Find Out What Lurks Behind the Door – Restored 35mm Print Screens Jan. 6 at the Music Box Theatre

Music Box Theatre – 3733 N. Southport Ave.
General Admission: $11 • Seniors: $9 • MBT Members: $7

Saturday, January 6 @ Noon
Directed by Irvin V. Willat • 1919
Live Accompaniment from Music Box Organist Dennis Scott
Spun out from a two-page short story by Gouverneur Morris, Behind the Door is one of the most perverse and unpredictable films of the silent era—a nautical revenge yarn that alternates appalling sadism with prayerful longing for days gone by. (Morris’s novel The Penalty would be adapted into an excellent Lon Chaney film the following year, and that pulp saga of a gangster amputee plays almost level-headed in comparison.) Hobart Bosworth stars as Captain Oscar Krug, a lumbering taxidermist whose quiet life off the coast of Maine is interrupted by America’s entry into World War I. As an American of German descent, Krug must prove his patriotic bona fides by enlisting, but even he underestimates the depravity of the enemy (a slick and smarmy Wallace Beery) and the destructive power of the U-Boat. The thinking man’s anti-Hun picture, Behind the Door hit theaters a year after the Armistice and rubbed sea salt in America’s still-festering wounds. This superbly crafted saga survived only in fragments until this 2016 reconstruction from the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, the Library of Congress, and Gosfilmofond restored Behind the Door’s funereal grandeur. (KW)
70 min • Thomas H. Ince Productions • 35mm from SFSFF Collection, Library of Congress
Short: “The Sinking of the ‘Lusitania’” (Winsor McCay, 1918) – 16mm – 12 min


The fun doesn’t stop with Hobart. Join us next week for:

Music Box Theatre – 3733 N. Southport Ave.
General Admission: $10

Tuesday, January 9 @ 7:00 PM
Directed by Elaine May • 1972
Elaine May’s Hollywood directing career may have been unjustly cut short by the failure of 1987’s Ishtar to recoup its outsized budget, but the four narrative features she currently has to her name are all essential. The Heartbreak Kid is May’s only directorial effort to feature a screenplay by somebody else, but the seething, brutally pointed line-readings from which the film derives most of its comic energy are all her own. (Neil Simon is the sole credited writer, although much of the film was purportedly improvised under May’s direction.) Charles Grodin, in his breakout performance, plays Lenny Cantrow, a Jewish newlywed on his honeymoon in Miami Beach with wife Lila (May’s daughter Jeannie Berlin) who sets his sights on Midwestern Gentile coed Kelly (Cybill Shepherd), ignoring the inconveniences of Kelly’s ever-present father (an apoplectic Eddie Albert) and Lenny’s own very recent marriage. Given May’s astonishing gift for comedic timing, it’s no surprise that each of The Heartbreak Kid’s four principals gives an accomplished and hilarious performance (Albert and Berlin were rewarded with Academy Award nominations for theirs), nor that May is triumphantly successful in making a masterpiece unlike anything seen in the American cinema before or since: a sunny, light, anti-romantic comedy that manages to be one of the bleakest films of the 1970s. (CW)
Introduced by Filmmaker Joe Swanberg.
106 min • Palomar Pictures • 35mm from Academy Film Archive, permission Bristol-Myers Squibb
Film Stock: Kodak 2383 (2006)
Tickets on sale now!
Short: “Krasner, Norman: Beloved Husband of Irma” (Shevard Goldstein, 1974) – 6 min – 16mm

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