FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Margot Gerber

Tel.: 323/461-2020 ext. 115

E-mail: amcin@msn.com

 

AMERICAN CINEMATHEQUE PRESENTS

AN IN-PERSON TRIBUTE TO 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA DIRECTOR

RICHARD FLEISCHER

 

Series guests to include Kirk Douglas, Tony Curtis, Charlton Heston,

Janet Leigh, Marsha Hunt, Linda Christian, Marie Windsor and Samantha Eggar

 

Featuring brand new 35 mm prints of FANTASTIC VOYAGE; SOYLENT GREEN, TORA! TORA! TORA!; DR. DOLITTLE, and the only surviving 35mm print of MANDINGO

August 18-29, 1999

HOLLYWOOD – The American Cinematheque presents FANTASTIC VOYAGE: A TRIBUTE TO RICHARD FLEISCHER (August 18-29, 1999), the first major Los Angeles retrospective of the director's work, at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood. From the murderous landscapes of COMPULSION and THE BOSTON STRANGLER, to the glorious adventure of 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA and THE VIKINGS, director Richard Fleischer has, like Nemo himself, plunged us into strange and unknown worlds, filled with primal terrors wrapped in lush, velvet-lined chambers. Highlights of the nine day festival include in-person appearances by some of the stars of Fleischer’s films including Kirk Douglas, Tony Curtis, Charlton Heston, Janet Leigh, Marsha Hunt, Linda Christian, Marie Windsor and Samantha Eggar and screenings of brand new 35 mm prints of FANTASTIC VOYAGE; SOYLENT GREEN, TORA! TORA! TORA!; DR. DOLITTLE, and the only surviving 35mm print of MANDINGO. Richard Fleischer grew up in the movie business - his father Max was the legendary creator of Betty Boop and he was the man who brought Popeye to the screen.

 

Director Richard Fleischer will appear at post-screening discussions throughout the series. All screenings are at the newly renovated Lloyd E. Rigler Theatre at the historic Egyptian (6712 Hollywood Boulevard between Highland and Las Palmas) in Hollywood.

 

Wednesday, August 18, 1999

The Wednesday, August 18th program begins at 8:00 PM with THE BOSTON STRANGLER (1968, 20th Century Fox, 120 min.), one of Fleischer’s most uncompromising and startling films. Tony Curtis delivers an amazing performance (arguably his best) as Albert DeSalvo, the unstable blue-collar worker who terrorized Boston in the early 1960’s. Henry Fonda is the head of detectives who doggedly tracks him down. The increasingly elliptical, stream-of-consciousness narrative, especially after the captured Curtis’ mental disintegration accelerates, was extremely daring for a major Hollywood studio film. Discussion following with director Richard Fleischer, actor Tony Curtis and screenwriter Edward Anhalt.

 

 

Thursday, August 19, 1999

The Thursday, August 19th program begins at 7:00 PM with a double feature featuring new 35mm prints. First is THE GIRL IN THE RED VELVET SWING, (1955, 20th Century Fox, 109 min.), starring the lovely Joan Collins (in her first American movie) as Gibson-girl Evelyn Nesbit, whose fatal charms led to the murder of architect Stanford White (Ray Milland). In Fleischer’s brilliant recreation of the 20th century’s most-infamous crime of passion, Farley Granger (STRANGERS ON A TRAIN) co-stars as Nesbit’s hair-trigger lover, Harry K. Thaw. This film was co-scripted by Billy Wilder’s longtime writing partner, Charles Brackett. Next on the same bill, film noir gets the full mid-Fifties treatment - lush color and CinemaScope - in VIOLENT SATURDAY (1955, 20th Century Fox, 91 min), a vivid adaptation of W.B. Heath’s classic caper novel. Victor Mature and Sylvia Sidney head a terrific cast (including Lee Marvin in his thuggish prime), in this complex tale of the build-up to a small-town bank heist.

 

Friday, August 20, 1999

The Friday, August 20th program begins at 7:00 PM with FANTASTIC VOYAGE (1966, 20th Century Fox, 100 min.). Stephen Boyd, Raquel Welch and Donald Pleasance lead a miniaturized mission into the surreal landscape of the human body, to dissolve a comatose scientist’s cerebral bloodclot. Slam-bang action and stunning, Academy Award-winning special effects combine in Fleischer’s most purely thrilling entertainment. Discussion following with director Richard Fleischer. Following at 9:30 PM is a screening of a brand new 35mm print of SOYLENT GREEN (1972, MGM-Warner Classics, 100 min.). Based on Harry Harrison’s novel Make Room! Make Room!, The film is even more frightening (and prescient) today than when it was released. In this social commentary/sci-fi drama, cop Charlton Heston tries to track down a minor politician’s killer, and uncovers the ultimate horror of mankind’s new place in the food chain. Featuring the great Edward G. Robinson in his final screen role. Director Richard Fleischer, actor Charlton Heston and actress Leigh Taylor-Young are scheduled to introduce the screening.

