Monday, February 1, 2016

Mad About Deanna Durbin in "Mad About Music"

This post is part of the 2016 O Canada blogathon hosted by Ruth of Silver Screenings and Kristina of Speakeasy.

Anyone who has visited my blog or follows me on Twitter or read my entry in last year’s O Canada Blogathon, is aware that my love for Deanna Durbin knows no bounds. Besides her beautiful voice, Winnipeg’s Golden Girl had a natural screen presence that made her appealing to just about everyone attending the movies in the late 1930s. Mad About Music (1938) was Durbin’s third feature film. It’s also one of her most enjoyable vehicles, featuring many familiar faces in supporting roles.

Sid Grauman, Gail Patrick, and William Frawley
In Mad About Music, Durbin plays Gloria Harkison a student at a girls-only boarding school in Switzerland. Gloria’s mother is the famous movie actress Gwen Taylor (Gail Patrick). On the advice of her manager Dusty Turner (William Frawley), Gwen keeps the fact that she’s a widow with a teenage daughter a secret. Because Gloria can’t reveal her mother’s true identity, she invents a globetrotting explorer father who writes her letters and sends her photographs of his exploits. Of course Gloria writes the letters herself. She reads them out loud to her schoolgirl friends, much to their delight, except for the leader of the mean girls, Felice (Helen Parrish). Felice thinks that Gloria is a fake and that she’s been lying about having a father. Felice makes it her goal to expose Gloria as a liar. Gloria, on the other hand, is desperate to keep the tales of her “father” alive. Her desperation turns to inspiration as she enlists the help of an unsuspecting traveler.

Deanna Durbin reads a letter from her “father.”
Richard Todd (Herbert Marshall) is a composer on vacation in Europe who has planned a five-day stay in Switzerland, traveling with his private secretary and valet (Arthur Treacher). Richard has no idea the turn his life is about to take when he runs into Gloria at the train station. Gloria tells her roommate and best friend Olga (Marsha Mae Jones) that her father is arriving for a visit by train. Gloria asks Olga not to tell anyone, but Olga lets the cat out of the bag and not only is Gloria at the train station meeting her “father,” but all the girls from her school are there, including arch nemesis, Felice. With a bouquet in her arms, Gloria picks Richard out of the train passengers. She tells Richard, that “it’s an old Swiss custom to greet the most distinguished looking visitor on every train.” To keep the ruse alive, while her schoolmates are watching, Gloria insists on taking Richard to his hotel. By escorting Richard into the hotel, right up to the elevator, Gloria convinces her friends that Richard is her father.

Durbin and Jackie Moran
In the midst of Gloria’s subterfuge, she has a puppy-love romance with Tommy, a cadet from a nearby boys academy. While she’s pretending to be Richard’s daughter at the train station, Tommy is waiting for Gloria at a local sweet shop where he asked her out on a date. Gloria arrives late for their date due to meeting Richard at the train station and transporting him to the hotel. Tommy gives Gloria a huge box of chocolates which she brings back to school, telling her pals they’re a gift from her father.

Universal Studios version of a Swiss village on the back lot
When Annette Fusenot (Elisabeth Risdon), one of the instructors/administrators at the boarding school, hears that Gloria’s father is visiting, she and her sister and colleague at the school, Louise (Nana Bryant), invite him to luncheon. When Richard arrives at the school, he is determined to set the record straight and expose Gloria’ big lie. As he enters the school and sees the lineup of Gloria’s classmates to greet him, he changes his mind. Being the sophisticated and debonair man that he is, the girls are enthralled with “Mr. Harkinson’s” tales of adventure. Felice even seems to be coming around due to Richard’s graciousness and charm.

Herbert Marshall and Durbin entertain her schoolmates.

Gloria’s happiness comes to an end when Richard leaves for Paris. After losing her “father,” Gloria is longing to see her mother, who is currently in Paris on a publicity tour. Determined to visit her, Gloria runs away from school, boarding the same Paris-board train that Richard is on. Without a ticket, the train’s conductor locks Gloria in a small room. She tells the conductor that her father is on the train, but he doesn’t believe her. To get Richard’s attention, Gloria starts singing, which draws a crowd and eventually Richard who tells the conductor that she is indeed his daughter. Dusty Taylor tries to keep Gloria away from her mother fearing it will be the end of her career as a movie “glamour girl.” Richard is determined that Gloria gets to visit her mother by barging into the press conference she is having at her hotel. Upon seeing Gloria with Richard, Gwen tells the crowd of reporters that she has a 14-year-old daughter. At first, Gloria doesn’t want to acknowledge this fact, but when she sees that her mother wants it this way, she breaks down in tears and the two embrace.

