AFI Preview February 7-April 17, 2014 - page 10-11

Tickets & Full Schedule at
Daily Listings: 301.495.6700
Fri, Mar 14, 3:00; Sat, Mar 15, 11:10 a.m.
Up-and-coming crooner Bing Crosby makes it big in
Hollywood, but French teacher and ardent fan Marion Davies
would prefer he find a love interest other than snooty Fifi
D’Orsay. Traveling west on a whim, she tries out for the pictures
and becomes a rising star herself. Fans of classic Hollywood
musicals will delight to this film’s big, dream-infused production
numbers, Der Bingle’s songs and Davies’ charm; plus Patsy Kelly
(in her screen debut) as Davies’ wisecracking best pal and the
Three Radio Rogues singing spoofs of ‘30s radio stars.
DIR Raoul
Walsh; SCR Donald Ogden Stewart; PROD Walter Wanger. US, 1933, b&w, 78 min. NOT RATED
Print courtesy of the Library of Congress.
Fri, Apr 11, 12 noon; Sat, Apr 12, 11:05 a.m.;
Wed, Apr 16, 3:00
Jack Benny stars as slick-but-struggling Madison Avenue adman
Mac Brewster, desperately trying to please his big client, silver
magnate Alan Townsend (Richard Arlen). Mac’s new gimmick is
to sponsor the glamorous Artists and Models Ball, and name the
debutante who wins as the new Townsend Silver Girl, eventually
pitting Mac’s spunky office mate Paula Sewell (Ida Lupino) against
society snob Cynthia Wentworth (Gail Patrick). Riotous art deco sets
lend glamor and glitz to this lively musical, with the big production
number, “Public Melody Number One,” choreographed by a
young Vincente Minnelli. With Louis Armstrong, Martha Raye, Judy
Canova and Ben Blue.
DIR Raoul Walsh; SCR Walter DeLeon, Francis Martin; SCR/PROD
Lewis E. Gensler; PROD Adolph Zukor. US, 1937, b&w, 97 min. NOT RATED
Live musical accompaniment by Andrew Simpson
Sat, Apr 5, 1:45
This epic tale of the Russian Revolution, and its attendant social,
political and romantic upheavals, is lavishly realized in the
classic Fox Film Corporation style of ingeniously designed sets,
dynamic camerawork and dazzling atmosphere. Dolores del
Rio is a revolution-minded peasant girl, Tasia, who dreams of
becoming a dancer; Charles Farrell is the open-minded Grand
Duke Eugene, who loves her; and the ursine Ivan Linow is
peasant leader Ivan Petroff, who rises to the rank of general in
the Red Army.
DIR Raoul Walsh; SCR Pierre Collings, Philip Klein, Malcolm Stuart Boylan, from
the novel by Henry Leyford Gates; PROD William Fox. US, 1928, b&w, 90 min. Silent. NOT RATED
Sat, Apr 12, 1:00; Sun, Apr 13, 11:05 a.m.;
Mon, Apr 14, 3:00
Co-ed Gracie Allen, daughter of an old money family, inherits
stuffy old Alden College after passing her finals, thanks to wily
tutor Bob Hope and much to the consternation of chauvinistic
professor Edward Everett Horton. Allen’s modern improvements
include doing away with entrance exams, hiring fun professors
and instituting jitterbug contests for the student body, paced by
the hippest swing bands and broadcast live by radio. George
Burns, Martha Raye, Betty Grable, Jackie Coogan, John Payne,
Robert Cummings and Ben Blue all add to the fun.
DIR Raoul Walsh; SCR
Walter DeLeon, Francis Martin; PROD Lewis E. Gensler. US, 1938, b&w, 86 min. NOT RATED
February 7–April 16
Action! The Films of Raoul Walsh, Part 1
“Cinema is movement.
And I made it move.”
—Raoul Walsh
Raoul Walsh (1887–
1980) enjoyed one of
the most remarkable
Golden Age careers
in cinema history.
