American Cinematheque at the Egyptian Theatre Presents...
Making Movie History for 80 Years!

Click Here To Print a November Schedule!
Series compiled by Dennis Bartok. Additional Program Notes by Chris D.
Special Thanks to: Marvin Paige; John Kirk and Latanya Taylor/MGM-UA; Marilee Womack/WARNER BROS. CLASSICS; Peggy Flynn/HOLLYWOOD CLASSICS; Scott MacQueen/WALT DISNEY; Cathye Clark/PARAMOUNT REPERTORY.
Tickets available 30 days in advance. Tickets are $8 general admission unless noted otherwise.
Sold out programs will be indicated here if sold out 24 hours in advance of screening date.
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The American Cinematheque is a non-profit 501 (C) (3) organization.
The Film Programs of the American Cinematheque are presented at the magnificently renovated, historic 1922 Grauman's Hollywood Egyptian Theatre. Located at 6712 Hollywood Boulevard.
Photo Credit: Randall Michelson. Detail of Egyptian Theatre Ceiling.

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<<< November 7-10, 2002 >>>

Low Rider: The Super-Charged Cinema of Steve McQueen

 

"In my own mind, I’m not sure that acting is something for a grown man to be doing." -- Steve McQueen

From his escape-artist anti-heroes in PAPILLON and THE GREAT ESCAPE to his hardboiled loners in THE CINCINNATI KID and JUNIOR BONNER, to his speed demon cop in BULLITT, actor Steve McQueen (1930 – 1980) blazed across the screen with the same intensity and competitive spirit he brought to his off-screen passion for racing. One of the most popular and acclaimed actors of his generation, McQueen is arguably even more popular now, emerging as a kind of archetype for the ideal Hollywood male star: defiantly independent (but nursing a wounded soul), always close to the boiling point, a man of few words and much action. In other words, the King of Cool.

Born in 1930 in Slater, Missouri, McQueen was abandoned as a child by his father, and later spent time in a boys’ reform school in Chino, California (years later, now a Hollywood star, he continued to send money and clothes to support the school). After a brief stint in the Marines in the late 1940’s, he worked as a lumberjack, bartender, carnival barker, and TV repairman among other jobs, before joining the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York in 1952 to study acting. He first gained attention in the teen drive-in/sci-fi flick THE BLOB in 1958, followed that same year by a star-making role in the Western television series "Wanted: Dead Or Alive." From the early 1960’s through the mid-1970’s, McQueen enjoyed an unbroken run as one of the most phenomenally successful actors in Hollywood; he died at the age of 50 after a protracted battle with lung cancer, robbing American cinema of one of its brightest stars.

This is the first major Los Angeles retrospective of Steve McQueen’s work ever mounted, and features new 35 mm. prints of his classics THE GREAT ESCAPE and THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN - !

 

Thursday, November 7 – 7:30 PM

Brand New 35 mm. Print!

THE GREAT ESCAPE, 1963, MGM/UA, 172 min. Dir. John Sturges. Superlative WWII drama chronicling the real life, large scale prison camp escape of Allied POW’s in Germany, featuring Steve McQueen in his (literally) breakout role as Captain Virgil Hilts, "The Cooler King." Nail-biting suspense and exhilarating action are punctuated with just the right amount of raucous humor, aided by composer Elmer Bernstein’s rousing score. This is the film that helped to solidify the careers of already rising stars McQueen, James Garner, Charles Bronson and James Coburn, with excellent support from Richard Attenborough, James Donald and Donald Pleasence

 

Friday, November 8 – 7:30 PM

Double Feature – William Fraker and Bob Relyea In Person!

BULLITT, 1968, Warner Bros., 113 min. Dir. Peter Yates. An unbelievably tense, pared-to-the-bone thriller, BULLITT helped to pave the way for not only cinema verité-style policiers like THE FRENCH CONNECTION, but every cinematic car chase since then. Steve McQueen is über-cool Detective Frank Bullitt of the San Francisco P.D., a lone-wolf homicide cop who goes up against mob hitmen as well as ambitious bureaucrat Robert Vaughn, when he fights to safeguard a witness. With Jacqueline Bisset, Simon Oakland, Don Gordon.

THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR, 1968, MGM/UA, 102 min. One of our favorite guilty pleasures from the 1960’s: Steve McQueen stars as bachelor supremo Thomas Crown, who’s just pulled off the perfect multi-million dollar bank heist – until he runs into mondo-chic insurance investigator Faye Dunaway, who can’t decide whether she wants to make love to him, or throw him in the slammer! Features some of the grooviest split-screen images ever, courtesy of director Norman Jewison and co-editor Hal Ashby, with beautiful cinematography by Haskell Wexler. Academy Award winner for Best Song, the haunting "The Windmills Of Your Mind," by Michel Legrand and Alan & Marilyn Bergman. Discussion between films with BULLITT producer Bob Relyea, cinematographer William Fraker and actor Pat Renella (schedules permitting).

 

Saturday, November 9 – 5:00 PM

PAPILLON, 1973, Warner Bros., 150 min. McQueen gives one of his greatest performances in the true-life story of French convict Henri "Papillon" Charriere and his confinement on the hellish penal colony of French Guiana. Brilliantly directed by Franklin J. Schaffner (PLANET OF THE APES, PATTON), with terrific support from Dustin Hoffman as McQueen’s myopic buddy Louis Dega. Screenplay by Dalton Trumbo and Lorenzo Semple Jr., adapted from Charriere’s autobiography.

 

Saturday, November 9 – 8:45 PM

Steve McQueen - Sam Peckinpah Double Feature!!

THE GETAWAY, 1972, Warner Bros., 122 min. Director Sam Peckinpah adapts writer Jim Thompson’s savage pulp classic with tightly wound Steve McQueen as escaped bank robber Doc McCoy. To spring him from the joint, devoted wife Ali McGraw enlists the help of corrupt fat-cat Ben Johnson, who wants McCoy to execute a seemingly impossible robbery. Al Lettieri is the memorably sleazy killer who dogs the couple’s trail after thieves fall out.

JUNIOR BONNER, 1972, Cinerama (Walt Disney), 100 min. Dir. Sam Peckinpah. Steve McQueen is Junior Bonner, a restless rodeo star trying to deal with drifter con-man dad Robert Preston and outspoken, responsible mom Ida Lupino, as well as girlfriend Barbara Leigh -- while he’s not getting his head busted on bucking broncs. A sometimes funny, sometimes melancholic meditation on Americans who’ve forsaken the 9-to-5 straitjacket to thrive in a much more rugged lifestyle. With Ben Johnson and Joe Don Baker.

 

Sunday, November 10 – 3:00 PM

Brand New 35mm Print!!

THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN, 1960, MGM/UA, 128 min. Excellent, Americanized version of Akira Kurosawa’s classic THE SEVEN SAMURAI, helmed by noted action auteur John Sturges (THE GREAT ESCAPE, BAD DAY AT BLACK ROCK), with charismatic Steve McQueen making his first star turn alongside Yul Brynner, Charles Bronson, James Coburn, Robert Vaughn, Brad Dexter and Horst Bucholz as seven gunmen hired to safeguard a Mexican farm village from marauding bandit chieftain Eli Wallach. With an instantly memorable Elmer Bernstein score that inspired everything from future westerns to cigarette commercials (!) for decades to come.

 

Sunday, November 10 – 6:15 PM

Double Feature:

THE CINCINATTI KID, 1965, MGM (Warner Bros.), 102 min. Dir. Norman Jewison. Steve McQueen is perfectly cast as an ambitious young gambler poised to triumph over master poker player Edward G. Robinson at a high stakes game in Depression-era New Orleans. Adapted from the Richard Jessup novel by Ring Lardner, Jr. and Terry Southern, this suspensefiul character study features a rogues gallery of greats including Ann-Margret, Tuesday Weld, Rip Torn, Karl Malden, Joan Blondell and Cab Calloway.

HELL IS FOR HEROES, 1962, Paramount, 90 min. McQueen teamed with master genre director Don Siegel (DIRTY HARRY) for this savage, nihilistic portrait of a group of American GI’s trying to hold off an overwhelming German assault during World War II. Ranks with Anthony Mann’s MEN IN WAR and Robert Aldrich’s ATTACK as one of the most powerful anti-war films of the era. Co-starring Fess Parker, Bobby Darin, Harry Guardino, James Coburn and Bob Newhart.