LOC’s June 2016 Films Spotlight Prince, Marilyn Monroe

Monkey Business 1952


In commemoration of the 90th anniversary of Marilyn Monroe’s birth on June 1, the Packard Campus Theater in Culpeper, Virginia, kicks off the month with three films she made before she became a superstar. The first is the Marx Brothers "Love Happy," in which she has a seductive walk-on part, followed by her brilliant comic turn with Cary Grant in "Monkey Business" and ending with her role as a beautiful young mistress in the "The Asphalt Jungle."

Three nights of rare silent-movie screenings will be held as part of the Mostly Lost V Film-Identification Workshop. The Thursday and Friday screenings on June 16 and 17 at the Packard Campus Theater are free and open to the public, while the double feature on Saturday, June 18 at the State Theatre in Culpeper, Virginia, will have a $10 admission charge.

Other highlights in June are Prince’s "Purple Rain," the animated "Ratatouille" and National Film Registry titles "Ruggles of Red Gap" and "A Streetcar Named Desire." For more information on the National Film Registry, visit loc.gov/film/filmnfr.html.

All Packard Campus programs are free and open to the public, but children 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Seating at the screenings is on a first-come, first-serve basis. The Packard Campus Theater is located at 19053 Mount Pony Road, Culpeper, Virginia. For general information, call (540) 827-1079 ext. 79994 or (202) 707-9994 during regular business hours. For further information on the theater and film series, visit loc.gov/avconservation/theater/. In case of inclement weather, call the theater information line no more than three hours before showtime to confirm cancellations.

The Library of Congress Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation is a state-of-the-art facility funded as a gift to the nation by the Packard Humanities Institute. The Packard Campus is the site where the nation’s library acquires, preserves and provides access to the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of motion pictures, television programs, radio broadcasts and sound recordings (loc.gov/avconservation). The Packard Campus is home to more than 7 million collection items. It provides staff support for the Library of Congress National Film Preservation Board (loc.gov/film), the National Recording Preservation Board (loc.gov/rr/record/nrpb) and the national registries for film and recorded sound.

Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the world’s largest library. The Library seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs, publications and exhibitions. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its website at loc.gov.

Library of Congress Packard Campus Theater Schedule

Wednesday, June 1 (7:30 p.m.)
"Love Happy" (United Artists, 1949)

Marilyn Monroe had one of her earliest screen appearances in this, the Marx Brothers’ 15th and final film. In a brief scene, the then-unknown starlet asks detective Grunion (Groucho Marx) for help, saying seductively, "Some men are following me." Though her screen time lasted only a minute, Monroe was upgraded to co-star billing with the comedy team when "Love Happy" was re-released in the mid-1950s. Originally conceived as a solo vehicle for Harpo Marx, the studio insisted it had to be a Marx Brothers picture after recent re-issues of their earlier films had done well at the box-office. David Miller helmed the re-written script in which the brothers help young Broadway hopefuls while thwarting diamond thieves. Also in the cast are Chico Marx, Ilona Massey, Vera-Ellen, Raymond Burr and Eric Blore.

Friday, June 3 (7:30 p.m.)
"Monkey Business" (20th Century-Fox, 1952)

Cary Grant and director Howard Hawks paired up for their fifth and final film—a screwball comedy somewhat reminiscent of their 1938 classic "Bringing up Baby." Grant plays absent-minded chemist Dr. Barnaby Fulton, whose lab chimp accidentally concocts an elixir of youth. Shenanigans ensue after the professor and later his wife (Ginger Rogers) take a dose of the potion. Marilyn Monroe is particularly effective in a small role. Writer-director Peter Bogdanovich wrote in a 2012 review: "Especially memorable are the sequences featuring Grant with Marilyn Monroe in her first really successful comedy performance as aging professor Charles Coburn’s ultra-nubile secretary."

