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


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Series programmed by:Alan K. Rode and Chris D.
Special Thanks to: Marilee Womack/WARNER BROS.; Cass Warner.

 

 

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.
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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. Aero Theatre: Barry King.

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<<< March 12 - 22, 2009 >>>

The Brothers Warner: Classics and Pre-Code Films

 

This is an Egyptian Theatre Exclusive

 

In the beginning, there were four brothers from Youngstown, Ohio -- Harry, Sam, Albert and Jack. They got their start in Hollywood back in 1918, grinding out serials at their Sunset Boulevard studio. Surviving some lean years on Poverty Row, they began to prosper with Rin Tin Tin, Ernst Lubitsch and John Barrymore. After pioneering sound movies with THE JAZZ SINGER, strategically acquiring a chain of movie theaters and the uplifting success of Busby Berkeley’s Depression-era musicals, the Brothers Warner flourished as a familial movie-making team. Headquartered in Burbank, Warner Bros. proved to be more than an exemplar of Hollywood’s Golden Age, producing groundbreaking films adorned by stars such as James Cagney, Bette Davis, Errol Flynn and Edward G. Robinson. Led by patriarch Harry Warner, the Brothers pioneered movie-making with a social conscience and were in the vanguard in sounding an unequivocal alarm against the Nazi threat well before World War II. Although the brothers would be wracked by tragedies, tribulations and a stunning betrayal worthy of Cain & Abel, Warner Bros. consistently lived up to their mantra of "combining good citizenship with good filmmaking." The American Cinematheque is proud to present an extended program of some of the best as well as several seldom-screened Warner Bros. films from the classic period of the 1930s and 1940s. The tribute is headlined by Cass Warner’s award-winning documentary, THE BROTHERS WARNER (2008), an intimate portrait of the four brothers who founded and ran one of Hollywood’s most honored movie studios amidst a fascinating whirl of familial triumph and tragedy. An apropos fictional segue from the Warner family saga is KINGS ROW (1942), one of tinseltown’s darkest soap operas, featuring an all-star cast and Erich Von Korngold’s award-winning musical score. CAPTAIN BLOOD (1935), the masterpiece of buccaneer adventure, propelled Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland to immediate stardom while forever melding the swash to the buckle. Also included are a duo of rugged adventure classics from the Warners vault: Humphrey Bogart starring in director John Huston’s THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE (1948), with Walter Huston’s unforgettable Oscar-winning turn, and the seldom-screened THE SEA WOLF (1941), starring Edward G. Robinson at his ferocious best. Warners’ reputation as the studio that invented the gangster film is amply represented with Pre-Code classics THE PUBLIC ENEMY (1931) and LITTLE CAESAR (1931), respectively launching James Cagney and Edward G. Robinson as major stars, along with the groundbreaking social drama I AM A FUGITIVE FROM A CHAIN GANG (1932). Also being screened is the bare-knuckled prison thriller EACH DAWN I DIE (1939) pairing Cagney and George Raft in their best convict grey. A lighter side of Cagney graces THE MAYOR OF HELL (1933), a prototype of the Dead End Kids films. Warner Bros. star Joan Leslie will be feted in-person with a double bill of her starring roles in HIGH SIERRA (1941) and THE HARD WAY (1942) with veteran character actor and Warners contract player Richard Erdman reminiscing after a screening of the offbeat noir NOBODY LIVES FOREVER (1946). A diverse, star-studded tribute to Warner Bros. exclusively presented by the American Cinematheque at the Egyptian Theatre and hosted by writer/film historian Alan K. Rode!

If you are interested in Hollywood History then don't miss our Egyptian Theatre Tours & Sid Grauman Birthday Lecture:

Saturday, March 14
10:30 AM Sid Grauman 130th Birthday Lecture & Historic Egyptian Theatre Tour

Saturday, March 14
11:40 AM FOREVER HOLLYWOOD

Sunday, March 15
10:30 AM  Historic Egyptian Theatre Tour

Sunday, March 15
11:40 AM FOREVER HOLLYWOOD

 

Read a blog post on this series!