Patrick, Durbin, and Marshall together as a family
Through all the confusion, it now appears as though the family has been reunited and that includes Richard! So of course, Gwen and Richard become a couple and Gloria not only has her mother back in her life, but a father too.

Summing Up
Mad About Music is an example of the Hollywood studio system at its best. Even with Durbin’s obvious talents, it took the geniuses at Universal to package just the right vehicles for her. Her first producer  and mentor, Joeseph Pasternak (he produced 10 of her films, all at Universal) realized that Durbin was a true star and helped develop her God-given talent. It’s no secret that Durbin was unhappy toward the end of her film career, complaining that her roles were awful, even though she was still popular with moviegoers and was one of Hollywood’s highest paid actresses. After retiring, she resisted every attempt to lure her back into the spotlight. When Pasternak moved to MGM, he practically begged Durbin to come with him. She surely would have benefited from the strong musical units at that studio, but she would not be tempted. Instead she lived the rest of her days in relative obscurity in a small town outside of Paris, France.

In their review of Mad About Music, Variety said this about Durbin, “She has acquired more varied technique before the camera, without losing her ingenuous charm nor her luminous screen personality.”

Durbin’s impact on film audiences around the world cannot be understated. She was a favorite of Anne Frank. Durbin’s picture from a movie fan magazine still hangs in her bedroom at the Anne Frank Museum in Amsterdam. Indian filmmaker Satyajit Ray admitted during his Special Oscar acceptance speech: “As a small schoolboy I was terribly interested in the cinema, became a film fan, wrote a letter to Deanna Durbin, got a reply, was delighted: wrote to Ginger Rogers, ah, didn’t get a reply. Then, of course, I got interested in cinema as an art form, and I wrote a twelve-page letter to Billy Wilder after seeing Double Indemnity. He didn’t reply either…Well, there you are.”

Way to go Deanna!

Backstory
Deanna Durbin is known for having a beautiful voice, but her movies aren’t typical musicals, but rather movies with music. Mad About Music is no exception. In between escapades, Durbin sings three new songs: “I Love To Whistle,” “Chapel Bells,” and “A Serenade to the Stars.” She also sings “Ave Maria” with the Vienna Boys Choir, although the boys seen singing on screen were members of Saint Luke’s Church choir of Long Beach, California.

Helen Parrish, Durbin, and Marcia Mae Jones ride (and sing) through the Swiss countryside.

Some of Mad About Music’s Familiar Faces
Herbert Marshall was still considered a leading man in Hollywood at the time of Mad About Music’s release. Ironically, he played the “husband” of Margaret Sullavan in The Good Fairy in 1935. Sullavan’s character picks his name out of the phone book at random and tells a lecherous meat packer, played by Frank Morgan, that Marshall’s character is her husband to avoid his advances.

Durbin celebrates her sweet 16 birthday with Arthur Treacher, Marshall, director Norman Taurog, and producer Joe Pasternak.
Marcia Mae Jones who plays Durbin’s best friend would be the head of the mean girls in the Shirley Temple feature, The Little Princess, the next year.

 Jones and  Durbin
Helen Parrish was to Durbin what Jane Withers was to Shirley Temple. Parrish also played Durbin’s rich, stuck-up cousin in First Love. Parrish could also be a good girl, playing one of Durbin’s older sisters in Three Smart Girls Grow Up. In reality, Durbin and Parrish were the best of friends.

Durbin and Helen Parrish, finally friends in Mad About Music

Arthur Treacher made a career playing butlers in the movies, including this one and several he made with Shirley Temple.

Durbin, Marshall, and Treacher
Jackie Moran, who played Durbin’s romantic interest in Mad About Music was discovered by Mary Pickford. After appearing in Mad About Music, Moran had a small part in Gone With The Wind, playing Doctor and Mrs. Meade’s younger son who wanted to join the Confederate Army so he could “kill all the Yankees” to revenge the death of his older brother. He and Marcia Mae Jones starred in several films for Poverty Row studio Monogram Pictures. In 1944, he exchanged flirtatious glances with Shirley Temple in Since You Went Away.

