July 7 -25, 1999

American Cinematheque presents...

Columbia 75th Anniversary Series


Series Compiled by:
Michael Schlesinger and Dennis Bartok

Special Thanks to:
Susanne Holzman, Lisa Davidson, Mark Wilson, John Belknap, Joann Rizzo, Rafael Ramirez, (Sony Pictures), Rob Word (Columbia Tristar TV), Maggie Nelson, Colin Greene, Michelle Webster (Sony Archives), Marvin Page

Extra Special Thanks to:
Grover Crisp (Sony Pictures).

Archive Index






"Give the people what they want—and they’ll come out for it!"

That, of course, was Red Skelton’s celebrated crack about Columbia mogul Harry Cohn’s well-attended funeral—but it could easily have served as the company motto, as well. And, indeed, the studio’s 75th Anniversary is a milestone so mammoth that one festival was just plain insufficient.

So if you’re one of the many thousands who descended upon the Cinerama Dome in February to revel in the big-screen likes of LAWRENCE OF ARABIA and CLOSE ENCOUNTERS and left the theatre wanting more—well, want no more. Welcome to the sequel! Here are bona fide classics, beloved cult items and incredible rarities—32 features in all, plus dozens of shorts, an entire serial, and —naturally— fabulous guests. Spanning a 45-year period from the dawn of sound to the dawn of Spielberg, this wondrous line-up has something for everybody and everything for the true film lover. All but two features are presented in 35mm (no prize for guessing which ones), many in new prints, and some beautifully and lovingly restored. So start getting plenty of rest—and lock in that babysitter now!



In this summer of THE PHANTOM MENACE, it’s important to remember that STAR WARS was originally intended as nothing more than a hip update of the Flash Gordon cliffhangers—right down to that trapezoidal opening crawl. And since few people under the age of 50 have ever seen a chapterplay on The Big Screen, this seemed as good a time as any to bring one back. And not just any old one, but the sole surviving 35mm print of THE SPIDER’S WEB (1938), considered by many experts to be the finest serial Columbia ever produced. The engaging, mellow-voiced Warren Hull (who went on to greater fame as a radio and TV host) stars as noted criminologist Richard Wentworth, who has not one but two alter egos: The Spider, crime-fighter extraordinaire (not that the cops care, those red-tape-obsessed bastards!), and underworld low-life Blinky McQuade, to whom dumb crooks just love to tell their latest plans. Naturally, there’s a hooded villain—The Octopus—who intends to take over our fair nation by wrecking its transportation systems, and in 15 action-crammed episodes, The Spider tries to bring him to justice. Furiously directed by vets Ray Taylor and James W. Horne, and with a fine cast including Iris Meredith, Richard Fiske, Kenne Duncan (in a super-rare good-guy role), Marc Lawrence and Ann Doran, this is more fun than a barrel of Jawas. Look for THE SPIDER'S WEB chapters at the end of program blurbs. And remember, if you miss one or two, don’t worry—there’s always a recap!


PAL JOEY New Restored Print!

1957, 111 min. Rodgers and Hart’s 1940 Broadway musical (which made a star of Gene Kelly), with a book by John O’Hara, finally came to the screen with Ol’ Blue Eyes perfectly cast as the heel of a hero looking to build a swanky nightclub in San Francisco and being fought over by Rita Hayworth and Kim Novak (Columbia’s two love goddesses in their only film together). Smoothly directed by George Sidney and scripted by Dorothy Kingsley, with such legendary R&H songs as "The Lady Is A Tramp" and "My Funny Valentine," this has for years existed only in grainy, muddy prints—a situation this gorgeous new color restoration puts to a well-deserved end. Plus: a clip from REVEILLE WITH BEVERLY (1943, 3 min.), in which a young, skinny Frank croons Cole Porter’s "Night And Day" to a soundstage full of models.



