LICENCE TO KILL actor Robert Davi will participate in a Q&A after the screening at the NoHo on Thursday, August 23.
LICENCE TO KILL actor Robert Davi will participate in a Q&A after the screening at the NoHo on Thursday, August 23.
Laemmle Theatres and the Anniversary Classics Series present a 65th anniversary screening of one of the most beloved Westerns of all time, George Stevens’ production of SHANE.
The 1950s happened to be a golden age for cowboy sagas, and as the Hollywood Reporter observed, “George Stevens’ SHANE earns a place along with ‘High Noon’ and ‘The Gunfighter’ as one of the great tumbleweed sagas of the decade.” Or as Leonard Maltin declared decades later, “Classic Western is splendid in every way.”
Alan Ladd, Paramount’s biggest star of the era, plays a mysterious gunfighter who arrives in a small Western town and finds a turf war between the farmers and cattle ranchers who want to drive them off the land.
Shane decides to become a protector of these homesteaders and strikes up a friendship with one family; Van Heflin plays the father, Jean Arthur (in her final screen performance) plays the mother, and young actor Brandon De Wilde plays their son, Joey.
Jack Palance was cast as the villain of the piece, a black-clad gunslinger hired by the cattle ranchers to eliminate Shane, along with the rest of the farmers.
The supporting cast includes gifted character actors Ben Johnson, Edgar Buchanan, Emile Meyer, and Elisha Cook Jr. Ladd received the best reviews of his career for the picture. The Saturday Review wrote, “As Shane, Alan Ladd has one of his best roles and gives what is surely his most rewarding performance.”
Stevens had won the Academy Award for best director of 1951 for ‘A Place in the Sun.’ SHANE gave him his third nomination in the directing category (he would win a second Oscar for ‘Giant’ in 1956).
SHANE earned six nominations in all, including Best Picture and two nods in the supporting actor category, for both Palance and De Wilde. The Oscar-nominated screenplay was written by A.B. Guthrie Jr., who adapted the novel by Jack Schaefer. The picture won the Oscar for the magnificent color cinematography of Loyal Griggs.
In tune with the fashions of the era, Stevens chose to shoot on location in the magnificent Grand Tetons outside Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
Because of the care he took with the production, the film went over budget, and the studio was nervous. But the film turned out to be a box office smash and proved enticing to adult and family audiences alike. Kids who saw the move in 1953 are not likely to forget the emotional ending and young De Wilde’s cry, “Come back, Shane!”
Joining us for a Q&A will be David Ladd, the son of Alan Ladd. David went on to be a popular child actor in the 1950s. He appeared with his father in two films, ‘The Big Land’ and ‘The Proud Rebel;’ he then starred on his own in two family hits, ‘Misty’ and ‘A Dog of Flanders.’ He went on to act in a few films as an adult but then segued into a career as producer and studio executive.
SHANE screens on Sunday, August 26, at 3pm at Ahrya Fine Arts Theatre. Click here for tickets.
Laemmle Theatres and the Anniversary Classics Series present the latest offering in our Anniversary Classics Abroad program, Kon Ichikawa’s poignant family drama, THE MAKIOKA SISTERS.
One of the great Japanese masters, Ichikawa is perhaps less widely celebrated than his countrymen Kurosawa, Mizoguchi, and Ozu. He began directing features in the 1940s, and his films The Burmese Harp, Fires on the Plain, Tokyo Olympiad, and others found passionate critical defenders.
One of his later films, THE MAKIOKA SISTERS, is adapted from a popular Japanese novel by Junichiro Tanizaki and follows the fortunes of four sisters from a wealthy family in Osaka. Set in the 1930s on the eve of World War II, the film stars Keiko Kishi, Yoshiko Sakuma, Sayuri Yoshinaga, and Yuko Kotegawa as the orphaned sisters, heirs in a wealthy manufacturing family. Their marriages and romantic relationships are a source of tension and jealousy.
The sumptuous art direction and costume design help to create the lush atmosphere of the film. Reviewing the film at the time of its American release, the Los Angeles Times’s Kevin Thomas called it “exquisitely, subtly sensual.”
John Powers of the L.A. Weekly agreed that “this is an uncommonly vibrant and beautiful film.”
And the New Yorker’s Pauline Kael called it “the most pleasurable movie I’ve seen in several months…the rich colors, the darkness, the low-key lighting—they’re intoxicating.”
THE MAKIOKA SISTERS (1983) screens on Wednesday, August 22, at 7pm in Encino, Pasadena, and West LA. Click here for tickets.
The program, part of the Twofer Tuesday series of double bills (two-for-the-price-of one) features a 55th anniversary screening of CHARADE (1963) paired with a 70th anniversary screening of MR. BLANDINGS BUILDS HIS DREAM HOUSE (1948) at three Laemmle locations: the Royal, NoHo 7 and Playhouse 7.
Cary Grant is remembered for his elegance, casualness and charm As writer Tom Wolfe once put it, he is “consummately romantic and consummately genteel.” These two movies showcase all the facets of his timeless appeal.
