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

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Series programmed by: Chris D
Special Thanks to: Marilee Womack/WARNER BROS.; Suzanne Leroy, Shirley Couch, Grover Crisp & Helena Brissenden/SONY REPERTORY; Schawn Belston & Caitlin Robertson/20th CENTURY FOX; Emily Horn & Barry Allen/PARAMOUNT; Amy Lewin/MGM REPERTORY; Anne Morra & Mary Keen/MoMA.

 

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 available 30 days in advance. 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 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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<<< June 1 - July 5,  2007 >>>

The Spirit of Adventure

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This series is also at the Aero Theatre June 28 - July 1!

 

Since the time of prehistoric man’s cave paintings to ancient Greek and Roman mythology to medieval chronicles of European Christian hegemony to the evolution of literature and theatre in the middle of the second millenium, humanity has had an all-consuming need to relate tales of adventurous deeds. Whether it be as escapist fare, cautionary fables or simple attempts at catharsis, the spirit of adventure in literature, song and theatre has carried down through the ages. From the very start of the 20th Century, it mutated into a whole new mode of expression with the revolutionary invention of film. See stars like Burt Lancaster (THE CRIMSON PIRATE, THE FLAME AND THE ARROW, THE TRAIN) and Steve McQueen (THE GREAT ESCAPE) do their own death-defying stunts. Join us as we follow some of the finest filmmakers, including John Huston, Fritz Lang, David Lean, Robert Siodmak, George Cukor, Howard Hawks, John Sturges, John Frankenheimer, et. al. as they spin their tall tales and yarns of derring-do. Native rebellions, jungle mercenaries, wartime intrigue, pirate swashbuckling and smuggling operations, big game hunting, exotic forbidden love and more! From the faraway hothouse locales of THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING, KING SOLOMON’S MINES, BHOWANI JUNCTION, BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI, KING OF THE KYBER RIFLES to the high seas of DAMN THE DEFIANT, SON OF FURY to the historical period sagas of MOONFLEET, KIM, THE BIG SKY (the restored version!), SUEZ to the hardboiled macho exploits of DARK OF THE SUN and ONLY ANGELS HAVE WINGS, come along with us to walk a taut cinematic tightrope of thrills, suspense and spine-tingling action.

 

 

 

Friday, June 1 – 7:30 PM

Double Feature:

THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING, 1975, Warner Bros., 129 min. Director John Huston adapts Rudyard Kipling’s witty, exciting tall-tale into an excellent fable of the hubris of empire builders. Maverick ex-soldiers Michael Caine and Sean Connery, inspired by the centuries-old, worldwide expansion of Britain, decide they are going to journey to the far-off reaches of Kafiristan (now part of Afghanistan) to set-up their own kingdom. Miraculously, they pull it off by virtue of outlandish lies (they pass Connery off as a god), audacious imagination and sheer nerve. But their arrogance, particularly Connery’s, soon pulls the pedestal out from under them, resulting in catastrophe. One of Huston’s best later films showcases astounding use of locations and great performances including Christopher Plummer as Kipling and Saeed Jaffrey as Billy Fish. "…swashbuckling adventure, pure and simple, and in the hands of a master. It's been a long time since there's been an escapist entertainment quite this unabashed and thrilling and fun." – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

New 35mm Print! DAMN THE DEFIANT, 1962, Sony Repertory, 101 min. Lewis Gilbert (ALFIE; YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE) directs this rousing saga of sea-going men in the era of the British Spithead mutiny, a sweeping adventure that delivers both the intense drama and character study of BILLY BUDD and the nerve-pounding sea battles of CAPTAIN HORATIO HORNBLOWER. Alec Guinness is the strong, quiet Captain of the HMS Defiant, an officer whose position is compromised by the underhanded manipulation of his ambitious First Lieutenant, Dirk Bogarde. With this usurpation of authority, sadistic Bogarde pours fuel on the already raging fire that is the mutinous crew, men press-ganged into service against their will due to the shortage of trained sailors during the war with France. Gorgeously shot, flawlessly acted, with expertly orchestrated naval combat.

