FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

FEB. 28, 2000

THE AMERICAN CINEMATHEQUE PRESENTS

AN IN-PERSON TRIBUTE TO LEGENDARY ACTOR TONY CURTIS

Featuring the U.S. Premiere of THE PASSENGER (1988);

Brand New 35 mm. prints of THE BOSTON STRANGLER and THE GREAT RACE;

and ultra-rare screenings of TRAPEZE and DON'T MAKE WAVES

 

Tony Curtis and guests in-person including: Directors Richard Fleischer (THE BOSTON STRANGLER) and Delbert Mann (THE OUTSIDER); Writer Edward Anhalt (BOEING, BOEING); and

Composer Elmer Bernstein (THE SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS)

 

March 16 – 28, 2000

 

HOLLYWOOD – The American Cinematheque presents THE PRINCE AND THE IMPOSTOR: AN IN-PERSON TRIBUTE TO TONY CURTIS (March 16 - 28, 2000), the first ever Los Angeles retrospective of the actor's work. The series is highlighted by several in-person appearances by Tony Curtis as well as guests including: Directors Richard Fleischer (THE BOSTON STRANGLER) and Delbert Mann (THE OUTSIDER); Writer Edward Anhalt (BOEING, BOEING); and Composer Elmer Bernstein (THE SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS). Highlights of the series include: the U.S. Premiere of THE PASSENGER (1988);

 

brand New 35 mm. prints of THE BOSTON STRANGLER and THE GREAT RACE; and ultra-rare screenings of TRAPEZE and DON'T MAKE WAVES. All screenings are at the newly renovated Lloyd E. Rigler Theatre at the historic Egyptian (6712 Hollywood Boulevard between Highland and Las Palmas) in Hollywood.

With his career beginning as a Matinee Idol, Tony Curtis leapt through Arabian Nights fantasias with jet-black, Bronx-styled hair and street-smart charisma and wound up one of the finest and most versatile actors of a generation that included Marlon Brando, Montgomery Clift and Paul Newman. Tony Curtis remains a Hollywood original: a product of the studio system who broke all expectations with his work as soulless, scorpion-like press agent Sidney Falco in THE SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS; or his fearless drag-queen meets Cary Grant performance in SOME LIKE IT HOT. Born Bernard Schwartz in 1925 to Jewish-Hungarian parents, Curtis grew up in New York’s matinee movie-palaces – "Cary Grant used to make me feel elegant when I walked out of the cinema, Bogart made me feel tough, Flynn made me feel dashing," Curtis later recalled. After serving in the Navy during WWII, Curtis parlayed a drama-school education, (gained through the G.I. Bill of Rights) into a $100 a week contract with Universal Pictures in 1948.

 

 

American Cinematheque, 1800 North Highland Avenue, Suite 717, Hollywood, CA 90028

(tel) 323.466-FILM u (fax) 323.461.9737 On the web: http://www.egyptiantheatre.com

 

 

page 2 – Tony Curtis

He paid his dues (and then some) in crime films, swashbucklers, boxing dramas and more, before a string of fierce, brilliant performances in the late 1950’s, including THE SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS, THE DEFIANT ONES, SPARTACUS and THE OUTSIDER, established him as one of American cinema’s most gifted (and under-recognized) actors.

 

Thursday, March 16, 2000

 

The Thursday, March 16th program begins at 8:00 PM with a screening of THE SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS, (1957, MGM/UA, 96 min.), one of the most frightening and seductive films of the 1950’s. Curtis gives his greatest performance as cutthroat press agent Sidney Falco, willing to sell his soul to syndicated columnist Burt Lancaster for a few lines of copy, in director Alexander MacKendrick’s dark, glittering gem of a movie. Brilliantly scripted by Clifford Odets and Ernest Lehman, with stunning, mood-drenched black and white photography by the legendary James Wong Howe. Discussion following with Tony Curtis and composer Elmer Bernstein.

 

Friday, March 17, 2000

 

The Friday, March 17th program begins at 7:00 PM, with a double feature. First is TRAPEZE, (1956, MGM/UA, 105 min.) from Carol Reed, director of THE THIRD MAN and THE FALLEN IDOL. Brash young acrobat Curtis, is determined to do the triple aerial somersault to impress luscious Gina Lollobrigida, but his crippled mentor Burt Lancaster (a real-life acrobat), warns him off. Shot on location at Paris’s famed Circque d’Hiver, TRAPEZE, with all its colorful circus action, is a great guilty pleasure, and one of the biggest hits of Curtis’ career.

