|Mods & Rockers: The Return
of Groovy Movies From The Shagadelic '60s!
This series also screens at the Aero Theatre (July 8 - 10, 2005).
"Are you a Mod or a Rocker?" a female reporter
quizzed Beatle Ringo Starr in A HARD DAYS NIGHT. His famous response "Im
a Mocker" neatly summed up the cocky, carefree spirit of the 1960s,
when every teenager with pegged pants and a shag (haircut, that is) started his weekend
with "Ready, Steady, Go!" and droves of dollybirds in Twiggy/Suzy Kendall gear
roamed the swinging streets of London. After a one-year hiatus which gave us time
to dig up even MORE swinging classics and rarities -- our Mods & Rockers Film Festival
is back in all its day-glo glory for its 6th edition!! This years Fest
features a mini-tribute to author Jacqueline Susann with a brand-new print of VALLEY
OF THE DOLLS plus the rarely-screened THE LOVE MACHINE. Other highlights
include the Directors Cut of the landmark concert doc WOODSTOCK, Richard
Lesters bittersweet San Francisco-in-the-Summer-of-Love drama PETULIA, and a
bevy of groovy 60s nuggets that havent seen a projector in many years,
including ANGEL ANGEL DOWN WE GO and the wonderfully-titled Anthony Newley magnum
opus CAN HIERONYMUS MERKIN EVER FORGET MERCY HUMPPE AND FIND TRUE HAPPINESS?
For more information on the Festival: www.modsandrockers.com
Tuesday July 5 - 8:00 PM
FESTIVAL OPENING NIGHT!
A SALUTE TO THE PIONEERS OF ROCK N ROLL MOVIES
TWO CLASSIC BILL HALEY & THE COMETS FILMS
IN-PERSON APPEARANCE BY THE COMETS!
THE CLOCK, 1956, Columbia, 77 min. Dir. Fred Sears. This was the first-ever rock
n roll feature film. It was a true quickie! It was shot in January 1956
and premiered six weeks later in March 1956! preceding "The Girl Cant
Help It" by 9 months. The film was very loosely inspired by the story of Bill Haley
& The Comets who starred as themselves. Also featuring The Platters. The
soundtrack featured full or partial renditions of 10 songs by Haley & the original
Comets. Teenage audiences throughout the world and especially in Britain
RIOTED when watching this movie! Firstly out of excitement at hearing the raucous rock
n roll. And then again at the end of the movie when the Haley & The Comets
musical finale was interrupted by a cheesy love scene!
Legendary B-Movie producer Sam Katzman produced no less than 239
movies in his 40-year career from 1934-1974. An average of 6 films per year! By the time
he produced "Rock Around The Clock" he already had 190 of them under his belt.
So movie #191 rolled off the assembly line with ease and unwittingly invented an
entire genre. Made for a paltry $300,000 - the film grossed an astonishing (for 1956) $4
million in the US and another $3 million overseas where the film was a virtual phenomenon.
Incidentally - this was just one of NINE
films that director Fred Sears helmed in 1956 alone! He also cranked out 2 movies in 1949,
3 in 1950, 5 in 1951, 6 in 1952, 7 in 1953, 5 in 1954, a mere 4 in 1955 and 5 more in 1957
before for some strange reason dropping dead in November 1957 of a heart attack at the age
of just 44! Even that didnt stop the prolific Sears - as no less than 5 more films
he directed just before his death were released in 1958! His career total as a director
was 51 films shot in just 9 years. If only hed lived as long as Billy Wilder
DONT KNOCK THE ROCK, 1956,
Columbia, 84 min. Dir. Fred Sears. The first-ever rock n roll movie sequel!