 

Saturday, June 2 – 7:30 PM

Double Feature:

DARK OF THE SUN, 1968, Warner Bros., 100 min. Famous cinematographer Jack Cardiff (who shot THE RED SHOES and BLACK NARCISSUS) also directed films, and this is one of his most rip-roaringly entertaining. Best friends Rod Taylor and Jim Brown are mercenaries hired by exiled African dictator Calvin Lockhart to recover a huge cache of diamonds from a town threatened by rebels. As the pair commandeer a train towards their goal deep in the jungle, they must also be on guard against brutal ex-Nazi Peter Carsten, who is along for the ride. The gloriously over-the-top movie poster showcased an Aryan with a chainsaw threatening a bare-chested, bloodied Taylor while fiery explosions blossomed in the background. We can truthfully say this is one film that lives up to its visual hype! A testosterone-fueled, wild bull of a picture that delivers on all fronts. Yvette Mimieux co-stars as a French expatriate rescued from the rebels, and Kenneth More is an alcoholic doctor. NOT ON DVD

BHOWANI JUNCTION, 1956, Warner Bros., 110 min. Director George Cukor shot this spirited, post-WWII adventure romance in the heart of Pakistan (standing in for India). Stewart Granger, an arrogant, but humane colonel hoping to finesse the chaotic transition from British to Indian rule, is beset by non-violent demonstrators on the one hand and radical terrorists on the other. Beautiful Anglo-Indian Ava Gardner, the daughter of a British train engineer father and an Indian mother, is caught in the middle, hating the British, yet herself a soldier in the British army. When Granger and Gardner get over their mutual distaste for each other, they realize they are in love. But as circumstances around them spiral out of control, they find themselves helpless pawns amidst the larger struggle. With Francis Matthews, Lionel Jeffries. "…an exciting and exceedingly picturesque trip into a land that is torn with the dissensions of different races and nationalities… Ava Gardner has moments of staggering power, especially when she expresses the violence of the lady's social sentiments…" – Bosley Crowther, The New York Times NOT ON DVD

 

 

Sunday, June 3 – 7:30 PM

Stewart Granger Double Feature:

MOONFLEET, 1955, Warner Bros., 87 min. Stewart Granger is superb as a dandy buccaneer leading a coarse band of murderous Dorset cutthroats in smuggling operations along a moonlit coast. Suddenly he is saddled with a young orphan (Jon Whiteley) whose mother was his long lost, lamented lady love. Adapting the J. Meade Falkner novel, director Fritz Lang channels the best of Robert Louis Stevenson and, aided by Robert Planck’s color cinematography, supplies some of the most atmospheric Gothic setpieces outside of Hammer Studio’s heyday. Gloomy graveyards, underground cavern meeting places, debauched nobility (George Sanders and Joan Greenwood excel as a supremely duplicitous couple), swordfights and tavern brawls – they’re all here. It is Lang’s strength that by the climax he has achieved a mournful wistfulness for lost innocence that achieves a tragic dimension and elevates womanizing Granger’s doomed hero to mythic status. A masterpiece. With Viveca Lindfors, Liliane Montevecchi, John Hoyt. NOT ON DVD

KING SOLOMON’S MINES, 1950, Warner Bros., 103 min. Nominated for Best Picture, directors Compton Bennett and Andrew Marton’s eye-popping, shot-on-location H. Rider Haggard adaptation won two Academy Awards, including Best Cinematography (Robert Surtees). Adventurer-guide Allen Quatermain (Stewart Granger) is hired by Elizabeth Curtis (Deborah Kerr) to help find her husband, lost in the African wilds. As their expedition braves all kinds of perils, including savage animal stampedes, fires, hostile tribes and a backstabbing villain amongst their own, the squabbling leads find themselves falling in love. Although some footage was lensed in California and New Mexico, the majority of the film was shot in the Congo, Tanzania, Uganda and Zaire and, in many respects for a big studio picture, has yet to be surpassed for its authenticity. Adding to the realism, the directors employed real Africans to play the tribal leaders and used a minimal music score, instead relying on wilderness sounds and tribal drumming. With Richard Carlson.

