Monthly Archives: February 2011

Wednesday 2/23: I MARRIED A WITCH at the Portage Theater

Join us this Wednesday 2/23 for Rene Clair’s I MARRIED A WITCH on 16mm!!
The Portage Theater – 4050 N. Milwaukee Ave – 7:30 – $5.00 per ticket

February 23rd, 2011
Rene Clair • 1942
Joel McCrea was originally slated to star alongside Veronica Lake in this precursor to the 60s TV series Bewitched, but refused to work with the blond bombshell following their testy relationship during the production of Sullivan’s Travels (producer Preston Sturges didn’t get along with her either, nearly strangling the young actress when he found out she was six months pregnant at the start of the film). Before Lake and her father (Cecil Kellaway) are burned at the stake by Seventeenth Century Puritan Jonathan Wooley, they put a curse on all of Wooley’s male descendants ensuring misery in marrage. Little did they know that way the heck off in the twentieth century, the young witch would fall madly in love with Wooley’s 1942 incarnation (Fredric March) on the eve of his marriage to Susan Hayward, who spends most of the movie nagging March about his political career. Paramount didn’t quite know what to do with a film that solved familial squabbling by trapping loved ones in wine bottles and sold the movie to United Artists. A shame, as this ranks among the best of Sturges output for the studio (look for a good half dozen of his stock character actors) and Clair’s output in America, and Lake could sweep any young man over thirteen off of his wobbling knees (though Jonathan Rosenbaum writes of having a similar experience watching the film at age six). (JA)
Print rescued from the Bank of America Cinema Booth, courtesy of Mike King.
77 min. • Rene Clair Productions • 16mm

Also on the Program: Crazy Ray (Paris Qui Dort) (Rene Clair, 1925, 35 min) 16mm
A young night watchman at the Eiffel Tower awakes at 3:25 in the morning to find that all of Paris is frozen in time. Considered one of the most formative science fiction films, Rene Clair edited his second film down to a brisk 35 minutes in the 50s. Live organ accompaniment by Jay Warren!
Print Courtesy of the Chicago Film Archives,
From the Chicago Public Library Collection

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