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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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Click to print Page 1 or Page 2 or Full Text of a July Calendar!
Compiled by: Gwen Deglise and Grant Moninger. Some program notes by Jimmy Hemphill.

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Caitlin Robertson/20th CENTURY FOX; Marilee Womack/WARNER BROS.; Paul Ginsburg/ UNIVERSAL; Amy Lewin/MGM REPERTORY; Mary Tallungan/DISNEY.

 

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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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<< August 16 - 25, 2007 >>>

Hitchcock Part II

 


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

 

This series is an Aero Theatre Exclusive!

 

Twenty-seven years after his death in Los Angeles, his adopted home, director Alfred Hitchcock (1899 – 1980) is widely regarded as not only the ultimate master of suspense, but also as one of the pantheon directors of the 20th century. His command of both cinematic form and content, integrating it into seamless motion picture entertainment, is virtually unrivaled. From the early joys of THE 39 STEPS, THE LADY VANISHES, LIFEBOAT, SABOTEUR and SHADOW OF A DOUBT through mid-period spellbinders ROPE, STRANGERS ON A TRAIN, THE WRONG MAN, REAR WINDOW and DIAL M FOR MURDER to later suspense spectaculars THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH, NORTH BY NORTHWEST and THE BIRDS, Hitchcock delivers on all fronts, both popular and artistic. Not to mention the incomparable groundbreaking tension of his hair-raising PSYCHO, a movie still sending shock waves more than four decades after its release. Hitchcock has also been responsible for some of the most deliriously romantic, unremittingly dark depictions of amour fou ever committed to celluloid: REBECCA, SUSPICION, NOTORIOUS, VERTIGO, among others. View these titles, and you begin to realize the astonishing versatility and scope of this universally-recognized virtuoso. Join us to once again marvel at just a handful of the master’s classics.

 

 

Thursday, August 16 – 7:30 PM

Double Feature:

FRENZY, 1972, Universal, 116 min. Director Alfred Hitchcock revisits his theme of the wrongfully accused man, but with a ferocious vengeance not seen outside of PSYCHO. Chip-on-his-shoulder bartender Jon Finch is mistaken for the strangler in a London murder spree perpetrated by his elegant flower-merchant friend, Barry Foster. With a great cast that includes Anna Massey, Alec McCowen, and Vivien Merchant.

THE WRONG MAN, 1956, Warner Bros., 105 min. Henry Fonda plays real-life jazz musician Emmanuel Ballestreros, an innocent man who is one day sucked into a whirlpool of circumstantial guilt and left to drown in New York’s criminal justice system. This seldom-seen gem by director Alfred Hitchcock, a grim orphan amongst his glossy 1950’s confections, was shot entirely on-site in the locations where the story actually happened, and it expertly draws the viewer into the nightmare of the falsely-accused. Hitchcock was famously paranoid of anything and everything to do with the police, and those fears reach their zenith of expression here. With Vera Miles and Anthony Quayle excellent in supporting roles.

 

 

Friday, August 17 – 7:30 PM

Double Feature:

New 35 mm print! ROPE, 1948, Universal, 80 min. This startling Alfred Hitchcock film was doubly daring for 1948: first, it risked depicting the Leopold & Loeb-like tale of homosexual lovers committing murder solely for the thrill. If that wasn’t enough, it told the tale in a series of long, ten minute takes, unlike anything any director had previously attempted. Having passed over the heads of most audiences when originally released, the film is a revelation by today’s standards. With James Stewart, Farley Granger, John Dall.

LIFEBOAT, 1944, 20th Century Fox, 96 min. The third of Alfred Hitchcock’s great wartime thrillers (following FOREIGN CORRESPONDENT and SABOTEUR) finds the director working on a limited physical canvas (the action is confined to the title vessel) but a vastly complex ethical one. Eight survivors of a German bombing are stranded in a lifeboat, where they pick up a ninth passenger—a stranded Nazi. What follows is a riveting drama in which audience identification subtly shifts from one character to another, thanks to the flawless script by John Steinbeck and Jo Swerling as well as Glen MacWilliams’ Oscar-nominated cinematography. MacWilliams’ naturalistic but expressive lighting emphasizes the dual natures of the characters, and a stellar ensemble cast led by Tallulah Bankhead and John Hodiak forces the viewer to question the validity of the moral choices at every turn.

