hunt to find the perfect actor to play Gehrig, he always planned to cast Gary Cooper, the only actor he felt depicted the kind of integrity needed for the role. The star didn’t really want to make the film, however, preferring an offered role opposite John Wayne in Cecil B. DeMille’s Reap the Wild Wind (1942), but he owed Goldwyn one more film on his contract and had to make the picture. One source of Cooper’s reluctance was his lack of familiarity with baseball. All the coaching in the world, couldn’t turn the right-handed actor into the famous left-handed pitcher, but despite this the film became a hit and brought Cooper his third Oscar nomination. (d. Sam Wood, 128m, 35mm)

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LOVE ME OR LEAVE ME ( 1955 )

Love and Loss

Chinese Multiplex House 6

Doris Day and James Cagney both made their first appearances at MGM for this dramatic biography of torch singer Ruth Etting. For Cagney, it was a return to his earlier role as a screen criminal, though the role of Marty “The Gimp” Snyder—a small-time hood who uses connections and muscle to make Etting a star—would be his last performance as a gangster. For Day, the film was a huge change of pace. The perpetual girl-next-door seemed strange casting to play a gangster’s wife who rises from singing in cheap dives, but she threw herself into the role, delivering a searing performance that shocked many of her fans. MGM had intended the role for Ava Gardner, but after Show Boat (1951), the sultry star refused to do another film in which her singing would be dubbed. When Cagney won the male lead (over Humphrey Bogart and Richard Widmark), he suggested Day for the role. Although she received complaints from fans, each of which she answered personally, Day scored a personal triumph in the role. Reviewers loved her dramatic work, while the soundtrack, combining standards like the title song and “Ten Cents a Dance” with two new songs, topped the charts for 17 weeks. (d. Charles Vidor, 122m, Digital)

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LASSIE COME HOME ( 1943 )

Animal Movies

Chinese Multiplex House 6

Hollywood’s most famous female impersonator debuted in this sumptuous MGM production that also helped make Elizabeth Taylor and Roddy McDowall stars (and lifelong friends). Eric Knight’s tale of a faithful collie returning to her master after being sold by his unemployed father seemed a natural for the movies and, with its picturesque English settings, a perfect choice for an anglophile studio like MGM. They conducted a nationwide talent search to cast the dog with no luck. Then, dog trainer Rudd Weatherwax brought his dogs into the studio. Although the producers were only considering females, his one-year-old male, Pal, was so responsive to commands he won the role. The film also provided roles for several members of Hollywood’s British community, including McDowall, Donald Crisp, Dame May Whitty, Edmund Gwenn, Nigel Bruce and Elsa Lanchester. Between casting and filming, Maria Flynn, the actress originally chosen to play the granddaughter of Lassie’s new owner, grew too tall to work opposite McDowall. Producer Sam Marx had met an Englishman who wanted to get his daughter into the movies, so the young Elizabeth Taylor was brought in for the start of what would be a lengthy career at MGM. The film did so well it inspired five sequels, with Pal or his descendants starring in all of them. (d. Fred M. Wilcox, 89m, Digital)

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WHEN YOU'RE IN LOVE ( 1937 )

Discoveries

Chinese Multiplex House 6

Frank Capra’s favorite screenwriter, Robert Riskin, takes his one shot at directing in this confection about an Australian opera singer (Grace Moore) forced to marry a penniless artist (Cary Grant) when her visa runs out. He handles the camera work fine, with an uncredited assist from the more experienced Harry Lachman, but critics at the time thought Riskin was a let down as a fledgling director. Today, the film seems a charming trifle, enlivened by Moore’s devil-may- care performance. After a disastrous first crack at film acting in the early 30's (when she starred in a series of very serious, very stiff operettas), Moore let her hair down in the screwball musical comedy One Night of Love (1934) opposite Cary Grant. The picture made her a star, but Columbia was having trouble finding a follow-up vehicle, so they re-teamed the two. She sings the requisite arias (this time from Tosca and Romeo and Juliet) along with two new songs by Jerome Kerns and Dorothy Fields. But the real attraction is her rousing rendition of “Minnie the Moocher.” With Grant on the piano, she alternates operatic runs with scat singing to make Cab Calloway’s signature tune her own. The supporting cast includes Aline MacMahon and Thomas Mitchell. (d. Robert Riskin, 110m, Digital)

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PRIVATE PROPERTY ( 1960 )