After the runaway success of the first Haley & The Comets film veteran B-movie
producer Sam Katzman sensed he was onto a good thing and less than 9 months later had
rushed out a second movie starring Bill Haley & The Comets. It co-starred Little
Richard and respected R&B group The Treniers who in 1953 had recorded Bill
Haleys composition "Rock-A-Beatin Boogie." Katzman even felt
confident enough to make this film 7 minutes longer that its predecessor an entire
84 minutes! The soundtrack features full or partial renditions of 6 songs by Haley &
The film was very nearly the second-ever rock n roll
movie to be released but 20th Century Fox rushed out "The Girl Cant Help
It" starring Fats Domino just 2 weeks earlier. Interestingly both films featured the
same supporting cast Little Richard and The Treniers. And for good measure
"The Girl Cant Help It" also included The Platters who had just been seen
in "Rock Around The Clock"! Clearly neither the producer nor the studios
expected the craze for rock n roll to last so duplicating casts was not
seen as particularly worrying.
It was very early days in the rock n roll movie world
and this is one of the movies that inspired all the hundreds of look-alike, sound-alike,
plot-alike jukebox musicals that followed. All the
Interestingly the working titles for the film included "Hi
Fi" and "Rhythm and Blues." The studio marketing department wasted no time
in exploiting the controversy generated by the new teenage rage. The campaign promised
movie-goers "The Real Story Behind The World-Wide Rock 'N Roll Headlines!"
The evening will feature
a Q&A with all 5 surviving members of The Comets and Mrs. Bill
"Cuppy" Haley (married to Bill Haley 1952-1960).
Friday, July 8 7:30 PM
John Phillip Law Double-Feature -- Ultra-Rare 35 mm.
DANGER: DIABOLIK, 1967, Paramount,
100 min. Dir. Mario Bava. "Diabolik out for all he can take, seduce or get
!" Is there a groovier 60s flick than this??! From sexy,
cat-suited super-thief John Phillip Law to gorgeous gal-pal Marisa Mell, to Ennio
Morricones psychedelic paradise of a score (including "Deep Deep Down,"
one of the greatest spy-themes ever)
this is as Mod as it gets, baby!! Its
been nearly 10 years since a 35 mm. print of this was screened in L.A. (we know we
showed it last time!), so dont miss this rarer-than-rare showing!!
BARBARELLA, 1968, Paramount, 98 min. Jane
Fonda, the final word in comic-strip space heroines, trips the light fantastic in director
Roger Vadim's delightfully whacked-out romp in the 41st century, an acid-trip lightshow of
a universe populated by blind birdman John Phillip Law, one-eyed dominatrix Anita
Pallenberg (Keith Richards' one-time girlfriend!) and galaxy dictator Duran Duran (Milo
O'Shea) and his orgasm machine. Ultra-groovy soft-psych soundtrack by Bob Crewe and the
Glitterhouse. With David Hemmings, Marcel Marceau to be confirmed.
An Egyptian Exclusive!
Saturday, July 9 4:30 PM
To celebrate the
glorious 60's-themed movies in the "Mods & Rockers Film Festival" there will
be a free concert in the courtyard of the Egyptian Theater open to all the public - by one
of Hollywood's top 60's revival bands - The Gear. The fourpiece band specializes in
playing the best songs by top British Invasion artists of the 60's including songs by The
Beatles, Stones, Animals, Dave Clark Five, Herman's Hermits and many more. The concert
is free, but only members may attend the mixer listed below.
Members May Join Us For An American Cinematheque Members Only
"FilmMingler" In Honor of Ringo Starr's 65th Birthday with Beatles scholar
All members who purchase tickets to tonight's program (7/9) are
invited to attend this free reception with one guest. Mix and mingle with fellow members,
chat up Martin about your fave Beatles movie, or just enjoy drinks before the movies!!
Reception begins at 4:30 PM.
RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, July 9 6:00 PM
Special Screening Celebrating Ringo
Starrs 65th Birthday!!
