|The Wizard of MGM: Victor
An Egyptian Theatre Exclusive!
Although Warner Bros. now own the rights to many of his films, Victor
Fleming was one of MGMs iconic, larger than life directors during the
studios Golden Age heyday. Not only did he work uncredited behind the scenes on many
other filmmakers movies, he was the credited director on two of the most hallowed
motion picture classics of all time GONE WITH THE WIND and THE WIZARD OF OZ.
Flemings DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE with Spencer Tracy and Ingrid Bergman and his epic
JOAN OF ARC with Bergman remain criminally underrated to this day. Fleming tragically and
suddenly died in 1949 at the relatively early age of 59. Join author/film critic Michael
Sragow, wholl be signing his biography Victor Fleming: An American Movie Master
published by Pantheon and introducing screenings of some of director Flemings finest
films (most of which are surprisingly not yet on DVD). Well be screening CAPTAINS
COURAGEOUS, THE FARMER TAKES A WIFE (35mm preservation by UCLA), A GUY NAMED JOE,
TEST PILOT and the sensational, sizzling Jean Harlow Pre-Code double feature BOMBSHELL
and RED DUST.
Friday, May 15 7:30 PM
CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS, 1937,
Warner Bros., 115 min. Director Victor Fleming adapts Rudyard Kiplings novel
to stirring effect, with Freddie Bartholomew as a spoiled rich brat who falls off a
cruise ship and is rescued by simple Portuguese fisherman Spencer Tracy (who won
Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal). With his imperious ways not tolerated by the salty
crew, Bartholomew grows up while on board crusty captain Lionel Barrymores
vessel and comes to see Tracys character, with his gentle, quietly philosophical
ways, as a father figure. With Mickey Rooney, John Carradine. Nominated for three
other Oscars, including Best Picture. "Well-directed, well-acted coming-of-age
tale that may have the most hard-bitten viewer in tears by the end." Dan
Jardine, All Movie Guide Trailer
Rare! THE FARMER TAKES A WIFE, 1935, 20th Century Fox,
91 min. In his screen debut, Henry Fonda is a mid-19th century farmer working on
the Erie Canal to save money to buy land. He becomes smitten when he meets vivacious canal
boat worker Janet Gaynor. But the prospect of farm living is no match for the
excitement of her wanderers life. Director Victor Fleming took a brief
vacation from MGM to helm this charming love story. 35mm film preservation by UCLA Film
and Television Archive. A hard-to-see movie that was never released on video. With Charles
Bickford, Andy Devine. NOT ON DVD Preceded at 6:30 by film
critic/author Michael Sragow signing copies of his new biography Victor
Fleming: An American Movie Master.
Saturday, May 16 7:30 PM
A GUY NAMED JOE, 1943, Warner
Bros., 120 min. Director Victor Fleming brings his uniquely Hollywoodized, but no
less transcendental, cosmology to bear in this poignant fantasy of WWII fighter pilot Spencer
Tracy returning from Heaven as a ghost to look after younger pilot Van Johnson.
The catch is Johnson has begun a tentative romance with Tracys grieving girlfriend Irene
Dunne. Co-starring Ward Bond, James Gleason, Lionel Barrymore, Esther Williams.
Remade by Steven Spielberg in 1989 as ALWAYS. NOT ON DVD Trailer
TEST PILOT, 1938, Warner Bros.,118
min. Clark Gable is a daredevil test pilot trying out dangerous new aircraft, Spencer
Tracy is Gables mechanic best friend and Myrna Loy is the woman in their
lives in this crowd-pleasing and fiery romantic comedy-drama. With another star-studded
MGM cast that includes Lionel Barrymore, Marjorie Main and Gloria Holden.
Co-written by Howard Hawks. NOT ON DVD Preceded at 6:30 by
film critic/author Michael Sragow signing copies of his new biography Victor Fleming:
An American Movie Master. Trailer
Sunday, May 17 7:30 PM
Jean Harlow Pre-Code Double Feature:
BOMBSHELL, 1933, Warner Bros., 96 min. Victor
Flemings positively breakneck-paced satire of Hollywood. Jean Harlow is
at her peak as harried Lola Burns, a movie matinee idol being driven crazy by relentless
press agent Lee Tracy (who also has the hots for her). The movie shes
shooting with director heartthrob Pat OBrien is modeled after RED DUST.
Naughty double entendres fly fast and furious in this razor-sharp and unabashedly
shameless screwball comedy. Co-starring Franchot Tone as a rich potential beau and Una
Merkel. "An essential inside Hollywood comedy." Classic
Film Guide NOT ON DVD Trailer
RED DUST, 1932, Warner Bros., 83 min.
Dir. Victor Fleming. Hot-blooded he-man Clark Gable, the manager of a
Malaysian rubber plantation, falls hard for Jean Harlow, a wayfaring sexpot of
questionable morals (to say the least its implied shes a prostitute) in
this steamy, tropical soap opera. Mary Astor is the other lady in competition for
Gables charms. MGM bosses were stepping way over the line with suggestive innuendoes
and off-color hijinks in this big box office hit. NOT ON DVD Preceded
at 6:30 by film critic/author Michael Sragow signing copies of his new biography Victor
Fleming: An American Movie Master. Trailer