Monthly Archives: April 2013

Shake Hands with The Man Who Shot Liberty ValanceIn 35mm This Wednesday at the Portage Theater

The Portage Theater – 4050 N. Milwaukee Ave – $5.00 per ticket
For the full schedule of classic film screenings at the Portage, please click here.

01A_Man Who Shot Liberty Valance_1
Wednesday, May 1 @ 7:30pm
Directed by John Ford • 1962
Senator Ransom Stoddard (James Stewart) returns to the town of Shinbone for the funeral of Tom Doniphon (John Wayne) and recounts the decades-old shooting of outlaw Liberty Valance (Lee Marvin) to two local reporters. There’s nothing unusual about the premise: Wayne is an emotionally damaged cowboy, Stewart is morally upstanding but physically weak, Marvin is despicable, the town sheriff is a drunken coward . . . we’ve met all these people before but, seen almost entirely in flashback, these familiar characters take on new life. Wayne and Stewart are clearly older than they’re supposed to be in the story, but that only helps the half-remembered, dreamlike state of the film: darkly lit and with a very sparse set, the film makes the case that it doesn’t really matter whether our past is real or imagined. Ford’s only film in the ’60s shot in black and white, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance is a film of shadows and light, and more or less the last word on the classic American Western without being a caricature of it. (JA)
123 min • Paramount Pictures • 35mm from Paramount
Preceded by: Will Penny Production Featurette with Charlton Heston (1968) – 16mm Technicolor – 6 min


And join us next Wednesday for another delicious confection…

Wednesday, May 8 @ 7:30pm
Directed by David Butler • 1931
Most studios responded to the talkie revolution by importing high-class talent from Broadway. Fox, on the other hand, had the chutzpah to put forward its immensely popular silent screen team of Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell (7th Heaven, Street Angel) as the latest light opera sensation. When their bubbly musical debut Sunny Side Up proved a blockbuster, Fox ordered a follow-up and hired no less than George and Ira Gershwin to provide the score—the brothers’ first work for the movies. From this innocuous little story—Scottish immigrant Gaynor meets boy millionaire Farrell in steerage en route to Ellis Island—spring several popular Gershwin standards, including “Blah Blah Blah” and the “Second Rhapsody.” (The latter’s introduced in an extended sequence as Gaynor flees through an expressionist nightmare of Gotham.) An uncommonly optimistic vision of the American melting pot in the depths of the Great Depression—there’s even room for the antics of El Brendel. (KW)
Co-presented with portoluz – Old/New Dreams
106 min • Fox Film Corp. • 35mm from 20th Century Fox
Preceded by: Laurel & Hardy in “Putting Pants on Phillip” (Clyde Bruckman, 1927) – 16mm – 21 min

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