American Cinematheque at the Egyptian Theatre Presents...
Making Movie History for 80 Years!

Click to Print Page 1 or Page 2 or Full Text of Sept./Oct. Schedule!
Series compiled by:  Blake Lucas, Dennis Bartok and Chris D.



Special Thanks to: Marilee Womack/WARNER BROS. CLASSICS; John Kirk and Latanya Taylor/MGM-UA; Amy Lewin/PARAMOUNT PICTURES; Todd Wiener/UCLA FILM & TV ARCHIVE; Paul Ginsburg/UNIVERSAL DISTRIBUTION; Mike Schlesinger/COLUMBIA PICTURES REPERTORY; Quentin Tarantino; Sydney Pollack; Fritz Herzog and Chris Fedak/ACADEMY OF MOTION PICTURE ARTS & SCIENCES – Film Archive; Anne Goodman/CRITERION PICTURES; Ken Kramer.





Tickets available 30 days in advance. Tickets are $9 general admission unless noted otherwise.
Sold out programs will be indicated here if sold out 24 hours in advance of screening date.
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24-Hour Information: 323.466.FILM
Contact Us
The American Cinematheque is a non-profit 501 (C) (3) organization.
The Film Programs of the American Cinematheque are presented at the magnificently renovated, historic 1922 Grauman's Hollywood Egyptian Theatre. Located at 6712 Hollywood Boulevard.
Photo Credit: Randall Michelson. Detail of Egyptian Theatre Ceiling.

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<<< October 1-11, 2004 >>>

Westward Bound: The 1st Annual Westerns Festival


No genre has endured so well as the Western. Combining American history with penetrating studies of character and illuminations of conflict, it seems to endlessly find the right balance of rich narrative motifs, dramatically expressive action and a wonderfully artful use of landscape to impose itself on movie lovers as the essence of classical cinema. The Western dates to the beginning of movies and venturesome filmmakers still attempt it even today in an age of high-tech cinema, but it blossomed especially in the decades after World War II when many Westerns were made in any given year. The genre reached a new level of maturity and seriousness, and most of the more talented American filmmakers were attracted to the form. The intentions of a Western may be complex, as attested to by the works of a traditional artist like John Ford, and as much in the films of an iconoclastic figure like Sam Peckinpah. A Western may celebrate the American spirit and sound an elegiac note about the frontier or radically question and critique these same things, even within the same film. Contrary to false generalities, Westerns are as much given to reflection as action, and have provided great roles for women and affecting male-female relationships. And in the 1950s especially, they were often conspicuously sensitive to the dispossession of Indians and narratives of prejudice. Above all, in its many revenge narratives and portraits of men torn by ambivalence about violence, it is graced by some of cinema's most profound and deeply felt realizations of journeys to spiritual renewal.

Our first annual Westerns series encompasses the full range of these aspects and embraces films by such acknowledged masters as Howard Hawks (RIO BRAVO, RED RIVER), Raoul Walsh (PURSUED, COLORADO TERRITORY), Anthony Mann (THE MAN FROM LARAMIE) and Henry Hathaway (GARDEN OF EVIL), as well as lesser-known classics by genre specialists like Richard Fleischer (BANDIDO), Andre de Toth (DAY OF THE OUTLAW), Joseph Newman (FORT MASSACRE), Phil Karlson (GUNMAN’S WALK), Robert Parrish (THE WONDERFUL COUNTRY) and William Witney (STRANGER AT MY DOOR), some of whom made only a few Westerns but enough to make an imprint, and finally later directors of more modern sensibility like Robert Altman (McCABE AND MRS. MILLER), Sydney Pollack (JEREMIAH JOHNSON) and Walter Hill (GERONIMO), who have shown effectively how the genre can be creatively revitalized. Still, the films in this series are inevitably just a vivid first look at the treasure trove of Westerns still to be mined in future years.


Friday, October 1 – 7:00 PM

Howard Hawks Double Feature – Author Todd McCarthy In Person!

New 35mm Print! RIO BRAVO, 1959, Warners, 141 min. Director Howard Hawks makes a typical Western town a model of his own distinctive universe, as a sheriff (John Wayne) tries to hold the murderous brother of a powerful rancher and is helped by his recovering alcoholic deputy (Dean Martin), a young gunfighter (Ricky Nelson), a lady gambler (Angie Dickinson) and a toothless old cripple (Walter Brennan). As rich in humor as drama, and one of the eternal masterpieces of both Hawks and the genre. Music by Hawks favorite Dimitri Tiomkin.

RED RIVER, 1948, MGM/UA, 133 min. Dir. Howard Hawks. Cattle baron John Wayne and foster son Montgomery Clift (in his first film) take 'em to Missouri but fall into conflict along the way in director Hawks' seminal Western classic, in which the director commands the epic as well as the intimate. With Joanne Dru, Walter Brennan, Coleen Gray, and music by the great Dimitri Tiomkin. Discussion between films with actress Coleen Gray (RED RIVER) and film critic Todd McCarthy, author of the definitive biography Howard Hawks: The Grey Fox Of Hollywood.