Jackie Moran and Durbin

William Frawley had a long show business career, that includes classic films like The Farmer’s Daugher and Miracle on 34th Street, but is best known today as Fred Mertz in the TV classic I Love Lucy.

Elisabeth Risdon and Nana Bryant who play sisters and teachers Annette and Louise Fusenot, respectively, were in the screwball comedy classic Theodora Goes Wild two years earlier. Risdon played Irene Dunne’s Aunt Mary. Bryant played the wife of Dunne’s publisher, Ethel Stevenson.

Gail Patrick had played mean women in movies like My Man Godfrey and Stage Door, but gets to play a loving, if conflicted mother in Mad About Music. Rarely a sympathetic character in her early film roles, Patrick shows her versatility with her brief, but warm portrayal.

Mother and child reunion: Patrick and Durbin
Sid Grauman appears as himself in Mad About Music. In the film he says he’s saved a space for Gwen Taylor’s (Gail Patrick) hand and footprints at the Chinese Theater. In reality, it was Durbin who would have her hand and footprints memorialized in cement at the famous theater for Mad About Music’s premier.

Durbin with Grauman getting her footprints in cement at the Chinese Theatre

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Chicago Film Club field trip: “The Maltese Falcon” February 21 at ShowPlace ICON at Roosevelt Road

Where: ShowPlace ICON, 150W Roosevelt Road, Chicago, IL 60605
When: February 21, 2015
Time: 2:00 p.m.
Hosted by Stephen Reginald
Run Time: 2 hours (approximate)


Ticketing: Tickets are available by clicking here. If online ticketing is not available for your location, you can purchase your tickets by visiting the box office at your local participating cinema or check back often as updates are being made daily.

Special Fathom Feature: Think like a detective with specially produced commentary from Turner Classic Movies host Ben Mankiewicz that celebrates the 75th anniversary of this iconic film.


A gallery of high-living lowlifes will stop at nothing to get their sweaty hands on a jewel-encrusted falcon. Detective Sam Spade (Humphrey Bogart) wants to find out why – and who’ll take the fall for his partner’s murder. An all-star cast including Sydney Greenstreet, Mary Astor, Peter Lorre and Elisha Cook Jr. joins Bogart in this crackling mystery masterwork, written for the screen from Dashiell Hammett’s novel and directed by John Huston. Nominated for three Academy Awards® including Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (Greenstreet) and Best Screenplay (Huston), this classic film catapulted Bogart to stardom and launched Huston’s directorial career, all with a bird and a bang!

1941 (14th) Nominations: Actor in a Supporting Role – Sydney Greenstreet (“Kaspar Gutman”); Outstanding Motion Picture – Warner Bros.; Writing (Screenplay) – John Huston



If you come, you’ll get a stinkn’ badge to wear!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Preston Sturges series: Screening of "The Good Fairy" January 26 at Daystar Center

Preston Sturges series: The Good Fairy
Where: The Venue 1550 at the Daystar Center, 1550 S. State Street, Chicago, IL
When: January 26, 2016
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Hosted by Stephen Reginald

The Good Fairy (1935) has a gem of a screenplay by Preston Sturges, steady direction by William Wyler (Roman Holiday, Ben-Hur), and a dream cast to match. Margaret Sullavan plays Luisa, an innocent young woman who leaves the orphanage where she was raised for a job in the big city of Budapest.

Out in the world, Luisa finds herself pursued by two men: Konrad (Frank Morgan) a rich, older man and Detlaff (Reginald Owen), a grumpy waiter. Konrad wants to make Luisa his mistresss so he can shower her with jewels and furs. To escape Konrad’s clutches, Luisa pretends to be married to Max Sporum (Herbert Marshall), a name she randomly picked from the telephone book. Sporum is a struggling lawyer who has no knowledge of Luisa’s scheme. Undaunted, Konrad strikes a deal with Luisa. If he makes her husband rich by giving him an important position in his company, she will have all the material things she desires—and he desires for her—and they can carry on their affair. Konrad gives Max a big starting bonus, which enables him to furnish his law office in style. Of course things get out of hand, but not before a series of hilarious situations and complications take place.


Sullavan shines as Luisa, the wide-eyed innocent in the big city. You really believe that she’s clueless as to the ways of the world and the consequences her actions cause. Morgan almost steals the picture as Konrad, the amorous meatpacker—not to be confused with a butcher. Owen is appropriately stuffy and crabby as Luisa’s kind of big brother wannabe boyfriend. Marshall is appropriately proud and distinguished as Sporum who believes his newfound success is due to his own sterling reputation, but is in for a rude awakening.