Thursday, March 12 – 7:30 PM

CAPTAIN BLOOD, 1935, Warner Bros., 119 min. Director Michael Curtiz directs one of the best swashbucklers ever made, and the film that made Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland stars. Dr. Peter Blood (Flynn), a man unjustly convicted of treason, is exiled to Port Royal, sold into slavery and bought by the lovely Lady Arabella (de Havilland). He and fellow convicts manage to escape, take over a Spanish galleon, and pirate Captain Blood is born! Lionel Atwill and villainous Basil Rathbone are standouts in the exceptional supporting cast. Trailer  

 

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Friday, March 13 – 7:30 PM

Double Feature:

THE BROTHERS WARNER, 2008, 90 min. An award-winning, intimate portrait of the four film pioneers (Harry, Albert, Sam and Jack Warner) who founded and ran Warner Bros. studios for over a half-century. Written and directed by Cass Warner (Harry Warner’s granddaughter and author of the book Hollywood Be Thy Name), this epic story includes never-before-seen photos and footage from the Warner family archives. THE BROTHERS WARNER is the story of a family that rose from immigrant poverty through personal tragedies, persevering to create a major movie studio with a social conscience. The cast of interviewees includes Dennis Hopper, Debbie Reynolds, Norman Lear, Sherry Lansing, Tab Hunter and many others. Official Website | Trailer

KINGS ROW, 1942, Warner Bros., 127 min. Hollywood’s ultimate soaper is one of the best remembered yet seldom screened masterpieces of the 1940s. Life in a turn-of-the-century Midwestern small town is viewed though the perspective of five childhood friends (Robert Cummings, Ann Sheridan, Betty Field, Nancy Coleman and Ronald Reagan). Beneath the veneer of provincial civility lurks a creepy underworld of sadism, bigotry, sexual repression and assorted family skeletons. Casey Robinson’s screenplay, based on Harry Bellamann’s scandalous novel, went through repeated drafts before earning a grudging approval from the Production Code Administration. What was missed by the Breen office was expertly shaped into a magnificent film of sweeping grandeur and power by director Sam Wood (FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS). Memorable performances -- particularly by Reagan ("Where’s the rest of me!") -- along with one of the most revered musical scores of all time by the great Erich Wolfgang Korngold. Adding heft is a superb supporting cast led by Claude Rains, Charles Coburn (in a surprising and unusual turn as a warped, domineering doctor), Judith Anderson and Harry Davenport. More Discussion in between films with director Cass Warner (THE BROTHERS WARNER).

 

 

 

Saturday, March 14 – 7:30 PM

Double Feature:

NOBODY LIVES FOREVER, 1946, Warner Bros., 100 min. John Garfield is a shady ex-GI hooked up in a plot to bilk a war widow (gorgeous Geraldine Fitzgerald). When he falls for her, the gang wants them both dead. Director Jean Negulesco (HUMORESQUE, ROAD HOUSE) ladles atmospherics onto the script by crime specialist W. R. Burnett (LITTLE CAESAR, THE ASPHALT JUNGLE), who here turns in one of his lighter, more romantic efforts. Featuring a terrific supporting cast that includes Walter Brennan, Faye Emerson, George Coulouris and George Tobias. Presented in a new 35mm print funded by the Film Noir Foundation. NOT ON DVD. More

EACH DAWN I DIE, 1939, Warner Bros., 92 min. Dir. William Keighley. One of the most rugged of prison yarns artfully blends political corruption and gangster mayhem with an underlying theme of social commentary as only Warners could dish it! James Cagney portrays a crusading reporter who is framed for murder and gets jugged in the penitentiary with career criminal George Raft. Cagney attempts to remain a lawful citizen to gain his freedom but can endure only just so many double-crosses. Stanley Ridges, "Slapsie Maxie" Rosenbloom, Paul Hurst, Louis Jean Heydt and Edward Pawley are doing hard time in the prison jute mill alongside Cagney. With George Bancroft as a resolute warden, Jane Bryan the loyal heartthrob and Victor Jory as a corrupt parole board official. This action-packed crime drama spawned innumerable imitations that never equaled the entertainment quotient of the original. Discussion in between films with actor Richard Erdman (NOBODY LIVES FOREVER). More