1934-46, approx. 105 min. No salute to Columbia would be complete without those icons of idiocy, The Three Stooges, especially on the 65th anniversary of their joining the studio—a relationship that lasted a record-breaking 31 years. We kick off with the first "official" Stooge short, the Oscar(TM) -nominated MEN IN BLACK, followed by three more epics: UNCIVIL WARRIORS, I’LL NEVER HEIL AGAIN, and IN THE SWEET PIE AND PIE, as well as some really cool surprises, including a new print of the mega-rare MR.NOISY, one of several solo shorts Shemp starred in just prior to rejoining the team. Oh, and be sure to bring your wives and girl friends—especially if they made you sit through MEET JOE BLACK. Plus: "Night of Terror," (28 min.) the opening chapter of THE SPIDER’S WEB!


3:10 TO YUMA New Restored Print!

1957, 92 min. Before he became famous for his quirky crime novels, Elmore Leonard wrote westerns, and some of them were turned into excellent films, too. Delmer Daves directed this suspense-soaked classic about a timid, needy farmer (Van Heflin) who agrees to keep an eye on newly-captured outlaw Glenn Ford until the marshal arrives…but he’s ill-equipped to deal with the mind games Ford lays on him. Few westerns are as dark and unpredictable as this one, which pissed off Howard Hawks so much that he made RIO BRAVO as a response to this and HIGH NOON (which he really hated). Script by Halsted Welles, music by George Duning; with Felicia Farr, Henry Jones, Richard Jaeckel, Leora Dana and—of course—a title tune sung by Frankie Laine. Plus: "Death Below," chapter 2 of THE SPIDER’S WEB! (17 min.)


New  ‘Scope Print!


1970, 98 min. Barbra Streisand’s first non-musical (and first film stronger than a "G") is a side-splitting adaptation of Bill Manhoff’s play about the unlikely romance between a brassy New York prostitute and the owlish bookworm (George Segal) who moves into the apartment next door. Sharply directed by Herbert Ross and scripted by Buck Henry. Plus: THE CRITIC (1963, 3 min.), Ernest Pintoff’s Oscar(TM) -winning cartoon (and forerunner to MST3K) featuring the voice of Mel Brooks as an audience member loudly kvetching about the "doit and filth" he thinks he’s watching.

 FRIDAY, JULY 9 /9:45 PM

Fritz Lang/Glenn Ford/Gloria Grahame Double Feature!

Film noir was on its way out by the mid-‘50s, but that didn’t stop this titanic trio from turning out back-to-back masterpieces of the genre.

HUMAN DESIRE New Restored Print!

(1954, 90 min.) stars Ford as a railroad engineer getting mixed up with the boss’ wife (Grahame)—not a good idea when he’s played by Broderick Crawford! Based on Emile Zola’s La Bete Humaine, but Lang hated the new title: "What other kind of desire is there?"


(1953, 90 min.) has cop Ford trying to bust psychotic racketeer Lee Marvin, with a little help from his moll(Grahame); the infamous coffee-pot scene has lost none of its jolt. With Jocelyn Brando, Carolyn Jones, and Jeanette Nolan. Both films are strikingly photographed by, respectively, Burnett Guffey and Charles Lang.


Ray Harryhausen’s Only ‘Scope Movie! New Print!


1964, 103 min. This droll adaptation of H.G. Wells’ novel is one of Harryhausen’s most under-appreciated features. Edward Judd, Martha Hyer, and Lionel Jeffries star as a trio of Victorian-era explorers who build a spaceship and head for the Earth’s satellite—but, dash it all, they’re simply just not equipped to deal with what they find there, don’t you know. This opulent production takes full advantage of the wide screen (RH even considered renaming his process "Dynarama" for the occasion), and is smartly directed by Nathan Juran, co-written by "Quatermass" creator Nigel Kneale, and scored by Laurie Johnson ("The Avengers"). Don’t miss this opportunity to see it on a truly giant screen! Plus: RACE OF TIME (1937, 7 min.), a Krazy Kat cartoon which imagines what life will be like in 1999—yes, this very year—including a trip to the moon!  Plus: "High Voltage," chapter 3 of THE SPIDER’S WEB! (17 min.)


FAIL-SAFE New Restored Print!