The Good Fairy also features the talents of Beulah Bondi, Cesar Romero, Alan Hale, Eric Blore . . . plus an early screen appearance by Jane Withers as one of the orphans.


Have some Joe and Enjoy the Show!
Before the movie, grab a cup of coffee from Overflow Coffee Bar, located within the Daystar Center. You can bring food and beverages into the auditorium; we even have small tables set up next to some of the seats. General Admission: $5 Students and Senior Citizens: $3.

Join the Chicago Film club; join the discussion
Twice a month we screen classic films and have a brief discussion afterward. For more information, including how to join (it’s free), click here. The Venue 1550 is easily accessible by the CTA. Please visit Transit Chicago for more information on transportation options.

Stephen Reginald is a freelance writer and editor. He has worked at various positions within the publishing industry for over 25 years. Most recently he was executive editor for McGraw-Hill’s The Learning Group Division. A long-time amateur student of film, Reginald hosts “Chicago Film Club,” a monthly movie event held in the South Loop, for the past two years. Reginald has also taught several adult education film classes at Facets Film School, Chicago.


Daystar Center located at 1550 S. State St. works through a grassroots network of collaborations and partnerships with individuals and other nonprofit organizations. Through this web, they’re able to provide educational, cultural, and civic activities that enrich and empower their clients, guests, and community members. To learn more about classes and events offered at the Daystar Center, please visit their Web site.


Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Carole Lombard and Una Merkel in "True Confession": Inspiration for "I Love Lucy?"

I Love Lucy was a landmark in television history. The original series ran for six years on CBS and for four of those years was the top-rated TV show in the country. One of the dynamics that made the show work so well was the relationship between Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball) and her neighbor and best friend Ethel Mertz (Vivian Vance). Lucy was always getting into trouble and Ethel, trying to help her friend, always seemed to get caught up in Lucy’s crazy schemes. These schemes usually centered on Lucy’s attempts to break into show business and trying to establish a career of her own, much to the dismay of her husband Ricky.

Similar sitcom scenarios are played out today, but it was all new during TV’s Golden Age. Did you ever wonder where Ball got her major inspiration? It’s no secret that Ball adored Carole Lombard. Lombard was sort of a mentor to Ball when both were working at the RKO studio. Lombard was one of the few truly beautiful movie stars who wasn’t afraid to be silly on screen. She also wasn’t concerned about making faces, which took away from her glamour. Lombard was adored by the public and was glamorous enough to snag the “King” of Hollywood, Clark Gable.

Publicity shot of Carole Lombard
During the mid-to-late 1930s, Lombard was America’s “screwball girl.” She made her mark with classic comedies like Hands Across the Table (1935), My Man Godfrey (1936), and Nothing Sacred (1937). One comedy that was a huge hit in 1937, but isn’t well remember today is True Confession. The film, directed by Welsley Ruggles also stars Fred MacMurray, Una Merkel, and John Barrymore. Lombard plays Helen Bartlett a housewife and aspiring fiction writer. Helen is a habitual storyteller; she is often fast and loose with the truth—just like Lucy. Helen bangs out short stories on her portable typewriter at home while her husband Ken (MacMurray) tries to establish his fledgling law practice. He has a problem: he’s only interested in taking on clients that are truthful and innocent. He is the complete opposite of Helen. Ken’s refusal to take on “guilty” clients causes friction between the young couple struggling to make ends meet. Helen writes stories in an attempt to help with the family finances, which Ken resents.When Helen is conjuring up a lie, her tongue is planted firmly in her cheek and you can see the wheels turning in her head—shades of Lucy.

Lombard and Una Merkel in a jam
Helen’s best friend, Daisy McClure (Merkel) knows Helen is a liar, but she still manages to get tangled up in whatever crazy caper Helen finds herself in the midst of. When Lombard and Merkel’s characters interact with each other, it’s hard not to think of Lucy and Ethel. The dynamic is amazingly similar and their on-screen chemistry is genuinely appealing—just like Ball’s and Vance’s. And just like Ball and Vance, both women are attractive, but Lombard is the more glamorous of the two with Merkel never outshining her costar.

