This year AFI Silver's holiday celebration features (of course) the Christmas classic IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE, plus a return engagement of the little-seen Jim Henson gem EMMET OTTER'S JUG-BAND CHRISTMAS. There are two zany Christmas comedies penned by the late John Hughes--HOME ALONE and CHRISTMAS VACATION--and for the truly naughty, Robert Siodmak's cult classic Christmas Noir (!): CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY, featuring Gene Kelly (!) and Deanna Durbin (!!), playing against type as two black-hearted betrayers!!! Ho ho ho!
AFI Member passes will be accepted at all screenings in the Holiday Cinema series.
Christmas is a very hectic time of year, so it's hard to blame the McCallister family for accidentally leaving one of their kids at home when they jet off to Paris for the holidays. A funny, highly entertaining and perfectly cast mixture of naughty and nice, featuring top-notch comedic turns by Macaulay Culkin, Catherine O'Hara, Joe Pesci, John Heard and Maryland native Daniel Stern. Screenplay by John Hughes!
DIR Chris Columbus; SCR/PROD John Hughes. US, 1990, color, 103 min. RATED PG.
Saturday, December 12, 12:30; Sunday, December 13, 12:30; Wednesday, December 16, 9:35; Thursday, December 17, 8:30
IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE
# 1 on AFI's 100 Years...100 Cheers!
# 20 on AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies
Guardian angel Clarence Odbody (Henry Travers) saves George Bailey (James Stewart) from a Christmas Eve suicide by showing him how dismal life would have been for his family and friends had he never been born. The all-time Christmas classic may be Frank Capra's finest work.
DIR/SCR/PROD Frank Capra; SCR Frances Goodrich, Albert Hackett, Jo Swerling. US, 1946, b&w, 129 min. NOT RATED
Saturday, December 12, 2:30, 5:00; Sunday, December 13, 2:45; Wednesday, December 16, 7:00; Friday, December 18, 4:20, 7:00; Saturday, December 19, 2:30, 7:00, 9:40; Sunday, December 20, 2:30, 7:00; Tuesday, December 22, 7:00; Wednesday, December 23, 1:45, 4:20, 7:00, 9:40; Thursday, December 24, 1:45, 4:20, 7:00, 9:40
Tickets only $5 for children under 12!
EMMET OTTER'S JUG-BAND CHRISTMAS
This is the heart-warming story of Ma Otter and her son who both secretly enter a talent contest to win money for each other's Christmas presents. The rowdy Riverbottom Gang and their wild hard rock band The Nightmare challenge them. In contrast to the typical Muppet style of puppetry, the loveable river animals are portrayed realistically.
DIR/PROD Jim Henson; SCR Jerry Juhl, based on the book by Lillian
and Russell Hoban. US, 1977, color, 52 min.
PLUS other Muppet Christmas shorts: The Jimmy Dean Show--Rowlf and Jimmy Dean Celebrate Christmas; Perry Como--The Reindeer Sketch; and The Great Santa Claus
Switch--The Elves' Song with Art Carney.
Total program time 62 min.
Thursday, December 17, 5:30, 7:00; Saturday, December 19, 1:00; Sunday, December 20, 1:00
CHRISTMAS VACATION aka NATIONAL LAMPOON'S CHRISTMAS VACATION
Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo return in their recurring role as the Griswolds in the third installment of this beloved and sometimes raunchy series. All they're trying to do is have a nice Christmas holiday with their family, but everything conspires against them--Yule crack up! Of note: daughter Audrey is played here by a pre-CAPE FEAR Juliette Lewis. Screenplay by John Hughes!
DIR Jeremiah S. Chechik; SCR/PROD John Hughes; PROD Tom Jacobson. US, 1989, color, 97 min. RATED PG-13
Friday, December 18, 9:40; Sunday, December 20, 9:40; Tuesday, December 22, 9:40
1944 was a bumper crop for film noir, with the release of Billy Wilder's DOUBLE INDEMNITY, Fritz Lang's THE WOMAN IN THE WINDOW, Otto Preminger's
LAURA, Edward Dmtryk's MURDER, MY SWEET, plus this little-seen gem from
Robert Siodmak. Deanna Durbin, the "singing sweetheart" of Universal, bravely picked this twisted tale of love-gone-bad as her first serious dramatic role, and it's a doozy. A broken-hearted GI (Dean Harens) stumbles into a seedy cabaret/not-so-secret cathouse and becomes smitten with the joint's star singer (Durbin). While everyone else is drinking their troubles away, the two take a stroll and Durbin tells Harens her troubles, mainly concerning her unhappy marriage to hot-tempered and currently jailed Gene Kelly. But guess who's breaking out of jail that night? Herman (CITIZEN KANE) Mankiewicz's twisty, flashback-ridden script is vaguely based on a W. Somerset Maugham story.
DIR Robert Siodmak; SCR Herman J. Mankiewicz, after the novel by W. Somerset Maugham; PROD Felix Jackson. US, 1944, b&w, 93 min. NOT RATED
Saturday, December 19, 5:00; Sunday, December 20, 5:00; Monday, December 21, 7:00, 9:00