Monthly Archives: July 2013

The Miracle Man – Ultra-Rare, Devout Gangster Drama with Sylvia Sidney and Boris Karloff – Wednesday, 7:30 – 35mm

The Patio Theater – 6008 W Irving Park Road – $5.00 per ticket
For the full schedule of classic film screenings at the Patio, please click here.

18B-19A_Miracle ManWednesday, July 24 @ 7:30pm
Directed by Norman Z. McLeod • 1932
A whip-smart gang of New York grifters (Sylvia Sidney, Chester Morris, Ned Sparks, and John Wray) have one sweet swindle going until a fatal clash with lascivious landlord Boris Karloff ruins their plans. Fleeing the cops, Morris hides out in the seaside paradise of Meadville, California, home to a beloved faith healer known universally as the Patriarch (Hobart Bosworth). Sensing the potential for the scam of the century, Morris summons his confederates—but will they still accede to the scheme after the Patriarch makes the crippled walk again? Aside from being a gonzo gangster yarn and a memorable piece of white-hot entertainment in its own right, The Miracle Man holds great interest as a phantom artifact of film history: it’s a remake of an enormously popular 1919 film that has vanished but for a few fragments. The original version gave Lon Chaney a star-making turn as the double-jointed con man known as the Frog; if Chaney was anywhere near as impressive in that role as John Wray comes off in the 1932 rendition, we’ve lost something very special indeed. (KW)
85 min • Paramount Pictures • 35mm from Universal


And come back next week for another cinema rarity (do we ever run out?) …

CARTEL ITALIANO - 140x200Wednesday, 31 July @ 7:30pm
Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz • 1947
With the nineteenth century fading into the twentieth, New York City has supplanted Boston as America’s cultural capital, but don’t tell that to Beacon Hill Brahmin George Apley (Ronald Colman), who valiantly and obtusely upholds the traditions (philosophical, funereal, ornithological) his own family has abandoned. His Freud-quoting daughter Ellie (Gun Crazy femme fatale Peggy Cummins in her American debut) presses George to join the modern world, but old WASPs don’t give up their stingers so easily. A gentle and effortless satire of middle age and evaporating aristocracy taken from Mr. Moto creator John P. Marquand’s Pulitzer Prize-winning 1937 novel, the film adaptation benefits from screenwriter (and Harvard alum) Philip Dunne’s intimate familiarity with the milieu and director Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s singular skill in staging sophisticated dialogue. Together with Colman’s Oscar-winning turn in A Double Life released later the same year, The Late George Apley represents the culmination of the actor’s three-decade career. (KW)
97 min • 20th Century-Fox • 35mm from Criterion Pictures, USA

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