1964, 111 min. Made simultaneously with DR. STRANGELOVE—and forever doomed to live in its shadow—this white-knuckle adaptation of the Burdick-Wheeler best-seller has exactly the same premise…except that it’s deadly serious. Henry Fonda gives one of his most intense performances as the President trying to prevent the impending catastrophe (an especially remarkable feat, since he spends most of his screen time talking on the phone), and there’s ace work by Walter Matthau, Dan O’Herlihy, Fritz Weaver, Larry Hagman and Russell Collins. (It’s also the film debut--in what must surely be his only dramatic role--of Dom DeLuise.) Scripter Walter Bernstein and director Sidney Lumet tighten the screws as only they can; a must-see for countless reasons, not the least of which is the inevitable comparison with Kubrick’s take. 


William Castle Double Feature!

Castle had been producing and directing for 15 years before he began the series of gimmick-laden horror movies that earned him immortality as the "low-rent Hitchcock" (and a loving parody by John Goodman in Joe Dante’s extraordinary MATINEE), and here are two of his wildest.

13 GHOSTS New Print!

(1960, 88 min.) presents an impoverished family who inherit a haunted house—complete with Margaret Hamilton as the dour housekeeper! Donald Woods, Rosemary DeCamp and Martin Milner star in this full-tilt hoot, originally presented in "Illusion-O"— audience members were given "ghost viewers" to watch the spooks. You’ll see them just fine in this special no-glasses-needed new print, but we’ll scrape up some specs for the purists.

MR. SARDONICUS (1961, 89 min.), written by Ray Russell, is a ruthless version of THE MAN WHO LAUGHS: surgeon Ronald Lewis is summoned to the home of evil European nobleman Guy Rolfe to repair his face…which is frozen in a permanent, ghastly grin. Audrey Dalton and Oscar Homolka co-star, along with the "Punishment Poll"—in which Castle invites the audience to vote on how the movie should conclude (yeah, right, like they really shot two endings). Plus: "Surrender Or Die," chapter 4 of THE SPIDER’S WEB! (17 min.)

SUNDAY, JULY 11 /4:00 PM


1931-55, approx. 95 min. Perhaps no major studio’s cartoon output has been less documented than Columbia’s, and this phenomenal collection of 14 shorts represents what may be the first-ever comprehensive overview of the entire three-decade history, from the earliest days of Scrappy and Krazy Kat, through the brief tenures of Ub Iwerks, Frank Tashlin, Dave Fleischer and Bob Clampett, and up to the UPA classics of the ‘50s, climaxing in a new CinemaScope print of the Oscar?-winning WHEN MAGOO FLEW. You may think you’ ve seen everything, but you haven’t seen these--especially on The Big Screen in these glorious new 35mm prints—and you may not get another chance any time soon. Plus: "Shoot To Kill," chapter 5 of THE SPIDER’S WEB! (17 min.)

 SUNDAY, JULY 11 /6:15 PM

Pre-Code Double Feature!

If last year’s Pre-Code Festival at the Nuart whetted your appetite for sleaze, pull up a chair, ‘cause here come seconds.

THE COCKTAIL HOUR Archive Print! (1933, 73 min.) is as racy as they come: Bebe Daniels abandons boy friend Randolph Scott and, on a cruise to Europe, gives it up to Sidney Blackmer—and the casting alone tells you what a dumb idea that is. Directed by Victor Schertzinger, who also composed Bebe’s song, "Listen, Heart Of Mine."

LADIES OF LEISURE New Print! (1930, 98 min.) was the first of five films Frank Capra made with Barbara Stanwyck, and the one which gave her her initial taste of real stardom. She plays a working girl (that’s the polite term) who takes up with wealthy artist Ralph Graves—which drives his snooty Park Ave. family right up the wall. (Life imitates art: director and star began their own affair during production.) Nance O’Neil, Marie Prevost and Lowell Sherman co-star in Capra’s first picture scripted by the influential Jo Swerling.  Plus: "Sealed Lips," chapter 6 of THE SPIDER’S WEB! (17 min.)


FRIDAY, JULY 16 /7:00 PM

New Restored Print! Full-Length UK Version!