MR. BLANDINGS BUILDS HIS DREAM HOUSE is a genial comedy adapted from a novel by Eric Hodges (screenplay by Melvin Frank and Norman Panama) about a married advertising executive (Grant) with two daughters in post-WWII Manhattan who decides to leave the crowded city for the country life.
Myrna Loy, one of the popular female stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age, plays his disarming wife and, according to Leonard Maltin, “no one ever described room colors better than Loy!” Melvyn Douglas plays a “friend of the family” who causes comic complications for Grant.
Directed by H.C. Potter (‘The Farmer’s Daughter’) with black-and-white cinematography by the great James Wong Howe, the film was the inspiration for the Tom Hanks’s 1986 comedy ‘The Money Pit.’
CHARADE is a tongue-in-cheek thriller set in Paris with Audrey Hepburn as a recent widow being pursued by villainous thugs for a cache of stolen money involving her murdered husband.
Grant plays an American stranger allegedly “helping” Hepburn. Stylishly directed by Stanley Donen (‘Singin’ in the Rain,’ ‘Two for the Road’) and written by Peter Stone (‘1776,’ ‘The Taking of Pelham One Two Three’) and Marc Behm, the film is a cross between screwball black comedy and Hitchcockian suspense.
Bosley Crowther of the New York Times called it “a fast-moving urbane entertainment,” with Variety citing Grant as the “suave master of romantic banter.” Grant and Hepburn make for a delightful team, and a terrific supporting cast features turns by three future Oscar winners, all in the supporting actor category: Walter Matthau, James Coburn and George Kennedy.
The Oscar-nominated music (Best Song) is by Henry Mancini. The film was a smash hit in 1963, and kept Grant in the top ten box office stars poll that year.
We present the Twofer Tuesday Cary Grant double bill as a refreshing movie tonic to help beat the summer heat. MR. BLANDINGS BUILDS HIS DREAM HOUSE plays at 5:00 pm and 9:30 pm; CHARADE at 7:00 pm on Tuesday, August 14 at the Royal, NoHo 7 and Playhouse 7.
CHARADE Format: DCP
MR. BLANDINGS Format: DVD
ON HER MAJESTY’S SECRET SERVICE star George Lazenby will be participate in a Q&A at the NoHo after the screening on Thursday, August 9.
Laemmle Theatres and the Anniversary Classics Series present a 65th anniversary screening of one of the most beloved romantic films of all time, William Wyler’s ROMAN HOLIDAY. In fact, when the American Film Institute conducted a poll surveying the greatest movie romances, Roman Holiday ranked #4, right behind such classics as Casablanca and Gone With the Wind.
The film was nominated for 10 Academy Awards in 1953, and, in her first major screen role, Audrey Hepburn won the Oscar for best actress, launching one of the most dazzling careers of the next two decades. Future Oscar winner Gregory Peck co-stars.
After World War II, many Hollywood productions began to take advantage of overseas locations that obviously had not been available when the war was raging. Roman Holiday was filmed in its entirety in the Eternal City, with memorable scenes taking place at the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, and other iconic locales, with interiors shot at burgeoning Cinecitta Studios.
The story concerns a young European princess who, while visiting Rome, decides to flee her official responsibilities and explore the city on her own. She meets a reporter, played by Peck, and he becomes first her guide and then her romantic partner. Peck has an ulterior motive because when he learns her identity he imagines landing an exclusive inside story that will turn his colleagues green with envy. When the two begin to fall for one another, however, he begins to question his journalistic mission. Can the princess and the commoner overcome all the forces conspiring to keep them apart? That question is left unanswered until the memorable, bittersweet finale.
Dalton Trumbo provided the Oscar-winning original story, but because he was blacklisted during the 1950s, his name could not appear on the film, which was credited to Ian McLellan Hunter and John Dighton. In 1993, 40 years after the film’s premiere, Trumbo’s widow finally received the statuette. Wyler had already won two Oscars for directing Mrs. Miniver and The Best Years of Our Lives, and he would win a third a few years later for Ben-Hur. He received a nomination for his work on Roman Holiday, and with 12 nominations over the course of his career, he has a record that has not been matched by any other director and probably never will be equaled.
The critics were enchanted by the film in 1953, and reviews have remained rapturous over the years. Pauline Kael wrote, “This is the picture that made Audrey Hepburn a movie star… (Wyler’s) calm, elegant style prepares the scenes and builds the character until she has the audience in thrall, and when she smiles we’re all goners.”
The Boston Globe’s Ty Burr praised “a classic of romantic wish fulfillment.” And in England, The Observer’s Philip French commented aptly, “Only the big screen can do justice to its scintillating monochrome images.”
Franz Planer and Henri Alekan were cinematographers, and Georges Auric and Victor Young provided the music. Edith Head designed the Oscar-winning costumes. Eddie Albert, Harcourt Williams, and Margaret Rawlings co-star. The film was added to the National Film Registry in 1999.
Catherine Wyler has produced documentaries for PBS and other companies. She also produced the narrative feature Memphis Belle, which was inspired by a documentary that her father directed during World War II. She will participate in a Q&A at the screening.