 

 

 

Friday, June 15 – 7:30 PM

Adventures in India Double Feature:

IB Technicolor Print! KIM, 1950, Warner Bros., 113 min. Based on the Rudyard Kipling novel, Dean Stockwell is Kim, an orphaned son of a British soldier who prowls the streets of an 1880’s Indian metropolis as a living-by-his-wits native. When he encounters two different father figures – Red Beard (Errol Flynn), an undercover British operative who represents adventure and childhood dreams, and a Lama holy man (Paul Lukas), who represents wisdom and maturity – a spark is lit that will enable Kim to grow into a balanced manhood. Although some of the film was shot in California, much of it was shot in India, and the location work blends seamlessly. The emphasis is on a full-scale Technicolor adventure, with Kim going undercover to ferret out Czarist Russians who are fomenting native revolution. Director Victor Saville delivers on all fronts, painting a film of sublime storybook setpieces.

New 35mm Print! KING OF THE KHYBER RIFLES, 1953, 20th Century Fox, 100 min. Henry King directed many Tyrone Power vehicles (JESSE JAMES; THE BLACK ROSE; PRINCE OF FOXES) and this has become one of the least seen of their action-packed collaborations. Power, an Anglo-Indian captain in a British regiment in India during the time of the Sepoy Mutiny, brings unexpected depth to the role as he tries to find his place in a splintered society, discriminated aganst by both the British and the natives. Garrison commander Michael Rennie believes in Power, making him the head of a special unit of Muslim soldiers, but is alarmed when his daughter (Terry Moore) falls in love with him. Another conflict arises as Power’s boyhood friend and foster brother (Guy Rolfe) is found to be the leader of the bloodthirsty insurrectionists. Leon Shamroy photographed this, one of the earliest of Cinemascope productions, and Bernard Herrmann supplied the score. "Power is a good hero, Moore attractively handles the heroine unabashedly pursuing her man. Rennie is excellent as the commanding general and Rolfe does another of his topnotch villains…A rousing finale climaxes the story..." -- Variety NOT ON DVD

 

 

Saturday, June 16 - 7:30 PM

Burt Lancaster Double Feature:

IB Technicolor Print! THE FLAME AND THE ARROW, 1950, Warner Bros., 88 min. Dir. Jacques Tourner (OUT OF THE PAST; the original CAT PEOPLE). Burt Lancaster reinvented himself from Film Noir actor into action icon with this escapist, medieval pageant of daring stunts, nefarious villainy and good triumphing over evil. Lancaster is Dardo, an archer and hunter in 12th century Northern Italy who has had his beautiful wife seduced away by "The Hawk" (Frank Allenby), the cruel count spearheading the German occupation. However, amusingly enough, it has not inspired Lancaster to join the rebels, and he is content to wander the hills with his young son. This all changes when The Hawk kidnaps the boy to come live with his mother. Lancaster, aided by smitten lady-in-waiting Virginia Mayo and mute comrade Nick Cravat (who had been Lancaster's acrobat circus partner pre-movie star days) orchestrate the boy's rescue, helping to depose the German usurper as well as the compromised Italian nobility. Lancaster doing his own eye-popping stuntwork contnued in THE CRIMSON PIRATE. NOT ON DVD

