Showtimes: first Sunday monthly,2 pm.Events are free and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.
June 4th, 2011 (final Saturday 7pm showing of the series)
July 3, 2011
“The Last Hurrah” (John Ford, 1958)
Based loosely on the last election campaign run by the famed – and infamous – mayor of Boston, James Curley, and directed by John Ford, the movie is a study of the connections between good intentions, a pragmatic understanding of political power, and corruption. With Spencer Tracy, Diane Foster, Basil Rathbone, Pat O’Brien, James Gleason, John Carradine and Jane Darwell. 121 minutes
August 7, 2011
The Grapes of Wrath (John Ford, 1940)
John Ford’s version of John Steinbeck’s novel is deeply atmospheric. It was filmed by the great Gregg Toland (Citizen Kane) and it’s made with great feeling for the dispossessed. Henry Fonda plays Tom Joad, John Carradine is Preacher Casy, and Jane Darwell plays Ma Joad. 128 minutes.
September 4, 2011
Midnight (Chester Erskine, 1934)
Originally a Theater Guild stage production, this film is much less stage-bound and more cinematic than one might expect. A jury foreman persuades his colleagues to convict a young woman of capital murder and then endures a barrage of criticism. Meanwhile, his daughter falls in love with a man (Humphrey Bogart in a secondary role) she meets at the trial, who suggests that with a better lawyer, the young woman would have done better. Not quite a capital punishment film, not quite a courtroom drama, the movie is full of (still pertinent) conversation and ideas about the law and society. 75 minutes.
October 2, 2011
“The Philadelphia Story” (George Cukor, 1940). This is one of the greatest American movie comedies. Katharine Hepburn, a noted Philadelphia heiress, is about to marry a decent, hard-working man, but ex-hubby Cary Grant and a reporter for a scandal magazine (James Stewart) bring things to a much better end. On the surface, the film toys with the idea that old money is better than new, but deep down, the film is about how real class and character have nothing to do with money or lineage. 112 minutes
December 4, 2011
“The Thief of Bagdad” (Michael Powell, Ludwig Berger and Tim Whelan, 1940)
Michael Powell was one of three directors on this project. He left because he didn’t think it was right to make such a fantasy at the same time that Britain was under bombardment from the Germans. But it is a most wonderful fantasy, and Powell’s extraordinary sense of color permeates the film. The one sequence he claims as his – apparently there were others – is a marvel of shape, color and choreography. The film is ultimately about love, and how to achieve love at its most powerful, one must be both an adventurer and a thief. 106 minutes