FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date: April 1, 1998

Contact: Margot Gerber

Tel: 213.466.3456, ext. 115

E-Mail: amcin@msn.com

 

THE AMERICAN CINEMATHEQUE PRESENTS THE FIRST MAJOR US RETROSPECTIVE OF

THE FILMS OF AMERICAN DIRECTOR ANTHONY MANN

 

Featuring classic Mann gems: WINCHESTER 73, THE NAKED SPUR and EL CID; plus ultra-rare

35mm prints of T-MEN, RAW DEAL, and MEN IN WAR; and rare IB Technicolor prints of

BEND OF THE RIVER and THUNDER BAY.

Weekends April 17-May 16, 1998

HOLLYWOOD – The American Cinematheque presents HOW TO BE A MANN: THE FILMS OF ANTHONY MANN (Weekends April 17 - May 16), the first major U.S. retrospective of Mann's work ever mounted. Mann is perhaps the last great master of his time waiting to be discovered -- the scope of his work -- from the cruel, glittering gems of the 1940's like T-MEN and BORDER INCIDENT, through the magnificent 50's Westerns with James Stewart and on to late masterpieces like EL CID and THE FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE -- is as awesome as the American landscapes he loved so much. Though Mann (who died in 1967) has remained mysteriously undervalued, this five weekend series brings together 24 of his finest films, all (except RAILROADED and THE FAR COUNTRY) in gorgeous 35 mm. prints. Highlights of the series include ultra-rare 35mm prints of T-MEN (1947) and RAW DEAL (1948) both starring Dennis O'Keefe and shot by legendary cinematographer John Alton; rare 35mm I.B. Technicolor prints of BEND OF THE RIVER (1952) and THUNDER BAY (1953) both with James Stewart, as well as THE FURIES (1950) an incestuous Greek tragedy starring Barbara Stanwyck and Walter Huston; and an ultra rare 35 mm print of Mann favorite, MEN IN WAR (1957) starring Robert Ryan and Aldo Ray in an unrelenting battle to take the mysterious Hill 465. Other highlights include opportunities to see such Mann classics as THE GLENN MILLER STORY starring James Stewart as the late bandleader, MAN OF THE WEST with Gary Cooper and Julie London, and the incomparable EL CID starring Charlton Heston and Sophia Loren. Nina Mann, Anthony Mann's daughter is scheduled to appear for discussion for the opening night film, WINCHESTER 73. Call 213.466-FILM, ext. 2 for updates on additional guest appearances. All screenings are at the Raleigh Studios Charlie Chaplin Theater, 5300 Melrose Avenue (between Bronson & Van Ness) in Hollywood. Free Parking on the lot.

American Cinematheque

1800 North Highland Avenue, Suite 717, Hollywood, CA 90028

(tel) 213.466.3456 u (fax) 213.461.9737 On the web!!! http://www.americancinematheque.com

 

 

 

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Anthony Mann may be the last of the sleeping giants of American cinema. A demanding craftsman with an unerring eye for composition (he belongs with Orson Welles as one of the great, pure visualists in film), Mann was always highly underrated for his crisp, almost neo-classical sense of storytelling and his flair for working with actors. He began his career directing stage productions with the Theater Guild in New York in the 1930's. Hired by David O. Selznick in the late 1930's to come to Hollywood as a talent scout (and later a casting director), Mann directed screen tests for numerous films including GONE WITH THE WIND, INTERMEZZO and REBECCA. Mann directed his first feature, DR. BROADWAY, in 1942, and spent most of the 1940's turning out low-budget musicals and thrillers -- including two now classic noirs, T-MEN (1947) and RAW DEAL (1948). In 1950, Mann directed his first western, DEVIL'S DOORWAY, a film that would bring him to the attention of James Stewart with whom Mann had his longest and richest collaboration -- they made eight films (WINCHESTER 73, BEND OF THE RIVER, THE NAKED SPUR and THE GLENN MILLER STORY to name a few) together. In Mann's hands, the easygoing Stewart became something different -- strangely twisted, an almost mythic loner driven to extreme fits of violence and despair. Critic Andrew Sarris defined Anthony Mann as someone who "directed action movies with a kind of tough-guy authority that never found favor among the cultivated critics of the medium." Though Mann achieved relative success during his long and varied career, it was not until after his untimely death in 1967 that there was serious scholarly and critical interest in the breadth and scope of his work. All films are directed by Mann.