THE CRIMSON PIRATE, 1952, Warner Bros., 105 min. Robert Siodmak, who had directed Burt Lancaster in THE KILLERS and CRISS CROSS, helms this flamboyantly over-the-top pirate movie with a surfeit of mind-boggling action sequences and tongue-in-cheek humor. Free-wheeling buccaneer Lancaster becomes embroiled in a revolution in the 1700's Caribbean and romances lovely Eva Bartok. He also reunites with his acrobat partner Nick Cravat as his mute best friend. Cravat reportedly went speechless not because he was so-afflicted in real life, but because it was impossible for him to lose his thick Brooklyn accent! Siodmak masterfully keeps pace with Lancaster's vibrant energy, delivering one of the most fun swashbucklers ever made. "As the free-swinging pirate of the title, Mr. Lancaster sets a straight course from the outset when he asks the audience not to question but to "believe what you see." Then, with a sly wink, "no, believe half of what you see." Half, indeed! Any viewer with a drop of red blood in his veins and with fond memories of the Douglas Fairbanks Sr. school of derring-do should be happy to go on this last cruise of the crimson pirate." -- A. H. Weilier, The New York Times

 

 

Sunday, June 17 – 7:30 PM

Tyrone Power Double Feature:

New 35mm Print! SON OF FURY, 1942, 20th Century Fox, 98 min. Born-out-of-wedlock Tyrone Power is tyrannized and exploited by his scoundrel of an uncle, baronet George Sanders. Evil Sanders is afraid that one day Power will claim title to his estate, so makes the youth’s life a living hell, hoping to kill him off. Despite a love affair with Sanders’ daughter (Frances Farmer), Power can no longer tolerate the abuse and runs away, finding adventure on a sailing vessel with crusty comrade John Carradine and romance on a South Seas isle with ravishing native girl Gene Tierney! Eventually, Power realizes he must return to England to avenge himself on his uncle and claim his rightful title. Director John Cromwell (CAGED; DEAD RECKONING) keeps the more farfetched elements of this exhilarating tall tale on an even keel, lending them certifiable storybook credentials, if not quite real life credibility. The cast also includes Elsa Lanchester and Roddy McDowall (Power’s character as a boy).

New 35mm Print! SUEZ, 1938, 20th Century Fox, 98 min. Darryl Zanuck’s production is the epitome of a romanticized film version of historical events. But somehow, through the direction of Allen Dwan (SLIGHTLY SCARLET) and the performers’ charisma, it remains a stirring chronicle showing the complex forces of nature and unscrupulous, powerful men behind monumental projects built for "the good of mankind." Ferdinand de Lesseps (Tyrone Power), frustrated in love when royal Eugenie (Loretta Young) turns down his proposal, goes to the Isthmus of Suez as a junior consul and is inspired to build a canal to connect the Mediterranean Sea with the the Red Sea (and Indian Ocean), thus creating a shortcut for trade. There, he also meets common girl Toni (Annabella, who became Mrs. Power a year later). She falls hopelessly in love with him but is not appreciated until it is too late. Dwan skillfully conveys the lofty world of backstabbing politicians and quarrelling nations, obstacles which men of vision must struggle against – often facing impossible odds – to benefit the world at large. The desert tornado at the climax, causing untold damage and death, was spectacularly state-of-the-art for the time. NOT ON DVD

 

 

Wednesday, June 20 – 7:30 PM

Down in Mexico Double Feature:

Restored 35mm Print: THE BULLFIGHTER AND THE LADY, 1951, Republic (Paramount), 124 min. The first of director Budd Boetticher’s great bullfighting films is also the most personal, with much autobiographical detail woven into the beautiful, doom-laden fictional story of a brash American (Robert Stack) entering the traditional world of Mexican toreros; Gilbert Roland is stunning as Stack’s older mentor. With Joy Page, Katy Jurado. This is the restored version of the film (for decades it was only available in the 87 minute version.) "Producer John Wayne and associate producer-director Budd Boetticher evidence a fondness for the Mexican scene through care in which they bring it accurately to the screen… Boetticher keeps it punching at all times."-- Variety; "One of the best treatments of bullfighting on film, tackling the controversial sport/art with maturity and skill, while not shying away from its dangers." -- Channel 4 Film (UK) NOT ON DVD