A HARD DAYS NIGHT, 1964,
Miramax, 85 min. Director Richard Lester's brilliant, carefree comedy set the tone for the
rest of the 1960's and captured The Beatles at their best, clowning (as one respected
reviewer said) like the new Marx Bros. From Lester's restless, handheld camerawork to
writer Alun Owen's surreal day-in-the-life script and George Martin's sprightly score
(both Oscar-nominated) to the Beatles themselves - exuberantly singing "Can't Buy Me
Love," "She Loves You" and ten other Beatles classics -- this is the
essence of the Sixties.
Preceded by the short: "Things They Said Today..." 2002,
Miramax, 35 min. A documentary on the making of the classic film. Directed by Beatles
scholar (and Mods & Rockers Fest producer!) Martin Lewis, who also produced the
films DVD edition.
>> Also screening at the Aero on July 8.
Saturday, July 9 8:45 PM
"Golden Girl" Shirley Eaton Double
GOLDFINGER, 1964, MGM/UA, 111 min. Dir. Guy
Hamilton. "Do you expect me to talk, Goldfinger?" "No, Mr. Bond, I
expect you to die
" cackles homicidal villain Auric Goldfinger (Gert
Frobe), as he prepares to re-arrange 007s secret equipment with a laser beam, in
what is widely considered to be the best of the classic Sean Connery Bond pictures and
high point in 60s pop culture (dig the Aston Martin! the Shirley Bassey-sung theme
song!) Co-starring the saucy Honor Blackman as Bonds nemesis-turned-partner Pussy
Galore, with Shirley Eaton as the gold-painted girl, Harold Sakata as mute assassin
Oddjob, and the venerable home office team of Bernard Lee, Lois Maxwell and Desmond
Llewelyn. Terrific production design by series veteran Ken Adam. The films mod
zeitgeist credentials are underscored by Bonds priceless observation: "Drinking
Dom Perignon 53 above a temperature of 38 degrees Fahrenheit? Thats as bad as
listening to the Beatles without earmuffs
>> Also screening at the Aero on July 10.
THE MILLION EYES OF SUMURU,
1967, MGM/UA, 95 min. Dir. Lindsay Shonteff. In answer to the ultimate trivia question
What movie stars both Frankie Avalon and Klaus Kinski? its THE
MILLION EYES OF SUMURU!! Golden girl Shirley Eaton plays the diabolical leader of a
worldwide Amazon sect intent on ending the worlds male domination. Loosely based on
Fu Manchu-creator Sax Rohmers Sumuru character, this is an amusing example of
1960s pulpy pop culture at its most bizarre. Beehive hairdos, beautiful wicked women
in skintight costumes, clueless secret agents and exotic locales (it was filmed largely at
the Shaw Bros. Hong Kong studio) punctuate this campy, Saturday matinee-style thriller.
An Egyptian Exclusive!
Sunday, July 10 5:00 PM
THE LOVED ONE, 1965, MGM (Warners), 121
min. The movie with something to offend everyone! Judged unfilmable for over a decade
(Luis Buñuel was trying to set it up for years), writer Evelyn Waughs spot-on
satire of Southern California - specifically the funeral business was finally
brought to the screen in the mid-Sixties by director Tony Richardson (TOM JONES) with a
screenplay by Terry Southern (CANDY, EASY RIDER) and Christopher Isherwood (!). Robert
Morse, a British youth visiting his uncle (John Gielgud) in Los Angeles encounters the
weird world of tinseltowns mortuary subculture, embodied by twins Henry and Reverend
Wilbur Glenworthy (Jonathan Winters in a dual role), embalmer Mr. Joyboy (Rod Steiger) and
his beautiful apprentice, Aimee Thanatogenous (Anjanette Comer). Marketed as "the
motion picture with something to offend everyone!", this is an achingly funny
pitch black comedy that could only have been released in the anything-goes era of the
1960s. With Liberace, Paul Williams, Dana Andrews.
