Fellow Film Club Members & Movie Buffs:
The intriguing theme for this month will be “Cirque du Soleil”.
Alright, Our good weather is continuing, prompting some of us to pray for rain. The Tacoma Film Club has kicked back into gear. Join us this next Friday, 08/14/15, for a screening of the classic A FACE IN THE CROWD (1957). It was directed by the revered Elia Kazan.
Kazan became a successful Broadway director right after WWII, a time of grandiose changes in acting styles in NYC. He was one of the founders of the Actor’s Studio in 1947. He found substantial fame in both theater & movies. He had already directed 8 films before 1950, when his Marlon Brando & James Dean streak occurred. He was nominated for 7 Tony Awards, & won 3 of them. He has won two Best Director Oscars, & was given an honorary Oscar for the body of his work in 1999–which angered a lot of Hollywood liberals who were still angry with him for naming names & co-operating with the HUAC in 1947. He directed 21 actors to Oscar nominations, & 8 of those folks won one.
He directed 21 movies. His films included A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN (1945), THE SEA OF GRASS (1947), PANIC IN THE STREETS (1950), A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE (1951), VIVA ZAPATA (1952)…that I saw in theaters 12 times, ON THE WATERFRONT (1956), EAST OF EDEN (1955), BABY DOLL (1956), WILD RIVER (1960), SPLENDOR IN THE GRASS (1962), AMERICA, AMERICA (1963), & THE LAST TYCOON (1976).
The script was written by Budd Schulberg, who wrote screenplays for 28 films from 1937-87. As a young man during the late 1930’s, he joined the American Communist Party–but after 1945, he rejected Stalin’s regime, & in 1947 he co-operated with HUAC, naming names. So he & Kazan had a lot of history together. In addition, he wrote an expose’ on Hollywood called WHAT MAKES SAMMY RUN, making him an enemy of several studio heads, especially Louis B. Mayer. Schulberg wrote the screenplays for ON THE WATERFRONT (1956), THE HARDER THEY FALL (1956), & WIND ACROSS THE EVERGLADES (1958).
The cinematography was by studio veteran, Harry Stradling, Sr., who was nominated for 13 Oscars & won two of them. He lensed 141 films since 1920, including JAMAICA INN (1939), MR. & MRS. SMITH (1941), SUSPICION (1941), MR. & MRS. NORTH (1942), THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY (1945), THE SEA OF GRASS (1947), THE BARCLAYS OF BROADWAY (1949), THE YELLOW CAB MAN (1950), A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE (1951), A LION IN THE STREETS (1953), JOHNNY GUITAR (1954), GUYS & DOLLS (1955), AUNTIE MAME (1958), DARK AT THE TOP OF THE STAIRS (1960), GYPSY (1962), MY FAIR LADY (1964), FUNNY GIRL (1968), & HELLO, DOLLY (1969).
A FACE IN THE CROWD (1957)
Directed by Elia Kazan & 126 minutes.
The film stars Andy Griffith, Patricia Neal, Anthony Franciosa, Lee Remick, & Walter Matthau & unbilled there was Burl Ives, Walter Winchell, Rip Torn, Lois Nettleton, Mike Wallace, Betty Furness, & R.G. Armstrong.
Synopsis: This is a story of a raucous itinerant guitar picker, Dusty Rhodes, who rises from club performer to local TV host to national TV superstar & political kingmaker, who suffers an egotistical meltdown that causes his decline.
Trivia: Insiders were aware that this was the thinly veiled story of 50’ssuperstar Arthur Godfrey.
Rotten Tomatoes rated the film at 92% Critic’s Approval & 94% Audience Approval. The IMDb rated it at 8.2 stars.
Bosley Crowther of the NEW YORK TIMES wrote: “This sizzling & cynical exposure–also presented Andy Griffith in the lead for his first film role.”
Trivia: AG, ironically, could stand for either Andy Griffith or Arthur Godfrey. This was also the film debut for Lee Remick & Lois Nettleton. This was the return to the screen for Patricia Neal, after a four year absence–following the much publicized affair she had with the married Gary Cooper, & her subsequent nervous breakdown. The movie was shot mostly on location in Piggot, Arkansas.
So hey, mark your calendars for this Friday, 08/14/15, & join the TFC for a screening of Elia Kazan’s A FACE IN THE CROWD (1957). It will be shown at the Center for Spiritual Living, the church building we use for our events, parties, & meetings. It is located at 206 S. J Street, on the corner of Division & J streets.
Arrive early, around 6:30 pm, & join many of us downstairs in the kitchen area for fellowship & snacks. It is a TFC tradition to bring snacks & beverages, including wine or beer, to share with others. Please clean up after yourselves before coming upstairs to enjoy the movie. There is a donation box in the entrance to the sanctuary. A FACE IN THE CROWD will screen before 7:30 pm, & it runs 126 minutes,so it will be lover right after 9:30 pm. See you at the movies!!