Saturday, October 2 – 5:00 PM

New 35mm Print – Vilmos Zsigmond In Person!

MCCABE & MRS. MILLER, 1971, Warners, 120 min. Director Robert Altman spins fresh variations on archetypal themes and characters in a film which set the mood of 1970s revisionist Westerns as surely as Altman sets the mood of the story, captured in the memorable opening images of an unlikely hero riding toward town accompanied by Leonard Cohen songs. An opium dream of a Western starring Warren Beatty and Julie Christie, with superb cinematography by Vilmos Zsigmond. Discussion following with cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond (schedule permitting).


Saturday, October 2 – 8:00 PM

Raoul Walsh Double Bill:

PURSUED, 1947, Paramount, 101 min. Greek tragedy on the range, as director Raoul Walsh and writer Niven Busch bring a new psychological dimension to the genre in telling of a hero (Robert Mitchum) haunted by childhood memories of flashing spurs, and seemingly ordained for violence even within his adoptive family. With Teresa Wright, Judith Anderson, Dean Jagger, and mesmerizing black-and-white cinematography by the great James Wong Howe. [Restored print courtesy of the UCLA Film & TV Archive.]

COLORADO TERRITORY, 1949, Warners, 94 min. Director Raoul Walsh demonstrates again that no one is more celebratory of both the strong woman and the couple. Here he remakes his gangster classic, HIGH SIERRA, as a Western and arguably surpasses it, especially in a last reunion of outlaw lovers Joel McCrea and Virginia Mayo, one of cinema's sublime romantic moments.


Sunday, October 3 – 4:00 PM

New 35mm Print – Carol Lynley In Person!!

THE LAST SUNSET, 1961, Universal, 112 min. Dir. Robert Aldrich. One of the most audacious and unusual Westerns is set in motion by a marshal (Rock Hudson) pursuing a fugitive (Kirk Douglas), but turns on the unexpectedly tender relationship of Douglas' verse-reciting gunman with the adolescent daughter (Carol Lynley) of his old flame (Dorothy Malone) during an eventful cattle drive from Mexico to Texas. Aldrich blends great location work with soundstage exteriors to lyrical effect en route, building to a piercing climax. Discussion following with actress Carol Lynley (schedule permitting), moderated by entertainment journalist/author Nelson Aspen.


Sunday, October 3 – 7:00 PM

Phil Karlson + Andre de Toth Double Feature – Actor Tab Hunter In Person!!

GUNMAN’S WALK, 1958, Columbia, 97 min. Dir. Phil Karlson. One of the best of many ‘50s family dramas on the range. Here, relationships unravel among tough patriarch Van Heflin and his two sons, one gentle and sensitive (James Darren), the other wild and dangerous (Tab Hunter, in one of his finest performances). With Kathryn Grant.

DAY OF THE OUTLAW, 1959, MGM/UA, 92 min. Dir. Andre de Toth. Conflict within a town during a stark winter is complicated by the arrival of wounded outlaw Burl Ives and his men, and it's up to bitter rancher Robert Ryan to set things right. De Toth and great cinematographer Russell Harlan (RED RIVER, RIO BRAVO) create memorable images of bleak snowscapes and violence threatening to explode. With Tina Louise, Jack Lambert. Discussion between films with GUNMAN’S WALK actors Tab Hunter, James Darren and Kathryn Grant Crosby, moderated by author & film historian Eddie Muller.


Friday, October 8 – 7:00 PM

JEREMIAH JOHNSON, 1972, Warners, 108 min. Director Sydney Pollack and writers John Milius and Edward Anhalt set an incisive character study against an expansive mythic background in the portrait of a mountain man (Robert Redford) who begins as an innocent and is taught the hard lessons of experience in a still unspoiled wilderness. An alternately exhilarating and mournful portrait of a vanished way of life, and one of the very finest of latter-day westerns.


Friday, October 8 – 9:30 PM

Anthony Mann Double Feature:

New 35mm Prints! THE MAN FROM LARAMIE, 1955, Columbia, 104 min. Master of the revenge Western, director Anthony Mann capped five James Stewart classics with this CinemaScope masterpiece in which Stewart's trail leads him to a powerful ranching family headed for tragedy. With Arthur Kennedy, Donald Crisp, Cathy O'Donnell, Alex Nicol.

THE LAST FRONTIER, 1956, Columbia, 98 min. In a rarely seen Anthony Mann gem, free-spirited trapper Victor Mature bends uncomfortably to the ways of civilization to wear a blue Army coat while a glory seeking commander (Robert Preston) courts trouble with the Indians. More great 'Scope and color compositions from Mann, seen here in a new 35mm print! With Guy Madison, Anne Bancroft, James Whitmore.