BLOWING WILD, 1953, Republic (Paramount), 90 min. Dir. Hugo Fregonese. Shot on location in Mexico, this is a ruggedly noirish, two-fisted saga of broke wildcatters Gary Cooper and Ward Bond trying to scrape by after their one-oil-well operation is destroyed by marauding bandits. Enter old friend Anthony Quinn, a successful oil man who is glad to give them a job in his outfit. The trouble is Quinn’s spouse (Barbara Stanwyck, in DOUBLE INDEMNITY mode) is an old flame of Cooper’s, and she is not shy about letting Cooper know she is still hot to trot. Between a rock and a hard place, Cooper takes the job to raise funds so he and an injured Bond can make it back to the USA. But the shamelessly lustful Stanwyck, as well as the roaming pack of bandits, give Cooper and Quinn a good dose of escalating aggravation. Dimitri Tiomkin did the rousing score, and Frankie Laine sang the memorable title song. NOT ON DVD

 

 

 

Thursday, June 28 – 7:30 PM

THE GREAT ESCAPE, 1963, MGM Repertory, 168 min. Dir. John Sturges. Superlative WWII adventure 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, June 29 – 7:30 PM

Big Game Hunters Double Feature:

New 35mm Print! RAMPAGE, 1963, Warner Bros., 98 min. Director Phil Karlson (WALKING TALL; 99 RIVER STREET) helmed this pulpy and gorgeous-looking melodrama that ranges from urban Germany to the wilds of Malaysia. Robert Mitchum is a trapper hired by a zoo, along with a self-centered big game hunter Jack Hawkins, to bring a rare panther back alive for exhibition. However, an uneasy dynamic develops when Hawkins’ longtime assistant (and mistress) Elsa Martinelli, whom he treats as a possession, decides to stay with Mitchum after the hunt. Hawkins’ powerful ego cannot take the rejection, and he hatches a revenge scheme involving the captured jungle cat. Co-starring Sabu (THE THIEF OF BAGDAD) in a pivotal supporting role. Elmer Bernstein (THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN; THE GREAT ESCAPE) supplied the stirring score. NOT ON DVD

New 35mm Print! HARRY BLACK AND THE TIGER, 1958, 20th Century Fox, 107 min. "Man against beast! Woman against man!" When a tiger begins to kill the inhabitants of a remote Indian village, master hunter Stewart Granger is brought in to slay the wild beast. Hampered by an artificial leg from a WWII injury, Granger must also contend with wartime comrade Anthony Steel, now a plantation owner, who wants to come along on the hunt to impress his son. It becomes a full scale operation, and director Hugo Fregonese admirably charts the events with astounding authenticity, ranging from the luxuriously verdant India locale to the procession of elephants beating the bush to the native culture and interpersonal tensions amongst the hunting party. Co-starring Barbara Rush. NOT ON DVD

 

 

Saturday, June 30 – 7:30 PM

WWII Intrigue Double Feature:

THE TRAIN, 1964, MGM Repertory, 133 min. After the 1944 Allied landing at Normandy, train station manager Burt Lancaster thinks it is frivolous to help the French Resistance save a large cache of priceless paintings from Nazi colonel Paul Scofield (A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS), especially when so many lives will be put at risk. But a succession of events and the stubborn efforts of some of his own colleagues – particularly cranky old train engineer Michel Simon – soon convince him otherwise. What follows is one of the most spellbinding, action-packed odysseys ever committed to celluloid as Lancaster dives headfirst into stopping the wholesale looting of France’s artistic heritage. Lancaster, as usual, did all his own stunts. That, along with director John Frankenheimer’s spectacular staging of derailments, air raids, shootouts and the like, makes for one incredibly hair-raising wartime adventure. Co-starring Jeanne Moreau, Wolfgang Preiss.