 

 

Sunday, March 15 – 7:30 PM

Double Feature

THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE, 1948, Warner Bros., 124 min. Dir. John Huston. Based on the novel by famous recluse B. Traven, TREASURE stars Humphrey Bogart in one of his greatest performances as flea-bitten adventurer Fred C. Dobbs, who hooks up with fellow packrats Tim Holt and Walter Huston to search for gold in the mountains of Mexico. The film that launched a thousand imitations with the classic refrain, "We don’t need no badges." Winner of Academy Awards for Best Picture, Director (John Huston) and Supporting Actor (Walter Huston). Trailer

THE SEA WOLF, 1941, Warner Bros., 100 min. Jack London’s renowned novel of tyranny and revolt at sea is brought to glorious fruition by Warner Bros. pantheon producer-director team of Hal B. Wallis and Michael Curtiz. The film is dominated by Edward G. Robinson’s powerhouse portrayal of the brutal skipper, Wolf Larsen, a philosophical sadist who wreaks havoc on his entire crew, most notably a shanghaied John Garfield, Ida Lupino and Alexander Knox. Great support is rendered by Gene Lockhart, Howard Da Silva and, in a wonderfully odious turn, Barry Fitzgerald. With a literate script by Robert Rossen (ALL THE KING’S MEN), this is the definitive version of a classic tale that is rarely screened. NOT ON DVD. More

 

 

 

Thursday, March 19 – 7:30 PM

Joan Leslie Double Feature:

HIGH SIERRA, 1941, Warner Bros., 100 min. Dir. Raoul Walsh (WHITE HEAT). The quintessential gangster romance, from the pen of W. R. Burnett, one of America’s most important crime writers (with a script co-written by John Huston). Humphrey Bogart plays Mad Dog Earle, an outlaw looking for one last score, sidetracked by love, hounded by inescapable fate. With the incomparable Ida Lupino and Joan Leslie, under Walsh’s typically rugged direction. Remade twice, as COLORADO TERRITORY (a hardboiled western also helmed by Walsh) and I DIED A THOUSAND TIMES (in Cinemascope and color with Jack Palance as Earle). Trailer

THE HARD WAY, 1942, Warner Bros., 102 min. Dir. Vincent Sherman (THE DAMNED DON’T CRY). Ida Lupino is a magnificent, domineering Svengali who bullies the entire movie into believing her younger sister is a star -- and by the end, we believe it, too! Supposedly inspired by Ginger Rogers’ early career, THE HARD WAY won Lupino the New York Film Critics Award for Best Actress. Lupino transforms her kid sister (Joan Leslie) from a mining-town nobody into a Broadway headliner, but loses everything in the process. Jack Carson (who should have won a supporting Oscar) and Dennis Morgan are the men unfortunate enough to cross Ida’s path. Marvel at James Wong Howe’s crack photography. More NOT ON DVD Discussion between films with actress Joan Leslie.

 

 

 

Friday, March 20 – 7:30 PM

Pre-Code Double Feature:

I AM A FUGITIVE FROM A CHAIN GANG, 1932, Warner Bros., 93 min. Dir. Mervyn Le Roy. The inspiring social commentary-as-crime drama that transfixed America more than 75 years ago still packs a wallop! James Allen (Paul Muni) musters out of WWI, gets down on his uppers and becomes inadvertently involved in a robbery. Drawing 10 years in the unspeakable savagery of a Southern chain gang, Allen escapes to Chicago, financial success and the dubious charms of Glenda Farrell. Allen soon discovers that there is no escape from fate and a perverse legal system bent on retribution rather than justice. This true story, based on the book by Robert Elliott Burns, resulted in two Academy Award nominations (Best Picture and Actor for Muni) and long overdue reforms to the antiquated Southern chain gang system and was banned by the state of Georgia. Helen Vinson, Preston Foster and Allen Jenkins co-star. A landmark film that boosted the viability of Warners as a major studio, with one of the most memorable closing lines in movie history! Trailer

