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

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Click to print Page 1 or Page 2 or Full Text of an January Calendar!

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Series programmed by: Chris D. (Egyptian) and Gwen Deglise (Aero). Some program notes by Foster Hirsch.
Special Thanks to: Marilee Womack/WARNER BROS.; Suzanne Leroy & Grover Crisp/SONY REPERTORY; Schawn Belston & Caitlin Robertson/20TH CENTURY FOX; Victoria Preminger; Fritz Herzog & Brian Meacham/AMPAS; Emily Horn & Barry Allen/PARAMOUNT; Amy Lewin/MGM REPERTORY.



SOLD OUT SCREENINGS: There will be a waiting line for Sold Out screenings. Tickets often become available at the door the night of an event.

Sold out programs will be indicated here if sold out 24 hours in advance of screening date.



All guests are subject to availability. The Cinematheque will offer a refund due to guest cancellations only IF the refund transaction is complete PRIOR to the start of the show.

Tickets available 30 days in advance. Tickets are $10 general admission unless noted otherwise.
SCHEDULE (by series)
SCHEDULE (by date)
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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<<< January 17 - 31, 2008 >>>

Otto Preminger: The Man Who Would Be King


Some films in this series also play at the Aero Theatre.




Otto Preminger (1905-1986), Hollywood’s first truly independent producer/director, was a controversial, polarizing figure throughout his life. He was famous as a flamboyant, outspoken personality – no filmmaker other than Alfred Hitchcock had a more recognizable public persona. A savvy showman and self-promoter whose frequent on-set tantrums were widely reported, Preminger also achieved fame on screen playing Nazis (STALAG 17) and as Mr. Freeze on television’s "Batman". But behind the colorful "characters" he invented and performed with great skill, Preminger was a fearless advocate of free speech. His defiance of the MPAA Production Code and the Catholic Legion of Decency – he released THE MOON IS BLUE and THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN ARM without the Production Code’s Seal of Approval -- struck fatal blows against censorship. He broke the blacklist when he revealed that Dalton Trumbo, one of the Hollywood Ten, had written the screenplay for EXODUS. In CARMEN JONES and PORGY AND BESS, he gave more employment to black actors than any other filmmaker of his era. He was the first director to deal with "forbidden" subjects like virginity, drug addiction, homosexuality, rape, and corruption in Washington. Often overlooked or underrated amidst the furor of his personality, his skirmishes, and his sometimes sensational subject matter was his high achievement as a filmmaker. Otto Preminger was one of the great masters of American film who worked in a remarkable variety of forms: musicals (PORGY AND BESS), film noir (LAURA, ANGEL FACE, THE THIRTEENTH LETTER, BUNNY LAKE IS MISSING), epic (EXODUS, HURRY SUNDOWN), romantic comedy (THE MOON IS BLUE), courtroom drama (ANATOMY OF A MURDER) and political exposé (ADVISE AND CONSENT). And though his relations with them may often have been tempestuous, he drew consistently superb performances from his players. We’re delighted to welcome in-person various actors who did some of their finest work under Preminger’s direction: Carol Lynley (BUNNY LAKE IS MISSING), John Phillip Law and Robert Hooks (HURRY SUNDOWN), Don Murray (ADVISE AND CONSENT) and Eva Marie Saint (EXODUS). Author Foster Hirsch will also be selling and signing his new biography Otto Preminger: The Man Who Would Be King on most nights of the series at both theatres.



Thursday, January 24 – 7:30 PM

Film Noir Double Feature:

ANGEL FACE, 1953, Warner Bros., 91 min. Director Otto Preminger’s most perversely disturbing film noir finds rich spider-girl Jean Simmons casting her sexy and sinister spell on ambulance driver Robert Mitchum. By the time Mitchum realizes he should be sticking to his down-to-earth nurse girlfriend (Mona Freeman), the deceptively lovely (and psychotic) velvet trap has already slammed shut, snaring him with faint chance of escape. Preminger imbues his saga with an undeniably hypnotic quality and, along with actress Simmons, gives the damaged rich girl a recognizable humanity that makes the unfolding tragic events all the more nightmarish. With Herbert Marshall.

LAURA, 1944, 20th Century Fox, 88 min. Dir. Otto Preminger. Investigating a murder, chain-smoking Detective McPherson (Dana Andrews) falls in love with the dead woman – only to find out that it wasn't her that was murdered. Even in a genre known for its convoluted twists, LAURA is a film noir one-of-a-kind. The brilliant cast includes: Gene Tierney as the gorgeous Laura, Clifton Webb as Waldo Lydecker, and Vincent Price as Laura's fiancée, Shelby Carpenter. The famous haunted and nostalgic musical theme by David Raskin is unforgettable. Yet another film that was influential on David Lynch’s development of "Twin Peaks."


Friday, January 25 – 7:30 PM

Ultra-Rare! HURRY SUNDOWN, 1967, Paramount, 142 min. Dir. Otto Preminger. The heart of this rich Southern Gothic panorama, swarming with an assortment of racists and crackpots, is a paean to racial integration. Two farmers, one white and one black, with adjoining land, claim their place in the sun fighting off the invasion of corporate capitalists. Sprawling, episodic, and compelling, the film was derided as an old-fashioned epic when in fact Preminger was ahead of the curve, anticipating such late-1960s films about race relations as IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT and TO SIR WITH LOVE. John Phillip Law and Robert Hooks are excellent as the farmers, and Jane Fonda as a rich Southerner who gradually rejects her inheritance gives one of her finest performances. There is vivid support from Michael Caine (playing a saxophone!), Faye Dunaway, Burgess Meredith, Beah Richards and Madeleine Sherwood. Discussion following film with actors John Philip Law and Robert Hooks. NOT ON DVD



Saturday, January 26 – 7:30 PM

Double Feature:

BUNNY LAKE IS MISSING, 1967, Sony Repertory, 107 min. Director Otto Preminger’s haunting, rarely-seen mystery thriller has become something of a cult legend since its initial release. Carol Lynley is an American in London whose daughter is kidnapped on the child’s first day at school. The only trouble is: no one else there has ever seen the girl, and before long some are wondering if she truly exists. Laurence Olivier is excellent as the police inspector who investigates, with support from Keir Dullea and Martita Hunt. Look for Noel Coward’s perversely funny cameo, along with a rare appearance by rock group The Zombies.

