Screen Valentines: Great Movie Romances
February 3–March 7
Back by popular demand! In time for Valentine's Day, and throughout the month of February, AFI Silver offers a selection of great movie romances, one from each decade, spanning 1930s screwball comedy to the quirky rom-coms of today.
THE AWFUL TRUTH
#68 on AFI's 100 Years...100 Laughs
#77 on AFI's 100 Years...100 Passions
Divorcing couple Cary Grant and Irene Dunne are both guilty of wandering ways, and the divorce becomes final if they are not reconciled within the year. As Grant dallies with showgirl Joyce Compton and Dunne goes a-courtin' with Ralph Bellamy, will the two realize they're made for each other, before it's too late? Director Leo McCarey's improve-oriented approach created great comic spontaneity on set, and the zany results on screen still zing. Great support work from wisecracking Cecil Cunningham, meddlesome Esther Dale, unctuous Alexander D'Arcy and the antics of THE THIN MAN's dog, Asta! Six Oscar nominations, McCarey winning Best Director.
DIR/PROD Leo McCarey; SCR Viña Delmar, from the play by Arthur Richman. US, 1937, b&w, 92 min. NOT RATED
THE AFRICAN QUEEN
New 35mm Print!
"You could argue with her, but she was tough. When [cinematographer] Jack [Cardiff] saw her striding into the jungle alone one morning, he thought, 'God help the jungle.'"
Fri, Feb 3, 7:45; Sat, Feb 4, 3:45; Sun, Feb 5, 1:45
– Humphrey Bogart, on co-star Katharine Hepburn
"I never dreamed that any mere physical experience could be so stimulating!" Fate, in the form of WWI and an invading German army, throws Katharine Hepburn's starched and stiff-backed British missionary aboard seedy Canadian Humphrey Bogart's decrepit, titular riverboat. It is an odd-couple pairing, but in time their bickering gives way to respect and romance when the two unite against the invaders. John Huston's beloved jungle adventure earned four Oscar nominations, with Bogart winning for Best Actor, beating out Marlon Brando in A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE and Montgomery Clift in A PLACE IN THE SUN.
DIR/SCR John Huston; SCR James Agee, from the novel by C.S. Forester; PROD Sam Spiegel, John Woolf. UK, 1951, color, 105 min. NOT RATED
THE LADY EVE
Wed, Feb 8, 6:30 (Montgomery College Show); Fri, Feb 10, 7:20; Sun, Feb 12, 2:45; Mon, Feb 13, 7:15
"I need him like the axe needs the turkey." In Preston Sturges' masterpiece of screwball comedy, boyish herpetologist/brewery heir Henry Fonda seems like an easy mark for father-and-daughter con artists Charles Coburn and Barbara Stanwyck. But Stanwyck wasn't supposed to fall in love with Fonda after fleecing him. Spurned by the burned Fonda, Stanwyck takes on the persona of "Lady Eve Sidwich" to win his heart again.
DIR/SCR Preston Sturges; PROD Paul Jones. US, 1941, b&w, 94 min. NOT RATED
TWO FOR THE ROAD
Fri, Feb 10, 9:30; Sat, Feb 11, 5:20; Mon, Feb 13, 5:15; Tue, Feb 14, 9:20; Wed, Feb 15, 9:15; Thu, Feb 16, 5:15
#57 on AFI's 100 Years...100 Passions
A road movie par excellence, criss-crossing the 10-year marriage of Audrey Hepburn and Albert Finney — via flashback and flashforward — through good times and bad, during the couple's five road trips to the South of France. An editing marvel, remarkably fluent for its daring construction, the film rhymes its time-traveling cuts to visual, verbal and emotional themes shared in the life of the couple. It is director Stanley Donen's most passionate film, with entrancing turns by the stars and great comic support from William Daniels, Eleanor Bron and a zesty Jacqueline Bisset.
DIR/PROD Stanley Donen; SCR Frederic Raphael. UK, 1967, color, 111 min. NOT RATED
LAST TANGO IN PARIS [Ultimo tango a Parigi]
Fri, Feb 17, 7:20; Sat, Feb 18, 7:30
#48 on AFI's 100 Years...100 Passions
Bernardo Bertolucci's 1972 success de scandale still impresses today for its uninhibited examination of physical passion and emotional pain. Marlon Brando gives the last great performance of his star-crossed career as a lost soul in Paris, despairing over the recent suicide of his wife, who begins a new and unusual affair with the much younger Maria Schneider. "One of the great emotional experiences of our time" — Roger Ebert.
DIR/SCR Bernardo Bertolucci; SCR Franco Arcalli; PROD Alberto Grimaldi. France/Italy, 1972, color, 129 min. In English and French with English subtitles. RATED NC-17
Fri, Feb 17, 9:40; Sat, Feb 18, 9:45; Sun, Feb 19, 8:45; Wed, Feb 22, 6:30 (Montgomery College Show); Thu, Feb 23, 9:10
"Nobody puts Baby in a corner." Summer of 1963, the Catskills: teenager Jennifer Grey falls hard for hunky dance instructor Patrick Swayze, despite the disapproval of her dad Jerry Orbach. When Swayze's regular dance partner drops out before a big show, can Grey fill her shoes? A world-wide box office smash with a chart-topping soundtrack, later a home video phenomenon (it was the first film to sell one million copies on video) and, soon, the latest film to undergo the remake treatment, DIRTY DANCING has enjoyed 25 years of being an overnight sensation. Choreography by Kenny Ortega, later the director of HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL.
DIR Emile Ardolino; SCR Eleanor Bergstein; PROD Linda Gottlieb. US, 1987, color, 100 min. RATED PG-13
HAPPY TOGETHER [春光乍洩]
Sat, Feb 25, 7:45; Wed, Feb 29, 9:30
Male lovers Tony Leung Chiu Wai and Leslie Cheung leave Hong Kong for Buenos Aires to seek a fresh start, but instead break up. Leung throws himself into work while Cheung throws himself into debauchery. Now roommates, can the former lovers be friends? Were they ever? A landmark film from Wong Kar-wai, named Best Director at the 1997 Cannes Film Festival, with heroic performances from Leung and Cheung, extraordinary camerawork by Christopher Doyle and the dual controversies of the film's frank sexual content and subtly allegorical politics vis-à-vis Hong Kong's 1997 return to China, resulting in a box office smash in Hong Kong and the world over.
DIR/SCR Wong Kar-wai; PROD Chan Ye-cheng. Hong Kong, 1997, b&w/color, 96 min. In Mandarin, Cantonese and Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED
Fri, Mar 2, 9:20; Sat, Mar 3, 9:20; Sun, Mar 4, 9:00; Mon, Mar 5, 9:40; Wed, Mar 7, 6:30 (Montgomery College Show)
Director Nick Cassavetes crafted the best Nicholas Sparks adaptation to date with this moving tale of enduring love. A devoted husband (James Garner) reads to his dementia-suffering wife (Cassevetes' mother, Gena Rowlands) every day from a prized notebook which chronicles the passionate love story some 60 years ago between Noah and Allie (Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams, in career-making performances). Storytelling, memory, heartache and devotion blend together in this powerful melodrama.
DIR Nick Cassavetes; SCR Jeremy Leven, from the novel by Nicholas Sparks; PROD Lynn Harris, Mark Johnson. US, 2004, color, 123 min. RATED PG-13
Sun, Mar 4, 4:00; Mon, Mar 5, 5:05