Saturday, June 4 (7:30 p.m.)
"The Asphalt Jungle" (MGM, 1950)

John Huston’s brilliant crime drama contains the recipe for a meticulously planned robbery, but the cast of criminal characters features one too many bad apples. Sam Jaffe, as the twisted mastermind, uses cash from corrupt attorney Emmerich (Louis Calhern) to assemble a group of skilled thugs to pull off a jewel heist. All goes as planned until an alert night watchman and a corrupt cop enter the picture. Marilyn Monroe has a memorable bit part as Emmerich’s "niece." The film also stars Sterling Hayden, Jean Hagen, James Whitmore and John McIntyre. It was added to the National Film Registry in 2008.

Friday, June 10 (7:30 p.m.)
"Gaslight" (MGM, 1944)

Ingrid Bergman and Charles Boyer star in this classic chiller about a man who slowly manipulates his wife into believing she is going insane. This second adaptation of Patrick Hamilton’s 1938 play "Gas Light" (a British production was released in 1940) was directed by George Cukor. It received seven Oscar nominations including best picture and won two (one for art direction and Bergman won for lead actress). Angela Lansbury, making her film debut, was also nominated for best supporting actress. Also notable in the supporting cast are Joseph Cotten and Dame May Whitty.

Saturday, June 11 (2 p.m.)
"Ratatouille" (Disney-Pixar, 2007)

Remy (voiced by Patton Oswalt) is a French rat with great ambitions of becoming a chef who forms an unusual alliance with Linguini (Lou Romano), a young kitchen worker at a famous Parisian restaurant. The film, co-written and directed by Brad Bird, was nominated for five Academy Awards, including best original screenplay and best animated film. Among the cast of voice actors are Ian Holm, Janeane Garofalo and Peter O'Toole as Anton Ego, a restaurant critic.

Saturday, June 11 (7:30 p.m.)
"Purple Rain" (Warner Bros., 1984)

Prince stars as "The Kid," a young Minneapolis musician, in this semi-autobiographical story. Facing an abusive situation at home, The Kid must contend with a rival musician who is trying to steal his new girlfriend Apollonia (Apollonia Kotero), a beautiful newcomer to the Minneapolis music scene. Also featured in the cast are Morris Day and Clarence Williams III. Most of the songs in the film were recorded live. "Purple Rain" won an Academy Award for original song score and Prince won two Grammy Awards in 1985 for the soundtrack album from the film. The soundtrack album was named to the National Recording Registry in 2012.

Thursday, June 16 (7:30 p.m.)
Silent Movie Double Feature
"Whispering Shadows" (Peerless Feature, 1921)

After attending a séance, a young couple deals with the question of whether the dead have the power to warn their loved ones of impending danger. This unusual motion picture took six months to make and is based upon Walter Hackett’s play "The Invisible Foe." Directed by Emile Chautard, stars Lucy Cotton, Charles A. Stevenson, Philip Merivale and Robert Barrat.

"That Model From Paris" (Tiffany Productions, 1926)
This rarely seen film is a Cinderella story in which a plain-looking cashier is compelled to pose as a model from Paris who knows no English while working in a fashionable salon. Based upon the short story "The Right to Live" by Gouverneur Morris, "That Model From Paris" was directed by Louis J. Gasnier. It stars Marceline Day, Bert Lytell, Ward Crane and Eileen Percy. Both films will be shown in rare 28 mm prints and will be introduced by Dino Everett, archivist of the Hugh M. Hefner Moving Image Archive at USC. Andrew Simpson will provide live musical accompaniment on the Walker theater organ.

Friday, June 17 (7:30 p.m.)
"Husbands and Wives" (Gaumont, 1920)

A pampered Northern heiress marries a young Southerner who is proud of his heritage and his hard-work ethic. She loves beautiful gowns and excitement and has difficulty conforming to his idea of what a wife should be. Directed by Joseph Levering, the film stars Vivian Martin and Hugh Thompson. Two short films will be shown before the feature: Georges Méliès’ "The Triple Headed Lady" (1902) and the latest installment of Eric Grayson’s restoration of "The King of the Kongo, Chapter Six" (1929). Philip Carli will provide live musical accompanied on the Walker theater organ for the silent feature and shorts.