Though often thought
of as an “action”
director—he directed
numerous Westerns, swashbucklers and gangster
films—Walsh’s multi-faceted career also included
efforts in genres as diverse as musicals and dance
films, historical epics and romantic melodramas. A
career like this defies easy summarization, and thus
AFI Silver is proud to present the first of a multi-part
retrospective of Raoul Walsh’s greatly entertaining
Generous support for AFI Silver’s presentation of
silent films with live musical accompaniment is
provided in part by the George Frederick Jewett
Foundation East.
AFI Member passes accepted at all films in the
Raoul Walsh series.
Fri, Feb 7, 5:15;
Sun, Feb 9, 5:15
This lost masterpiece—
an early experiment
in 70mm—has been
restored to its wide-screen
grandeur thanks to The
Museum of Modern Art.
In his first leading role,
John Wayne plays the
scout for a wagon train
headed for the Oregon
territory. The startlingly
young Wayne impresses,
physically and because
this part of a soulful nature
boy is so different from his later tough-guy roles.
DIR/PROD Raoul Walsh;
SCR Jack Peabody, Marie Boyle, Florence Postal. US, 1930, b&w, 122 min. NOT RATED
Preserved by The Museum of Modern Art with support
from The Film Foundation. THE BIG TRAIL will be screened
on a 35mm Cinemascope print, printed from the original
70mm photography, and the only existing version of same.
Sat, Feb 22, 11:15 a.m.; Thu, Feb 27, 7:05
In Depression-era Los Angeles, Sally Eilers’ slim figure gets
her a job as a public pool lifeguard, nevermind that she can’t
swim. And for sailor-on-shore-leave James Dunn, it’s love at
first sight. Sexy, anarchic, hilarious and bizarre, this bawdy
pre-Code classic delights in sexual innuendo and comic ethnic
stereotyping (not to mention a flamboyantly gay character),
which no doubt has contributed to its lamentable obscurity
nowadays, but it’s all in the spirit of a knockabout inclusiveness
and melting pot populism.
DIR/PROD Raoul Walsh; SCR Marguerite Roberts,
Charlotte Miller; PROD William Fox. US, 1933, b&w, 64 min. NOT RATED
Recorded orchestral score by Joseph Turrin
Sat, Feb 15, 5:15
San Francisco prostitute Sadie Thompson (Gloria Swanson,
Oscar-nominated in the award’s inaugural year) leaves the
City by the Bay to start a new life on an island in the South
Pacific. Independent and high spirited, Sadie unapologetically
enjoys the company of men, including “entertaining” a Marine
detachment stationed nearby, eventually falling in love with Sgt.
Tim O’Hara (Raoul Walsh, in his final acting performance).
But sanctimonious missionary worker Alfred Davidson (Lionel
Barrymore) can’t abide Sadie’s unrepentant hedonism, and
under the threat of exposure to the law, coerces her conversion.
But Davidson’s no saint himself.
DIR/SCR/PROD Raoul Walsh; SCR C. Gardner
Sullivan, based on “Rain” by John Colton and Clemence Randolph, from a story by W. Somerset
Maugham; PROD Gloria Swanson. US, 1928, b&w, 97 min. Silent. NOT RATED
Live musical accompaniment by Andrew Simpson
Sat, Feb 8, 5:30
Once thought lost, Walsh’s first feature-length film was
rediscovered in 1976. Growing up in turn-of-the-20th-century
Lower East Side Manhattan, tenement kid Rockliffe Fellowes had
it tough. He’s grown up to be a local gang leader, and believes
he’s accomplished something, until he meets social reformer Anna
Q. Nilsson, who teaches him to read and change his ways,
making his “regeneration” possible. But the criminal element that
surrounds Fellowes won’t let go. Shot on location in 1915 New
York and featuring many authentic Bowery and waterfront types
as extras, this film represents a remarkable window into the lost
world of (nearly) 100 years ago.
