Friday, July 27, 2018

Weekend Movie Fun: Counsellor at Law (1933) at UCLA (and the Apple Pan!)

I'd be the first to admit that living in Southern California has its share of frustrations...but there are also many great opportunities.

For example, in the last 10 days I've celebrated Disneyland's birthday, seen a pair of silent films directed by Ernst Lubitsch at UCLA's Billy Wilder Theater, and enjoyed a book signing, lecture, and another Lubitsch film at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood.

Tonight was the sort of quintessential "L.A. night" which makes me happy I still live here. We started off with dinner at the classic Los Angeles hamburger joint The Apple Pan, which has been run by the same family on Pico Boulevard since 1947.

Over the years I've eaten at many great restaurants in the L.A. area, from Cassell's Hamburgers to Hutch's BBQ in Pasadena (now sadly gone) to Philippe's French Dip to my very favorite, El Cholo.

Somehow, though, I had never eaten at the Apple Pan, though I'd been inside it once; I think we must have decided the wait was too long that particular day. This oversight was rectified with a visit tonight and everything about it was great, from the metered parking place right next to the building to immediate seating at the counter to the friendly service and terrific food.

We'll definitely be going back, and next time maybe we'll save room for apple pie!

Here are several photos:

Cash only at the Apple Pan, rung up on the old-style cash register!

Then it was over to UCLA's Billy Wilder Theater in Westwood, just a few minutes away, for a very special nitrate screening of COUNSELLOR AT LAW (1933), starring John Barrymore and directed by William Wyler.

Several members of the Wyler family were sitting in the row in front of us, including his children Cathy and David. It was special knowing we were enjoying the film along with the director's family, especially considering the film is now 85 years old!

In some ways, though, you'd never know the movie was that old, as some of the dialogue could have been written yesterday, particularly for a character enchanted by socialism. (The more things change, the more they stay the same, and all that.) The nitrate print was absolutely stunning; there were a couple shots so sharp and clear they almost felt like 3D.

The nitrate print was from Wyler's personal collection and had been deposited at UCLA by the family, who also gave permission for the screening.

I reviewed the film on DVD in 2010. It's a terrific film which I highly recommend.

Tonight's program also inciuded a 1933 Hearst Metrotone newsreel, notable for a couple violent scenes such as an Indy racing crash with bodies flying through the air (!), and the 1933 Fleischer cartoon AIN'T SHE SWEET (1933), which segues to a live-action singalong with Lillian Roth in the final minutes. The audience sang along -- a little quietly, but I give everyone bonus points for participation!

If all goes well I anticipate being at the opening night of UCLA's tribute to Bob Fosse Saturday evening, with a screening of ALL THAT JAZZ (1979).


Blogger Jerry Entract said...

Whilst I'm not familiar with the frustrations of living in Southern California, Laura, I can definitely appreciate the upside of being near Hollywood and those wonderful screening venues and opportunities. The Apple Pan looks delightful. I love that it has been run by the same family for 70 years.
We have near us a very old, very beautiful restaurant that is very popular though not cheap because it delivers 'old-world' service, spectacularly good food and a charming atmosphere. And what I love most is that it is presided over by an immaculately-dressed French gentleman who has owned and run it for 57 years!!
Plus, it is not in the city but in a pretty village near us, out in the country 50 miles north of London. These type of place are to be treasured (and used!).

12:51 AM  
Blogger Caftan Woman said...

Livin' the high life in the Golden State.

Of course, all I know about it is that all wagon trains lead there. (Ha!)

5:17 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Hi Jerry! There are many such frustrations, which I won't go into here (grin), but as Caftan Woman says below, there's also quite the "high life" for those of us who love classic films...and vintage style restaurants! I'm definitely going to be going back to the Apple Pan sooner rather than later.

I really loved hearing of the restaurant near you which has been run by the same person for 57 years. Wonderful story. Long may he continue!!

Thank you both for your comments!

Best wishes,

2:47 PM  
Blogger Raquel Stecher said...

Thanks for sharing! I love these out-and-about style posts. I love how old-fashioned The Apple Pan restaurant is. I'd totally go there.

1:23 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thank you so much, Raquel, I love the chance to share neat places in L.A. It would be fun if you had a chance to visit The Apple Pan next time you're here!

Best wishes,

4:07 PM  

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