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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

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Series compiled by: Grant Moninger and Gwen Deglise. Program notes: Grant Moninger.

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Special Thanks to:  Amy Lewin/MGM Repertory; Suzanne Leroy/SONY REPERTORY; Paul Ginsburg/UNIVERSAL; Emily Lewin/PARAMOUNT; Caitlin Robertson/20th CENTURY FOX; Marilee Womack/WARNER BROS.

 

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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 $10 general admission unless noted otherwise.
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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 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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<< April 5 - 8, 2007 >>>

Let's Play Two: A Baseball Celebration


Discuss this series with other film fans on:
http://www.myspace.com/americancinematheque

 

This series is an Aero Theatre Exclusive!

"Football is to baseball as blackjack is to bridge. One is the quick jolt. The other the deliberate, slow-paced game of skill… It's all there in front of you. It's theatre, really. The star is the spotlight on the mound, the supporting cast fanned out around him, the mathematical precision of the game moving with the kind of inevitability of Greek tragedy. With the Greek chorus in the bleachers!" – Vin Scully, Los Angeles Times

 

Baseball and Hollywood have always gone hand-in-hand, whether it’s been as myth-making grist for motion picture scenarios or behind-the-scenes cross-pollinization between teams, managers and Hollywood personalities. One can point to baseball star Joe DiMaggio’s marriage to screen siren Marilyn Monroe, baseball commissioner Bartlett Giamatti’s now famous actor son, Paul or the fact that the game has played a supporting role in all variety of Hollywood films, from THE ODD COUPLE to BAD LIEUTENANT! We’ll be screening some of our favorite and most-requested baseball films, including THE NATURAL, PRIDE OF THE YANKEES, FIELD OF DREAMS, EIGHT MEN OUT and more.

 

 

 

 

Thursday, April 5 – 7:30 PM

Yankees Double Feature:

PRIDE OF THE YANKEES, 1942, MGM Repertory, 122 min. Directed by veteran Sam Wood and adapted by Herman J. Mankiewicz, this is the quintessential baseball film and was nominated for 11 Academy Awards. Gary Cooper stars in this tale of the Iron Horse, Lou Gehrig, the New York Yankee Hall Of Famer, from his childhood days in New York until his "Luckiest Man in the World" speech at Yankee Stadium in 1939. Released a year after Gehrig's tragic death, the film co-stars Gehrig's longtime teammates and friends Babe Ruth, Bob Meusel, Matt Koenig and Bill Dickey. Also appearing are Walter Brennan, Teresa Wright and Dan Duryea.

THE STRATTON STORY, 1940, Warner Bros., 106 min. Dir. Sam Wood. The true story of Chicago White Sox pitcher Monty Stratton's (James Stewart) climb to the top of his game in both baseball and in life. Then tragedy strikes. Sam Wood (PRIDE OF THE YANKEES, A NIGHT AT THE OPERA) directs his last feature film, a sentimental, against-the-odds story, that never feels sentimental, thanks in large part to Stewart and co-star June Allyson as his wife. The pair evidence so much obvious on-screen chemistry that MGM quickly paired them in several more movies. Agnes Moorehead is Monty’s tough-as-nails mom, TV-directing great Robert Gist ("Star Trek"; "Mission Impossible;" "The Twilight Zone") is Earnie, and Bill Dickey and other Yankees take turns at the plate. Look fast for Joe Dimaggio rounding the bases. Oscar Winner for Best Screenplay.

 

 

Friday, April 6 – 7:30 PM

Double Feature:

THE NATURAL, 1984, Sony Repertory, 134 min. Based on the 1952 novel by Bernard Malamud, Barry Levinson (RAIN MAN, BUGSY) directs Robert Redford as Roy Hobbs, an over-the-hill rookie who appears out of nowhere to lead a losing 1930’s baseball team, the New York Knights, to the top. A tragic turn had destroyed Roy Hobbs early playing career, and now he is going to live what should have been. The all star cast features Glenn Close (nominated for a Best Actress Academy Award), Kim Bassinger, Robert Duvall and Barbara Hershey. The great music score, one of the most recognized in film history, is by Randy Newman. Life often imitates art as the Oscar-nominated score is now recognized as the soundtrack behind the legendary Kirk Gibson home run for the LA Dodgers in the 1988 World Series. Redford’s bat, "Wonderboy" rivals CITIZEN KANE’s sleigh, "Rosebud" as one of Hollywood’s greatest known props. Beautifully shot by cinematographer Caleb Deschanel.