DIR/SCR Raoul Walsh; SCR Carl Harbaugh, from
the memoir by Owen Frawley Kildare; PROD William Fox. US, 1915, b&w, 72 min. Silent. NOT RATED
Sun, Feb 16, 7:15; Mon, Feb 17, 7:00
Joan Bennett is tomboy Salomy Jane, a nature-loving wild
child living in an idyllic redwood forest-set village. But the
arrival in town of handsome stranger Charles Farrell awakens
strange new feelings in Jane. Madcap, uproarious and sexy,
this wonderfully weird Western also features Ralph Bellamy
as a shady gambler and foghorn-voiced Eugene Pallette as
blowhard stagecoach driver Yuba Bill. “Filming among the
giant redwoods and vertiginous perspectives of the Sequoia
National Park in central California, Walsh constructs a West
very unlike the familiar desert landscapes—a lush, fertile
country, as seemingly crowded with people as the New York
City of ME AND MY GAL.”—Dave Kehr.
DIR/PROD Raoul Walsh; SCR
Doris Anderson, Edwin Justus Mayer, from the story "Salomy Jane's Kiss" by Bret Harte and the
play by Paul Armstrong Jr. US, 1932, b&w, 78 min. NOT RATED
Preserved by The Museum of Modern Art with support
from the Celeste Bartos Fund for Film Preservation and the
National Endowment for the Arts.
Mon, Feb 17, 5:15; Wed, Feb 19, 7:15
Waterfront cop Spencer Tracy
and hash house waitress Joan
Bennett crack wise and pitch
woo in this winning romantic
comedy, crackling with energy,
invention and New York
City grit. “It is only fleetingly
a gangster film, not quite
outrightly comic: it is really a
portrait of a neighborhood, the
feeling of human bonds in a
guileless community, a lyrical
approximation of the Lower East
Side and its uneducated, spirited stevedore-clerk-shopkeeper cast.
Walsh, in this lunatically original, festive dance, is nothing less
than a poet of the American immigrant.”—Manny Farber.
DIR Raoul
Walsh; SCR Arthur Kober; PROD William Fox. US, 1932, b&w, 79 min. NOT RATED
90th Anniversary!
Recorded orchestral score by Carl Davis
Sat, Mar 8, 4:00
Douglas Fairbanks’ magnum opus! As a wily thief in the
bazaar, Fairbanks contents himself with taking what he wants,
but after infiltrating the palace and meeting the Princess, he’s
inspired to earn her hand and his happiness, and compete
with her other princely suitors in a fantastic scavenger hunt.
The extravagant art nouveau sets were designed and built by
William Cameron Menzies, making a legendary screen debut.
The special effects still amaze, memorable set pieces include
the magic rope, flying carpet, caverns of fire, a menagerie
of monsters and a flying horse. Anna May Wong steals her
scenes as a slave girl sent to spy by Mongol prince Sojin
DIR/SCR/PROD Raoul Walsh; SCR Achmed Abdullah, Lotta Woods, adapted
from “One Thousand and One Nights”. US, 1924, tinted b&w, 155 min. Silent. NOT RATED
“Literally a magic carpet ride of effects and stunts. It's so
imaginative and extraordinary.”—Kevin Brownlow
Fri, Mar 7, 12:30; Tue, Mar 11, 5:15; Wed, Mar 12, 6:30
(Montgomery College Show)
In the Gay ‘90s on New York’s most infamous street, home to
chancers, drunks and stumblebums—the lowest of the Lower
East Side—a friendly rivalry between saloon keeper Wallace
Beery and neighborhood daredevil George Raft intensifies into
an all-out feud after the two begin vying for the affections of local
beauty Fay Wray. Eager to make a name for himself, Raft cooks
up a publicity stunt to jump off the Brooklyn Bridge—a boast that
Beery intends to see him live up to or die trying.
