Screen Valentines: Great Movie Romances
February 7-March 20
In time for Valentine's Day, and continuing into March, AFI Silver offers a selection of great movie romances from across the decades, from 1930s screwball comedy to the quirky rom-coms of today. This year's lineup is bigger than ever, including a trio of screwball comedies from the magical movie year of 1939, celebrating their 75th anniversaries this year.
AFI Member passes accepted at all films in the Screen Valentines series.
A shipboard romance between American singer Irene Dunne and French painter Charles Boyer en route to New York has the two lovebirds contemplating leaving their respective fiancés for each other by the time they reach port. But in order to be sure their love is true and not just a passing fancy, they agree not to see each other for six months, at which time they'll rendezvous atop the Empire State Building to make their big decision. But a cruel twist of fate prevents Dunne from keeping the appointment... Leo McCarey's moving romance earned six Oscar nominations; he later remade the film, to even greater acclaim, as AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER in 1957.
DIR/PROD Leo McCarey; SCR Delmer Daves, Donald Ogden Stewart. US, 1939, b&w, 88 min, 35mm. NOT RATED
INTERMEZZO: A LOVE STORY
Fri, Feb 7, 7:45; Thu, Feb 13, 7:00
Virtuoso violinist Leslie Howard and talented piano teacher Ingrid Bergman make beautiful music together, but, despite a whirlwind love affair and boffo international tour, Howard finds himself pining for the wife and children he left behind. Ingrid Bergman's American debut for producer David O. Selznick— at his career peak, with GONE WITH THE WIND to open later that same year—saw her reprise her role from Gustaf Molander's 1936 Swedish original. The lush cinematography is by the master of deep focus, Gregg Tolland.
DIR Gregory Ratoff; SCR George O'Neil; PROD David O. Selznick. US, 1939, b&w, 70 min, 35mm. NOT RATED
Sat, Feb 8, 11:10 a.m.; Mon, Feb 10, 5:20; Thu, Feb 13, 5:20
American showgirl Eve Peabody (Claudette Colbert) arrives nearly penniless in rainy Paris, having departed Monte Carlo with nothing but the gown on her back. Hungarian émigré cab driver Tibor Czerny (Don Ameche) takes pity on the poor soul, buying her a hot meal and showing her around town. A swell guy—but Eve needs a rich one. Giving the kind-hearted hack the slip before things get too complicated, Eve infiltrates a society soiree, and, needing an alias, identifies herself as "Baroness Czerny." To her surprise, there is soon money in her purse and a suite at the Ritz booked for this imaginary baroness, not to mention a rich new suitor calling on her. How's that for complicated? Mitchell Leisen lends sparkling direction to the sharp-witted screenplay by the young writing team of Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett.
DIR Mitchell Leisen; SCR Charles Brackett, Billy Wilder; PROD Arthur Hornblow, Jr. US, 1939, b&w, 94 min, 35mm. NOT RATED
Sun, Feb 9, 1:00; Tue, Feb 11, 7:00; Thu, Feb 13, 9:00
MY FAVORITE WIFE
After seven long years, Cary Grant finally accepts that wife Irene Dunne was lost at sea and isn't coming back, and has her declared legally dead in order to marry new squeeze Gail Patrick. However, Dunne survived the shipwreck and has just been rescued along with hunky Randolph Scott from the South Seas desert island on which they've been living. Dunne surprises Grant at the Yosemite lodge where they honeymooned—and where he has now brought new wife Patrick—leading to many comical complications and far-fetched excuses from the ever-more exasperated Grant to delay the consummation of his new marriage. But just what were Scott and Dunne—who nicknamed each other "Adam" and "Eve"—doing on that island all this time?