 

Next on the same bill is HOUDINI, (1953, Paramount, 106 min.), a mesmerizing, often genuinely creepy bio-film of the famed illusionist, directed by George Marshall.. Curtis is perfectly cast as the athletic young Houdini, who romances real-life wife Janet Leigh in between Chinese water tortures and bogus seances. Discussion between films with Tony Curtis.

Saturday, March 18, 2000

The Saturday, March 18th program begins at 5:30 PM with THE DEFIANT ONES, (1958, MGM/UA, 97 min.). Racist jailbird Curtis, finds himself chained body and soul to fellow convict Sidney Poitier, in director Stanley Kramer’s stark, bare-knuckled prison-break drama. Curtis’ fierce, hardened performance here is among his finest – as blunt and unforgiving as anything by DeNiro or Keitel in the 70’s. Discussion with Tony Curtis to follow the screening.

Following at 8:00 PM is SOME LIKE IT HOT (1959, MGM/UA, 119 min.), from director Billy Wilder. Cross-dressing musicians Curtis and Jack Lemmon, take it on the lam from the Chicago mob, while luscious Marilyn Monroe falls for a playboy who’s a playgirl… Billy Wilder’s insane blend of sexual confusion and flawless slapstick gave Curtis the best comic role of his career, in a production where the biggest on-set problem was keeping Curtis and Lemmon from looking too good in women’s clothes. "With my part, I kept

page 3 – Tony Curtis

Grace Kelly in mind. I wasn’t going to be no easy lay who hit the sack for just anybody!" -- Tony Curtis on SOME LIKE IT HOT. Tony Curtis to introduce the screening.

Sunday, March 19, 2000

The Sunday, March 19th program begins at 5:00 PM with an Early-Curtis Double Feature. First, is THE PRINCE WHO WAS A THIEF, (1951, Universal/Swank, 88 min.), from director Rudolph Maté - a Far-East fantasia about a handsome pickpocket who turns out to be heir to the Arabian throne. The film, which shot Curtis to instant matinee-idol status, co-stars the lovely Piper Laurie (with whom Curtis made four films at Universal) as his feisty flame

 

Next on the same bill is FLESH AND FURY, (1952, Universal /Swank, 82 min.), a taut little boxing drama from much-underrated B-movie director Joseph Pevney. Curtis gives a fine performance as a deaf fighter struggling to earn respect and a little prize money.

Friday, March 24, 2000

The Friday, March 24th program begins at 7:00 PM with THE OUTSIDER, (1961, Universal, 108 min.) Director Delbert Mann gives us a bleak, brooding drama of Ira Hayes (Curtis), the Pima Indian who helped raise the flag on Iwo Jima, and returned home to face continued racism and the specter of alcoholism. Along with Mann’s MEN IN WAR and Aldrich’s ATTACK! this is one of the darkest portraits of the American soldier ever made, fueled by Curtis’ unnerving work as Hayes. Discussion following with Tony Curtis and director Delbert Mann.

Following at 9:45 P.M. is a Super-Swingers Double Feature! First, from director John Rich, is BOEING BOEING, (1965, Paramount, 102 min.). Get your martinis out, as international playboy Curtis tries to juggle three stewardess girlfriends, while old pal Jerry Lewis horns in on the action. Shameless, sex-drenched 60’s hi-jinks: imagine Hugh Hefner crooning "Come Fly With Me"…

 

Next on the same bill, is DON’T MAKE WAVES, (1967, MGM / Warner Classics, 97 min.) a wonderfully sly, wistful satire of Malibu beach culture in the 60’s, from the director of SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS, Alexander MacKendrick. East-Coast schlep Curtis, reinvents himself as a sun-tanned swimming pool salesman, amidst a carnival of muscle boys, surfer girls, astrologers, skydivers and more. One of the great, lost comedies of the 60’s – as good as THE LOVED ONE or LORD LOVE A DUCK.

 

Tony Curtis & screenwriter Edward Anhalt (BOEING BOEING) to introduce screening.

 

Saturday, March 25, 2000

The Saturday, March 25th program begins at 5:30 PM with the U.S. Premiere of THE PASSENGER (DER PASSAGIER – WELCOME TO GERMANY), (1988, 98 min.) from director Thomas Brasch. Curtis gives a terrific, haunting performance as a concentration camp survivor, who returns to Germany to make a film about the Holocaust, and runs smack into ghosts past and present. Never before seen in the U.S. Discussion following with Tony Curtis.

