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.; Paul Ginsburg/UNIVERSAL; Suzanne Leroy, Grover Crisp and Helena Brissenden/SONY REPERTORY; Amy Lewin/MGM REPERTORY; Paul Rayton; Todd Wiener & Joe Hunsberger.

 

 

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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<<< January 11 - 20, 2008 >>>

Overlooked and Underrated

 

This series is an Egyptian Theatre Exclusive!

 

In the wake of our critically-acclaimed series last January, we are back with more of offbeat, hard-hitting and immensely entertaining movies that were just plain Overlooked and Underrated on their initial release. Many of these are now hard-to-see, and all but two are still not available on DVD. Join us for the 1960s neo-noir, opening night double feature of AN AMERICAN DREAM (the controversial adaptation of the Norman Mailer bestseller) and LET NO MAN WRITE MY EPITAPH (the sequel to Nicholas Ray’s KNOCK ON ANY DOOR). We’ll also be screening the hardboiled spy films A DANDY IN ASPIC with Laurence Harvey and Mia Farrow and THE DEADLY AFFAIR with James Mason; a Sam Fuller double bill (RUN OF THE ARROW and MERRILL’S MARAUDERS), the big budget, shot-on-location adventure film THE 7TH DAWN (with William Holden and Susannah York), a Joseph Losey/Elizabeth Taylor double feature (SECRET CEREMONY and BOOM!), a Tarzan double bill (one Gordon Scott and one Johnny Weismuller) and, last but not least, two of Peter Sellers’ best pictures!

 

 

 

Friday, January 11 – 7:30 PM

Double Feature:

AN AMERICAN DREAM, 1966, Warner Bros., 103 min. "…a private nightmare of lust, violence and murder! ...where a bed is a battlefield and love is armed combat...! This big studio adaptation of Norman Mailer’s controversial bestseller generated mixed notices, but still remains a hard-hitting, startlingly riveting effort. Stuart Whitman is an aggressive TV talk show host bent on exposing corruption in the LAPD when he suddenly finds himself accused of his wife’s murder. A strange, lurid hybrid of film noir, muckraking exposé and primordial New Hollywood brio. In the UK, it was appropriately retitled, SEE YOU IN HELL, DARLING. Co-star Eleanor Parker (CAGED; MAN WITH THE GOLDEN ARM) burns up the screen with vitriol to spare, and there is more sterling support from Janet Leigh, Barry Sullivan, Lloyd Nolan, Murray Hamilton and Warren Stevens. NOT ON DVD

New 35mm Print! LET NO MAN WRITE MY EPITAPH, 1960, Sony Repertory, 105 min. Director Philip Leacock ("Route 66" TV series) helmed this fascinating, belated sequel to Nicholas Ray’s KNOCK ON ANY DOOR (also penned by original author, Willard Motley). James Darren is the son of that film’s doomed killer, Nick Romano, living in a Chicago slum and loved by nice girl, Jean Seberg. He tries to make good, but there are plenty of ghetto stumbling blocks along the way, including widowed, junkie mom, Shelley Winters, and smoothly manipulative drug dealer, Ricardo Montalban. Ella Fitzgerald (!) is a stand-out as another addict. Darren’s neighbors include Burl Ives, Bernie Hamilton, Rodolpho Acosta and Walter Burke – some want to help Darren stick to the straight-and-narrow and others don’t care if he gets exactly what his father got – the electric chair. "…because of the earnest, restrained acting and the realistic photography of a run-down urban neighborhood, the picture projects a persuasive intimacy as it examines a group of social vagrants, who are drawn to a sturdy, ambitious lad, played by Mr. Darren, and his emotional, widowed mother, Miss Winters." – Howard Thompson, The New York Times NOT ON DVD

 

 

Saturday, January 12 – 7:30 PM

Sixties Spy Double Feature:

New 35mm Print! A DANDY IN ASPIC, 1968, Sony Repertory, 107 min. The last movie to be directed by pantheon filmmaker Anthony Mann (WINCHESTER 73; EL CID) is a twisting, turning maze of sharp, existential spy thrills. Laurence Harvey is a double agent inadvertently marked for death by both his British and Russian handlers, when his UK masters assign him to eliminate the Soviet mole in their network – himself! At times, Harvey’s poisonously vindictive British contact (Tom Courtenay), comes off as Harvey’s own private demon. Mia Farrow is the swinging, young photographer in love with our anti-hero, and Peter Cook (BEDAZZLED) does a delightful turn as Courtenay’s flaky, girl-chasing assistant. With great support from Per Oscarsson as a tragic Russian colleague, and Lionel Stander as their deadly, but always-smiling boss from the Kremlin. Shamefully underrated, DANDY comes close to matching the brilliance of other serious sixties spy fare like THE QUILLER MEMORANDUM and deserves rediscovery. Harvey finished directorial chores when Mann died unexpectedly before principal photography wrapped. NOT ON DVD