 

Saturday, August 21, 1999

The Saturday, August 21st program begins at 6:00 PM, with one of Fleischer's favorites, 10 RILLINGTON PLACE (1970, Columbia, 111 min.). Richard Attenborough gives a shattering performance in this relentlessly realistic, and devastatingly matter-of-fact depiction of mild-mannered sex killer John Christie (Attenborough) in 1940’s London. The eventual hanging of innocent dupe Timothy Evans (John Hurt) is what led to Britain’s abolition of the death penalty. Discussion following with director Richard Fleischer. Following at 8:45 PM is an ultra-noir double feature. First, is NARROW MARGIN, (1952, RKO - Warner Classics, 71 min.), which always receives its share of votes as one of the finest noirs ever made - and the spiciest of its many ingredients is the unforgettable Marie Windsor as the wife of a mob boss. She and co-star Charles McGraw (as the cop who escorts her) trade priceless purple putdowns, as he ferries her across the rails from Chicago to L.A., where she’s scheduled to testify in a racketbusting trial. There are plenty of switchbacks – and some revelations along the way, rendered with maximum punch and pace by the master, Richard Fleischer. Next on the same bill, is BODYGUARD, (1948, RKO - Warner Classics, 62 min.), another Fleischer crime gem. Hot-tempered cop Lawrence Tierney (BORN TO KILL) gets bounced off the force for talking with his fists, then finds himself framed for murder. However, gal-pal Priscilla Lane, still believes in him, in this tough little noir, based on an early Robert Altman story! Director Richard Fleischer, NARROW MARGIN actress Marie Windsor, and producer Stanley Rubin are scheduled to introduce the screening.

 

Sunday, August 22, 1999

The Sunday, August 22nd program begins at 4:00 PM with a screening of a restored 35mm print of BARABBAS, (1962, Columbia, 134 min.). Fleischer’s visually-stunning drama about the thief (Anthony Quinn) given amnesty in place of Jesus, is a moving, gritty and harrowingly unsentimental odyssey of one lonely unfortunate’s spiritual evolution. Originally shot in Technirama 70, it is closer in spirit to Scorsese’s LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST than to the other Biblical epics of its day. Appearing alongside Quinn are Silvano Mangano and Jack Palance. Following at 6:45 PM is a double feature. First is THE HAPPY TIME, (1952, Columbia, 94 min.) which Fleischer made following THE NARROW MARGIN. This lovely comedy is about a young boy (SONG OF THE SOUTH’s Bobby Driscoll) who discovers the secrets of romance, with the help of Charles Boyer, Louis Jourdan, Marsha Hunt and Linda Christian. "THE HAPPY TIME was exactly the kind of film I was looking for - a human comedy about a young boy’s coming of age. No melodrama, no murders, no evil wooden puppets!" said Fleischer, of this much underrated film.

 

Next on the same bill, is CHILD OF DIVORCE, (1946, RKO - Warner Classics, 62 min.). Fleischer’s first feature, this is the surprisingly realistic, beautifully-acted story of an 8-year old girl (Sharon Moffat) who is torn between divorcing parents Regis Toomey and Madge Meredith. A small revelation at the time for producer RKO, and a sign of greatness to come for director Fleischer. Actresses Marsha Hunt and Linda Christian (THE HAPPY TIME) are scheduled to introduce the screening.

 

Wednesday, August 25, 1999

The Wednesday, August 25th program begins at 8:00 PM with Fleischer’s sprawling, action-packed saga, THE VIKINGS, (1958, MGM/UA, 114 min.) in which Kirk Douglas, playing a vengeful, one-eyed Norseman, teams up with former slave Tony Curtis. Competing for the attentions of captive princess Janet Leigh, they plunder their way across breathtakingly authentic Scandinavian locations. Actor/producer Kirk Douglas, actress Janet Leigh and director Richard Fleischer are scheduled to appear for the discussion following the screening.