DIR Garson Kanin; SCR Bella Spewack, Sam Spewack, from the poem "Enoch Arden" by Alfred Lord Tennyson; PROD Leo McCarey. US, 1940, b&w, 88 min, 16mm. NOT RATED
THE PHILADELPHIA STORY
Fri, Feb 14, 5:15; Tue, Feb 18, 7:20
#51 on AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies
#15 on AFI's 100 Years...100 Laughs
Nominated for six Academy Awards and James Stewart's sole Oscar win, this intensely likable screwball comedy marked Katharine Hepburn's return to the top of the Hollywood food chain. Hepburn plays a demanding socialite about to put her first marriage to arrogant playboy Cary Grant behind her with an impending marriage to boring but reliable self-made man John Howard. When Grant learns that SPY Magazine intends to scandalize her philandering father, he promises the editor the scoop of a lifetime on the wedding instead. Enter journalist Stewart who also falls head over heels for Hepburn as the three men vie for her affections.
DIR George Cukor; SCR Donald Ogden Stewart, from the play by Phillip Barry; PROD Joseph Mankiewicz. US, 1940, b&w, 112 min, 35mm. NOT RATED
THE MORE THE MERRIER
Fri, Feb 14, 7:10; Sun, Feb 16, 12:45
When the bureaucratic buildup of WWII creates a housing shortage in Washington, DC, working girl Jean Arthur advertises for a female roommate. Unable to check into his hotel when he arrives in town, millionaire Charles Coburn charms (and flimflams) his way into Arthur's spacious apartment, where he's flummoxed by her regimented routines and rules and unimpressed by her wet blanket fiancé, Richard Gaines. So Coburn sublets half of his space to Joel McCrea, with matchmaking in mind. Director George Stevens works comic magic with the cramped quarters and stellar performances. Six Oscar nominations, including Arthur for Best Actress and a win for Best Supporting Actor Coburn.
DIR/PROD George Stevens; SCR Richard Flournoy, Lewis R. Foster, Frank Ross, Robert Russell. US, 1943, b&w, 104 min, 35mm. NOT RATED
JOURNEY TO ITALY [Viaggio In Italia]
Fri, Feb 14, 9:30; Sat, Feb 15, 12:45
British couple Ingrid Bergman and George Sanders see their already strained marriage come undone by mutual recriminations on a trip to Naples to dispose of Sanders' deceased uncle's estate. But after threatening each other with divorce and separating for most of the trip, the two are surprised to find their union rekindled and their spirits moved by a visit to the ruins of Pompeii and witnessing a local village's religious procession. Roberto Rossellini's masterpiece has become a cinematic touchstone, referenced by Martin Scorsese (his documentary on Italian cinema, MY VOYAGE TO ITALY), Abbas Kiarostami's homage CERTIFIED COPY, and explicitly referenced (though Julie Delpy can't recall the movie's title) in Richard Linklater's BEFORE MIDNIGHT.
DIR/SCR Roberto Rossellini; SCR Vitaliano Brancati, from the novel "Duo" by Colette; PROD Adolfo Fossataro. Italy/France, 1954, b&w, 97 min, DCP. NOT RATED
MY FAIR LADY
Fri, Feb 21, 7:15; Sat, Feb 22, 1:00; Wed, Feb 26, 9:15
Audrey Hepburn is Eliza Doolittle, the Cockney flower girl who becomes the project of snobbish linguistics professor Henry Higgins (Oscar-winning Rex Harrison), who wagers that he can transform her into a polished lady in six months time but doesn't count on falling in love with her in the process. Hepburn replaced Julie Andrews from the Broadway hit musical (Andrews instead starred in the screen version of MARY POPPINS that year and won the Best Actress Oscar). Winner of eight Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director for George Cukor, winning on his fifth and final nomination.
DIR George Cukor; SCR Alan Jay Lerner, from his stage musical and the play "Pygmalion" by George Bernard Shaw; PROD Jack L. Warner. US, 1964, color, 170 min, 35mm. RATED G
Fri, Feb 28, 2:00; Sat, Mar 1, 1:15
"The most successful fusion of Miss Wertmüller's two favorite themes, sex and politics, which are here so thoroughly and so successfully tangled that they become a single subject, like two people in love." –Vincent Canby, The New York Times
This politically provocative romantic farce from Lina Wertmüller– the first woman to be Oscar-nominated for Best Director, in 1977 for SEVEN BEAUTIES–pits arrogant, unapologetically capitalist yacht owner Mariangela Melato against dedicated communist and silently resentful deckhand Giancarlo Giannini in a battle of wills. When they become lost at sea and marooned on a desert island, their survival comes to depend on adopting contradictory political positions from those they had espoused in civilization, with a primal, decidedly unenlightened take on gender roles predominating. Two different worlds of inequality– who's to say which one is worse?