DIR Raoul Walsh; SCR
Howard Estabrook, James Gleason, from the novel by Michael L. Simmons and Bessie Roth Solomon;
PROD Joseph M. Schenck, Darryl F. Zanuck. US, 1933, b&w, 92 min. NOT RATED
Live musical accompaniment by Andrew Simpson
Sat, Mar 22, 3:00
Leathernecks Capt. Flagg (Victor McLaglen) and Sgt. Quirt
(Edmund Lowe) go where the action is across the world,
culminating in their deployment in France in 1918 for the Great
War. The pair’s boozing, brawling and amorous exploits take
center stage, with their occasional skirmishes and deployments
to the front only briefly interrupting their nonstop carousing. But
the action in France is no laughing matter. A teenage Dolores del
Rio is the French innkeeper’s daughter both men woo. Perhaps
the most foul-mouthed silent film in history, as even a novice
lip-reader can attest, with the two Marines’ salty language
amusingly paraphrased in the much more polite intertitles.
DIR Raoul
Walsh; SCR James T. O'Donohoe, Malcolm Stuart Boylan, from the play by Maxwell Anderson and
Laurence Stallings; PROD William Fox. US, 1926, b&w, 116 min. Silent. NOT RATED
Preserved by The Museum of Modern Art with support
from The Film Foundation.
Sat, Mar 29, 3:45; Mon, Mar 31, 5:15; Wed, Apr 2, 5:15
Out-of-work telephone operators Alice Faye, Frances Langford
and Patsy Kelly enter a radio amateur-hour contest as a singing
trio, hoping to win the prize money. They lose out to George Raft
and his band, but soon get hired by him as a featured act, “The
Three Swanee Sisters,” appearing on the radio—you guessed
it—every night at 8:00. But Raft’s a workaholic taskmaster—is
there room for love between him and shy Frances Langford?
Fans of old-time radio will delight to this musical crowd-pleaser,
featuring a score and songs by Jimmy McHugh and Dorothy
Fields, including “I’m in the Mood for Love” and “I Feel a Song
Coming On.”
DIR Raoul Walsh; SCR Gene Towne, C. Graham Baker, from the story “Three on
a Mike” by Stanley Garvey; PROD Walter Wanger. US, 1935, b&w, 80 min. NOT RATED
Live musical accompaniment by Andrew Simpson
Sun, Apr 13, 3:30
Miriam Cooper returns to her Puget Sound hometown after a
failed marriage, infant son in tow, and is roundly shunned by the
townsfolk, save one: her childhood sweetheart Ralph Graves.
Walsh’s final film with first wife Cooper, whom he met when both
worked for D. W. Griffith and who retired from films altogether in
1923. The thoughtful art direction by William Cameron Menzies
illustrates both the sense of place in the Pacific northwest and the
social ambitions of the logging town’s nascent bourgeoisie, barely
a generation removed from their frontier origins.
DIR/PROD Raoul Walsh;
SCR James T. O'Donohoe, from the novel by Peter B. Kyne. US, 1922, b&w, 80 min. Silent. NOT RATED
75th Anniversary!
Fri, Apr 4, 5:15; Mon, Apr 7, 5:00; Tue, Apr 8, 5:00;
Thu, Apr 10, 5:00, 9:15
“He used
to be a big
shot.” Former
WWI army
Cagney and
Bogart cross
paths years
later while
employed in
New York’s
business, first
as friendly
rivals, then
as uneasy
and finally
as sworn
This milestone gangster movie, punctuated with march-of-time
newsreel montages from WWI through the Jazz Age to the
1929 stock market crash and the election of FDR, suggests “the
world has changed” as a riposte to SCARFACE’s “the world is
yours” from the decade’s dawning. Walsh’s dynamic direction
finds its apotheosis in the energetic Cagney, further intensified
by Ernest Haller’s fluid, sweeping camerawork. Gladys George
gives a moving and memorable performance as a nightclub
hostess who pines for Cagney, while he only has eyes for singer
Priscilla Lane.
DIR Raoul Walsh; SCR Jerry Wald, Richard Macaulay, Robert Rossen; PROD
Hal B. Wallis. US, 1939, b&w, 106 min. NOT RATED
Print courtesy of the Library of Congress.
Courtesy of United Artists
Courtesy of Fox Film Corporation
Courtesy of 20th Century Fox
Courtesy of Fox Film Corporation
Courtesy of Warner Bros.
Courtesy of MGM
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