THE BINGO LONG TRAVELING ALL-STARS & MOTOR KINGS, 1976, Universal, 110 min. This overlooked baseball classic helmed by John Badham (SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER) was his directorial debut. Billy Dee Williams stars as Bingo Long, a Satchel Paige-like character, who manages a barnstorming Negro League baseball team loosely based on the famous Ethiopian Clowns. Tired of being mistreated by Negro League owner Sallie Potter (the excellent Ted Ross), Bingo begins stealing all-stars from other teams including Leon Carter (James Earl Jones), standing in for home run king Josh Gibson. As the Long Shots’ success grows, it begins to cut into the league’s earnings, and a winner-takes-all game must be played. Richard Pryor steals the show as he tries to break into the major leagues under pseudonyms Charlie Snow, Carlos Nevada and Chief Takahoma. Cinematography by the always phenomenal Bill Butler (JAWS ).

 

Saturday, April 7 – 3:00 PM

Family Matinee:

THE BAD NEWS BEARS, 1976, Paramount, 102 min. Michael Ritchie (FLETCH; THE CANDIDATE) directs the little league baseball comedy to end all little league baseball comedies. Walter Matthau stars as drunken ex-minor leaguer Morris Buttermaker, coaching a team of profane, pint-sized, talentless misfits. Buttermaker must recruit the daughter of a former girlfriend, pitching-ace-turned-young-woman Amanda Whurlitzer (Tatum O’Neil) and cool kid Kelly Leak, played by comeback actor of last year Jackie Earl Haley (LITTLE CHILDREN). Vic Morrow ("Combat") shines as the rival Yankees overbearing dad/coach from hell, with a memorable turn by Alfred Lutter (ALICE DOESN’T LIVE HERE ANYMORE) as Ogilve. Jerry Fielding’s now classic score utilizing snatches of Bizet’s opera, Carmen is forever stuck in all of our heads.

 


Sunday, April 8 – 3:00 PM

Family Matinee:

THE SANDLOT, 1993, 20th Century Fox, 101 min. Like THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION and A CHRISTMAS STORY, this is a great film, largely ignored upon release, that found life on television and DVD. Here’s your chance to see it on the big screen the way it was meant to be seen. David Mickey Evans (RADIO FLYER) directs his first feature film and knocks it out of the park. It’s sandlot baseball set in the summer of 1962, with Babe Ruth-autographed baseballs, best buddies and giant demon dogs named the Beast that live beyond the rickety home run fence. Geeky kid, Scotty Smalls (Tom Guiry) moves to the San Fernando Valley with his parents and is unable to make friends until sandlot baseball hero Benny Rodriguez adds him to the team. Made up of all the magic little moments of childhood, when scary things really were over the fence, and crazy drawn-in-the-dirt battle plans actually worked. Patrick Renna ("Ham") stands out in one of the best kid casts since THE BAD NEWS BEARS. "You're Killing me, Smalls!" has become a catch phrase to many children since. Also stars James Earl Jones.

 

 

Sunday, April 8 – 7:30 PM

Double Feature:

FIELD OF DREAMS, 1989, Universal, 107 min. "If you build it, he will come." Phil Alden Robinson directs a modern day Capra film about fathers, sons and lost opportunities. A fantastical baseball story, nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner), a farmer who suddenly hears voices in the middle of a corn field, teams up with Terrance Mann (James Earl Jones) a reclusive writer reminiscent of J.D. Sallinger. As they travel, Ray comes to understand what the visions mean. Burt Lancaster shines in one of his last roles. Also starring Frank Whaley, Amy Madigan and Ray Liotta. James Horner provides the memorable score. Based on the book Shoeless Joe.

EIGHT MEN OUT, 1988, MGM Repertory, 119 min. A complex and powerful study of greed, betrayal, and baseball’s darkest days. Finally and triumphantly John Sayles (PASSION FISH, LONE STAR) gets to direct the very first script he ever finished. Like MATEWAN, directed the year before, Sayles’ film is an epic, finely detailed recreation of America's past. The story of the Black Sox scandal and the throwing of the 1919 World Series has its victims, near victims, villains and bystanders, from the commisioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis to the kids in the street playing stickball. The amazing cast includes John Cusack as the tragic Buck Weaver, DB Sweeney as Shoeless Joe, John Mahoney as the manager, and Michael Lerner and Christopher Lloyd as the oily Rothstein and Burns. As always, Sayles’ mainstay, David Strathairn shows up to steal every scene he is in. Look for Sayles as Ring Lardner and author Studs Turkel as Hugh Fullerton.