LORD LOVE A DUCK, 1966, MGM/UA, 104
min. Dir. George Axelrod. Roddy McDowall, an overgrown teenage outcast, becomes fast
friends and protector of cheerleader Tuesday Weld in one of the funniest and most
underrated sixties black comedies. Lola Albright is Welds alcoholic
cocktail-waitress mom, Harvey Korman the puffed-up high school principal, Martin Gabel the
Sam Arkoff-inspired exploitation auteur -- and Ruth Gordon the poisonously-sarcastic
mother-in-law addicted to yogurt and Stingers. Belly-laughs galore, and so many bizarre
touches one wonders how director Axelrod ever convinced a major studio to let him get away
with this much on-target brilliance!! Be sure to listen for legendary "Batman"
composer Neil Heftis super-swinging score, with an astounding theme song by The Wild
Ones - !
An Egyptian Exclusive!
Thursday, July 14 7:30 PM
Mondo-A-Go-Go 60s Rarities!!
New 35 mm. Print! ANGEL, ANGEL, DOWN WE GO (a.k.a. CULT OF THE DAMNED), 1969,
MGM/UA, 103 min. Robert Thom (writer of WILD IN THE STREETS) scripted and directed this
jawdropping hymn to purple prose and psychedelic nihilism. Washed-up star Astrid (Jennifer
Jones), her jaded millionaire spouse (Charles Aidman) and their searching-for-meaning
daughter (Holly Near) all have the misfortune to meet Machiavellian popstar, Bogart Peter
Stuyvesant (Jordan Christopher) who worms his way into the household with his band, The
Rabbit Habit (!) in tow. While occasionally belting out catchy songs by Barry Mann/Cynthia
Weil (more WILD IN THE STREETS alumni), and with the help of plenty of LSD, he alternately
charms and intimidates everyone in this dysfunctional family. Imagine a remake of
Pasolini's TEOREMA done in the American International, drive-in mindset, and youll
get some idea of what to expect. An absurdly tasteless vision of the evil flipside of the
late 1960s counterculture. Be sure to look for Roddy McDowall and Lou Rawls in
Jordan Christophers spaced-out entourage! NOT ON
MARYJANE, 1968, MGM/UA, 104 min. Director
Maury Dexter (THE MINI-SKIRT MOB) takes on the pot problem with Fabian (can
you dig it??) as a hip high school teacher trying to investigate campus marijuana use.
Caught between uptight faculty and distrustful kids, hes framed for possession and
is soon jumping through hoops to not only clear his name but also help troubled youth
Jerry (Michael Margotta) before the ruthless teen drug dealers can get the upper hand.
Although a little dated, a surprisingly credible B picture looking at the mushrooming use
of grass in 1960s Southern California high schools. With Diane McBain, Kevin
Coughlin and a teenage Patty McCormack (THE BAD SEED). [Please note that this, the
only surviving print of MARYJANE, is faded.] NOT ON VIDEO!
Actress Patty McCormack (MARY JANE) will
introduce MARY JANE right before the screening.
An Egyptian Exclusive!
Friday, July 15 7:30 PM
WOODSTOCK (The Directors Cut),
1970, Warner Bros., 228 min. Dir. Michael Wadleigh. In THE OMEGA MAN, its no wonder
that Charlton Heston, sole survivor of the human race, spends his days endlessly watching
WOODSTOCK, the ultimate time capsule of the Love Generation. If any film captured the
heady idealism, the free-form partying, drug-taking and love-making, and above all, the
great music of the late 1960s, this is it. The Who, Crosby Stills & Nash, Sly
& The Family Stone, Richie Havens, Joan Baez, Joe Cocker, Carlos Santana need
we say more? Well be screening the much-extended Directors Cut of the film,
featuring many songs and performers not included in the original release version.
An Egyptian Exclusive!
Saturday, July 16 7:30 PM
Jacqueline Susann Night New 35 mm.