 

 

Saturday, August 18 – 7:30 PM

Double Feature:

THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH, 1956, Universal, 120 min. Alfred Hitchcock remakes his own entertaining but lightweight 1934 thriller as a melancholy examination of the pleasures and nightmares of family life: when husband and wife James Stewart and Doris Day’s son is kidnapped while on vacation, the couple’s long-simmering resentments threaten to get in the way of their attempts to rescue him. Although the film is rightly celebrated for setpieces like the famous Albert Hall assassination sequence, the depth of Hitchcock’s vision is more effectively felt in the film’s quieter moments: the scene in which Stewart tells Day their son has been kidnapped is one of the most powerful in all of Hitchcock’s cinema.

DIAL M FOR MURDER, 1954, Warner Bros., 105 min. Dir. Alfred Hitchcock. Suave, cold-blooded Ray Milland plots to murder his beautiful wife, Grace Kelly, and leaves the key to their apartment outside for his hired killer (Anthony Dawson) But killer, Dawson, has a bit of trouble with a pair of scissors -- to put it mildly -- and a new Pandora’s box of complications opens up. Unfortunately, scheming Milland may still be able to pull off his plan - that is, unless Kelly’s old-flame, Robert Cummings and unflappable Scotland Yard inspector, John Williams can determine what really happened that fateful night. Maestro Hitchock masterfully adapts Frederick Knott’s famous, hit stage-play to the big screen (it was originally presented in 3-D).

 

 

Sunday, August 19 – 7:30 PM

Double Feature:

SUSPICION, 1941, Warner Bros., 99 min. Hitchcock’s technique takes a huge leap forward with this extremely unsettling piece of "escapist" entertainment. Young wife Joan Fontaine suspects that her husband Cary Grant is trying to kill her, and the question of whether she’s prescient or paranoid dominates the film. Throughout the movie Hitchcock toys with our assumptions, a conceit that works thanks to Grant’s astonishing performance (one of the best of his career). Without resorting to gimmicks or dishonesty, Grant convincingly plays the husband in a manner that makes both his guilt and his innocence equally valid possibilities, and Hitchcock adds to the overall sense of menace with subtle visual devices (he rarely shows Grant actually walking into a shot, for example -- the character always seems to magically appear like a ghost). The studio-imposed finale has divided Hitchcock fans on SUSPICION’s merits, but Grant’s consummate professionalism allows Hitch to pull off the last-minute reversal.

SABOTEUR, 1942, Universal, 108 min. Alfred Hitchcock transfers the successful formula of his British films to Hollywood by telling yet another story of a falsely accused man on the run: this time it’s Robert Cummings as Barry Kane, an aircraft worker who is blamed for an explosion at his factory. As Kane hunts down the real saboteurs, Hitchcock uses his familiar chase structure to justify slyly satirical musings on patriotism and its flipside, paranoia—ideas which culminate in the wonderful climax set on top of the Statue of Liberty. Norman Lloyd co-stars as one of the most wickedly engaging villains in the Hitchcock oeuvre. Norman Lloyd will speak between films. He was brought to Hollywood to play a supporting part (albeit the title role) in Alfred Hitchcock's Saboteur (1942). Hitchcock, who later used the actor in Spellbound (1945) and other films, made him an associate producer and a director on TV's long-running "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" (1955).

 

 

Wednesday, August 22 – 7:30 PM

Kevin Thomas’ Favorites:

70 mm. print!! VERTIGO, 1958, Universal, 128 min. With its stunning visuals and gripping characters, Alfred Hitchcock’s psychological suspense masterpiece continues to entrance audiences. Showcasing Kim Novak in the startling dual role of Madeleine and Judy, VERTIGO finds suspended San Francisco detective "Scottie" Ferguson (James Stewart) becoming obsessed with Madeleine Elster (Novak), a troubled woman he is privately hired to follow. Tragedy ensues, and when Ferguson later stumbles upon Judy Barton (also played by Novak), a young woman who bears a striking resemblance to Madeleine, his obsession spirals out of control. Discussion following with film critic Kevin Thomas.

