Home movies of scary folk such as Alfred Hitchcock and Richard Nixon (and of some non-scary celebrities and non-celebrities as well), in addition to film classics and/or rarities starring Marilyn Monroe, Thelma Todd, Ken Maynard, Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon, Dustin Farnum, Diane Lane, Judy Holliday, Michael Paré, Olivia de Havilland, and Errol Flynn will be screened at the Library of Congress Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation in Culpeper, Va., in September. [Packard Campus Sept. 2010 Schedule.]
Packard Campus highlights include both the obvious — Michael Curtiz and William Keighley’s masterful The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), George Cukor’s delightful comedy Adam’s Rib (1949), Billy Wilder’s entertaining, gender-bending Some Like It Hot (1959) — and the obscure: two Thelma Todd features, two Ken Maynard oaters, and one silent featuring Dustin Farnum (no relation to Dustin Hoffman, but close relation to William Farnum).
Thelma Todd, Turner Classic Movies’ "star of the day" just yesterday, is featured in both You Made Me Love You (1933), a British production with Stanley Lupino (Ida Lupino’s father), and Air Hostess (1933), a B movie with James Murray, the leading man in King Vidor’s The Crowd (1928).
Todd would die under mysterious circumstances — her death ruled a suicide — two years after Air Hostess was released. Murray, reduced to playing bit parts in movies, would kill himself the following year.
The two Ken Maynard Westerns are the Poverty-Row productions Texan Gun Fighter (1932) and Lightning Strikes West (1940). I’d never heard of either movie. Needless to say, I’ve never watched either one. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever sat through a Ken Maynard Western. That’s a good enough reason for me to find this presentation well worthwhile.
Dustin Farnum, though not as popular as brother William Farnum, had quite a following in the 1910s. The Packard Campus will be showing The Corsican Brothers, in which Farnum has a dual role.
As an aside: Dustin Farnum has the distinction of having starred in Cecil B. DeMille and Oscar Apfel’s 1914 Western The Squaw Man, officially the first feature film shot in Hollywood.
Packard Campus programs are preceded by a slide presentation about the film, with music selected by the Library’s Recorded Sound Section. Some screenings will also include short subjects before the main feature. Titles are subject to change without notice.
All Packard Campus programs are free and open to the public, but children 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult. For reservation information, call (540) 827-1079 extension 79994 or (202) 707-9994 during business hours, beginning one week before any given screening.
Reservations will be held until 10 minutes before showtime. For further information on the theater and film series, visit www.loc.gov/avconservation/theater/.
Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution. Many of the Library’s resources can be accessed through its website at www.loc.gov and via interactive exhibitions on a personalized website at myLOC.gov.
Images: Packard Campus