Monthly Archives: November 2013

Double Feature: Million Dollar Legs
& Girls About Town – Take the Whole Family!

Gene Siskel Film Center – 164 N. State Street
For the full schedule of our classic film screenings, please click here.

14B MILLION $ LEGSSunday, December 1 @ 11:30am
PARAMOUNT PRE-CODE DOUBLE FEATURE
MILLION DOLLAR LEGS
Directed by Eddie Cline • 1932
Welcome to Klopstokia, the semi-sovereign backwater where policy disputes are resolved with wrestling matches and all the girls (and goats) are named Angela. President W.C. Fields leads a delegation of Klopstokians to the Olympics, but traitors plot to sabotage their chances by throwing the mechanically sexy temptress Mata Machree (Lyda Roberti) into their midst. Ostensibly produced to cash in on the Olympic fever generated by the 1932 Summer Games at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, it’s difficult to name a topical film that’s less political. Though often cited as a forerunner to the Marx Brothers’ sharp satire Duck Soup, Million Dollar Legs is closer to a surrealist free-for-all, one gag following another with seemingly unconscious logic.  Cited by Pauline Kael as a candidate for the greatest film ever made, Million Dollar Legs nevertheless defies critical description. (KW)
64 min • Paramount Pictures • 35mm from Universal

and

Girls About Town (1931) Directed by George Cukor Shown from left: Kay Francis, Lilyan TashmanGIRLS ABOUT TOWN
Directed by George Cukor • 1931
Lured direct from Broadway by Paramount after the studio determined it needed sophisticated theater directors to oversee the newly literate talkies, George Cukor was still finding his sea legs in 1931. So it only makes sense that he should make a saucy sex farce on a yacht, no? A pair of gold diggers played by Kay Francis and Lilyan Tashman have some business objectives for this maritime adventure: Francis will bag hunky, unconventional Joel McCrea while Tashman will seduce Eugene Pallette (!), the wealthiest man in all of Lansing, Michigan. The title could aptly summarize the whole pre-Code era, and the movie itself distills the emblematic contradictions of these bawdy bedtime stories: in one scene, Francis and Tashman must prove their virtue by selling the very clothes off their backs! (KW)
66 min • Paramount Pictures • 35mm from Universal

———

And don’t miss our next show!

15A NINOTCHKASunday, December 8 @ 7:30pm
NINOTCHKA
Directed by Ernst Lubitsch • 1939
Ninotchka, a no-nonsense Soviet envoy (Greta Garbo), is sent to check on three adorable Communists (Lubitsch regulars Sig Ruman and Felix Bressart and WWII refugee Alexander Granach) who were supposed to be selling off jewels confiscated from the ex-Grand Duchess of Russia (Ina Claire). To Garbo’s disgust, they have been taken in by the delightful ways of Parisian capitalism by way of Melvyn Douglas, who attempts to buy back the jewels for Claire but eventually becomes more interested in seducing Ninotchka. In many ways the ultimate Lubitsch picture, Otis Ferguson also noted that Ninotchka was the “first film with any airiness at all to discover that communists are people and may be treated as such in a story.” Billy Wilder, Charles Brackett, and Walter Reisch wrote a screenplay filled with incredibly human one-liners. And Garbo in her first comic role is nothing less than perfect. (JA)
110 min • Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer • 35mm from Warner Brothers

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& Girls About Town – Take the Whole Family!

Born Losers Need Not Apply: Steve McQueen & Lee Remick in Mulligan’s Baby the Rain Must Fall in 35mm

Gene Siskel Film Center – 164 N. State Street
For the full schedule of our classic film screenings, please click here.

13B BABY THE RAIN MUST FALLSunday, November 24 @ 11:30am
BABY THE RAIN MUST FALL
Directed by Robert Mulligan • 1965
A film so bereft of phony optimism that Columbia opted to promote it as “the love story of a born loser,” Baby the Rain Must Fall reunites director Robert Mulligan with To Kill a Mockingbird screenwriter Horton Foote. Like its predecessor, Baby is a melodrama of family life in the South, but without the civics lesson. Steve McQueen stars as a small-town rockabilly sensation, a damaged, overgrown kid out on parole for a stabbing. He is welcomed home by the wife he barely knew (a brilliant Lee Remick) and the young daughter he knew nothing about. He’s determined to establish a cohesive family and become a successful musician, all to the chagrin of his abusive foster mother (Josephine Hutchinson), dead-set on reinforcing his worthlessness. McQueen’s persona is strikingly reminiscent of the sort of bad-boy musician that typified Elvis’s early career, but with the added sincerity of McQueen’s actual bad-boy status. (HG)
99 min • Columbia Pictures • 35mm from Sony Pictures Repertory

————

Fair warning: set a place at the table and get ready to laugh next week.

