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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

Click to print Page 1 or Page 2 or Full Text of an January Calendar!
Series compiled by: Chris D. (Egyptian) and Gwen Deglise (Aero). Some program notes by Foster Hirsch.

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Special Thanks to: Marilee Womack/WARNER BROS.; Suzanne Leroy & Grover Crisp/SONY REPERTORY; Schawn Belston & Caitlin Robertson/20TH CENTURY FOX; Victoria Preminger; Fritz Herzog & Brian Meacham/AMPAS; Emily Horn & Barry Allen/PARAMOUNT; Amy Lewin/MGM REPERTORY.

 

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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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<< January 4 - 6, 2008 >>>

Otto Preminger: The Man Who Would Be King


Discuss this series with other film fans on:
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Some screenings in this series take place at the Egyptian Theatre!

 

Otto Preminger (1905-1986), Hollywood’s first truly independent producer/director, was a controversial, polarizing figure throughout his life. He was famous as a flamboyant, outspoken personality – no filmmaker other than Alfred Hitchcock had a more recognizable public persona. A savvy showman and self-promoter whose frequent on-set tantrums were widely reported, Preminger also achieved fame on screen playing Nazis ( STALAG 17) and as Mr. Freeze on television’s "Batman". But behind the colorful "characters" he invented and performed with great skill, Preminger was a fearless advocate of free speech. His defiance of the MPAA Production Code and the Catholic Legion of Decency – he released THE MOON IS BLUE and THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN ARM without the Production Code’s Seal of Approval -- struck fatal blows against censorship. He broke the blacklist when he revealed that Dalton Trumbo, one of the Hollywood Ten, had written the screenplay for EXODUS. In CARMEN JONES and PORGY AND BESS, he gave more employment to black actors than any other filmmaker of his era. He was the first director to deal with "forbidden" subjects like virginity, drug addiction, homosexuality, rape, and corruption in Washington. Often overlooked or underrated amidst the furor of his personality, his skirmishes, and his sometimes sensational subject matter was his high achievement as a filmmaker. Otto Preminger was one of the great masters of American film who worked in a remarkable variety of forms: musicals (PORGY AND BESS), film noir (LAURA, ANGEL FACE, THE THIRTEENTH LETTER, BUNNY LAKE IS MISSING), epic (EXODUS, HURRY SUNDOWN), romantic comedy (THE MOON IS BLUE), courtroom drama (ANATOMY OF A MURDER) and political exposé (ADVISE AND CONSENT). And though his relations with them may often have been tempestuous, he drew consistently superb performances from his players. We’re delighted to welcome in-person various actors who did some of their finest work under Preminger’s direction: Carol Lynley (BUNNY LAKE IS MISSING), John Phillip Law and Robert Hooks (HURRY SUNDOWN), Don Murray (ADVISE AND CONSENT) and Eva Marie Saint (EXODUS). Author Foster Hirsch will also be selling and signing his new biography Otto Preminger: The Man Who Would Be King on most nights of the series at both theatres.

 

 

Thursday, January 17 – 7:30 PM

Kevin Thomas’ Favorites

Restored Print! ANATOMY OF A MURDER, 1959, Sony Repertory, 160 min. Dir. Otto Preminger. The finest courtroom drama ever made, a masterpiece of ambiguity in which the audience is the ultimate juror. James Stewart (in what is arguably his richest, certainly his most ambivalent performance) is a small town lawyer who defends an arrogant soldier (Ben Gazzara) for the murder of his sexy wife’s supposed rapist. The characters often seem to behave inappropriately, in the process blurring the dividing line between guilt and innocence. Filmed on location in upper Michigan, in the actual locations where the true-life murder and trial took place. Superb performances from Eve Arden as Stewart’s rock-solid gal Friday, Arthur O’Connell as an alcoholic attorney, George C. Scott as a prosecuting who seems as aware as Stewart’s lawyer that the courtroom is a stage and that victory belongs to the best actor, and McCarthy silencer, real-life lawyer (and non-actor) Joseph N. Welch as a droll judge. Enhanced by Duke Ellington’s jazz score (Ellington makes a surprise cameo appearance, performing at the neighborhood juke joint). Introduction by Film Critic Kevin Thomas.