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Following at 8:00 PM is a double-feature, starting with a brand new 35 mm. print of THE BOSTON STRANGLER, (1968, 20th Century Fox, 120 min.), the standout hit of our recent tribute to director Richard Fleischer, and one of the strangest, most unsettling crime dramas ever filmed. Curtis delivers an amazing performance as Albert DeSalvo, the unstable blue-collar worker who terrorized Boston in the early 1960’s. Henry Fonda is the head of detectives who doggedly tracks him down. An awesome, inescapable film, on par with Scorsese’s TAXI DRIVER. Flesicher uses split screen to great effect.

 

Next on the same bill is THE GREAT IMPOSTOR, (1961, Universal, 112 min.) Curtis is a delight as real-life chameleon Ferdinand Demara Jr., who managed to successfully impersonate a schoolteacher, monk, naval surgeon and prison warden during his bizarre, Zelig-like career. From director Robert Mulligan, the film features Karl Malden, Frank Gorshin, and Sue Anne Langdon. Discussion between films with Tony Curtis and director Richard Fleischer (THE BOSTON STRANGLER.)

 

Tuesday, March 28, 2000

The Tuesday, March 28th program begins at 7:00 PM with an ultra-rare screening of THE MANITOU, (1978, Canal +, 104 min.), an unabashed gonzo, 70’s drive-in movie, featuring Susan Strasberg as a young woman who has a 400-year old medicine man growing out of her back. Curtis stars as a bogus spiritualist who comes face-to-face with the midget demon, with help from new-age midwife Michael Ansara. Director William Girdler gives us psychotronic madness that must be seen to be believed.

 

Following at 9:30 P.M. is a brand-new 35 mm. print of THE GREAT RACE, (1965, Warner Bros., 150 min.) from director Blake Edwards. If you missed it during our Natalie Wood Tribute in September, here's another chance to see the white-suited Curtis, foiling the schemes of villainous Professor Fate (co-star Jack Lemmon), while wooing reporter Natalie Wood on a Paris-to-New York car race in 1908.

Tony Curtis is available for interview. Please fax a written request to Margot Gerber at 323.461.9737 with a complete description of your media outlet, amount of time you will need with Mr. Curtis and if this will be an on-camera interview or written.

 

A complete calendar/flyer listing of these films has been mailed to you.

k BLACK & WHITE PHOTOS ARE AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST k

WE DO NOT HAVE GUARANTEED PRESS PASSES TO PUBLIC SCREENINGS. IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT YOU TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE ADVANCE PRESS SCREENINGS ON TAPE.

Video copies of films in this series can be found at local video stores such as:

Jerry’s Video (1904 Hillhurst, Los Feliz - 323.666.7471)

Rocket Video (726 N. La Brea - 323.965.1100)

Cinefile (11280 Santa Monica Blvd. - Corner of Sawtelle Ave. - 310.312.8836)

Vidiots (302 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica - 310/392-8508)

 

REQUESTS FOR PRESS TICKETS TO PUBLIC SCREENINGS MUST BE IN WRITING. FAX TO 323.461.9737 ATTN: MARGOT GERBER, 24 HOURS PRIOR TO SHOW TIME. FRIDAY AT NOON IS THE ABSOLUTE DEADLINE FOR WEEKEND OR HOLIDAY SCREENINGS. JOURNALISTS WISHING TO AUDIO OR VIDEOTAPE DISCUSSIONS MUST ALSO SEND A WRITTEN REQUEST.

THE PROGRAM IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE.

 

Upcoming at the American Cinematheque:

The Best of Slamdance 2000 (March)

2nd Annual Festival of Film Noir (April)

Queer Shorts (April)

Marilyn Monroe Tribute (April)

LA Premiere of EVERYTHING PUT TOGETHER (New Indie film from Sundance) (April)

The Films of Alain Resnais (May)

*Please note that Pola X (scheduled for March 29th) will be postponed.

 

Our permanent daily attraction film FOREVER HOLLYWOOD is now open. For press passes to see it for review purposes, please call Margot Gerber at 323.461.2020, ext. 115.

 

February 28, 2000

Contact: Margot Gerber

Tel.: 323.461.2020 x 115

E-mail: amcin@msn.com

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