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American Cinematheque at the Aero Theatre Presents...
Movies on the Big Screen Since 1940!
1328 Montana Avenue at 14th Street in Santa Monica

What's this?

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Click to print Page 1 or Page 2 or Full Text of a Nov. 2008 Calendar!
Series programmed by: Grant Moninger & Randy Wyatt with the assistance of Gwen Deglise. Program notes by Jimmy Hemphill

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Special Thanks to: Marilee Womack/WARNER BROS.; Jared Sapolin & Helena Brissenden/SONY REPERTORY; Emily Horn/PARAMOUNT; Paul Ginsburg/UNIVERSAL; Amy Lewin/MGM REPERTORY.

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SOLD OUT SCREENINGS: There will be a waiting line for Sold Out screenings. Tickets often become available at the door the night of an event.

Sold out programs will be indicated here if sold out 24 hours in advance of screening date.

All guests are subject to availability. The Cinematheque will offer a refund due to guest cancellations only IF the refund transaction is complete PRIOR to the start of the show.



Tickets are $9 general admission unless noted otherwise.
(Aero by series)
(Aero Film Calendar)
(Egyptian by series)
(Egyptian by date)
24-Hour Information: 323.466.FILM
Contact Us
The American Cinematheque is a non-profit 501 (C) (3) organization.
The Film Programs of the American Cinematheque are presented at the newly re-opened and renovated Aero Theatre at 1328 Montana Avenue in Santa Monica and at the magnificently renovated, historic 1922 Grauman's Hollywood Egyptian Theatre. Located at 6712 Hollywood Boulevard.
Photo Credit: Barry Gerber. Aero Theatre (c) 2004.

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<<< November 6 - 9, 2008 >>>

Attack of the Giant Screen


This series is an Aero Theatre Exclusive, but for more B-Movie Action Check Out THE LOST SKELETON OF CADAVRA and a Sneak Preview of the Sequel at the Egyptian!

As Americans began to feel increasingly uneasy about the threat of nuclear war in the years following World War II, Hollywood responded with a series of films in which society’s fears were externalized in the form of alien attacks and radioactive mutations. While the directors of exploitation movies like THE BLOB and THE DEADLY MANTIS used monster movies for pure sensation and shock value, other filmmakers saw sci-fi’s potential for philosophical inquiry and provocative social comment. Don Siegel helmed the masterpiece of the genre, the original INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS, a sophisticated and deeply disturbing classic whose warnings about conformity and mob rule still resonate today. Gordon Douglas’s THEM!, meanwhile, used its fantastic tale of giant ants as cover for a sober look at the dangers of nuclear testing. The Aero will show these and other classics, as well as two latter-day variations on the formula (the beloved cult classics TREMORS and CRITTERS), in a series filled with glop, goo and alien terror.




Wednesday November 5 – 7:30 PM

ED WOOD, 1994, Disney, 127 min. Director Tim Burton’s unabashed love for his subject makes this 1994 biopic of the director of the "worst movie ever made" (that would be PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE - See it Nov. 2) a perversely uplifting experience, although in reality its title character’s life was anything but happy. Johnny Depp portrays legendary schlock director Ed Wood as an enthusiastic hero of the cinema, a man whose love for moviemaking is so intense that it almost makes the quality of his work irrelevant. Just as P.T. Anderson would do three years later with BOOGIE NIGHTS, Burton depicts a group of disreputable filmmakers who form an alternative family unit—and since that family includes Martin Landau (in an Oscar-winning performance), Jeffrey Jones and Bill Murray, the results are sublime. Trailer | Ebert Review Discussion following with actor Martin Landau, writers Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski.