Discoveries

Chinese Multiplex House 6

One of the lost treasures of independent filmmaking, this 1960 L.A. noir at one time seemed to point to the rise of an American New Wave. After scoring a hit on stage with the sex comedy The Marriage Go-Round (filmed in 1961 with Susan Hayward and James Mason), writer Leslie Stevens added directing to his credits and re-teamed with producer Stanley Colbert for this decidedly grittier tale. Corey Allen and Warren Oates star as a pair of criminals drifting through Southern California. When they spot a beautiful blonde (Stevens’ then-wife, Kate Manx) at a filling station, they set out to seduce her. It’s not all lust for Allen, however, as he hopes to match friend Oates with her to prove the latter is not gay. The picture was denied a Production Code Seal and condemned by the Catholic Legion of Decency for its frank sexuality, but still went on to earn $2 million on an estimated budget of $59,000. It also became a popular hit in Europe, acclaimed by the auteur critics for its uniqueness.  Although Stevens went on to a lengthy career in television, most notably as creator of The Outer Limits, the film fell out of circulation until UCLA Film & Television Archive undertook a recent photochemical restoration.  A new 4k digital restoration by Cinelicious Pics, utilizing the original 35mm dupe negative rediscovered and preserved by UCLA, makes its world premiere here. (d. Leslie Stevens, 79m, Digital)

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BRIAN'S SONG ( 1971 )

Inspirational Sports Movies

Chinese Multiplex House 6

This adaptation of the true story of the friendship between Chicago Bears players Gale Sayers and Brian Piccolo has been called the greatest football film ever made. It ranks among the top-rated made-for-TV-movies though it was also shown theatrically in some US markets, and has even been called one of the best “guy cry” films. Screenwriter William Blinn drew his story from Sayers’ memoir, I Am Third, in which he described Piccolo’s fight against cancer and the support given by the entire team. Although both would receive Emmy nominations and career boosts for their performances, James Caan almost turned the role down, preferring to focus on film work, and Billy Dee Williams only came on at the last minute, when original star Lou Gossett, Jr. tore his Achilles’ tendon. Caan was the better athlete of the two, having played football in college, but had to hold back on screen so Williams would seem to be the better player. ABC, which aired the film, went all out with production values, hiring Michel Legrand to score the picture. His main theme, “The Hands of Time,” became a hit, staying on the charts for eight weeks. The film won the Peabody Award and the Emmy for Outstanding Single Program, with Blinn and supporting actor Jack Warden also winning Emmys. (d. Buzz Kulik, 73m, Digital) - We regret that due to unforeseen circumstances Billy Dee Williams will no longer be in attendance as previously announced.

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CARRY ON...UP THE KHYBER ( 1968 )

Discoveries

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From its title—a reference to Cockney rhyming slang in which “Khyber Pass” means one’s posterior—to the uproarious banquet scene, this is generally considered to be the best of the 30 Carry On films. Its deflation of British colonialism and such epics as Zulu (1964) and Khartoum (1966) was so trenchant it was banned from British television during Gulf War I. For the 16th film in the series, regulars Sidney James and Joan Sims star as Lord and Lady Ruff-Diamond, stationed in India with The Third Foot & Mouth Regiment. The locals, led by evil Khasi Kenneth Williams, hold off attacking because they fear what lies under the soldiers’ kilts. When they catch one man with his pants down, it sets the stage for a series of hilarious confrontations. The Rank Organisation, whose logo was a man hitting a large gong, had just taken over distributing the Carry On films, inspiring Williams’ joke in which he refers to striking a gong as “rank stupidity.” Rank’s executives tried to get the title changed, considering it crude. Instead, the producers made matters sillier by adding the subtitle The British Position in India. The film even triggered a protest from Princess Margaret over a reference to Queen Victoria as “Vicky.” (d. Gerald Thomas, 88m, Digital)

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ILLEANA DOUGLAS BOOK SIGNING

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Illeana Douglas Book Signing: I Blame Dennis Hopper: And Other Stories from a Life Lived in and Out of the Movies on Lobby Stage in Roosevelt Hotel

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MARK VIEIRA BOOK SIGNING

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Mark Vieira will sign copies of the new TCM book, Into The Dark: The Hidden World of Film Noir, 1941-1950.

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JEREMY ARNOLD BOOK SIGNING

Lobby at The Hollywood Roosevelt HotelLobby

Jeremy Arnold will sign copies of the new TCM book, The Essentials: 52 Must-See Movies and Why They Matter.

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BATMAN: THE MOVIE ( 1966 )

Discoveries

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Four of Batman’s most fiendish villains join forces to conquer the world in this feature-film spin-off of the series that brought camp style to television. Originally, the feature was planned as the series’ pilot but when ABC moved up the airdate, it was put on hold and filmed after the first season. The original cast is there, including Adam West as the most skillfully deadpan of all Batmans, Burt Ward as Robin, Alan Napier as Alfred, Neil Hamilton as Commissioner Gordon and a trio of wise-cracking villains—Burgess Meredith as The Penguin, Cesar Romero as The Joker and Frank Gorshin as The Riddler. Julie Newmar, the original Catwoman, was unavailable for the film so former Miss America Lee Meriwether won the role (joining the film so late she missed out on the villains’ first on-screen strategy session). Lorenzo Semple, Jr.’s screenplay makes up for that by giving her more screen time as she masquerades as a Russian journalist out to seduce the Caped Crusader. The film’s larger budget allowed for the presence of four villains and more gadgets, including the BatBoat. It did well enough to inspire talk of a sequel, which would have introduced Bat Girl, but declining ratings for the TV version killed additional movie plans. (d. Leslie H. Martinson, 105m, Blu-ray)