THE DEADLY AFFAIR, 1966, Sony Repertory, 107 min. Sidney Lumet (BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU’RE DEAD) directed this tough espionage tale, adapted from John le Carré’s Call For The Dead, focusing on a British agent (James Mason) investigating the apparent suicide of a diplomat. Complicating the quest is Mason’s young, promiscuous wife (Harriet Andersson), but he gets help from harboiled retired police officer, Harry Andrews. Simone Signoret is the dead man’s widow, a woman who has no illusions about the world and is disgusted by the ultra-secret, dirty tricks of both sides. On an interesting side note, because another studio owned the rights to the name of le Carré’s popular George Smiley, Mason’s character is called Charles Dobbs. Quincy Jones, who also composed the score for A DANDY IN ASPIC, did the music. With Maximillian Schell, Lynn Redgrave, Kenneth Haigh, Roy Kinnear and an uncredited David Warner. "Shrewd and powerful development is given this tale of a British Home Office intelligence officer seeking to unravel the supposed suicide of a high Foreign Office diplomat."Variety NOT ON DVD

 

 

Sunday, January 13 – 7:30 PM

Sam Fuller Double Feature:

RUN OF THE ARROW, 1957, Warner Bros., 86 min. "ARROW Has Some Zing!" blared The Los Angeles Times review (a tagline director Sam Fuller would have been proud of). Rod Steiger stars as an embittered Confederate soldier who turns his back on the United States after the Civil War, joining an Indian tribe and taking a Native American bride (Sarita Montiel). Ralph Meeker and Brian Keith excel as two very different kinds of Union calvary officers, and Jay C. Flippen and Charles Bronson are perfect as members of Steiger’s adoptive tribe. From start to finish, one of Fuller’s richest, most surprising movies, with stunning cinematography by Joseph Biroc. "Some unusual Indian lore and some fine fighting scenes highlight a superior historical western…" The Hollywood Reporter NOT ON DVD

IB Technicolor Print: MERRILL’S MARAUDERS, 1962, Warner Bros., 98 min. The least seen (and some say, the best) of director Sam Fuller’s great war pictures follows the suicidal campaign of 3,000 American soldiers fighting behind the Japanese lines in 1944. At the pinnacle of his career, Jeff Chandler gives a painstaking portrayal of real life Brigadier General Frank Merrill, a rugged leader undergoing deteriorating health. Coincidentally, Chandler hurt his back playing baseball with the cast and crew during production, and, rather than stop shooting, he continued doggedly through till the end of the picture. Ironically, when the film wrapped, Chandler went in for a back operation and tragically died on the operating table – he never got to see what is probably his finest performance. Fuller shot the film on location in the Philippines, and improvised much of it based on his own combat experience. Although the final edit was somewhat compromised – Warner Bros. excised a final scene of soldiers shooting each other in a chaos of "friendly fire" and added a patriotic end coda – but the picture remains surprisingly powerful. With Ty Hardin, Andrew Duggan. "Fuller couldn’t have crowded more action into MERRILL’S MARAUDERS if he tried." The Hollywood Reporter; "Jeff Chandler's last role…is one of his best. The rugged, gray-thatched Chandler fits this role naturally and portrays one of World War II's most colorful personalities with a proper blend of military doggedness and personal humanity." Variety NOT ON DVD. Discussion in between films with actor H. M. Wynant (RUN OF THE ARROW).

Christa Fuller will also be signing and sellng copies of Sam Fuller's re-issued noir crime novel "The Dark Page" in the theatre lobby before the screening.

 

 

Thursday, January 17 – 7:30 PM

IB Technicolor Print!

THE 7TH DAWN, 1964, MGM Repertory, 123 min. Lewis Gilbert (DAMN THE DEFIANT; YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE) directed this intelligent, still relevant thriller about terrorism in Malaysia. Expatriate adventurer William Holden, after teaming with Malayan Communist rebel comrades (Capucine, Tetsuro Tanba) against the Japanese during WWII, has come out of the war a rich landowner. Eurasian Capucine, a sympathizer to the cause of independence, has given up politics to be Holden’s devoted mistress and run his nightclub. But the rebels have since turned to terrorism aimed at the British Occupation, and, led by Tanba, they turn up the heat on plantation owners. Because Holden has been spared, the British governor (Michael Goodliffe) turns to him for help but is rebuffed. When the governor’s idealistic daughter (Susannah York) is kidnapped by Tanba’s men, and Capucine is simultaneously framed for treason, Holden finds himself between a rock and a hard place, slogging solo into the jungle to rescue York and capture his friend. Despite then-current reviews to the contrary, director Gilbert elicits many more complexities than expected from a mid-1960s action film. The picture captures a you-are-there intensity from spot-on performamces and authentic on-location lensing by maestro Freddie Young (LAWRENCE OF ARABIA). NOT ON DVD

 

 

