Music Box Theatre – 3733 N. Southport Ave.
General Admission: $10
Tuesday, January 9 @ 7:00 PM
THE HEARTBREAK KID
Directed by Elaine May • 1972
Introduced by Filmmaker Joe Swanberg
Elaine May’s Hollywood directing career may have been unjustly cut short by the failure of 1987’s Ishtar to recoup its outsized budget, but the four narrative features she currently has to her name are all essential. The Heartbreak Kid is May’s only directorial effort to feature a screenplay by somebody else, but the seething, brutally pointed line-readings from which the film derives most of its comic energy are all her own. (Neil Simon is the sole credited writer, although much of the film was purportedly improvised under May’s direction.) Charles Grodin, in his breakout performance, plays Lenny Cantrow, a Jewish newlywed on his honeymoon in Miami Beach with wife Lila (May’s daughter Jeannie Berlin) who sets his sights on Midwestern Gentile coed Kelly (Cybill Shepherd), ignoring the inconveniences of Kelly’s ever-present father (an apoplectic Eddie Albert) and Lenny’s own very recent marriage. Given May’s astonishing gift for comedic timing, it’s no surprise that each of The Heartbreak Kid’s four principals gives an accomplished and hilarious performance (Albert and Berlin were rewarded with Academy Award nominations for theirs), nor that May is triumphantly successful in making a masterpiece unlike anything seen in the American cinema before or since: a sunny, light, anti-romantic comedy that manages to be one of the bleakest films of the 1970s. (CW)
106 min • Palomar Pictures • 35mm from Academy Film Archive, permission Bristol-Myers Squibb
Film Stock: Kodak 2383 (2006) Lab: Technicolor
Buy Tickets Here!
Preceded by: “Krasner, Norman: Beloved Husband of Irma” (Shevard Goldstein, 1974) – 6 min – 16mm
But that’s not all this week!
The Auditorium at Northeastern Illinois University – Building E, 3701 W. Bryn Mawr Ave
General Admission: $7 • NEIU Students: $2
Wednesday, January 10 @ 7:30 PM
Directed by Roy Del Ruth • 1933
The proprietor of the Franklin Monroe Department Store may be able to trace his lineage back to the Founding Fathers, but the yachted gentry are no match for Kurt Anderson (Warren William), the pitiless manager whose ruthlessly amoral tactics keep the business and its 12,000 employees afloat at the onset of the Great Depression. Once a poor farm boy from Ohio, Anderson rose to the top by adhering to his sole credo: “SMASH! — or be smashed.” Among the wreckage along the way: Loretta Young as the eager model who gets a job by sleeping with the boss, Wallace Ford as the innovative but pliable floor manager, and Alice White as an all-purpose C-suite Mata Hari. Stuffed with a roster of deftly sketched supporting players glimpsed fleetingly in the aisle or the elevator, this boiling backroom epic showcases the protean finesse of undervalued director Roy Del Ruth. Released shortly before Roosevelt’s inauguration, Employees’ Entrance is practically a Hooverism liquidation sale, chucking the dead wood of paralyzed patricians and callous bankers preaching passive retrenchment. The evergreen promise: Americans will go back to work as soon as we hand over the reins to a lecherous authoritarian. (KW)
75 min • First National Pictures • 35mm from Library of Congress, permission Warner Bros.(Swank)
Preceded by: Bugs Bunny in “Hare Conditioned” (Chuck Jones, 1946) – 8 min – 16mm