 

 

Thursday, August 23 – 7:30 PM

Double Feature:

THE 39 STEPS, 1935, MGM Repertory, 86 min. "What are the 39 Steps??" And why is a network of foreign spies so desperate to stop stalwart hero Robert Donat from uncovering the mystery of this most cryptic of Hitchcock puzzles? And will lovely Madeleine Carroll really come to trust that Donat is an innocent man and not an escaped criminal running from the law? With its non-stop suspense, breathtaking setpieces and brain-twisting plot turns, 39 STEPS set the pattern for nearly all the great Hitchcock thrillers to come.

THE LADY VANISHES, 1938, MGM Repertory, 97 min. "Spies! Playing the game of love – and sudden death!" Ravishing British beauty Margaret Lockwood finds no one will believe her when she claims a sweet old lady has mysteriously disappeared from a moving train – in fact, no one believes the old woman exists at all. Flawless suspense and nimble comedy co-mingle in this classic example of Alfred Hitchcock’s earlier British period. Watch for Naunton Wayne and Basil Radford as two cricket-obsessed fellow passengers – their pairing here was so successful, they co-starred in a further ten films playing essentially the same characters! Co-starring Michael Redgrave, Paul Lukas.

 

 

 

Friday, August 24 – 7:30 PM

Double Feature:

PSYCHO, 1960, Universal, 109 min. Coming off the comparatively big budget NORTH BY NORTHWEST, director Alfred Hitchcock decided he wanted to make a nice little, low budget B&W film for a change of pace. This was the result, and the shock waves are still reverberating. Lovely embezzler Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) takes refuge from a rainstorm off the beaten track on a lonely California highway. Unfortunately, she checks in at the Bates Motel, presided over by young Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins), a strange fellow living with his mother in a nearby mansion. Hitchcock used the small crew from his popular TV show for this hair-raising example of California Gothic, and it remains one of the most influential chillers ever made. With Vera Miles and John Gavin.

SPELLBOUND, 1945, Walt Disney Co., 111 min. When bespectacled psychiatrist Ingrid Bergman discovers Gregory Peck is not the famous visiting shrink, Dr. Edwardes, but a traumatized amnesiac, she suddenly realizes she’s in love with him. But is Peck a victim of circumstance or the missing doctor’s killer? Director Alfred Hitchcock tackles Freudian territory as well as repressed memories (ably abetted by surrealist, Salvador Dali, who designed the startling dream sequence) and seamlessly blends the elements into a romantic and suspenseful spellbinder.

 

Saturday, August 25 – 7:30 PM

Double Feature:

REAR WINDOW, 1954, Universal, 112 min. "See It! - If your nerves can stand it after PSYCHO!" That was the tagline for the 1962 re-release of one of director Alfred Hitchcock’s most rigorously structured thrillers. Adapted from a short story by noir master Cornell Woolrich, REAR WINDOW stars James Stewart as L.B. Jeffries, an ace photographer bound to a wheelchair after breaking his leg on assignment. Despite receiving visits from his high-fashion sweetheart, Lisa (Grace Kelly), Jeffries is bored and soon resorts to spying on his tenement neighbors through a telephoto lens. Suddenly, he has cause to regret his indiscretion -- it seems the ailing wife of a traveling salesman neighbor (superb heavy Raymond Burr) has taken an abrupt trip. Or has she? "The experience is not so much like watching a movie, as like ... well, like spying on your neighbors. Hitchcock traps us right from the first." - Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun Times.

THE TROUBLE WITH HARRY, 1955, Universal, 99 min. One of Hitchcock’s most underrated films is also one of his most profoundly romantic. This story of an idyllic community’s attempt to dispose of an inconvenient corpse offers plenty of opportunities for macabre humor, which Hitch supplies in mass quantities. Yet he also uses the love story between Shirley MacLaine and idealistic painter John Forsythe to optimistically celebrate the transformative powers of both art and romance. It’s a whimsical, hilarious film filled with good cheer—the perfect complement to the trio of darker masterpieces (THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH, THE WRONG MAN, and VERTIGO) that followed it.