Saturday, October 9 – 5:00 PM

Robert Mitchum Double Feature – Director Richard Fleischer In Person!

BANDIDO, 1956, 92 min. Dir. Richard Fleischer. Super-cool, cynical soldier of fortune Robert Mitchum runs guns for the Mexican Revolution in a vibrant adventure which effectively balances its personal story against a rich social/historical context. The amazing opening scenes, with Mitchum calmly checking into a hotel and pouring himself a drink amidst gun- and cannon-fire, is worth the price of admission alone. With Gilbert Roland, Zachary Scott, Ursula Thiess.

THE WONDERFUL COUNTRY, 1959, MGM/UA, 96 min. Dir. Robert Parrish. The great Robert Mitchum again plays an adventurer south of the border, but this time a more melancholy one whose literal and spiritual odyssey makes for one of the most moving but almost-unknown Westerns. With Julie London and Pedro Armendáriz, and one of the greatest of all Western scores by Alex North. Discussion between films with BANDIDO director Richard Fleischer (schedule permitting).


Saturday, October 9 – 9:30 PM

<< Please note that the order of the films has changed from what was previously announced.

William Witney Tribute – with Quentin Tarantino In Person!

SANTA FE PASSAGE, 1955, Republic (Paramount), 90 min. Dir William Whitney. Indian scout John Payne carries the stigma of past cowardice but gets a chance to redeem himself as he and partner, Slim Pickens escort a beleagured wagon train through hostile Kiowa indian territory. If that wasn't bad enough, there's also wild horse stampedes, renegade gun dealers and a hotblooded love triangle to give him nary a restful moment in this fastmoving Republic western classic. With Faith Domergue, Rod Cameron. Quentin Tarantino to introduce the first film of the screening (schedule permitting).


STRANGER AT MY DOOR, 1956, Republic (Paramount), 85 min. A director ripe for re-discovery, Oklahoma-born William Witney was a veteran of serials like "Captain Marvel" and "Dick Tracy" and dozens of tough, interesting genre films (including some of Roy Rogers’ best movies), before moving up to more serious dramas like this one, a favorite of director Quentin Tarantino, who will share his appreciation of Witney's gifts. A parson and his wife try to help a young outlaw, who proves as hard to tame as a wild horse in this surprisingly dark and complex Republic western. With Macdonald Carey, Patricia Medina, Skip Homeier.

Sunday, October 10 – 4:00 PM

Joseph Newman Double Feature:

FORT MASSACRE, 1958, MGM/UA, 80 min. Western icon Joel McCrea is effectively cast against type as an Indian-hating sergeant leading a small patrol through hostile territory in this concise, powerful little drama directed by veteran Joseph Newman (THIS ISLAND EARTH, 711 OCEAN DRIVE), who seemed to have a way with any genre he touched. With Forrest Tucker, Susan Cabot, John Russell.

THE OUTCASTS OF POKER FLATS, 1952, 20th Century Fox/Criterion, 81 min. Director Joseph Newman neatly fills in the traits of the drifters finding refuge in a mountain cabin in a fierce snowstrorm. A tense reworking of the famous Bret Harte story, beginning with an artful nocturnal sequence which sets it up with bravura visual flair. With Anne Baxter, Dale Robertson, Cameron Mitchell.


Sunday, October 10 – 7:30 PM

Walter Hill Tribute:

GERONIMO: AN AMERICAN LEGEND, 1993, Columbia, 115 min. A modern action master, director Walter Hill also displays a reflective side and almost Rossellini-esque historical perspective in his retelling of the last days of resistance of the great Apache leader. One of the most impressive and overlooked late Westerns. With Wes Studi, Matt Damon, Jason Patric, Robert Duvall, Gene Hackman and Scott Wilson. Music by Ry Cooder. Discussion following with director Walter Hill and writer Larry Gross (schedules permitting).


Monday, October 11 – 7:30 PM

Westerns Trailers Show! Approx. 65 min. From Roy Rogers to Gene Autry; from the classic 30's serials to "Stagecoach" (1939) to "Shane" ... the best (and maybe a few of the not-so-best) trailers, direct from the archives of SabuCat Productions! Wonderful, rarely seen (in many cases, not since the year of their first release) and hardly ever shown the way they were meant to be seen... on the huge Egyptian Theatre screen! PLUS

IB Technicolor 4-track Stereo Print!

GARDEN OF EVIL, 1954, 20th Century Fox, 100 min. Dir. Henry Hathaway. Four men trek into the wilds of Mexico to help a strong-willled woman (Susan Hayward) bring back her injured husband, and the eventful, dangerous journey becomes a test of character with unexpected twists and turns. With Gary Cooper, Richard Widmark, Cameron Mitchell and one of the few Western scores by Bernard Herrmann.