Thursday, November 6 – 7:30 PM

THEM!, 1954, Warner Bros. 94 min. Dir. Gordon Douglas. Giant killer ants emerge from the Southwestern desert in one of the first and best sci-fi films to deal with fears about atomic testing and warfare. Desert cop James Whitmore joins G-man James Arness ("Gunsmoke") and scientist Edmund Gwenn (MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET) in trying to mount a defense. Avoiding the campy quality of later movies in the genre by treating its subject matter with utter seriousness, THEM! remains one of the most unsettling monster movies of its era—and keep your eyes peeled for those Fess Parker and Leonard Nimoy cameos. Trailer | More on this Film

THE GIANT CLAW, 1957, Sony Repertory, 75 min. Fred F. Sears (EARTH VS. THE FLYING SAUCERS) does his best to direct this unintentionally surreal, monster-bird-from-space opus. Jeff Morrow and sexy Mara Corday join a cast of hundreds fleeing from one of the goofiest-looking big creatures to ever hit the silver screen. Producer Sam Katzman farmed out the effects to a small Mexican SFX house and got something he hadn’t bargained for: a titanic bird resembling a cross between a hideously deformed marionette and a cartoonish piņata! Bizarre doesn’t even begin to describe the unnerving result. Ah, the days before CGI! Trailer | More on this Film



Friday, November 7 – 7:30 PM

Double Feature:

INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS, 1956, Paramount, 80 min. Director Don Siegel (DIRTY HARRY) and screenwriter Daniel Mainwaring adapted Jack Finney’s novel into a brilliant, utterly compelling sci-fi story of a small Southern California town overtaken by alien seedpods that mutate into emotionless doppelgangers of the human inhabitants. Still one of the most frightening movies ever made and a paranoiac’s delight, the picture has been credited as a metaphor for the Red Scare’s McCarthyism. Kevin McCarthy is excellent as the returning-from-a-trip doctor who gradually realizes the insidious changes going on right under his nose. The exceptional supporting cast includes Dana Wynter, Carolyn Jones (Morticia of TV’s "The Addams Family"), King Donovan, Larry Gates and a cameo by a young Sam Peckinpah (!). Trailer | More on this Film

EARTH VS. THE FLYING SAUCERS, 1956, Sony Repertory, 83 min. Dir. Fred F. Sears (THE WEREWOLF, TEENAGE CRIME WAVE). Classic 1950s drive-in stuff: Earth’s scientists can’t figure out why all the rockets they shoot into space are disappearing … until a fleet of flying saucers appears over the White House! Husband-and-wife scientist team Hugh Marlowe and Joan Taylor form a vanguard of defense against the invaders. FX man Ray Harryhausen collaborated on the original story for the film with famed sci-fi writer Curt Siodmak (THE WOLF MAN). Trailer | More on this Film




Saturday, November 8 – 7:30 PM

Double Feature:

TREMORS, 1990, Universal, 96 min. Dir. Ron Underwood. When handymen Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward head out into the desert in search of work, they find something else instead: giant underground creatures that turn out to be man-eating worms. This wildly inventive homage to 1950s creature films is scary and hilarious in equal measures, with terrific special effects and surprisingly sharp dialogue. Trailer | More on this Film

CRITTERS, 1986, Warner Bros., 82 min. A spaceship filled with the fuzzy alien monsters of the title lands in a Midwestern town and proceeds to wreak havoc, while a pair of intergalactic bounty hunters on the critters’ trail causes even more chaos. What could have been a mere GREMLINS rip-off becomes a witty comedy as well as a swiftly paced action film in the hands of director Stephen Herek, who blends the anarchic spirit of classic Warner Bros. cartoons with a Spielbergian sense of the fantastic. Trailer | More on this Film




Sunday, November 9 – 7:30 PM

Double Feature:

20 MILLION MILES TO EARTH, 1957, Sony Repertory, 82 min. An American spaceship returning from Venus crash-lands off of Sicily with two passengers on board – pilot William Hopper (famed columnist Hedda Hopper’s son and Paul Drake on TV’s "Perry Mason") and a miniature reptile, who soon grows to monstrous proportions in Earth’s atmosphere. Director Nathan Juran’s first collaboration with F/X wizard Ray Harryhausen features a surprisingly sympathetic monster, and an astounding climactic battle at the Roman Colosseum. Trailer | More on this Film

THE MONSTER THAT CHALLENGED THE WORLD, 1957, MGM Repertory, 83 min. Dir. Arnold Laven. An earthquake sets killer prehistoric monsters free after radioactive material infects a group of underwater eggs. This overlooked entry in the cycle of ’50s paranoia movies stars cowboy Tim Holt (co-star of TREASURE OF SIERRA MADRE and THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS!) as Twill, the naval intelligence officer who tries to stop the encroaching menace. Trailer | More on this Film