Join us for this 65th anniversary screening on Sunday, July 22, at 4pm at the Ahrya Fine Arts in Beverly Hills. Click here for tickets.
Please note: Eastbound Wilshire Blvd. will be closed in front of the Fine Arts on the day of this screening. The sidewalk will remain open. For passenger drop-off we suggest using Le Doux Road or Stanley Drive. Plenty of parking is available along La Cienega and at nearby lots.
Laemmle Theatres and the Anniversary Classics Series present the latest offering in our Anniversary Classics Abroad series: 20th anniversary screenings of the Academy Award-winning Best Foreign Language Film of 1998, Roberto Benigni’s LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL.
The film was nominated for seven Oscars in all, including Best Picture of the year, an unusually strong showing for a foreign language film. It also won an Oscar for Benigni as Best Actor, the first time in the Academy’s 70-year history that a male actor had won the top prize for a foreign language performance.
Nicola Piovani also won for his lyrical musical score. In addition to its awards, the film scored an enormous success at the box office. It became the highest grossing foreign language film at the U.S. box office up to that point, and its success reverberated all over the world. With well over $200 million earned worldwide, it remains one of the most financially successful of all foreign language titles.
Benigni was primarily known as a comic actor and filmmaker when he decided to shift gears and tackle the dark realities of the Holocaust in this daring tragicomic fable. The first half of the film plays as a romantic comedy, with Benigni cast as a Jewish Italian bookshop owner who is determined to woo a spirited teacher (played by Benigni’s real-life wife, Nicoletta Braschi) despite formidable obstacles. After they marry and have a young son, the tragic realities of the Second World War intrude on their lives, as they are all sent to a Nazi concentration camp. In a desperate desire to save his son, Benigni’s Guido devises an elaborate game to keep the boy distracted from the horrors around him.
Benigni, who directed and wrote the screenplay with Vincenzo Cerami, said that he was inspired by the memoirs of a Jewish Auschwitz survivor named Rubino Romeo Salmoni, whose book, In the End, I Beat Hitler, told how a sense of dark humor helped him to transcend his enslavement. The cast of the film also includes Giorgio Cantarini as the couple’s young son, Giustino Durano as Guido’s beloved uncle, and veteran German actor Horst Buchholz as a German doctor who befriends Guido and his son in the camp.
Although there were a few critics who were discomfited by the film’s whimsical approach to a historical tragedy, most endorsed the film enthusiastically. The Washington Post’s Michael O’Sullivan called the film “sad, funny and haunting.” Kenneth Turan wrote in the Los Angeles Times, “its sentiment is inescapable, but genuine poignancy and pathos are also present, and an overarching sincerity is visible too.” Leonard Maltin hailed “a unique and beguiling fable that celebrates the human spirit.”
LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL screens Wednesday, July 18, at 7pm at the Royal Theatre, Town Center, and Playhouse. Click here for tickets.
In 1943, while the Allies are bombing Berlin and the Gestapo is purging the capital of Jews, a dangerous love affair blossoms between two women. One of them, Lilly Wust (NOWHERE IN AFRICA’s Juliane Köhler), married and the mother of four sons, enjoys the privileges of her stature as an exemplar of Nazi motherhood. For her, this affair will be the most decisive experience of her life. For the other woman, Felice Schragenheim (Maria Schrader), a Jewess and member of the underground, their love fuels her with the hope that she will survive.
A half-century later, Lilly Wust told her incredible story to writer Erica Fischer, and the book, AIMÉE & JAGUAR, first published in 1994 immediately became a bestseller and has since been translated into eleven languages. Max Färberböck’s debut film, based on Fischer’s book, is the true story of this extraordinary relationship. The film was nominated for a 1999 Golden Globe Award and was Germany’s submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. Both actresses received Silver Bears at the 1999 Berlin International Film Festival for their portrayals of “Aimée” and “Jaguar.”
Join us for a special Q&A with AIMEE & JAGUAR star Maria Schrader following the 7:30pm screening on Monday, July 9th at the Ahrya Fine Arts in Beverly Hills. Presented in 35mm. Click here for tickets.
About Maria Schrader:
Two-time winner of the German Film award and two-time winner of the Bavarian Film award, Maria Schrader worked with directors such as Margarethe von Trotta, Doris Dörrie (“Nobody Loves Me”), Hans W. Geissendörfer, Peter Greenaway, Rajko Grilic and Agnieszka Holland (“In Darkness”). In 1999, at the Berlinale, she received the Silver Bear for Best Actress in “Aimée & Jaguar” directed by Max Färberböck. Recently, she thrilled television audiences in the Emmy award-winning and internationally renowned series “Deutschland 83″ (2015). “Deutschland 86” will premiere in October, 2018.
Ms. Schrader co-directed “The Giraffe” with Dani Levy (1998). Her directorial debut “Love Life” was shot in Israel in 2007 and was based on Zeruya Shalev’s novel by the same title. The film premiered at the Festa del Cinema in Rome in 2007. “Stefan Zweig: Farewell to Europe” is her second feature as a director; she was nominated for Best Director at the 2017 German Film Awards, and the film won the People’s Choice Award at the 2017 European Film Awards.