DIR/SCR Lina Wertmüller; PROD Romano Cardarelli. Italy, 1974, color, 116 min. In Italian with English subtitles, 35mm. RATED R
30th Anniversary! 70mm Print!
Fri, Feb 28, 7:10; Sun, Mar 2, 8:15
Jeff Bridges earned a Best Actor Oscar nomination for his portrayal of an alien from outer space who adopts the human form of Karen Allen's recently deceased husband in this beguiling, romantic sci-fi from genre innovator John Carpenter. With his starship shot down by U.S. air defenses over Wisconsin, Bridges' alien seeks refuge in the cabin of young widow Allen. Adopting the form of her dead husband in order to blend in with his surroundings, Bridges enlists the aid of the angry, wary Allen to help him travel cross-country to Arizona for a rendezvous with his mothership. Miraculously reunited with a semblance of her lost love, and with a cold-blooded NSA team hot in pursuit, Allen's passion is kindled for her kind and caring alien visitor.
DIR John Carpenter; SCR Bruce A. Evans, Raynold Gideon; PROD Larry J. Franco. US, 1984, color, 115 min, 70mm. RATED PG
WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING
Fri, Mar 7, 9:45; Wed, Mar 12, 9:15
Lonely Chicago transit clerk Sandra Bullock has a secret crush on regular subway commuter Peter Gallagher. After Gallagher is nearly killed in a random street crime on Christmas Day, Bullock saves his life and is celebrated as a hero, but a misunderstanding at the hospital leads his family to believe that she is the fiancée of the handsome, and now comatose, man. One thing leads to another and Bullock lets the misunderstanding go uncorrected, enjoying the company of Gallagher's colorful family, including father Peter Boyle, mother Glynis Johns and godfather Jack Warden. But it's younger brother Bill Pullman she's fondest of, soon falling in love for real with the brother of the man with whom she's only pretending to have a relationship.
DIR Jon Turteltaub; SCR Daniel G. Sullivan, Fredric LeBow; PROD Joe Roth, Roger Birnbaum. US, 1995, color, 103 min, 35mm. RATED PG
THINK LIKE A MAN
Sat, Mar 8, 11:05 a.m.; Sun, Mar 9, 11:05 a.m.
Steve Harvey's best-selling relationship self-help book provides the inspiration—and comedic complications—for four couples in a series of interconnected romantic vignettes. Featuring a breakout performance from Kevin Hart—who stars in the remake of ABOUT LAST NIGHT opening this Valentine's Day, not to mention THINK LIKE A MAN TOO this summer—the appealing cast includes Michael Ealy, Meagan Good, Regina Hall, Taraji P. Henson, Romany Malco, Gabrielle Union, Sherri Shepherd, Chris Brown, Jenifer Lewis, Terrence Jenkins and Jerry Ferrara.
DIR Tim Story; SCR Keith Merryman, David A. Newman, from the book "Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man" by Steve Harvey; PROD William Packer. US, 2012, color, 122 min, 35mm. RATED PG-13
Mon, Mar 17, 9:30; Wed, Mar 19, 9:30
Nine years after their all-night walking-and-talking experience as backpackers in Vienna, Celine (Julie Delpy) and Jesse (Ethan Hawke) reunite in Paris. Both have long since gone back to their lives and lovers, but neither has forgotten that night. In fact, Jesse has just published a novel inspired by their encounter and, on the Paris stop of his book tour, the two reunite, reminisce and rekindle the flame of their abiding infatuation with one another. Oscar nomination for Best Screenplay, shared by writer/ director Richard Linklater with stars Hawke and Delpy (who reunited nine years later to extend Celine and Jesse's story into a trilogy with 2013's BEFORE MIDNIGHT).
DIR/SCR Richard Linklater; SCR Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke; PROD Anne Walker-McBay. US, 2004, color, 80 min, 35mm. RATED R
Tue, Mar 18, 9:30; Thu, Mar 20, 9:30