 

Weekend One: Friday, April 17th & Saturday April 18th , 1998

The Friday, April 17th program begins at 7:15 PM with a screening of WINCHESTER 73 (1950, Universal, 92 min.), Mann’s breakthrough hit and the first of his James Stewart westerns. Here he chases his murderous brother and a one-in-a-million Winchester rifle half-way across the West. The American action movie at its finest, the film also stars Shelley Winters, Stephen McNally and Tony Curtis (in one of his first screen roles.) Mann commented, "As for Winchester 73, that was one of my biggest successes. And it is also my favorite western. I really believe that it contains all the ingredients of the western, and that it summarizes them." Ironically, Mann replaced Fritz Lang at the beginning of shooting. Ten years later, Mann would himself abandon a movie to the young Stanley Kubrick – with the career making SPARTACUS. Nina Mann, Anthony Mann's daughter is scheduled to appear for a discussion following the screening. Following at 9:15 PM is a Film Noir Double Feature which begins with a screening of an ultra-rare 35mm print of T-MEN (1947, Eagle Lion (Golden Books) 96 min.). Half documentary, half pulp comic book, the film is a crackling Los Angeles noir that never stops moving as it tails two undercover Treasury Department agents (Dennis O'Keefe and Alfred Ryder) as they attempt to break up an international counterfeit ring that may cost them their lives. The story unfolds with a wealth of

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fascinating details combined with moments of brutal violence as the agents move through a sleazy canvas of cheap hotels, Turkish baths and back room gambling parlors. With legendary camerawork from cinematographer John Alton. This is a rare opportunity not to be missed. Next, on the same bill, is a screening of an ultra rare 35mm print of DESPERATE (1947, RKO (Warner Classics) 73 min.) in which a young couple (Steve Brody and Audrey Long) are drawn into a dark and hopeless world with both the law and a gang of criminals (led by sadistic boss, Raymond Burr) chasing them. To emphasize the "desperation" of the couple's situation, Mann photographed them from low angles, making them seem small and vulnerable against a dark and doom-filled sky. Mann said of the film, "I told the people at RKO: 'The story is yours if I'm the director.' They replied: 'Anybody, but you!'"

The Saturday, April 18th program begins at 7:15 PM with a screening of Mann's classic masterpiece, THE NAKED SPUR (1953, MGM (Warners Classics) 91 min.). The film stars James Stewart as a desperate bounty hunter paired up with "morally unstable" Army officer Ralph Meeker (Aldrich's KISS ME DEADLY) to track down killer, Robert Ryan and his hot tempered girlfriend Janet Leigh. The film is considered to be one of the most gripping and intelligent Westerns ever made (it was recently entered into the National Registry of Greatest American Films by the Library of Congress. A tightly composed and intense film, THE NAKED SPUR uses both the physical and mental landscapes of the characters to reflect the darkness, vulnerability and danger of their precarious situation. Following at 9:15 PM is another Film Noir Double Feature which begins with a screening of a super-rare 35mm print of RAW DEAL (1948, Eagle Lion (Golden Books), 78 min.), starring Dennis O'Keefe as a loser/jailbird whose desperate dream is to bust out of prison and collect his share ($50,000) from the job he got sent up for. When finally, he escapes, O'Keefe finds himself hounded by both the cops and his former gang (led by the menacing, double-crossing Raymond Burr). Shot with atmospheric poetry by the masterful John Alton (in his second collaboration with Mann), RAW DEAL is just as dirty and dazzling as T-MEN. An experience not to be missed! Next, on the same bill, is a screening of RAILROADED (1947, Eagle Lion, 72 min.) starring Sheila Ryan as a young woman trying to clear her brother for murder while dodging the attentions of perfume-wearing villain John Ireland. "The people of the film have a low-class urgency, and they seldom have anything decent to say to one another," said critic Jeanine Basinger in her book Anthony Mann. RAILROADED is a masterful example of what can be done with little money, effective lighting and sheer talent. The film "is something of a stylistic tour-de-force with a beginning and ending that lifts it above the ordinary. " (Janine Basinger)

 

Weekend Two: Friday, April 24th

The Friday, April 24th program begins at 7:15 PM with a screening of a rare 35mm IB Technicolor print of BEND OF THE RIVER (1952, Universal, 91 min.) starring James Stewart as a former border

