Monthly Archives: August 2019

New season begins September 4!

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

Wednesday, September 4 at 7:30 PM
Directed by William Wyler • 1933
In an undisclosed suite near the top of the Empire State Building, Isabel Jewell performs triage at the switchboard for attorney John Barrymore while the law office of Simon & Tedesco bustles with sandwich deliveries, leftist radicals, and flirty paralegals. Raised in poverty, Barrymore charges his wealthy clients double to cover his pro bono work for struggling immigrants, but he faces disbarment for a mistake made early in his career and is too crazed with work to do anything as his marriage disintegrates at the hands of Melvyn Douglas. A devastating and sympathetic portrayal of a workaholic about to lose everything, Counsellor at Law captures the controlled chaos of the law office with a pin-sharp understanding of the pleasure and pain of running a business without sacrificing your ideals. Former lawyer and playwright Elmer Rice wrote the script, based on his play of the same name, and William Wyler applied the necessary pre-Code pressure, delivering a faithful 82-minute screen adaptation which is simultaneously gut-wrenching and exuberant. Initially considered miscast for a role that Paul Muni played on stage, Barrymore’s natural patina of “you’ve-got-to-be-kidding-me” drunk exhaustion could not be more perfect. (JA)
82 min • Universal Pictures • 35mm from Universal

Short: Zasu Pitts and Thelma Todd in “The Soilers” (George Marshall, 1932) – 18 min – 35mm from Library of Congress


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

Wednesday, September 11 @ 7:30 PM / NEIU
Directed by Bud Pollard • 1948
R&B legend Louis Jordan stars as R&B legend Louis Jordan, a hard-charging and magnanimous professional who plays so many benefit concerts that he winds up in a sanitarium for overwork. With eleven songs crammed into a running time of just over an hour, Lookout Sister might merit the same diagnosis, but if this joyously ingratiating, loose-limbed musical is sick, then we don’t want to be well. Jordan cameoed in two Hollywood features, but the core of his movie career is a trio of low-budget musicals produced by Astor Pictures for African American audiences. The final entry, shot while a real-life union contract dispute kept the band out of the recording studio, Lookout Sister finds the recuperating bandleader dreaming of wide-open spaces and ten-gallon hats, with Jordan and his Tympany Five ensemble reimagined as Two Gun Jordan and His Jivin’ Cowhands. Two Gun has been brought out to Lookout, Arizona, by the sibling proprietors of the H & H Ranch (‘H & H Means Health & Happiness’) to save the property from an unscrupulous oil speculator. Jordan shows off his questionable riding skills, but the highlight is, of course, the music, including the singular “Barnyard Boogie” and the cold-blooded realism of “Don’t Burn the Candle at Both Ends,” with lyrics like “See your dentist twice a year / And stay away from root beer / But then again you might have bad luck / And walk out in the street and get hit by a truck.” (KW)
63 min • Astor Pictures • 35mm from Library of Congress

Louis Armstrong in “A Rhapsody in Black and Blue” (Aubrey Scotto, 1932) – 10 min – 35mm from Library of Congress, permission Cohen Media

Presented with the Jazz Institute of Chicago as part of their 50th Anniversary.

View the full season schedule here!

Posted in News | Comments Off on New season begins September 4!