Saturday, June 18 (7:30 p.m.) at the State Theatre *
Silent Movie Double Feature
"The Bride’s Play" (Paramount, 1922)

Marion Davies stars as Aileen Barrett, an educated Irish lass of refinement, who is well-versed in the folktales of her native land. Aileen is a sweet, kind-natured girl, helpful to the poor and instructive and gentle to the young. Her father, John Barrett, dies while Aileen is still at school, leaving her a comfortable fortune. Her loveliness attracts both an earnest, rich wooer as well as a young Dublin poet. When the ancient custom of "The Bride’s Play" is revived at her wedding, Aileen must choose between the two men. Directed by George Terwilliger and produced by William Randolph Hearst’s Cosmopolitan Productions, the romantic drama also features Wyndham Standing, Frank Shannon and Jack O’Brien in the cast. This is the premier screening of a new Library of Congress preservation print.

"Bell Boy 13" (Associated First National, 1923)
Harry Elrod is a happy young man who looks forward to marrying his sweetheart and coming into his inheritance. His uncle Ellrey attempts to match him with other, less-appealing marriage prospects and then disinherits him when he is not interested. Harry takes a job at a hotel as a bellhop, causing much chaos. Directed by William Seiter, this comedy stars Douglas MacLean, Margaret Loomis and John Steppling.
* The screening of the double feature at the State Theatre in Culpeper, Virginia, is open to the public. There will be an admission charge of $10. Tickets will be available at the door, 305 S. Main St., Culpeper, Virginia.

Friday, June 24 (7:30 p.m.)
"The North Star" (RKO, 1943)

Designed to gather sympathy for the Russian people and strengthen American support for the U.S. government’s alliance with the Soviet Union during World War II, Lewis Milestone’s 1943 drama focuses on the people of a tranquil Soviet farming collective in 1941 whose lives are shattered following a violent invasion by the Germans. Scripted by Lillian Hellman, with cinematography by James Wong Howe, the film features a stellar cast including Anne Baxter, Dana Andrews, Walter Huston, Erich von Stroheim, Walter Brennan and Farley Granger in his film debut. Condemned by some as Communist propaganda, "The North Star" was also trumpeted by prominent film critics. Nominated for six Academy Awards, it is a fascinating blend of politics and melodrama.

Saturday, June 25 (2 p.m.)
"Ruggles of Red Gap" (Paramount, 1935)

Charles Laughton, known for such serious roles as Emperor Nero, King Henry VIII and later as the 1935 Captain Bligh, takes on comedy in this tale of an English manservant won in a poker game by American Charlie Ruggles, a member of Red Gap, Washington’s extremely small social elite. Laughton, in understated valet fashion, worriedly responds: "North America, my lord. Quite an untamed country I understand." However, once in America, he finds not uncouth backwoodsmen, but rather a more egalitarian society that soon has Laughton reciting the Gettysburg Address, catching the American spirit and becoming a successful businessman. Aided by comedy stalwarts ZaSu Pitts, Mary Boland and Roland Young, Laughton really shows his acting range and pulls off comedy perfectly. Directed by Leo McCarey, "Ruggles of Red Gap" was added to the National Film Registry in 2014.

Saturday, June 25 (7:30 p.m.)
"A Streetcar Named Desire" (Warner Bros., 1951)

In this outstanding production of Tennessee Williams’ Pulitzer Prize play, directed by Elia Kazan, Vivien Leigh portrays the fragile schoolteacher Blanche DuBois who leaves her hometown under mysterious circumstances to stay with her pregnant sister Stella (Kim Hunter) in New Orleans. Marlon Brando gave a standout performance as Stella’s brutish husband Stanley, who resents Blanche’s presence and accuses her of squandering the family inheritance. Nominated for 12 Academy Awards, winning four, "A Streetcar Named Desire" was added to the National Film Registry in 1999. The film’s original soundtrack recording, with music composed by Alex North, was added to the National Recording Registry in 2015.

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