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raider who has narrowly escaped the hangman's noose (he still smarts from the rope) and is trying to start over again in the wide-open Oregon country. Instead, he winds up involved with the wily and charming, Arthur Kennedy and a wagon load of supplies worth their weight in gold. Apart from some (admittedly painful) moments with Stephen Fetchit, BEND OF THE RIVER is one of Mann's finest films combining action, character and landscape into one seamless and wildly satisfying package. Following at 9:15 PM is a Double Feature which begins with a screening of BORDER INCIDENT (1949, MGM (Warner Classics), 93 min.). Much like T-MEN, the film moves back and forth between documentary and narrative fiction. Ricardo Montalban stars as a Mexican cop teamed with American agent George Murphy to infiltrate an illegal network smuggling (and murdering) immigrants across the US/Mexican border. Shot again by John Alton, BORDER INCIDENT is filled with dark, brutal set pieces and an almost psychotic intensity that puts it with T-MEN and RAW DEAL as one of Mann's finest noirs. Next, on the same bill, is a screening of REIGN OF TERROR (a.k.a. THE BLACK BOOK) (1949, Columbia, 89 min.) with Arnold Moss and Robert Cummings. Set in Paris in the post-revolutionary period, the film is a vivid costume drama filled with the shadows, bizarre camera angles, atmospheric lighting and fascinating villains that are characteristic of Mann's more familiar film noir pieces. Stunningly photographed by John Alton, REIGN OF TERROR moves at breakneck speed, creating a tension that never stops.

The Saturday, April 25th, program is part of a different American Cinematheque series. Information will be provided in a separate press release. No Anthony Mann films will be shown.

 

Weekend Three: Friday, May 1st and Saturday, May 2nd

The Mann series continues on Friday, May 1st at 7:15 PM, with a screening of THE FAR COUNTRY (1954, Universal, 97 min.), Mann's fourth western with James Stewart. Here Stewart stars as an outcast miner holed up with lovable sidekick, Walter Brennan. When Brennan is shot and killed, Stewart becomes a one-man vengeance machine. The film pushes the western genre into weird, unsettling territory with its obvious fake sets (a Mann rarity) and bizarre dialogue. THE FAR COUNTRY stands with RANCHO NOTORIOUS and JOHNNY GUITAR as one of the first post-modern Westerns. Following at 9:15 PM is a Double Feature beginning with a screening of SIDE STREET (1950, MGM (Warner Classics), 83 min.) in which Farley Granger and Cathy O'Donnell (both from Nicholas Ray's THEY LIVE BY NIGHT) re-team for this rarely-seen noir about a frustrated mail carrier who steals a packet of blackmail money to escape his debts and rapidly dying dreams. As a result of this rash act, Granger finds himself thrown into a paranoid landscape of a coffin-like Manhattan filled with narrow streets, ominous lighting and sweeping overhead crane shots. Next, on the same bill, is a screening of DEVIL'S DOORWAY (1950, MGM (Warner Classics) 84 min.), Mann's bitter and unsentimental portrait of the American West starring Robert

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Taylor as a Native American, who after receiving military honors for courage during the Civil War, returns home to encounter Indian prejudice and finds that his land has been seized by the federal government. With superb night photography by John Alton (in his last collaboration with Mann).

The Saturday, May 2nd program begins at 7:15 PM with a screening of THE TALL TARGET (1951, MGM (Warner Classics), 78 min.) which stars Dick Powell as a detective (ironically named John Kennedy) trying to stop an assassin from gunning down President Lincoln on a night train from New York to Washington in 1861. A real Mann treasure, THE TALL TARGET is almost a blueprint for the modern American action movie (see Wolfgang Petersen's IN THE LINE OF FIRE). "I tried to do a Hitchcock with THE TALL TARGET…an exercise in high voltage." -- Anthony Mann. Following at 9:00 PM, is a Double Feature, beginning with a screening of a rare 35mm IB Technicolor print of THUNDER BAY (1953, Universal, 102 min.) with James Stewart and Dan Duryea as hell-raising oil men who manage to convince an oil tycoon to back them in an offshore drilling venture. However, both romantic complications with their girlfriends, Joanne Dru and Marcia Henderson and fierce opposition from local fishermen threaten to stop them from discovering the secret of the rare Giant Golden Shrimp. Next, on the same bill, is a screening of THE FURIES (1950, Paramount, 109 min.) in which spitfire daughter Barbara Stanwyck and her cattle baron father Walter Huston lock horns in a fierce battle of wills in this incestuous Greek tragedy-on-the-plains. The film is a western film noir about the passion and power of the relationships between fathers and daughters, women and men, and man and the land.

