Judy Garland Stops Time in Vincente Minnelli’s The Clock – 35mm Screening on July 31

The Auditorium at Northeastern Illinois University – Building E, 3701 W Bryn Mawr Ave
General Admission: $7 • NEIU Students: $3

Wednesday, July 31 at 7:30 PM
Directed by Vincente Minnelli • 1945
Introduced by Chicago Tribune film critic Michael Phillips!
Secretary Alice Mayberry (Judy Garland) meets Corporal Joe Allen (Robert Walker) on his brief leave from the service and the two fall in love while wandering around New York City, visiting Central Park, and delivering milk in the wee hours with James Gleason. Can they forge a future before Joe ships out again? As if no one had noticed that Garland’s musical chops in The Wizard of Oz and Meet Me in St. Louis would have been worthless without her achingly precise emotional sincerity to back up the songs, M-G-M touted The Clock as her first straight “dramatic” role. Likewise a departure for musically-minded producer Arthur Freed and director Vincente Minnelli (who would marry Garland the year after filming this romantic landmark), The Clock shows off Hollywood’s toniest studio in a comparatively modest and amicable mood. A small-scale, precisely calibrated, black-and-white movie with a near-gimmick narrative constraint, The Clock was a B picture by M-G-M standards (if not by anyone else’s—they built a studio replica of Penn Station for the occasion!) and benefits immeasurably from a concomitant lack of studio pressure. (KW)
91 min • M-G-M • 35mm from Warner Bros

Short: Judy Garland clip reel – 15 min – 16mm

“THE CLOCK is the kind of picture that leaves one with a warm feeling toward his fellow-man, especially toward the young folks who today are trying to crowd a lifetime of happiness into a few fleeting hours” — The New York Times


The Auditorium at Northeastern Illinois University – Building E, 3701 W Bryn Mawr Ave
General Admission: $7 • NEIU Students: $3

Wednesday, August 7 at 7:30 PM
Directed by Dorothy Arzner • 1932
Taking its name from the “overboard-drinking era” of prohibition, Merrily We Go To Hell moves smoothly from farce to tragedy telling the story of a young socialite Joan (Sylvia Sidney) and her toxic romance with alcoholic playwright Gerry (Fredric March). After marrying, the couple overcome Gerry’s alcoholism before being faced with the reemergence of his old girlfriend. Their marriage is thrown into chaos as Gerry returns to drinking and becomes increasingly callous toward Joan, climaxing in a relentless final act, including a brief attempt at polyamory (allowing a small role for a young Cary Grant). Almost unreleased by the film’s studio, the film was a box office success as well as director Dorothy Arzner’s final film with Paramount. Lightly written off as a conventional domestic comedy-drama at the time, Arnzer’s direction and Sidney’s performance make for great cinema. At its lightest the film carries a palpable sense of warmth, most notable in unexpected bouts of singing and dancing, or of the film’s Merry Melodies-esque opening credits. As it pivots to drama, Sidney responds to her husband’s cruelty with a poignant display of heartbreak and tough resolve, especially as the relationship itself becomes more complicated and her motivation more muddy. Years later, academic Pam Cook cited the film as an example of Arzner’s ability to show the “problem of the desire of women caught in a system of representation which allows them at most the opportunity of playing on the specific demands that the system makes on them.” (VM)
78 min • Paramount Pictures • 35mm from Universal

Cartoon: “Russian Lullaby” (Fleischer Studios, 1931) – 6 min – 16mm

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