New 35mm Print! 13 RUE MADELEINE, 1947, 20th Century Fox, 95 min. Director Henry Hathaway was a pioneer of the hardboiled docudrama trend in the 1940s, especially with his noir efforts (HOUSE ON 92nd STREET; KISS OF DEATH). This hard-as-nails WWII espionage yarn is in the same runaway-locomotive-to-hell league, a fast-moving chronicle of OSS counterspy James Cagney trying to ferret out the Nazi mole in the Allied agents’ British training camp as D-Day quickly approaches. The barbaric, clandestine struggle takes him into the heart of occupied France where he is aided by French Resistance fighter Annabella (SUEZ) and village mayor Sam Jaffe. Richard Conte is excellent as the main suspect, a seemingly average American Joe who may be a high-ranking SS officer. Cagney’s final scene is about as hardboiled as it gets, easily rivaling the climax of WHITE HEAT for blistering visceral impact.

 

 

Sunday, July 1 – 7:30 PM

Howard Hawks Double Feature:

New 35mm Print! ONLY ANGELS HAVE WINGS, 1939, Sony Repertory, 121 min. One of director Howard Hawks’ most elaborate, early shaggy dog stories finds sarcastic, unsentimental Cary Grant the head of a South American air service devoted to carrying the mail over a perilous mountain range. Temporarily stranded New York showgirl Jean Arthur is blindsided by the fatalistic nonchalance that Grant and his pilots display as their comrades face death in merciless weather and fogbound mountain passes. As is usual with Hawks, there is continual, unsurpassed verbal sparring amongst all concerned, including disgraced flyer Richard Barthelmess, his wife Rita Hayworth and half-blind pilot Thomas Mitchell. "Howard Hawks had a story to tell and he has done it inspiringly well… The Grant-Arthur cynicism and unyielding romantics are kept at a high standard." -- Variety "One of the sublime action films of the era…" -- Lori Hoffman, Atlantic City Weekly

Restored Uncut Version! THE BIG SKY, 1952, Warner Bros., 141 min. Director Howard Hawks and screenwriter Dudley Nichols adapted A. B. Guthrie’s popular novel into one of the true masterworks of frontier adventure cinema. Trappers Kirk Douglas and Dewey Martin catch a ride on a keel boat up the Missouri River to trade with the Blackfoot Indians. Along the way, they encounter other hostile tribes as well as renegade traders (Jim Davis, et. al.) bent on pillaging their barter and scuttling their efforts. Great, unpretentious, multi-layered storytelling. Co-starring homespun Arthur Hunnicutt as philosopical mountain man, Zeb (who also narrates). Hawks cast beautiful, half-Indian Elizabeth Threatt (very convincing in her only film role) as the silent, fierce Blackfoot princess who eventually falls in love with Martin. "…sublime 1952 black-and-white masterpiece by Howard Hawks… mysterious, beautiful and even utopian…" -- Jonathan Rosebaum, The Chicago Reader Preserved with funds provided by Robert Sturm, The Film Foundation and The Celeste Bartos Film Preservation Fund. NOT ON DVD

 

 

Thursday, July 5 – 7:30 PM

THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI, 1957, Sony Repertory, 161 min. Director David Lean won the first of two Academy Awards for Best Director for this epic portrait of the clash of wills between a British POW, Col. Nicholson (Alec Guinness, who initially turned down the role) and a tradition-bound Japanese officer (silent star Sessue Hayakawa) over the building of a railway bridge in the jungle during WWII. William Holden stars as the cynically-realistic American POW who is forced to trek back into the hellish jungle to destroy the bridge with Jack Hawkins and his rag-tag team of commandos. Brilliantly adapted by Carl Foreman and Michael Wilson from Pierre Boulle’s novel, with an unforgettable score courtesy of Malcolm Arnold. "There has been a lot of argument about the film’s attitude towards war. I think it is a painfully eloquent statement on the general folly and waste of war." – David Lean