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The Godfather Movies + Ray Harryhausen Classics

Marlon Brando as Don Corleone in The Godfather
The Godfather movies: Marlon Brando as Don Corleone in Francis Ford Coppola’s 1972 The Godfather.
Ramon Novarro biography Beyond Paradise

This week at the Library of Congress Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation’s in Culpeper, Va.:

John Cusack stars in Stephen Frears’ comedy High Fidelity (2000), in which the owner of a Chicago record store recounts his top five breakups.

Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather (1972) and The Godfather: Part II (1974) will be screened on the weekend. Both films were box office and critical hits upon their release, and both won the Best Picture Oscar.

Marlon Brando, who made Academy Award history by refusing to accept his Best Actor Oscar, stars in The Godfather. Al Pacino and James Caan co-star, while the supporting cast includes Diane Keaton, Sterling Hayden, Robert Duvall, and Coppola’s sister Talia Shire.

Pacino is the sole lead in The Godfather: Part II, which also provides meaty roles for Keaton, Duvall, in addition to Oscar nominees (all supporting) Talia Shire, Lee Strasberg, Michael V. Gazzo, and Oscar winner Robert De Niro.

Programs are preceded by an informative 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

Film Schedule

Thursday, July 29, 7:30 p.m.

“High Fidelity” (Buena Vista, 2000, R-rated *)
Rob, a compulsive list maker and the owner of a Chicago record store, recounts his top five breakups, including the one in progress. This comedy/drama was directed by Stephen Frears and stars John Cusack, Todd Louiso and Jack Black.

Friday, July 30, 7:30 p.m.

“The Godfather” (Paramount, 1972, R-rated *)
This crime drama is an epic tale of a 1940s New York Mafia family and their struggle to protect their empire from rival families as the leadership switches from the father to his youngest son. Directed by Francis Ford Coppola, “The Godfather” was named to the National Film Registry in 1990. It stars Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, and Robert Duvall.

Saturday, July 31, 7:30 p.m.

“The Godfather: Part II” (Paramount, 1972, R-rated*)
In this crime drama, the Corleone saga continues as the family moves to Nevada and makes the casino business their major income source under the leadership of the increasingly paranoid and malevolent Michael. Directed by Francis Ford Coppola, “The Godfather II” was named to the National Film Registry in 1993. The film stars Al Pacino, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton and Robert De Niro.

* No one under 17 will be admitted without a parent or an adult guardian.

Photo: The Godfather (Paramount Pictures).

Ray Harryhausen Movies: ’20 Million Miles to Earth’ & ‘The 7th Voyage of Sinbad’

Ray Harryhausen’s stop-motion animation classics 20 Million Miles to Earth and The 7th Voyage of Sinbad will be screened on Friday, July 16, at 7:30 p.m. at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and SciencesSamuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills.

The screening will be presented in conjunction with the Academy’s current exhibition “The Fantastical Worlds of Ray Harryhausen.” There will be special gallery hours from 6 to 7:30 p.m. and after the screening.

Directed by Nathan Juran and produced by Charles H. Schneer, 20 Million Miles to Earth (1957) was Harryhausen’s last black-and-white film. The story revolves around an outer-space monster called the Ymir who wreaks havoc in Rome. William Hopper, Joan Taylor, and Frank Puglia star.

The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958), another Juran-Schneer collaboration, recounts the adventures of the ancient sailor. This was Harryhausen’s first Dynamation film in color. Kerwin Matthews plays Sinbad, Kathryn Grant is Princess Parisa, Richard Eyer is Barani the Genie, and Torin Thatcher is Sokurah the Magician.

“The Fantastical Worlds of Ray Harryhausen” is open to the public through August 22 in the Academy’s Fourth Floor Gallery in Beverly Hills. Regular viewing hours are Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and weekends, noon to 6 p.m. Admission to the gallery is free.

The Samuel Goldwyn Theater is located at 8949 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills. All seating is unreserved. For more information, call (310) 247-3600 or visit

Photo: The Ray & Diana Harryhausen Foundation.

Anny Ondra Blackmail Alfred Hitchcock.
Anny Ondra in Blackmail: Early Alfred Hithcock movies need restoration.

Early Alfred Hitchcock Movies Need Restoration

Two early Alfred Hitchcock British efforts: Ivor Novello in The Lodger (top); Anny Ondra in Blackmail (bottom)

“Rescue the Hitchcock 9” is the name of a campaign by the British Film Institute to save nine Alfred Hitchcock silent films, among them Blackmail (1929), shot as both a silent and a talkie.

“Be part of the challenge to bring these rare films back from the brink and into the digital age to be enjoyed by everyone,” urges the BFI website.

Also from the BFI website:

Curators of the BFI National Archive have identified a collection of films in desperate need of restoration with nine of Alfred Hitchcock’s early silent films being the first to seek rescue through the Support the BFI campaign.

Hitchcock’s nine surviving silent films are among the most important in British cinema history. But decades of wear and tear have left them in urgent need of restoration.

The nine features in question are:

The Pleasure Garden (1925)
The Lodger (1926)
The Ring (1927)
Downhill (1927)
Easy Virtue (1927)
The Farmers Wife (1927)
Champagne (1928)
The Manxman (1929)
Blackmail (1929)

As an aside: in the talkie version of Blackmail, Anny Ondra, born in what was then the Austro-Hungarian Empire, was dubbed by the very British Joan Barry.

Photos: bfi

Beggars of Life Louise Brooks Richard Arlen
Beggars of Life with Louise Brooks and Richard Arlen.

Louise Brooks & Richard Arlen in ‘Beggars of Life’

William A. Wellman’s 1928 silent classic Beggars of Life, starring Wallace Beery, Richard Arlen, and Louise Brooks, will be screened at the 23rd edition of The Hollywood Heritage‘s “Silents Under the Stars” at 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 15 at the Paramount Ranch in Agoura, northwest of Los Angeles. Michael Mortilla will provide live musical accompaniment.

Though hardly a masterpiece, Beggars of Life is an interesting melodrama (with comedic touches) featuring the iconic Louise Brooks as a young woman who attempts to pass for a boy (major suspension of disbelief required) in order to flee the country after killing her abusive stepfather.

Richard Arlen, who the year before had starred in William A. Wellman’s World War I drama Wings – the first movie to win a Best Picture Oscar – plays Brooks’ romantic interest.

Future Oscar winner Wallace Beery’s characterization as a scraggly hobo is surprisingly subdued (for Beery, that is); in fact, it probably ranks among the actor’s best.

By then, Beery had been working in movies for more than a decade, mostly in villainous and other supporting roles. In Beggars of Life, he came into his own, using his ugly, battered face and vulgar, rowdy personality to good effect. A stellar career at MGM would follow a couple of years later.

Beggars of Life will be preceded by a “surprise short.” For more information, call (805) 370-2301.

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