1957, 95 min. Jacques Tourneur’s masterful chiller about a mysterious string of deaths caused by an ancient curse (courtesy of a nutjob inspired by infamous necromancer Alastair Crowley) is one of the most highly-regarded shockers of the ‘50s, even in its original 83 min. US release (which included a rather dopey-looking "demon"). Although prints of the unedited version have circulated for years, they were from umpteenth-generation dupe material and looked pretty awful; this new restoration vividly brings back all the details of Ted Scaife’s photography and Ken Adam’s sets. Dana Andrews, Peggy Cummins, Niall MacGinnis and Maurice Denham star; scripted by Charles Bennett and Hal Chesler. Plus: the bone-rattlingly rare SKELETON FROLICS (1937, 7 min.), Ub Iwerks’ color remake of his legendary Silly Symphony "Skeleton Dance." Plus: "Shadows Of The Night," chapter 7 of THE SPIDER’S WEB! (17 min.)

 FRIDAY, JULY 16 9/:30 PM

Cold War Paranoia Double Feature!

The ‘50s were the decade for Red Scare mellers, especially down in the Bs, and these two delirious entries are no exception.

THE 27th DAY New Print!

(1957, 75 min.) is a grotty adaptation by John Mantley from his novel about what happens when an alien gives five ordinary joes capsules that could kill millions if opened (but expire after 27 days). Needless to say, them damn Russkies are hot on the scent! Gene Barry, Valerie French, George Voskovec, Arnold Moss (as the alien) and immortal voice-man Paul Frees star under the direction of William Asher (who went on to "Bewitched" and the BEACH PARTY movies).

CITY OF FEAR Archive Print!

(1959, 75 min.) reunites Vince Edwards and Irving Lerner, the star and director of MURDER BY CONTRACT, in another gleefully whacked-out thriller about an escaped convict on the lam with a cylinder full of heroin (he thinks). Anybody seen KISS ME DEADLY lately? Patricia Blair, Lyle Talbot (on loan from Ed Wood) and John Archer give chase. Plus: "While The City Sleeps," chapter 8 of THE SPIDER’S WEB! (17 min.)




THE FAMILY JULES New and Archive Prints!

1934-45, approx. 105 min. For a quarter-century, Jules White ran Columbia’s comedy short-subject department, often producing and directing as well, and it was a haven for veteran laughmakers grateful for a chance to continue working. Unfortunately, the towering popularity of The Three Stooges has entirely overshadowed everything else the unit did, so for one day, at least, we’re gonna rectify that with half a dozen Grade-A yukfests starring the legendary likes of Charley Chase, Harry Langdon, Andy Clyde, and HisMajesty, Buster Keaton. This stuff is so rare even the guys who wrote the book haven’t seen some of ‘em. (For that matter, neither have we!) It goes without saying—but we’ll say so, anyway—that this is pretty much a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Plus: "Doomed," (17 min.) chapter 9 of THE SPIDER’S WEB!



1935, 88 min. Josef von Sternberg’s first film after leaving Paramount (and Dietrich) is this expressionistic riot based on the Dostoyevsky novel about a student (Peter Lorre in his Hollywood debut) obsessed by a murder he committed and the police inspector (Edward Arnold) equally obsessed with nailing him. Lucien Ballard again proves why he was one of the greatest cinematographers of all time in this visually stunning tour de force, and there’s top support from Marian Marsh, Tala Birell, Douglass Dumbrille, Gene Lockhart, and Mrs. Patrick Campbell (the celebrated English stage actress who was always billed that way). Plus: THE TELL-TALE HEART (1953, 7 min.),UPA’s eye-popping adaptation of the Poe tale, narrated by James Mason and directed by Ted Parmalee. Plus: "Flaming Danger," chapter 10 of THE SPIDER’S WEB! (17 min.)


Bogart Centennial Double Feature!

You can take Bogie outta Warners, but you can’t take Warners outta Bogie, asthese two outstanding vehicles prove.

BEAT THE DEVIL (1954, 89 min.) is the cult satire in which he, Peter Lorre, and director John Huston reunite to spoof their beloved MALTESE FALCON and the movies it inspired. Also on board are Jennifer Jones, Gina Lollabrigida and the very Greenstreet-ish Robert Morley; none other than Truman Capote wrote the screenplay.