 

Friday, August 27, 1999

The Friday, August 27th program begins at 7:00 PM with COMPULSION, (1959, 20th Century Fox, 103 min.) . This example of Fleischer at his very best, is a gripping, nearly-inescapable black and white crime drama of two hot-wired, closeted gay youths (Dean Stockwell and Bradford Dillman) who brutally murder a young boy for kicks. Orson Welles (fleeing the law himself at the time of shooting!) delivers a show stopping performance as the Clarence Darrow-like lawyer who fights for their lives. Based on the infamous Leopold and Loeb murder case. Discussion with director Richard Fleischer will follow the screening. Following at 9:30 PM is a double bill, that starts with an archival 35mm print of SEE NO EVIL, (1971, Columbia, 89 min.). The compact, claustrophobic and unbearably tense nail-biter stars Mia Farrow as a blind woman being stalked on a rural British farm by her family’s deranged killer. Based on a script by Brian Clemens (CAPTAIN KRONOS, "The Avengers" TV series), this is easily the best (and scariest) of the many blind/mute/deaf girl-menaced-by-killer scenarios, WAIT UNTIL DARK notwithstanding! Next on the same bill, is a brand-new 35mm print of MR. MAJESTYK, (1974, MGM/UA, 103 min.) starring the ultra-tough Charles Bronson as a Colorado melon-grower, marked for death by the Mob after he refuses to knuckle under to their ultimatums. This fast-moving, straightforward Elmore Leonard-penned thriller is one of the great, testosterone-packed 70’s crime flicks. The film also features Al Lettieri in a terrifying performance as a burly, depraved hitman.

 

Saturday, August 28, 1999

The Saturday, August 28th program begins at 3:00 PM with a screening of a brand new 35mm print of the delightful fantasy/adventure DR. DOLITTLE, (1967, 20th Century Fox, 144 min.). Based on the original Hugh Lofting stories, Fleischer’s charming musical fantasy stars the irreplaceable Rex Harrison as the Man Who Talks to The Animals, the natives, and even a big pink sea snail that ferries he and Samantha Eggar and the late, great Anthony Newley to an exotic island. Wonderfully scored and written by Leslie Bricusse. Following at 6:00 PM is 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA, (1954, Walt Disney, 122 min.) . Fleischer’s most beloved film captures both the childlike sense of adventure and the more sober nature of Jules Verne’s classic novel. James Mason is the ideal Captain Nemo opposite salty dog Kirk Douglas, scientist Paul Lukas and faithful valet Peter Lorre. Academy Award-winning art direction and special effects highlight this surprisingly adult Disney fantasy. Discussion following with director Richard Fleischer. Following at 9:00 PM is a screening of the only surviving 35mm print of MANDINGO, (1975, Paramount, 127 min.). Enormously controversial (and profitable) when it was released, it is in fact a superb, explosive study of slavery and the sexual hypocrisy that helped prop it up. James Mason is unforgettably creepy as the ruthless, ailing slave-owner, with Ken Norton, Susan George, Perry King and Brenda Sykes as the interracial couples swirling about the plantation. Rarely screened since its original release, this print was brought in from the U.K. for our tribute!

Sunday August 29,, 1999

 

The Sunday August 29th program begins at 6:30 PM with a screening of a brand-new 35mm print of TORA! TORA! TORA! (1970, 20th Century Fox, 143 min.), Fleischer’s thundersome, painstakingly-researched epic of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor starring Martin Balsam, E.G. Marshall, Wesley Addy and actual Pearl Harbor veteran Jason Robards on the U.S. side, facing Soh Yamamura, Tatsuya Mihashi and the entire Imperial fleet. Co-directed by action experts Kinji Fukasaku (BATTLES WITHOUT HONOR & HUMANITY) and Toshio Masuda (who replaced the temperamental Akira Kurosawa after months of pre-production), TORA! features some of the most visually-awesome battle scenes ever filmed.

 

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

BLACK & WHITE PHOTOS AND PRESS KITS ARE AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST

WE DO NOT HAVE GUARANTEED PRESS PASSES TO PUBLIC SCREENINGS. IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT YOU TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE ADVANCE PRESS SCREENINGS.

 

REQUESTS FOR PRESS TICKETS TO PUBLIC SCREENINGS MUST BE IN WRITING AND SHOULD BE FAXED TO 323.461.9737 ATTN: MARGOT GERBER, 24 HOURS PRIOR TO SHOW TIME.

 

Tapes Available:

THE BOSTON STRANGLER THE NARROW MARGIN BODYGUARD

VIOLENT SATURDAY SEE NO EVIL SOYLENT GREEN MR. MAJESTYK 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA BARABBAS

MANDINGO

*Jerry’s Video (1904 Hillhurst, Los Feliz – 323.666.7471) has copies of most titles in the series.

 

THE PROGRAM IS SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE.

Upcoming at the American Cinematheque: Sleep (LA Premiere of new independent feature) – August 12; Twisted Hollywood Shorts – August 25; The Basement & The Kitchen (LA Premiere of new independent feature) – Sept. 26; The Films of Natalie Wood – Sept. 2 – 12;

The Films of Russ Meyer – Sept. 16 - 25