Monthly Archives: October 2013

Stick ‘Em Up! Robert Altman’s Melancholy Thieves Like Us in 35mm at the Patio

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.

Wednesday, October 23 @ 7:30pm
Directed by Robert Altman • 1974
Derived from the same celebrated Edward Anderson novel that inspired Nicholas Ray’s delicately romantic They Live By Night, Thieves Like Us takes a decidedly earthier approach to the material. We follow a trio of low-level crooks through Depression-era Mississippi, but characteristically Altman devotes more time to slow days holing up in motels and safehouses than to the perfunctory business of bank robbery.  At the center is the adolescent courtship of dim killer Bowie (Keith Carradine) and gawky gas station attendant Keechie (Shelley Duvall), positioned by Altman as the hillbilly Romeo and Juliet. Quiet and slightly narcotized, Thieves Like Us plays as a weathered, realistic counterpoint to the rebel chic of Bonnie and Clyde. It also projects the ambiance of the 1930s with greater exactitude than any other period recreation—a totally lived-in experience, with tentative emotions rippling under the ever-present din of Radioland. (KW)
123 min • United Artists • 35mm from Park Circus


In case you haven’t noticed the store shelves overrun with candy and the funny tombstones littering Chicago’s lawns, we’d like to remind you that Halloween is just around the corner!

Wednesday, October 30 at 7:30pm


Directed by John Gilling • 1956
When the last car of a passenger train serendipitously wanders into Gudavia, a fictional European country whose borders have been closed to the rest of civilization for years, two reporters (Paul Douglas and Leslie Phillips) find themselves on the cusp of the biggest news story of the decade: a crazed dictator is melting the minds of local urchins with gamma rays. The only problem is that there’s no way out of Gudavia, and now who will cover the music festival in Salzburg? A terrific blend of odd-couple antics, cold war paranoia, squealing terror, and bizarrely picturesque location photography, The Gamma People is a strange and compelling piece of science fiction pulp. (JA)
79 min • Warwick Film Productions • 35mm from Sony Pictures Repertory


Directed by Bert I. Gordon • 1957
… meanwhile, back in Chicago, Dr. Ed Wainwright (Peter Graves) accidentally feeds some radioactive goo to a family of locusts, who acquire a taste for human flesh. Almost overnight, the Chicago suburbs are demolished by swarms of grasshoppers bigger than the Abominable Snowmonster, and they’re closing in on Michigan Avenue. It’s like Days of Heaven, only BIGGER. This was the second directorial effort of rear-projection master Bert I. Gordon (aka Mr. BIG), whose other larger than life films include King Dinosaur, Earth vs. the Spider, and Empire of the Ants, and while these films (for better or worse) tend to defy analysis, there’s no denying the hypnotic call of the thirty-foot grasshopper. Don’t get eaten. (JA)
76 min • AB-PT Pictures Corp • 35mm from private collections


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