Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Anthony Mann Festival Opens Friday at UCLA

Another wonderful series comes to UCLA's Billy Wilder Theater at week's end. The 22-film Dark City, Open Country: The Films of Anthony Mann opens on Friday, January 31st, and continues through March 30th.

The lineup focuses on Mann's crime films and Westerns. Max Alvarez, author of the new book THE CRIME FILMS OF ANTHONY MANN, will be appearing at the screening on Wednesday, March 12th. I anticipate receiving a review copy of this book in the near future and look forward to writing about it in conjunction with attending some of the screenings in this series.

All films in the series, with the exception of THE FURIES (1950), screen in 35mm; THE FURIES will be shown in 16mm.

Each date link below corresponds with UCLA's page on that particular evening's films, and the highlighted titles link to my past reviews.

The series opens on January 31st with THE GREAT FLAMARION (1945), starring Eric von Stroheim, Mary Beth Hughes, and Dan Duryea. It's paired with Barbara Stanwyck in THE FURIES (1950).

One of the evenings I'm especially looking forward to is February 1st, which pairs Macdonald Carey in DR. BROADWAY (1942) with a favorite "B" mystery, TWO O'CLOCK COURAGE (1945). TWO O'CLOCK COURAGE stars Tom Conway and Ann Rutherford, with Jane Greer in a small role. This will be a short night as the movies are only 67 and 69 minutes long!

On Wednesday, February 5th, the delectably wacky STRANGERS IN THE NIGHT (1944) screens, starring Virginia Grey and the very odd Helene Thimig; it's just 56 minutes long. Playing alongside it is THE MAN FROM LARAMIE (1955), one of Mann's many films with James Stewart.

The classic docu-noir HE WALKED BY NIGHT (1948), on which Mann did uncredited work, will be shown on February 9th. It's being shown with another James Stewart Western, THE NAKED SPUR (1953), costarring Robert Ryan and Janet Leigh.

On February 21st another really odd Mann "B" film will be shown, the 68-minute STRANGE IMPERSONATION (1946), starring Brenda Marshall. Also showing that night is THE LAST FRONTIER (1956), a Western starring Victor Mature, Guy Madison, and Robert Preston.

Two great film noir titles screen on March 1st: an effective little "B" film, DESPERATE (1947), plus RAILROADED! (1947). DESPERATE stars Steve Brodie and charming Audrey Long (Georgia in BORN TO KILL that same year), while RAILROADED! stars John Ireland and Sheila Ryan.

March 3rd features two Mann films for MGM: BORDER INCIDENT (1949) with Ricardo Montalban and George Murphy, and DEVIL'S DOORWAY (1950), which is widely acknowledged to contain one of Robert Taylor's finest performances.

There's more crime on March 12th, when author Alvarez is slated to appear. It's a classic Dennis O'Keefe double bill, T-MEN (1947) and RAW DEAL (1948); the latter film costars Claire Trevor and Marsha Hunt.

On March 15th I'm really looking forward to SIDE STREET (1950), which reunited Farley Granger and Cathy O'Donnell of THEY LIVE BY NIGHT (1948), playing with James Stewart and Dan Duryea in WINCHESTER '73. The latter film is on my list of 10 Classics to see in 2014.

I also hope to attend the March 23rd screening of the great Dick Powell train thriller THE TALL TARGET (1951), shown with James Stewart and Ruth Roman in THE FAR COUNTRY (1954). Fans of Dick Powell or train films should be sure not to miss THE TALL TARGET; I'm very happy to have the chance to see it on a big screen, as I couldn't fit in seeing it when it was shown last spring at the TCM Classic Film Festival.

The series wraps up on Sunday, March 30th, with the double bill MAN OF THE WEST (1958), starring Gary Cooper and Julie London, and THE TIN STAR (1957) starring Henry Fonda.

This series is a great opportunity to see a mix of classic and obscure titles in an ideal setting. For more information please visit the UCLA website.

Update: Links to reviews of films seen for the first time at the festival: DR. BROADWAY (1942), THE MAN FROM LARAMIE (1955), THE NAKED SPUR (1953), THE LAST FRONTIER (1955), RAILROADED! (1947), RAW DEAL (1948), SIDE STREET (1950), WINCHESTER '73 (1950), and THE FAR COUNTRY (1954).


Blogger Jerry E said...

What a feast, laura! Mann was a terrific director and is rightly revered. Both his crime films, such as "Border Incident" and "Raw deal" and his wonderful westerns with James Stewart are fantastic viewing. I would not want to forget his "Man Of The West" with Coop or "The Tin Star" with Henry Fonda either though.

10:29 AM  

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