When Helen applies for a private secretary position at an incredibly generous salary, the wiser Daisy, smells a rat. Helen’s boss Otto Krayler (John T. Murray) really doesn’t want a secretary, but rather a playmate. On her very fist day on the job, Krayler makes a pass at Helen and she quits in a huff. Later she realizes that she left her hat and coat at Krayler’s lavish apartment. When she and Daisy go to retrieve them, the two discover that Krayler has been murdered and that according to detective Darsey (Edgar Kennedy) Helen is the prime suspect.

Vivian Vance and Lucille Ball in trouble
As goofy as Helen’s character is, she has some genuine qualities. She truly loves her husband, even if her lying ways often work against their relationship. As a way to get her husband some favorable publicity as a lawyer and to avoid telling him that she took a job behind his back, Helen confesses to killing Krayler in self-defense, which isn’t true. Helen believes that if her husband successfully defends her, his career will be set—sounds like a plan Lucy might dream up.

Helen has lied so many times to Ken that at this point it’s harder for her to tell the truth. In jail, Lombard is dressed in a simple black outfit. With the blouse’s large white collar and her hair combed back, she looks like Greta Garbo in Queen Christina. Lombard did a beautifully funny imitation of a Garbo-like character a year earlier in The Princess Comes Across.

Daisy, always the loyal friend—Ethel all the way—goes to Helen’s trial that is also attended by an odd man named Charley Jasper (Barrymore) who thinks Helen is innocent, but keeps this to himself. He is generally obnoxious, resorting to blowing up balloons then letting the air out slowly, disrupting the court proceedings.

Coming up with another scheme
Ken manages to successfully defend Helen—with some hysterical courtroom acting—and she is a free woman. With all the publicity generated at the trial, Helen is now a celebrity on the lecture circuit and has a best-selling autobiography (My Life, My Struggle). Daisy now works with Helen as private secretary and story collaborator. Ken has a thriving law career and the two seem to have everything, but the truth stands in the way of their happiness. Because of Helen’s habitual lying—with the ultimate lie pretending to be a murderer—their marriage isn’t what it should be.


Ball wasn't afraid to look silly.
Just when you think things couldn’t get any more complicated, Charley Jasper shows up with Krayler’s wallet and blackmail on his mind. Ken comes to the rescue, but the “truth” about Helen is revealed and Ken has had enough. At their new lake house, where Ken and Helen now have a maid, (Hattie McDaniel), Helen and Daisy walk along the lake in the late afternoon. Helen reflects on the mess she’s made of her life, even though she has the money and success she’s always craved. Afraid she’s going to lose her husband, Helen comes up with one more lie that seems to keep the marriage together. The movie ends with Ken throwing Helen over his shoulder and you’re left wondering what new caper (lie) she’ll dream up next—just like Lucy!

True Confession was popular with the critics of the day and a huge box office hit. It was the fourth and final collaboration between Lombard and MacMurray who had earlier starred together in Hands Across The Table (1935), The Princess Comes Across, (1936) and Swing High, Swing Low, Paramount’s top grossing film of 1937. Nothing Sacred, released the same year as True Confession, and considered a classic today wasn’t nearly as commercially successful. Both films were released on Thanksgiving Day, 1937.

Fred MacMurray, Lombard, and John Barrymore in publicity photo for True Confession

Backstory: Lombard was responsible for casting John Barrymore in the supporting role of Charley Jasper. At this point in his career, producers were reluctant to hire him due to his alcoholism and his refusal to memorize his lines (he read them from cue cards). But Lombard never forgot her big break in Twentieth Century, a film in which Barrymore was the top-billed star. She learned a lot from Barrymore during that production and she was forever grateful. She even gave him star billing alongside herself and MacMurray. Lombard was a true and faithful friend.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Great films of 1939: Screening of “Midnight” January 16 at Daystar Center

Great films of 1939: Midnight
Where: The Venue 1550 at the Daystar Center, 1550 S. State Street, Chicago, IL
When: January 16, 2016
Time: 6:45 p.m.
Hosted by Stephen Reginald

A rainy night in Paris
Midnight is a delightful romantic screwball comedy starring Claudette Colbert and Don Ameche. Colbert plays Eve Peabody, a down-on-her-luck showgirl stuck in Paris on a miserable rainy night. Ameche plays Tibor Czerny, a Hungarian cab driver, working in The City of Light, who takes pity on her. Pity turns to attraction, for both Tibor and Eve, but Eve is set on the finer things in life.