Friday, January 18 – 7:30 PM

Joseph Losey/Elizabeth Taylor Double Feature:

SECRET CEREMONY, 1968, Universal, 109 min. Director Joseph Losey’s bizarre psychological suspenser features Mia Farrow as a disturbed, orphaned young woman and Elizabeth Taylor as the prostitute who pretends to be her mother. At first, the two find only a superficial resemblance to lost loved ones (as Farrow also looks like Taylor’s daughter), but gradually the pair assume their roles for real. However, when Robert Mitchum as Farrow’s stepfather is stirred into the brew, things get considerably stranger. Everyday habits and household items gradually assume a ritual significance, and Taylor and Farrow’s weird relationship lurches toward a frightening and uncertain future. With Peggy Ashcroft and Pamela Brown. "…makes for a memorable film."Time Out Film Guide; "Joseph Losey's best film in years…" – Renata Adler, The New York Times NOT ON DVD

BOOM!, 1968, Universal, 110 min. Director Joseph Losey's (THE SERVANT) adaptation of Tennessee Williams' play "The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore" positively defines the word "phantasmagorical." Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton star in perhaps their strangest roles, that of rich recluse Sissy Goforth and wandering harbinger of death, Chris Flanders, sequestered in Goforth's exotic Mediterranean home. Mindblowing monologues on life, love, death, youth and growing old punctuated by eloquent purple prose adorn this campy legend, a thoroughly intoxicating carnival ride of the senses. Reportedly one of John Waters' favorite films. With Joanna Shimkus, Romolo Valli and a very queeny Noel Coward as "The Witch of Capri." NOT ON DVD

 

 

Saturday, January 19 – 7:30 PM

Tarzan Double Feature:

TARZAN’S GREATEST ADVENTURE, 1959, Warner Bros., 88 min. John Guillermin (THE BLUE MAX; THE TOWERING INFERNO) directed this, what is commonly acknowledged by fans as the all-time best Tarzan picture. Producer Sy Weintraub was intent on depicting a more literate, intelligent King of the Jungle (as depicted in Edgar Rice Burroughs’s many novels) and found the perfect match in actor Gordon Scott. Shot entirely on location, the non-stop thrills start when psychotic Anthony Quayle and his band of career criminals (including Sean Connery and Nial MacGinnis) go on the rampage in preparation for a diamond robbery. Saddled with a stranded female pilot (Sara Shane), Scott’s Tarzan tracks Quayle – a former nemesis – and his cronies through the jungle till the bitter, savage end. "A superior action yarn shot on location in Africa, more adult than most of its predecessors…" – Leonard Maltin NOT ON DVD

TARZAN ESCAPES, 1936, Warner Bros., 89 min. Dir. Richard Thorpe. Many regard this as one of the finest of the Johnny Wesimuller Tarzan films. One of the most riproaring of the early part of the series, it was also regarded as exceedingly violent for the time period. Indeed, just like KING KONG, some scenes were cut before release (reportedly there was a giant vampire bat sequence!), judged as just too intense for audiences. Jane’s cousins, intent on trying to untangle red tape with Jane’s inherited fortune, enlist the help of nefarious hunter and animal trapper, Captain Fry. Fry has his own agenda – he sees dollar signs if he can bring Tarzan back alive to exhibit in England. But, as we all know, capturing Tarzan will not be easy. With Maureen O’Sullivan.

 

Sunday, January 20 – 7:30 PM

Peter Sellers Double Feature:

THE BATTLE OF THE SEXES, 1959, 84 min. Director Charles Crichton (A FISH CALLED WANDA; THE LAVENDER HILL MOB) adapts James Thurber’s story "The Catbird Seat" into one of Peter Sellers’ funniest comedies. When the middle-aged manager (Sellers) of a very traditional Scotch tweed company is confronted with an aggressive American efficiecy expert (Constance Cummings) who his naïve boss (Robert Morley) has hired, he is soon at his wit’s end. As things spiral out of control and the very reputation of the firm seems at stake, Sellers plots murder, with hilarious results. With Ernest Thesiger, Donald Pleasence. "…a minimum of slapstick and a maximum of wit and characterization have been chosen to accomplish Mr. Thurber's ends." – A. H. Weiler, The New York Times NOT ON DVD

THE MOUSE THAT ROARED, 1959, Sony Repertory, 83 min. "The Hilarous Story of How the Duchy of Grand Fenwick Waged War on the U.S. - and Won!" Jack Arnold (THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON) may have seemed a strange choice to helm this satirical comedy about a tiny nation going to war with America to lose, then reap massive foreign aid, but he succeeds beautifully. Peter Sellers riotously pulls off one of his first stabs at multiple roles, portraying Grand Duchess Gloriana, Minister Count Rupert Mountjoy and Tully Bascombe. Co-starring Jean Seberg, Leo McKern and David Kossoff."…nicely done and often hilarious." – Don Druker, The Chicago Reader