Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate
The L.A. Conservancy has announced a list of tentative titles for the 2010 edition of “Last Remaining Seats,” held annually at old movie palaces in downtown Los Angeles.
They are: How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (1967), a musical satire with Robert Morse and Jonathan Winters; Alfred Hitchcock's Strangers on a Train (1951), with Farley Granger, Robert Walker, and Ruth Roman; George Lucas' gigantic sleeper hit American Graffiti (1973), featuring lots of newcomers including Richard Dreyfuss, Harrison Ford, Suzanne Somers, and Candy Clark; and Mike Nichols' The Graduate (1967), with Dustin Hoffman, Anne Bancroft, and Katharine Ross.
None of the above could be considered a “rarity,” but perhaps showing rare movies isn't the festival's intent. Watching movies on the big screen in rococo theaters is.
Even so, two less well-known films will be presented. One of them is Flor Silvestre (Wild Flower), Emilio Fernández's 1943 Mexican melodrama starring Dolores del Rio and Pedro Armendariz. Great filmmaking? Not exactly. Should you check it out? Definitely. Douglas Sirk, Curtis Bernhardt and other post-war Hollywood filmmakers may well have drawn from those Mexican productions when they created their over-the-top 1950s melodramas.
The other lesser-known work is Herbert Brenon's Peter Pan (1924), starring Betty Bronson (as Peter), Esther Ralston (as Mrs. Darling), Mary Brian (as Wendy), Anna May Wong (as Tiger Lily), and Virginia Brown Faire (as Tinker Bell). This silent fantasy is perfectly watchable, and offers one of the most moving moments I've seen on film. That's when only your own hands can help save a dying fairy – and create movie magic as a result.
HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING (1967) / May 26, Los Angeles Theatre
STRANGERS ON A TRAIN (1951) / June 2, Million Dollar Theatre
AMERICAN GRAFFITI (1973) / June 9, Orpheum Theatre
THE GRADUATE (1967) / June 16, Los Angeles Theatre
FLOR SILVESTRE (Wild Flower) (1943) / June 23, Million Dollar Theatre / Co-presented by the Latin American Cinemateca of Los Angeles
PETER PAN (1924) / June 30, Orpheum Theatre