Tuesday, December 27, 2016

“Stanwyck on State Street” film series at Daystar Center

The Chicago Film Club will present “Stanwyck on State Street” at Daystar Center, 1550 S. State Street. The series showcasing the films of Barbara Stanwyck will begin with The Miracle Woman (1931) on January 14. The legendary Frank Capra directed the story of a popular American evangelist played by Stanwyck. Capra and Stanwyck made five films together; The Miracle Woman was their second.
Stanwyck in Stella Dallas
Other films to be screened include, Baby Face (1933), Stella Dallas (1937), The Mad Miss Manton (1938), Union Pacific (1939), Golden Boy (1939), and Ball of Fire (1941).

Stanwyck and Henry Fonda in The Mad Miss Manton
Stanwyck’s film career began with appearances in silent films. Director Frank Capra cast her in his film Ladies of Leisure (1930), which helped established her as a major movie star. In interviews, Capra always spoke of his admiration for Stanwyck. When talking about the great actresses he worked with: Jean Arthur, Claudette Colbert, and Stanwyck, it was obvious which of the three he preferred. Of Stanwyck he said: “She [could] give you that burst of emotion better than the other two could … she [was] probably the most interesting of the three. She [was] also the hardest to define … she played the parts that were a little tougher.”

Stanwyck in between Joel McCrea and Robert Preston in Union Pacific
Perhaps more than any other actress of her generation, Stanwyck’s versatility and modern acting style still intrigue film critics and moviegoers alike. It’s hard to parody her films in the way it’s easy to mimic the performances of  Katharine Hepburn and Bette Davis. Her performances are lacking in exaggerated physical movements and tics, trademarks of Hepburn and Davis.

Besides Capra, Stanwyck worked the top directors of the day, including Howard Hawks, Cecil B. DeMille, Preston Sturges, King Vidor, William Wellman, Rouben Mamoulian, Melvin LeRoy, Wesley Ruggles, Billy Wilder, Fritz Lang, Lewis Milestone, Mitchell Leisen, Robert Wise, Anatole Litvak, and George Stevens.

Movies scheduled listed below. Saturday films begin at 6:45 p.m.; Tuesday movies begin at 6:30 p.m.More films will be scheduled later.

The Miracle Woman (1931) – January 14
Baby Face (1933) – February 18
Stella Dallas (1937) – March 11
The Mad Miss Manton (1938) – April 1
Union Pacific (1939) – May 13

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