The Portage Theater – 4050 N. Milwaukee Ave – 7:30pm – $5.00 per ticket
For the full schedule of classic film screenings at the Portage, please click here.
Wednesday, September 19th
THE BIG NIGHT
Directed by Joseph Losey • 1951
Birthday parties can be traumatic experiences for kids, but this celebration boasts a whole new dimension of terror for 17-year-old John Barrymore, Jr., who’s barely had a chance to blow out the candles on his cake when sports columnist and underworld heavy Howard St. John appears out of nowhere and orders his father to strip and take a beating. Barrymore spends the rest of the movie trying to unravel this wholly mysterious act of primal violence, swearing revenge on an adult world he barely understands. The Big Night is a meandering nightmare-testament made by a band of angry talent at the twilight of their Hollywood careers. Blacklisted screenwriters Hugo Butler and Ring Lardner, Jr., already working pseudonymously here, would continue writing through fronts; director Losey would soon flee to Europe; and actress Dorothy Comingore (Citizen Kane) would never work in features again. This addled teen noir is the perfect outlet for their broad-based disenchantment. (KW)
75 min • United Artists • 35mm from Park Circus
Cartoon: Droopy Dog in “Homesteader Droopy” (Tex Avery, 1954) – 16mm – 7 min