 

 

Friday, January 18 – 7:30 PM

Double Feature:

LAURA, 1944, 20th Century Fox, 88 min. Dir. Otto Preminger. Investigating a murder, chain-smoking Detective McPherson (Dana Andrews) falls in love with the dead woman – only to find out that it wasn't her that was murdered. Even in a genre known for its convoluted twists, LAURA is a film noir one-of-a-kind. The brilliant cast includes: Gene Tierney as the gorgeous Laura, Clifton Webb as Waldo Lydecker, and Vincent Price as Laura's fiancée, Shelby Carpenter. The famous haunted and nostalgic musical theme by David Raskin is unforgettable. Yet another film that was influential on David Lynch’s development of "Twin Peaks."

ADVISE AND CONSENT, 1962, Preminger Films, 139 min. Using the Allen Drury bestseller as a springboard, director Otto Preminger blazed new trails of frankness in this skewering of American politics, pulling back the curtain to reveal the behind-the-scenes skullduggery and cutthroat scandal-mongering endemic to the system. This is a long way from the black-and-white palette of MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON! A smorgasbord of delicious performances by such greats as Henry Fonda, Franchot Tone, Charles Laughton, Walter Pidgeon, Gene Tierney, Lew Ayres and, of special note, Don Murray as a bisexual politician outed with tragic results.

 

 

Saturday, January 19 – 7:30 PM

Double Feature:

Ultra Rare! PORGY AND BESS, 1959, 138 min. All but unseen for decades! Otto Preminger films George Gershwin’s famed, controversial opera about the misbegotten romance between a crippled beggar and a drug-taking prostitute in a majestic, stately style. Long takes, an absence of closeups, and deep-focus group shots place the emphasis on the glorious score and the sense of community that binds the inhabitants of Catfish Row. Dorothy Dandridge is a heartbreaking Bess, Sidney Poitier a dignified, intelligent Porgy, Brock Peters a fearsome Crown, and Sammy Davis, Jr., in the performance of a lifetime, is an insinuating Sportin’ Life who performs his character’s two showstopping Broadway numbers, "It Aint’s Necessarily So" and "There’s a Boat That’s Soon Leaving for New York," with galvanizing energy. Pearl Bailey as Maria, the unofficial mayor of Catfish Row, shamelessly steals every scene she appears in. "It is a work of art and I am proud to have been a part of it." – Brock Peters. "One of the most misunderstood, underrated, and unfairly treated works in the history of American film." – Foster Hirsch
PORGY AND BESS may not be shown. In the event that it is removed from the double bill CARMENT JONES will begin at 7:30 PM. If tickets are available at www.fandango.com for PORGY AND BESS, then the issues were resolved and the show will go on as scheduled.

CARMEN JONES, 1954, 20th Century Fox, 105 min. Otto Preminger’s daring, one-of-a-kind film musical, a black opera based on Oscar Hammerstein’s Broadway version of the Bizet classic set in the American South during wartime. In this story of a femme fatale who seduces and abandons a gullible soldier, Preminger continued his assault on the sexual conservatism of the 1950s which he had begun with THE MOON IS BLUE. Dorothy Dandridge’s still-electrifying, defiantly sexy performance earned her a Best Actress Oscar nomination, the first for a person of color, and she is ably supported by Harry Belafonte, Pearl Bailey, Brock Peters, Diahann Carroll, and Olga James. "Dandridge brings the African-American woman into the modern age." – Donald Bogle

 

Sunday, January 20 – 7:30 PM

EXODUS, 1960, MGM Repertory, 208 min. Otto Preminger’s expansive, stirring, wide-screen epic about the birth of Israel, filmed on location in Israel and Cyprus, where refugees aboard the ship Exodus are determined to break the British embargo. The large, excellent cast includes Paul Newman as a no-nonsense freedom fighter, Eva Marie Saint as a Gentile nurse gradually converted to the Zionist cause, and Sal Mineo (Oscar-nominated) as a rebellious Holocaust survivor. Preminger broke the blacklist when he gave screenplay credit to Dalton Trumbo, one of the Hollywood Ten. "As good a modern epic movie as has ever been made." – Peter Bogdanovich. Introduction to the film by actress Eva Marie Saint.