Much darker in tone is IN A LONELY PLACE (1950, 91 min.), Nicholas Ray’s brilliantly cynical drama about a burnt-out screenwriter whose life is further complicated by a murder charge. Gloria Grahame (Mrs. Ray), Frank Lovejoy, Robert Warwick, Art Smith and (Miss) Jeff Donnell co-star in writer Andrew Solt’s searing slap at Tinseltown. Plus: "The Road To Peril," chapter 11 of THE SPIDER’S WEB! (17 min.)

 SUNDAY, JULY 18 /4:00 PM

Rediscovered Masterpiece Day! New ‘Scope Print!


1971, 109 min. We’re devoting this day to two of the Columbia features we feel are most in need of the opportunity to take their rightful place amongthe greats. A victim of studio politics, this amazing and unique adventure--directed by John Frankenheimer, scripted by Dalton Trumbo, and photographed in 65mm Super Panavision by Claude Renoir--was intended as a sweeping 3½-hour epic a la LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, but the era of the roadshow was ending, and the filmmakers were forced to literally cut the script in  half during production. The result is nevertheless remarkable. Filmed and set in contemporary Afghanistan and starring Omar Sharif, Jack Palance and Leigh Taylor-Young, it revolves around the brutal sport of buzkashi--best described as a cross between polo and "Celebrity eathmatch"—and a son’s attempts to live up to the legend of his father. Pulse-pounding action and thoughtful writing have seldom blended so well as in this rarest of all major Frankenheimer films.

SUNDAY, JULY 18 /7:00 PM

Rediscovered Masterpiece Day!


1975, 131 min. This is truly the one film in the Columbia library whose neglect we believe to be the most criminal. (But it ain’t the picture’s fault: it opened just days after a little number called JAWS.) Written, produced and directed by Richard Brooks, this magnificent adventure depicts a grueling 700-mile horse race in the Southwest of 1908—but that action is really secondary to the participants and their relationships with each other. Grandly photographed in Panavision by Harry Stradling, Jr. (virtually the entire film is exteriors) and scored by Alex North, and with a splendid cast headed by Gene Hackman, James Coburn, Candice Bergen, Ian Bannen and the late, great Ben Johnson, this is hands-down, no-argument, abso-freakin ’-lutely one of the greatest films of the 1970s, and this will be the night it begins its journey to the acclaim it failed to receive 24 years ago.


Ultra-Rare Mae West! Archive Print!


1943, 80 min. The Mae West film almost nobody’s seen, this was her last feature until (yuck) MYRA BRECKINRIDGE in 1970. Still lubricious at 50, she struts her stuff as a big-time musical-comedy star who’s caught in the middle of a feud between rival stage producers Victor Moore and William Gaxton. Xavier Cugat and Hazel Scott provide the musical relief, and Alan Dinehart, Mary Roche, Lloyd Bridges, and Almira Sessions help set up her punch lines. Directed by veteran character actor Gregory Ratoff. Plus: THE MAD HATTER (1940, 7 min.), a hilarious cartoon which pokes fun at the working woman and her obsession with fashion. Plus: "The Spider Falls," chapter 12 of THE SPIDER’S WEB! (17 min.)


THE COLLECTOR New Restored Print!

1965, 117 min. William Wyler’s blood-chilling adaptation of John Fowles’ first novel stars Terence Stamp as a disturbed young Londoner who graduates from collecting butterflies to Samantha Eggar. The greatest horrors are those that are quietest, and this model of restraint and economy—the two stars are the only ones onscreen for most of the film—shows how genuinely frightening a movie can be when pared to the basics. Stanley Mann and John Kohn wrote the script, and Robert Krasker and Robert Surtees were the cinematographers.