VALLEY OF THE DOLLS, 1967, 20th
Century Fox, 123 min. Dir. Mark Robson. "You know its bad to take
liquor with those pills," warns small-town-girl turned super-model Anne (Barbara
Parkins) to Broadway diva/train wreck Neely (Patty Duke). Neelys answer: "They
work faster." If you want to see the great, bitchy, booze/angst/sex/drugs-fueled
godmother to "Desperate Housewives" youve come to the right place!!
Based on author Jacqueline Susanns runaway best-seller which
practically created a cottage industry in glossy, sex-drenched soap operas on page and
screen VALLEY also co-stars the tragically beautiful Sharon Tate as B-movie
queen Jennifer. Our enormous thanks to our friends at 20th Century Fox for
striking a new print of this 60s classic!!
THE LOVE MACHINE, 1971,
Columbia, 108 min. Dir. Jack Haley Jr. Mind-numbingly entertaining, guilty-pleasure
fun and another unapologetically trashy ride from the pen of author Jacqueline Susann.
John Phillip Law is Robin Stone, an unscrupulous TV executive who will figuratively
and literally screw anyone he has to in order to rise to the top. He becomes
entangled in liaisons with various beauties, and has to contend with Dyan Cannon,
Jody Wexler and petulant gay photographer, Jerry Nelson (a memorable performance by David
Hemmings), as he realizes his ambitions. But the precarious balancing act soon causes
his ego-driven empire to begin to crumble. With a supporting cast that includes Robert
Ryan, Jackie Cooper. Dionne Warwick sings the opening theme "Hes Moving
On." NOT ON VIDEO!
>>THE LOVE MACHINE is An Egyptian Exclusive!
Sunday, July 17 5:00 PM
PETULIA, 1968, Warner Bros., 105 min. Dir.
Richard Lester. Truly one of the great overlooked films of the late 60s,
PETULIA stars George C. Scott as a middle-aged physician who finds himself drawn
into the mad, idealistic and desperately sad whirlwind life of unhappily married Julie
Christie at the height of San Franciscos Summer of Love. Beautifully
photographed by the great Nicolas Roeg, and featuring brief, ultra-rare appearances
in their prime by Janis Joplin (with Big Brother & The Holding Company) and The
Grateful Dead, PETULIA captures both the sunshine optimism of the 60s and the
melancholy afterglow soon to come when the Summer of Love faded away
Introduction to the screening by producer Ray Wagner.
Uncut Full-Length Version!! CAN
HIERONYMUS MERKIN EVER FORGET MERCY HUMPPE AND FIND TRUE
HAPPINESS?, 1969, Universal, 107 min. Its hard to believe, but this movie actually exists!
In the late-1960s, Anthony Newley was on a seemingly unstoppable roll as an
actor (SWEET NOVEMBER, DR. DOLITTLE) and composer (WILLY WONKA & THE CHOCOLATE
FACTORY, STOP THE WORLD I WANT TO GET OFF) and HIERONYMUS MERKIN was meant to be
his magnum opus, his answer to Fellinis 8-1/2. And it is sort of.
Newley (who also directed and wrote the script) stars as a man watching a film of his own
life unspool before his eyes. Joan Collins (who was Newleys wife at the time)
co-stars as a temptress named (are you ready for this?) "Polyester Poontang,"
with comic great Milton Berle as the Mephistopheles-like
"Goodtime Eddie Filth" who leads poor Hieronymus astray time after time. Will he
ever recapture the bliss of his lost love, Mercy Humppe? Come and find out for yourself
!! [Note: well be screening the uncut version of the film, which was Rated
"X" on original release. No One Under 17 Will Be Admitted to this Screening.] NOT ON VIDEO!
Introduction to HIERONYMOUS MERKIN by actress
Joyce Blair (her brother Lionel Blair choreographed this film as well as A HARD DAY'S
NIGHT). Moderated by Martin Lewis.
Celebrate the end of a great Mods &
Rockers Festival at the Knitting Factory after
An Egyptian Exclusive!