Ultra-Rare! THE 13TH LETTER, 1951, 85 min. Otto Preminger’s eerie, unfairly neglected film noir about a spate of poison pen letters was shot on location in a small Canadian town with bleak weather and odd architecture. Adapting the 1943 French thriller, LE CORBEAU directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot, Preminger and his screenwriter Howard Koch downplay the original’s political allegory, about the treachery of collaboration during the German occupation, and focus instead on the sexual pathologies of a group of repressed characters. As the finger of guilt points toward a number of possible culprits, the audience is kept guessing until the chilling denouement. With former matinee idol Charles Boyer as a doctor of fading charms, Michael Rennie as a frostbitten new physician, and Linda Darnell as a woman with hungry eyes and a clubfoot. Hypnotic and unmissable! NOT ON DVD Discussion in between films with actress Carol Lynley.



Sunday, January 27 – 7:30 PM

ADVISE AND CONSENT, 1962, Preminger Films, 139 min. Using the Allen Drury bestseller as a springboard, director Otto Preminger blazed new trails of frankness in this skewering of American politics, pulling back the curtain to reveal the behind-the-scenes skullduggery and cutthroat scandal-mongering endemic to the system. This is a long way from the black-and-white palette of MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON! There is a smorgasbord of delicious performances by such greats as Henry Fonda, Franchot Tone, Charles Laughton, Walter Pidgeon, Gene Tierney, Lew Ayres and, of special note, Don Murray as a bisexual politician outed with tragic results. Discussion following film with actor Don Murray.



Wednesday, January 30 – 7:30 PM

Otto Preminger/Jean Seberg Double Feature:

BONJOUR TRISTESSE, 1958, Sony Repertory, 94 min. In Otto Preminger’s haunting film, (which was adapted by Arthur Laurents from Francoise Sagan’s novel), the underrated Jean Seberg plays a precociously spoiled teen whose wealthy reprobate father (David Niven) decides to settle down, marrying repressed Deborah Kerr, with catastrophic results. Exquisitely filmed (by Georges Perinal) in cinemascope and shifting between B&W and deeply saturated color, Preminger sensitively manifests the mysteries of growing up. When Seberg’s character finally makes the difficult transition from teenager to adult, it is with a tragic resonance that gives poignant meaning to the film’s title (which translates, "Good Day, Sadness").

SAINT JOAN, 1957, Preminger Films, 110 min. After a casting hunt rivaling that for Scarlett O’Hara, Otto Preminger chose Jean Seberg, an unknown, inexperienced eighteen-year-old from Marhsalltown, Iowa to play Shaw’s inspired heroine. Though widely dismissed by critics at the time, Seberg is quite touching in the role, and it’s easy to see why the filmmaker selected her. Preminger surrounded the novice with the cream of British theatrical royalty (John Gielgud, Anton Walbrook, Richard Todd, Kenneth Haigh), though his casting of Richard Widmark as a childlike Dauphin was as controversial as his choice of leading lady. Graham Greene’s adaptation is trim and intelligent, and the beautifully designed and photographed film is much sturdier than its reputation. NOT ON DVD



Thursday, January 31 - 7:30 PM

Production Code Breaker Double Feature:

Restored by the Academy Film Archive with funding from the Andrew J. Kuehn Foundation.

Rare! THE MOON IS BLUE, 1953, Preminger Films, 99 min. Otto Preminger’s first independent production created a major furor because of the use of such then-taboo words as "virgin," "seduce," "mistress," and "pregnant" and because the filmmaker dared to release the film without the Production Code Seal of Approval. Widely condemned and banned from major theatre chains, the film opened in only a few theatres but went on to become a huge box office success. For the time, this romantic comedy about a bachelor (William Holden) who picks up a virginal actress (Maggie McNamara, pert and winsome) on the observation deck of the Empire State Building took a disarmingly casual attitude toward sex. Over fifty years on, the film retains a risqué charm that is enhanced by David Niven’s expert performance as an aging man about town. NOT ON DVD

Restored by the Academy Film Archive with funding from the Film Foundation

THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN ARM, 1955, Preminger Films, 119 min. Otto Preminger defied the Production Code for the second time with this first American film about drug addiction. Frank Sinatra, in the performance of his career, plays a junkie jazz drummer and card sharp torn between love for his girlfriend (Kim Novak), a sad-eyed cashier in a strip club, and loyalty to his crippled wife (Eleanor Parker). Darren McGavin ("The Night Stalker") is the villainous heroin pusher. Shooting in the studio rather than on location Preminger creates a richly atmospheric, lower-depths milieu. Elmer Bernstein’s moody, compelling jazz score and Saul Bass’ seductive opening titles are memorable. Discussion in between films with Diana Herbert, daughter of screenwriter F. Hugh Herbert (THE MOON IS BLUE).