Music Box Theatre – 3733 N. Southport Ave.
General Admission: $7 • High Roller: $10
Monday, Nov 27 @ 7:00PM
Directed by Warren Beatty • 1990
If Beetlejuice can step into the cap and cowl of the Dark Knight, why can’t John Reed play Chester Gould’s comic strip crime-stopper? A long-gestating project (Alain Resnais was briefly attached to direct) that finally hit theaters after Tim Burton’s Batman had fatally altered the blockbuster paradigm, Dick Tracy was the first film to gross $100 million and still be judged a flop. Revisited today, it’s a romantic, auteur-driven take on the comic book movie, and the road not traveled for an increasingly bottom-line-obsessed genre. While Marvel and DC efforts are forever teasing the next chapter in their cinematic universes, Dick Tracy crams in so many incidents and villains (Itchy! 88 Keys! The Rodent! Flattop! Pruneface! Dustin Hoffman as Mumbles! Al Pacino, an Oscar nominee, as Big Boy Caprice!) as to make a sequel unfathomable and mildly nausea-inducing. And no subsequent comic book movie has been as invested in working within the parameters of its four-color source material, faithfully recreated and deliriously explored through Richard Sylbert’s production design and Vittorio Storaro’s cinematography. For all the pyrotechnics, though, it’s mostly an emotionally direct, stirringly simple movie about Dick Tracy fitfully trying to be a better boyfriend. With songs by Stephen Sondheim, singing by Madonna, and spittle-flecked mugging from everyone else. (KW)
105 min • Touchstone Pictures • 35mm from Chicago Film Society collections, permission Swank
Preceded by: Roger Rabbit in “Roller Coaster Rabbit” (Frank Marshall and Rob Minkoff, 1990) – 35mm – 7 min
But that’s not all!
The Auditorium at Northeastern Illinois University – Building E, 3701 W. Bryn Mawr Ave
General Admission: $5 • NEIU Students: $2
Wednesday, November 29 @ 7:30 PM
IT’S GREAT TO BE ALIVE
Directed by Alfred Werker • 1933
45th Anniversary of the Memory Club with an Appearance from Chuck Schaden
A musical remake of The Last Man on Earth produced during the lascivious pre-Code era, It’s Great To Be Alive hardly stints on the racy implications of its premise. Brazilian crooner Raul Roulien stars as the last surviving XY specimen, a dashing aviator who accidentally missed the masculinitis epidemic by pouting the years away on a remote island after being teased once too often by gal pal Gloria Stuart. And his discovery couldn’t come at a better time—Edna May Oliver’s efforts to create a Synthetic Man in her laboratory have run aground. After treating Roulien to a ticker-tape parade, the women of the world compete for his affections through a dance showcase. Cuba, Czechoslovakia, and the Netherlands—show us what you’ve got! One of a seemingly endless roster of neglected Fox musicals, It’s Great To Be Alive features a handful of numbers from forgotten composer William Kernell, including “I’ll Build a Nest” and “Good Bye, Ladies.” Fox had hoped to build up Roulien as a major star, but alas, his third-billed role in RKO’s Flying Down to Rio later that year hardly helped; his planned breakthrough was overshadowed by fourth- and fifth-billed Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire. Though his career in movies proved too short, Roulien himself never fell victim to masculinitis: he lived to be 94! Preserved by The Museum of Modern Art with support from the Celeste Bartos Fund for Film Preservation.(KW)
69 min • Fox Film Corp • 35mm from the Museum of Modern Art, permission Criterion Pictures
Preceded by: “Any Little Girl That’s a Nice Little Girl” (Fleischer Studios, 1931) – 16mm – 7 min
And check out the rest of the season here.