Celebrate Thanksgiving with a Forgotten (& Fictionalized) Slice of American History: Anthony Mann’s 19th Century Railroad Noir The Tall Target – 35mm Screening, Nov. 22

The Auditorium at Northeastern Illinois University – Building E, 3701 W. Bryn Mawr Ave
General Admission: $5 • NEIU Students: $2

Wednesday, November 22 @ 7:30 PM
Directed by Anthony Mann • 1951
Based on the Baltimore Plot, an alleged attempt to assassinate President Lincoln days before his inauguration, The Tall Target stars Dick Powell as New York policeman John Kennedy (no relation, really!), who learns of the threat on Lincoln’s life and goes vigilante to save the president-elect on board a train full of Yankees and Rebels traveling on the Night Express from Jersey City to Washington. Eschewing any musical score (unless you count the screeches and wails of the train careening through the night), Anthony Mann creates one of the tensest political thrillers ever, despite the inevitability that the Tall Target won’t die this time. A modest financial failure on its initial release, The Tall Target presents a perennially relevant microcosm of Americans against Americans. With wiley Adolphe Menjou as the very corrupt Colonel Caleb Jeffers, Marshall Thompson as a pistol-slinging Confederate, and Ruby Dee in one of her earliest roles. (JA)
78 min • Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer • 35mm from Warner Bros.
Preceded by: “Porky’s Railroad” (Frank Tashlin, 1937) – 16mm – 7 min


Last month we had to cancel our screening of Monte Carlo due to a shipping error. It has now been re-scheduled for Monday, December 11 at 7:30PM at NEIU. Mark your calendars!

The Auditorium at Northeastern Illinois University – Building E, 3701 W. Bryn Mawr Ave
General Admission: $5 • NEIU Students: $2

Monday, December 11 @ 7:30 PM
Directed by Ernst Lubitsch • 1930
Live organ accompaniment by Jay Warren
Crack open any film history textbook and you’ll likely find an extended description of a sequence in Monte Carlo: runaway bride Jeanette MacDonald reclines in a train car and belts out “Beyond the Blue Horizon” with the clang of the engine and the whir of the wheels providing the syncopation. When placed beside the mumbly milestones of the very earliest talkies like The Jazz Singer and The Lights of New York, this simple production number in Monte Carlo looked like a quantum leap and pointed the way towards the creative application of sound technology. And yet this musical chestnut was also distributed mute in the waning days of the silent era, offered to theaters that had not yet been wired for sound. The plot—penniless countess MacDonald flees her wedding for Monte Carlo, where she hopes to gamble her way to financial stability but winds up instead with a count (Jack Buchanan) whom she mistakes for a hairdresser—follows the sound version, but clocks in twenty minutes shorter without all the songs. Discovered among reels of nitrate at the Paramount Pictures lot, the silent version of Monte Carlo was one of dozens of films donated to the American Film Institute in 1968 through the efforts of the late archivist David Shepard. (KW)
71 min • Paramount Pictures • 35mm from Library of Congress, permission Universal
Preceded by: Fractured Flickers: “Pilot Episode” (Jay Ward Productions, 1961) – 16mm – 24 min

And check out the rest of the season here.

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