The UCLA Festival of Preservation opens tomorrow night at the Walter Reade Theater and will be showing restored gems from the UCLA Film & Television Archive through Monday. The festival, put on biennially in Los Angeles, is making its first trip east and Film Society of Lincoln Center is honored to be its home in New York. Don’t miss this opportunity to see these rare pieces of film and television history on the big screen – here's a sneak peek at some of what the festival has to offer:
Come Back to the 5 & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean (Robert Altman, 1982, screens Friday and Monday)
Q&A on July 15 with Oscar-nominated production designer David Gropman, production executive Peter Newman, distribution executive Ira Deutchman and Kathryn Altman, widow of Robert Altman.
From acclaimed director Robert Altman and starring Sandy Dennis, Cher, and Karen Black, Come Back to the 5 & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean tells the quirky story of three women in a James Dean fan club called “The Disciples of James Dean” who reunite after twenty years apart in a small Texas town near where Giant was filmed. Altman preserved the nearly entirely female cast (only one man ever appears, in a flashback) from the Columbus, Ohio staging of the play on which the film is based. All the leads are outstanding, but Cher's performance in particular surprised critics and earned her a Golden Globe nomination.
Cry Danger (Robert Parrish, 1951, screens Friday and Sunday)
In his directorial debut, Robert Parrish delivers an unsung noir gem about an ex-convict, played by Dick Powell, who returns to Los Angeles to hunt down the true culprit of a crime for which he was framed. Richard Erdman plays a drunk, disabled ex-marine who aids him in his quest and Rhonda Fleming plays his ex-girlfriend whose Bunker Hill trailer park acts as their home-base. Another actress from Cry Danger, Jean Porter, said in an interview that the film was “directed by Dick Powell, and he wasn't given director credit. Dick gave Robert Parrish the director's credit, but Dick did all the directing.”
The Crusades (Cecil B. DeMille, 1935, screens Monday)
This Cecil B. DeMille saga chronicles the European response to the violent takeover of Jerusalem by Islamic leader Saladin in 1187 and the epic battle to restore the Holy Land to Christian rule that resulted. The Crusades is as entertaining as it is grand and includes such flourishes as a woman getting married to her absent soldier husband's sword. In an interview, one stuntman from the film recalled the tense relationship between DeMille and the stuntmen. He claimed DeMille showed a lack of respect for their safety and regularly berated them until a professional marksman shot an arrow into the director's megaphone. Predictably, DeMille never yelled at the stuntmen again.