THE PUBLIC ENEMY, 1931, Warner Bros., 83 min. James Cagney had already taken on plum roles in SINNER’S HOLIDAY and THE DOORWAY TO HELL, but his performance as young upstart gangster Tom Powers catapulted him into stardom as one of Warners’ hottest, most charismatic personalities. Director William Wellman (THE OX BOW INCIDENT) captures the zeitgeist of a violent, anything-goes-era plunged into financial chaos and goosed along into perdition by the government’s misguided attempts at Prohibition. As character Powers’ star rises in the bootlegging underworld, his hubris takes him beyond the pale. Jean Harlow and Joan Blondell co-star. Wellman and Cagney reportedly fought hard with studio head Jack Warner to retain the shockingly downbeat ending. Trailer

 

 

 

Saturday, March 21 – 7:30 PM

Pre-Code Double Feature:

LITTLE CAESAR, 1931, Warner Bros., 79 min. Dir. Mervyn Le Roy. Edward G. Robinson made movie history with his definitive portrait of sociopathic gangster Rico Bandello. W.R. Burnett’s novel was ripped from the front pages during the Great Depression to satiate a public already fascinated by the decadence of Al Capone’s Chicago. Bandello’s rise and fall is assisted by his pal, played by Douglas Fairbanks Jr., the ubiquitous Glenda Farrell, Buster Collier and a lethal Sidney Blackmer. Look for a youthful Lucille La Verne (aka Joan Crawford) in a bit part. Mother of Mercy! Don’t miss this classic on the big screen! More

THE MAYOR OF HELL, 1933, Warner Bros., 90 min. Dir. Archie Mayo. Who else would Warner Bros. put in charge of eternal punishment but James Cagney? Actually Cagney is a reformed gangster who is improbably put in charge of a reformatory staffed by a coterie of Dead End Kid forerunners led by Frankie Darro. When Cagney applies his street smarts to run the place, he runs afoul of a crooked administrator (Dudley Digges) while romancing a supportive nurse (Madge Evans). Breezy, smart-aleck entertainment whose success broke ground for repetitive Warner entries such as CRIME SCHOOL (1938) and HELL’S KITCHEN (1939). Rarely screened! More Author John Gloske will sign copies of his book, Tough Kid: The Life and Films of Frankie Darro at 6:30 PM.

 

 

 

Sunday, March 22 – 7:30 PM

Co-presented by Outfest

Pre-Code Double Feature:

LADIES THEY TALK ABOUT, 1933, Warner Bros., 69 min. Dir. Howard Bretherton & William Keighley. Compare this early, thoroughly bizarre women's prison picture with Warner Bros.' later, more realistic, hard-edged CAGED (1950), and it’ll make your head spin! Gun moll Barbara Stanwyck is nailed for abetting her male friends in a robbery, but her former hometown pal, radio evangelist Preston Foster, goes to bat for her with the DA. Temporarily paroled to Foster, Stanwyck confesses she really was part of the robbery, and straight arrow Foster turns her in to do her time. Bitter Stanwyck interacts with her new prison mates, including a nostalgic old crone, a lady with a threatening parrot (!), a butch cigar-smoking bully and a musically inclined tough cookie played by legendary songbird Lillian Roth. Catfights, smart-aleck putdowns, escape plans with Stanwyck's former crime cronies and the unrequited love of reformer Foster are the order of the day. The compressed narrative moves like a runaway freight train. More NOT ON DVD

WILD BOYS OF THE ROAD, 1933, Warner Bros., 68 min. Dir. William Wellman. "Girls living like boys! Boys living like savages!" During the Great Depression, high schoolers Eddie (Frankie Darro) and Tommy (Edwin Phillips) decide to take off on their own, no longer wanting to burden their parents with another mouth to feed. A cross-country trip in search of work ensues, and they meet many other vagabond teenagers. These include Sally, played by Dorothy Coonan, who was later to become the fourth Mrs. Wellman and mother of the director's seven children. More NOT ON DVD Author John Gloske will sign copies of his book, Tough Kid: The Life and Films of Frankie Darro at 6:30 PM.