FRIDAY, JULY 23 /7:00 PM


1972, 90 min. Jack Nicholson’s directorial debut--initially rated X for a car-seat sex scene and some locker-room exposure--stars William Tepper as a college basketball player who feels "disillusioned and disconnected," especially with so many classmates going off to die in ‘Nam. (Well, there is a sexy professor’s wife [Karen Black] to "console" him.) Bruce Dern gives the performance of his career as the team’s take-no-prisoners coach, and appearing in small roles are no less than Robert Towne, Henry Jaglom, David Ogden Stiers, Cindy Williams, Michael Warren and Charles Robinson. A typically dense, thought-provoking drama from the BBS folks, scripted by Nicholson and Jeremy Larner (and an uncredited Towne) from Larner’s prize-winning novel. 

FRIDAY, JULY 23 /9:30 PM

Dwight Frye Double Feature!

Most people naturally associate Frye with Universal horror movies, but the beloved character actor actually made more films for Columbia (12) than any other studio, and these two delicious Bs—both coincidentally set under the big top—offered him equally juicy roles.


(1933, 66 min.), This Pre-Code  sequel to NIGHT CLUB LADY, brings back Adolphe Menjou and Ruthelma Stevens as suave NYC police commissioner Thatcher Colt and his trusty secretary Kelly, whose vacation is cut short by the creepiest circus this side of FREAKS. Frye plays the cuckolded trapeze artist who vows to kill wife Greta Nissen and lover Donald Cook in full view of the audience! Horror vet Roy William Neill drives this seamy brew of everything from cannibals to lip-reading!

THE SHADOW (1937, 58 min.) has nothing to do with Lamont Cranston--though there’s plenty of evil lurking about. Rita Hayworth (in her first starring role) inherits a debt-ridden circus, and almost immediately said creditor wakes up dead. Frye tops the suspect list as a loony lion tamer; also on hand are familiar favorites Charles Quigley, Marc Lawrence, Marjorie Main, Bess Flowers, and #1 Stooge foil Vernon Dent. Remade 31 years later with Joan Crawford as BERSERK! (Note: Both films will be presented in new 16mm prints.) Plus: "The Man Hunt," chapter 13 of THE SPIDER’S WEB! (17 min.)


Lew Landers Double Feature with Karloff, Lugosi and Lorre!

You want prolific? Landers (aka Louis Friedlander) directed something like 130 features in 30 years (including a jaw-dropping 12 in 1942 alone!). Mostwere quickies, obviously, but he worked with many fine actors and almost always delivered the goods.


(1944, 69 min.) stars Lugosi as a London-based bloodsucker who won’t let a little annoyance like WW2 interrupt his business. With Matt Willis (as his werewolf assistant), Frieda Inescort,  Nina Foch (in her film debut) and Miles Mander; written by Universal horror vets Griffin Jay and Kurt Neumann.

Far less grim is THE BOOGIE MAN WILL GET YOU Archive Print! (1942, 66 min.), which not only ripped off ARSENIC AND OLD LACE two years ahead of its release but trumped it by starring the real Karloff! He’s a nutty scientist who wants to help America win the war by turning traveling salesmen intosupermen—but all he has to show for it is a basement full of corpses. Lorre co-stars as the local sheriff, who deals himself in when he smells a buck,and a wonderful cast including Larry Parks, (Miss) Jeff Donnell, MaudeEburne, Frank Puglia and "Slapsy" Maxie Rosenbloom ("Am I unconscious yet?") keep this genial spoof bubbling merrily. Plus: "The Double Cross," chapter 14 of THE SPIDER’S WEB! (17 min.)


One More Rediscovered Masterpiece! New Print!


1940, 80 min. That benign-sounding title is only the first joke in one of the blackest, strangest movies ever to come out of Hollywood’s Golden Age. The quintessential Ben Hecht film is, in a way, the anti-IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE (though made six years earlier): meek embezzler John Qualen is about to do a Brody off a bridge when along comes not Clarence but sharpie Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. (who also produced); having nothing better to do thatevening, he decides to save this schnook’s ass, aided by working girl--thepolite term again--Rita Hayworth (in her first lead in an A picture) and besotted playwright Thomas Mitchell (in an all-stops-out performance). Thiswas Hecht’s first directorial effort without long-time partner Charles MacArthur, but renowned cinematographer Lee Garmes more than makes up forhis absence. Hecht’s inimitable dialogue and keen eye for the bad in everyone make this a singular, sophisticated entertainment quite unlike anything else of its time. Plus: an ultra-rare Screen Snapshot (1933, 8 min.) showing the start-to-finish process of actually making a feature film, using Capra’s BITTER TEA OF GENERAL YEN as a model. Plus: "The Octopus Unmasked," the final thrilling chapter of THE SPIDER’S WEB! (17 min.)


