Film Screening 4th October, 2008

Poster for The Wrong Man

The Wrong Man 

8:00 PM, 4th October, 2008

  • PG
  • 105 mins
  • Unknown
  • Alfred Hitchcock
  • Angus MacPhail, Maxwell Anderson
  • Henry Fonda, Vera Miles, Anthony Quayle

New York, 1953. A bass player in a jazz club finishes work, gets on the subway, and opens the paper. He flips through, reads an advertisement, turns back to the racing pages. He goes to an all-night diner, orders a cup of coffee, and picks out some horses in tomorrow's races. He walks up his front steps, picks up the milk, and enters the house. The next day he is arrested for holding up a life insurance company. The first half of the film follows the bass player, Manny (Fonda), as he moves slowly through the machinery of the criminal justice system. We know from the title, and Hitchcock's prologue, that he's innocent, but his fear, and the detectives' absolute conviction, prolong the suspense. After his release on bail, he and his wife, Rose (Miles), begin the search for evidence to prove his innocence. Gradually the focus of the story shifts to her as she begins to fall apart psychologically under the strain. The director's first film based on a true story, it's subdued in tone, more likely to make you think than make you scream, yet retaining retains enough tension to appeal to fans of the Hitchcock-suspense genre.

(This print provided courtesy of the National Film and Sound Archive)

Eloise Wright

Poster for Thru the Mirror

Thru the Mirror 

10:00 PM, 4th October, 2008

  • G
  • 9 mins
  • Unknown
  • David Hand
  • William Cottrell, Joe Grant, Bob Kuwahara
  • Walt Disney

This Mickey Mouse cartoon was made at a time when Walt Disney was beginning to struggle to find good vehicles for his star character - but he was still finding them; in fact it's arguable that it was the intense pressure to come up with ideas to keep the Mickey Mouse series alive that made the Disney animators so inventive. The story is one long very surreal dream sequence inspired by - but not limited to - imagery from Alice in Wonderland.

(This print provided courtesy of the National Film and Sound Archive)

Poster for Spellbound


10:09 PM, 4th October, 2008

  • PG
  • 108 mins
  • Unknown
  • Alfred Hitchcock
  • Angus MacPhail, Ben Hecht
  • Ingrid Bergman, Gregory Peck, Michael Chekhov, Leo G. Carroll

Dr. Edwardes (Peck) is the newly arrived director of Green Manors mental asylum. However when Edwardes starts displaying strange behaviour, Dr. Constance Peterson (Bergman) suspects that all is not right with him. She discovers that Edwardes is actually a John Ballantine, a patient who suffers from amnesia. Suspicion then grows that Ballantine may have murdered Edwardes and assumed his identity. Dr. Peterson, who has fallen in love with Ballantine, is determined to cure him of his amnesia, discover his real identity, and clear him of any suspicion of murder. Director Alfred Hitchcock ventures into the realm of psychoanalysis, and, while the psycho-babble is quite dated, the film is visually inventive. Surrealist artist Salvador Dali designed the film's famous dream sequence. The Oscar-winning music score by Miklós Rósza was the first to use the electronic hum of the Theremin. Filmed in black and white, apart from a couple of frames at the end that are in colour, the film is hypnotic and spellbinding.

(This print provided courtesy of the National Film and Sound Archive)

Tony Fidanza