14A MILLION $ LEGSSunday, December 1st @ 11:30am
PARAMOUNT PRE-CODE DOUBLE FEATURE
MILLION DOLLAR LEGS
Directed by Eddie Cline • 1932
Welcome to Klopstokia, the semi-sovereign backwater where policy disputes are resolved with wrestling matches and all the girls (and goats) are named Angela. President W.C. Fields leads a delegation of Klopstokians to the Olympics, but traitors plot to sabotage their chances by throwing the mechanically sexy temptress Mata Machree (Lyda Roberti) into their midst. Ostensibly produced to cash in on the Olympic fever generated by the 1932 Summer Games at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, it’s difficult to name a topical film that’s less political. Though often cited as a forerunner to the Marx Brothers’ sharp satire Duck Soup, Million Dollar Legs is closer to a surrealist free-for-all, one gag following another with seemingly unconscious logic.  Cited by Pauline Kael as a candidate for the greatest film ever made, Million Dollar Legs nevertheless defies critical description. (KW)
64 min • Paramount Pictures • 35mm from Universal

and

GIRLS ABOUT TOWN
Directed by George Cukor • 1931
Lured direct from Broadway by Paramount after the studio determined it needed sophisticated theater directors to oversee the newly literate talkies, George Cukor was still finding his sea legs in 1931. So it only makes sense that he should make a saucy sex farce on a yacht, no? A pair of gold diggers played by Kay Francis and Lilyan Tashman have some business objectives for this maritime adventure: Francis will bag hunky, unconventional Joel McCrea while Tashman will seduce Eugene Pallette (!), the wealthiest man in all of Lansing, Michigan. The title could aptly summarize the whole pre-Code era, and the movie itself distills the emblematic contradictions of these bawdy bedtime stories: in one scene, Francis and Tashman must prove their virtue by selling the very clothes off their backs! (KW)
66 min • Paramount Pictures • 35mm from Universal

14A GIRLS ABOUT TOWN

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Go Hog Wild! Mitchell Leisen’s No Time for Love in 35mm

Important: While the Patio works to repairs its boiler, we’ll be moving to warmer climes for the duration of the season. The Gene Siskel Film Center has generously agreed to taken on the remainder of our programming. Please check the website for updated dates and showtimes.

Gene Siskel Film Center – 164 N. State Street
For the full schedule of our classic film screenings, please click here.

12B NO TIME FOR LIVE
Sunday, November 17 @ 11:30am
NO TIME FOR LOVE
Directed by Mitchell Leisen • 1943
When nosey photojournalist Claudette Colbert gets muscley sandhog Fred MacMurray suspended by publishing a photo of him goofing off at work, she takes him on as her personal assistant. They squabble, fall in love, squabble some more, part ways, and reunite in a tunnel full of muck and mud from the Hudson River that MacMurray is nobly attempting to freeze. (To convince Colbert to get in the mud, director Leisen plunged himself in headfirst and directed the scene drenched.) Because of the war effort, No Time For Love was shot on a shoestring budget reusing sets from The Palm Beach Story (which earned it an Oscar nomination for Best Art Direction – Interior Decoration) and most scenes were shot in just one take. The mud is real, though (and mixed with baby oil!), and Colbert and MacMurray’s on-screen chemistry is unsinkable. (JA)
83 min • Paramount Pictures • 35mm from Universal

—————

And come back next week to rock out with Steve McQueen and Lee Remick.

13Sunday, November 24 @ 11:30am
BABY THE RAIN MUST FALL
Directed by Robert Mulligan • 1965
A film so bereft of phony optimism that Columbia opted to promote it as “the love story of a born loser,” Baby the Rain Must Fall reunites director Robert Mulligan with To Kill a Mockingbird screenwriter Horton Foote. Like its predecessor, Baby is a melodrama of family life in the South, but without the civics lesson. Steve McQueen stars as a small-town rockabilly sensation, a damaged, overgrown kid out on parole for a stabbing. He is welcomed home by the wife he barely knew (a brilliant Lee Remick) and the young daughter he knew nothing about. He’s determined to establish a cohesive family and become a successful musician, all to the chagrin of his abusive foster mother (Josephine Hutchinson), dead-set on reinforcing his worthlessness. McQueen’s persona is strikingly reminiscent of the sort of bad-boy musician that typified Elvis’s early career, but with the added sincerity of McQueen’s actual bad-boy status. (HG)
99 min • Columbia Pictures • 35mm from Sony Pictures Repertory

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