New Wave Double Feature! Both New Restored Prints!

The influence of the French (particularly their cinematographers) can find no better standard-bearers than these two astonishingly photographed dramas.


(1965, 93 min.) This one is so far ahead of its time...  we still probably haven’t caught up to it. Nightclub comic Warren Beatty, on the run from The Mob, flees to Detroit hoping to start a new life—but gangsters are less of a problem than his own personal demons. Dazzlingly shot by Ghislain Cloquet and featuring Stan Getz on the soundtrack, this is a bold and unique achievement for Beatty and director Arthur Penn, who two years later would reteam for a little item called BONNIE AND CLYDE. Written by Alan M. Surgal and co-starring Alexandra Stewart, Jeff Corey, Franchot Tone and Hurd Hatfield. 

BONJOUR TRISTESSE (1958, 94 min.), In Otto Preminger’s haunting film, (which was adapted by Arthur Laurents from Francoise Sagan’s novel), the underrated Jean Seberg plays a teen whose reprobate father (David Niven) marries repressed Deborah Kerr with catastrophic results. One of the most exquisitely filmed (by Georges Perinal) pictures ever, in CinemaScope and shifting back and forth between B&W and deeply saturated color.

 SUNDAY, JULY 25 /4:00 PM

Screwball Comedy Double Feature With Jean Arthur and Rosalind Russell!

It’s the genre most identified with Columbia, since it virtually invented it in 1934 with IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT and TWENTIETH CENTURY and kept the pot giggling for a full decade. Here are two less well-known but equally delightful examples.


(1935, 70 min.) stars Arthur as a homeless woman who persuades Herbert Marshall to pose as her husband so they can get a maid-and-butler job. (Natch, she doesn’t know that he’s really a millionaire.) Leo Carrillo and Lionel Stander co-star in this saucy William A. Seiter confection; notorious as the film Frank Capra didn’t direct! (We’ll explain.)


(1940, 89 min.) is so risqué it was almost condemned by the Legion Of Decency: Russell agrees to marry urbane Melvyn Douglas with one proviso—no sex for 90 days! (To make sure he really loves her, of course.) The Hays Office was apparently taking a four-martini lunch the day they approved this rapid-fire farce, slickly directed by Alexander Hall from a George Seaton/Ken Englund script and lusciously shot by Joseph Walker; the lively cast includes Binnie Barnes, Allan Joslyn, Gloria (Dracula’s Daughter) Holden, and Mr. Subtlety himself, Lee J. Cobb.

 SUNDAY, JULY 25 /7:30 PM

Double Anniversary! New Restored Print!


1959, 159 min. To close our festival, we salute both the 40th anniversary of this ground-breaking Otto Preminger drama, and the Centennial of Duke Ellington, who composed the famous score and appears briefly onscreen. Hollywood took a giant step toward maturity with this gripping and graphic courtroom thriller starring Jimmy Stewart and George C. Scott as opposing counsels in the not-so-clear-cut trial of an Army lieutenant (Ben Gazzara) accused of murdering the bartender that raped and beat his slutty wife (Lee Remick). Brilliantly scripted by Wendell Mayes from a novel by real-life judge John D. Voelker, this is adult filmmaking at its finest. Also in the cast: Eve Arden, Arthur O’Connell, Kathryn Grant, Murray Hamilton, John Qualen, and legendary attorney Joseph Welch as the judge. (And let’s not forget those striking Saul Bass titles.) Plus: a clip from REVEILLE WITH BEVERLY (1943, 3 min.), in which Duke and his band perform their signature hit, "Take The ‘A’ Train"…except they’re not on a subway, but a regular train!