Pawn ticket to paradise
After Tibor has driven Eve to all the cabarets in Paris helping her find work as a blues singer, Eve slips out of Tibor’s cab while he’s getting gas. Dressed in a beautiful evening gown—the only garment she owns after losing all her money in Monte Carlo—Eve wanders into a society party to get out of the rain, using a pawn ticket as her invitation. Eve relaxes into a comfortable chair while she listens to the party’s entertainment: an overweight soprano and a very serious pianist. Stephanie (Hedda Hopper), the party host, is alerted to the fact that someone entered the party with a pawn ticket. While interrupting the pianist, she asks if anyone in the room is or knows a Eve Peabody. As Colbert sinks into her chair, she is rescued from discovery.

From bridge game to high society
Before you know it, Eve is playing bridge with rich society swells Helen Flammarion (Mary Astor), Jacques Picot (Francis Lederer), and Marcel Renaud (Rex O’Malley). When Eve asks him why he picked her to be his partner, Marcel responds, “You looked charming, you looked bored, and you looked as though you wouldn’t trump your partner’s ace.” Eve introduces herself as Madame Czerny from Hungary and Jacques is smitten with her. His current lover, Helen, is enjoying the card game less and less. In the background is George Flammarion, Helen’s husband who knows his wife is having an affair with Picot, but is still in love with her.

from left to right: Mary Astor, Don Ameche, Rex O'Malley, Francis Lederer, Claudette Colbert, and John Barrymore

The further along Eve’s deception goes, the more complicated it gets, especially when Tibor shows up at the Flammarion’s estate unannounced during a high society party. Will Tibor give Eve away or will he help keep her secret?

Midnight, a clever twist on the Cinderella tale, is a delightful romp with a brilliantly witty script by Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett. It’s directed with a classy polish by Mitchell Leisen, a director who isn’t as well known today as he should be.

A popular commercial and critical success Midnight garnered this praise on April 6, 1939 from New York Times reviewer Frank S. Nugent:
“The ice went out of the river at the Paramount [theater] yesterday, and Spring came laughing in with “Midnight,” one of the liveliest, gayest, wittiest and naughtiest comedies of a long hard season. Its direction, by Mitchell Leisen, is strikingly reminiscent of that of the old Lubitsch… Pictures like “Midnight” should strike more often.”
We couldn’t agree more!


Have some Joe and Enjoy the Show!
Before the movie, grab a cup of coffee from Overflow Coffee Bar, located within the Daystar Center. You can bring food and beverages into the auditorium; we even have small tables set up next to some of the seats. General Admission: $5 Students and Senior Citizens: $3.

Join the Chicago Film club; join the discussion
Twice a month we screen classic films and have a brief discussion afterward. For more information, including how to join (it’s free), click here. The Venue 1550 is easily accessible by the CTA. Please visit Transit Chicago for more information on transportation options.

Stephen Reginald is a freelance writer and editor. He has worked at various positions within the publishing industry for over 25 years. Most recently he was executive editor for McGraw-Hill’s The Learning Group Division. A long-time amateur student of film, Reginald hosts “Chicago Film Club,” a monthly movie event held in the South Loop, for the past two years. Reginald has also taught several adult education film classes at Facets Film School, Chicago.


Daystar Center located at 1550 S. State St. works through a grassroots network of collaborations and partnerships with individuals and other nonprofit organizations. Through this web, they’re able to provide educational, cultural, and civic activities that enrich and empower their clients, guests, and community members. To learn more about classes and events offered at the Daystar Center, please visit their Web site.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Hitchcock/Truffaut at the Music Box

Hitchcock/Truffaut is a new documentary, directed by Kent Jones, playing at the Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport Ave., Chicago, IL, through December 31, 2015.

In 1962, Francois Truffaut persuaded Alfred Hitchcock to sit with him for a week long interview in which the great British auteur would share with his young admirer the secrets of his cinema.


Based on the original recordings of this meeting—used to produce the seminal book “Hitchcock/Truffaut”—this film illustrates the greatest cinema lesson of all time and plunges us into the world of the creator of Psycho, The Birds and Vertigo. Hitchcock’s singular vision is elucidated and brought vividly to life by today’s leading filmmakers: Martin Scorsese, David Fincher, Arnaud Desplechin, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Wes Anderson, James Gray, Olivier Assayas, Richard Linklater, Peter Bogdanovich, and Paul Schrader.

For more information, including show times, click here.

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