 

Weekend Four: Friday, May 8th and Saturday, May 9th

The Friday, May 8th program begins at 7:15 PM with a screening of an ultra-rare 35mm print of MEN IN WAR (1957, 104 min.), one of Mann's personal favorites and considered by the few that have seen it (including Francois Truffaut) a surreal masterpiece. The film pits Korean War lieutenant Robert Ryan against mad dog sergeant Aldo "You don't have to see them to kill them" Ray in a battle to take the mysterious Hill 465. Though MEN IN WAR bears many of the hallmarks of Mann's earlier work (the theme of the journey, the use of landscape as an active participant in the drama and the curious relationship of the villain to the film), the film is decades ahead of its time using jump cuts (before Godard's BREATHLESS), jarring silences and monstrous close-ups to create an unholy field of evil, slithering with menace. "MEN IN WAR is a door that opens to a house of horrors." -- Jeanine Basinger. Following at 9:30 PM is a screening of THE MAN FROM LARAMIE (1955, Columbia, 104 min). Mann's last western with James Stewart, sums up all of the great themes and landscapes from their work together in one breathtaking, dreamlike package. Shot in CinemaScope, THE MAN FROM LARAMIE is something of a Greek tragedy in which Stewart, out to avenge his brother's death, lands himself in the middle of an epic family war lorded over by a blind, vision seeking father, Donald Crisp. "I wanted to recapitulate, somehow, my five years of

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collaboration with Jimmy Stewart" -- Anthony Mann. Sadly, Mann died before he could film his Western version of KING LEAR with John Wayne!

The Saturday, May 9th program begins at 7:15 PM with a screening of THE TIN STAR (1957, Paramount, 93 min.) in which guilt-ridden former sheriff, Henry Fonda teaches a young, nave and inexperienced sheriff, Anthony Perkins the art of gun-fighting. Brilliantly cinematic, the film is almost totally an exercise in style. Speaking about the symbolism of the film, Mann said, "The tin star isn't just a piece of scrap metal, but a summary of disappointments and bitterness, of secret distresses." Following at 9:00 PM is a Double Feature, which begins with a screening of THE GLENN MILLER STORY (1953, Universal/Swank, 116 min.). Mann returned to his early work in the 1940's directing musicals with this crisp, clean hugely satisfying biopic of the late bandleader starring James Stewart in one of his signature roles, June Allyson as the beloved band-leader's wife and all of the swing music of the era meticulously reproduced. Stewart even learned to copy the actual position of Miller's slide trombone, note by note! Next, on the same bill, is a screening of GOD'S LITTLE ACRE (1958, 110 min.), a largely unknown Mann favorite that reunites Robert Ryan and Aldo Ray (from MEN IN WAR). Based on the novel by Erskine Caldwell and adapted for the screen by Philip Yordan (JOHNNY GUITAR, EL CID), this funny and sexy (!) film is as sassy and forthright as it is adult, sensitive and intelligent. The story centers on a southern town steaming with repressed passions (in the form of the lovely Tina Louise) and a buried fortune in gold. With stunning photography by Ernest Haller.

 

Weekend Five: Friday, May 15th and Saturday, May 16th

The Friday, May 15th program begins at 7:15 PM with a screening of MAN OF THE WEST (1958, MGM/UA, 100 min.), the film that Godard called "one of the ten best of 1958" and inspired him to coin the phrase "Supermann." Considered by many to be Mann's crowning achievement in the western genre and one of the greatest westerns of all time, MAN OF THE WEST stars Gary Cooper as a former bandit whose train is hijacked, leaving him stranded in the wilderness with beautiful showgirl, Julie London and forcing him to turn to his old gang for help. Though Coop is welcomed back like the prodigal son, the couple finds themselves trapped in a viper's nest ruled over by Coop's former partner and uncle, the half-crazed Lee J. Cobb. "MAN OF THE WEST…is both beautiful landscapes and the explanation of this beauty, both the mystery of firearms and the secret of this mystery both art and the theory of art…I have seen nothing so completely new since – why not? -- Griffith" – Jean-Luc Godard. Following at 9:30 PM, is a screening of EL CID (1961, Miramax Films, 184 min.), Mann's thundersome epic starring Charlton Heston and Sophia Loren as the legendary Spanish warrior and his wife. One of the most massive (and expensive) Hollywood costume spectacles of the 1960s, EL CID may be the closest film has ever come to true Shakespearean glory.

