Kay Francis & William Powell, Myrna Loy & Jean Harlow Movies: LoC Screenings

William Powell, Kay Francis, Jewel Robbery
William Powell, Kay Francis, Jewel Robbery

Kay Francis, William Powell, Myrna Loy, Jean Harlow, John Barrymore, and Mary Astor are some of the stars featured in September at the Library of Congress' Packard Campus in Culpeper, Virg.

Kay Francis and William Powell can be seen together in Jewel Robbery (1932), a charming pre-Code comedy directed by, of all people, William Dieterle. Dieterle would become closely associated with some of Warner Bros.' most tedious biopics, usually starring Paul Muni. The year of 1932 was a good one for the Francis-Powell combo, who also starred in Tay Garnett's highly successful – and quite moving – melodrama One Way Passage.

William Powell can also be seen in another charming comedy, Libeled Lady (1936), co-starring Powell's frequent screen partner Myrna Loy, in addition to Spencer Tracy and future Powell fiancee Jean Harlow. Deftly directed by the underrated Jack Conway, Libeled Lady went on to receive a Best Picture Oscar nomination; Powell himself was nominated that year for Best Actor, but in another charming comedy: Gregory La Cava's My Man Godfrey.

Also at the Packard Campus in September 2011: John Barrymore is legendary seducer Don Juan (1926), while Mary Astor – at one point Barrymore's lover in real life – is one of his seducees in this enjoyable silent comedy-drama directed by Alan Crosland (of The Jazz Singer fame); Joan Crawford delivers one of her greatest performances as a self-sacrificing mom in Michael Curtiz's Mildred Pierce (1945), which also features great acting turns by Ann Blyth and Eve Arden; and a young James Franco can be seen in an episode of the television series Freaks and Geeks.

Of special interest: a screening of Sergei Paradjanov's 1965 Ukrainian family drama Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors.

The information below is from the Packard Campus press release:

All shows are free, but children twelve and under must be accompanied by an adult. The theater is at the Library of Congress Packard Campus located at 19053 Mt. Pony Rd. in Culpeper, VA. Reservations are encouraged and can be made one week in advance (for Saturday shows the previous Friday.) Call the information line at (540) 827-1079 ext. 79994 or (202) 707-9994 Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 4:00 p.m. Reservations are held until ten minutes before show time. The theater lobby opens 45 minutes before showtime. 

Request ADA accommodations at least five business days in advance at (202) 707-6362 or ADA@loc.gov

Programs are preceded by an informative slide presentation about the film and music selected by the Recorded Sound Section of the Library of Congress. Short subjects will be presented before select programs. Titles are subject to change without notice.

Ronald Reagan, Knute Rockne: All American
Ronald Reagan, Knute Rockne: All American

Thursday, September 1 (7:30 p.m.)
THE WANDERERS (Orion, 1979)
Set against the urban jungle of 1963 New York's gangland subculture, this coming of age teenage movie is set around the Italian gang the Wanderers. Directed by Philip Kaufman. With Ken Wahl, John Friedrich and Karen Allen. Action drama. Rated R. Color. 117 min.

Thursday, September 8 (7:30 p.m.)
MILDRED PIERCE (Warner Bros., 1945)
A housewife-turned-waitress finds success in business but loses control of her ungrateful teenaged daughter. Directed by Michael Curtiz. With Joan Crawford, Zachary Scott and Ann Blyth. Drama. Black & White, 111 min. Selected for the National Film Registry in 1996.

Friday, September 9 (7:30 p.m.)
JEWEL ROBBERY (Warner Bros., 1932)
A wealthy, married woman becomes captivated by a debonair jewel thief. Directed by William Dieterle. With Kay Francis and William Powell. Comedy, crime, romance. Black & White, 68 min.

HEAT LIGHTNING (Warner Bros., 1934)In the Mohave Desert, a woman and her kid sister run a gas station, lunch counter, and auto camp. One day their hum drum lives are shaken when jewel thieves and mysterious strangers arrive on the scene. Directed by Mervyn LeRoy. With Aline MacMahon, Ann Dvorak and Preston Foster. Crime drama. Black & White, 63 min.

Saturday, September 10 (2:00 p.m.)
HONEY, I SHRUNK THE KIDS (Disney, Buena Vista, 1989)
An inventor accidentally shrinks his children with his latest contraption. Directed by Joe Johnston. With Rick Moranis and Marcia Strassman. Family, sci-fi, comedy. Color. 93 min.

Thursday, September 15 (7:30 p.m.)
FREAKS AND GEEKS (NBC-TV, 1999) Color, 44 min. With James Franco.

Friday, September 16 (7:30 p.m.)
THE BLACK HOLE (Disney, Buena Vista, 1979)
A research vessel in outer space in the year 2130 finds a missing ship commanded by a mysterious scientist on the edge of a black hole. Directed by Gary Nelson. With Maximilian Schell, Anthony Perkins and Robert Forster. Sci-fi adventure. Color. 98 min.

Saturday, September 17 (7:30 p.m.)
Three generations of pioneers take part in the forging of the American West. Directed by Henry Hathaway, John Ford and George Marshall. With James Stewart, Debbie Reynolds, Henry Fonda, Carroll Baker and Gregory Peck. Epic adventure, Civil war, railroad western. Color. 162 min. Selected for the National Film Registry in 1997.

Thursday, September 22 (7:30 p.m.)
The story of legendary Notre Dame football player and coach Knute Rockne. Directed by Lloyd Bacon. With Pat O'Brien, Ronald Reagan and Donald Crisp. Biography sports drama. Black & White, 98 min. Selected for the National Film Registry in 1997.

Friday, September 23 (7:30 p.m.)
A newspaper man, his jilted fiancée, and a suave ladies' man hatch an elaborate scheme to turn a false news-story into the truth, before a high-society woman can sue for libel. Directed by Jack Conway. With William Powell, Myrna Loy, Spencer Tracy and Jean Harlow.
Romantic comedy. Black & White, 98 min.

Saturday, September 24 (7:30 p.m.)
DON JUAN (Warner Bros., 1926)
This swashbuckler about the legendary lover who fights to survive intrigue in the court of the Borgias is notable as the first silent film released with Vitaphone music and sound effects. Directed by Alan Crosland. With John Barrymore and Mary Astor. Adventure, romance. Black & White, 112 min.

Thursday, September 29 (7:30 p.m.)
THE LIVING DESERT (Disney, Buena Vista, 1953)
True-Life Adventure feature with dazzling footage of the American desert and its inhabitants. Directed by James Algar. Narrated by Winston Hibler. Family nature documentary. Color. 69 min. Selected for the National Film Registry in 2000.

Friday, September 30 (7:30 p.m.)
SHADOWS OF FORGOTTEN ANCESTORS (Dovzhenko Film Studios, 1965)
A heartfelt family tragedy set during the early part of the 20th century in the Ukrainian Carpathians. Directed by Sergei Paradjanov. With Ivan Mikolajchuk, Larisa Kadochnikova and Tatyana Bestayeva. In Ukrainian language with English language subtitles. Historical drama. Color. 97 min.

Kay Francis & William Powell, Myrna Loy & Jean Harlow Movies: LoC Screenings © 2004–2018 Alt Film Guide and/or author(s).
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