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The Saturday, May 16th program begins at 7:15 PM with a screening of THE HEROES OF TELEMARK (1965, Columbia, 131 min.) starring Kirk Douglas and Richard Harris in the true life epic adventure of a group of Norwegian commandos racing to stop the Nazis from developing the atom bomb. However, as with many of Mann's films, the real star is the landscape: a chilling blue dragon carved from ice and snow, with thrilling scenes of guerrilla fighters on skis, flying over snow under a brilliant blue sky and dramatic mountain climbing techniques shot brilliantly by Robert Krasker. "People love to look at vastness, and look at places they have never been and see an incredible beauty or incredible horror." -- Anthony Mann. A flawed, but fascinating film, HEROES was to be Mann's last great epic (he died shooting his next film, DANDY IN ASPIC). Following at 9:30 PM is a screening of THE FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE (1964, Paramount, 187 min.) starring Christopher Plummer and Stephen Boyd as former childhood friends who squabble over who will rule the Roman Empire (and get the lovely Sophia Loren) when the old emperor dies. Set against a vast canvas of history, the film is something like late-period Kurosawa: a masterful blend of formal action and pure, abstract color. With terrific supporting roles by Alec Guiness, James Mason, Omar Sharif and Mel Ferrara.

 

A complete calendar/flyer listing of these films has been mailed to you.

 

v Members may purchase tickets over the phone by calling 213.466.3456, ext. 3. Non-members may purchase tickets at the door the night of the event or in advance any time that the Cinematheque box office is open. The box office is open one hour prior to the first screening of the evening on Friday and Saturday nights and on Thursdays when the Alternative Screen has events. Tickets are $7 General Admission and $4 for members. Ticket prices may vary for certain performances. Please list (213) 466-FILM (3456) ext. 2 for program information and ext. 3 for ticket information!

S BLACK & WHITE PHOTOS AND PRESS KITS AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST S

 

PRESS PASSES ARE NOT LIKELY TO BE AVAILABLE DURING THE FESTIVAL AS MOST SCREENINGS WILL BE SOLD OUT. IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT YOU TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE ADVANCE PRESS SCREENINGS.

 

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THE TITLES LISTED BELOW ARE AVAILABLE FOR RENTAL AT JERRY'S VIDEO (1904 N. Hillhurst Avenue in LOS FELIZ) OR VIDIOTS (302 Pico Boulevard in SANTA MONICA). If you need assistance locating titles please call 213.466.3456 ext. 115 or 116.

 

l BEND OF THE RIVER l EL CID l THE FAR COUNTRY

l THE FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE l THE GLENN MILLER STORY l GOD'S LITTLE ACRE

l THE HEROES OF TELEMARK l THE MAN FROM LARAMIE

l MAN OF THE WEST l THE NAKED SPUR l RAW DEAL

l T-MEN l THUNDER BAY l THE TIN STAR

l WINCHESTER 73

Established in 1984, the American Cinematheque, is a non-profit, viewer-supported film exhibition and cultural organization dedicated to the celebration of the Moving Picture in all its forms. The Cinematheque presents weekly film and video programming which ranges from the classics and world cinemas to the outer frontiers of the art form at the Raleigh Studios Charlie Chaplin Theater and other Los Angeles venues. Exhibition of rare works, special prints within our series, etc., combined with fascinating post-screening discussions with the filmmakers who created the work, are a Cinematheque tradition that keep audiences coming back for once-in-a-lifetime cinema experiences.

The American Cinematheque is currently renovating the historic Egyptian Theater on Hollywood Boulevard, which, when open in 1998, will become the American Cinematheque's permanent home and offer daily, year-round programming.

For information about this film program call 213/466-FILM. THE PROGRAM IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE.

 

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