Silver Screen series announces new classic movie lineup for 2012

By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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Like long-lost old friends, some of Hollywood’s biggest stars from American cinema’s Golden Age will be back in Auburn for another year of Silver Screen screenings. The monthly movie series is presented by the Auburn Library, hosted by local film expert Susan Rushton, and held together by a faithful band of volunteers. All of the films being shown in the coming year were released before 1950 and Rushton said there are classics for just about anyone’s taste – from 1948 Alfred Hitchcock thriller “Rope” (showing Jan. 7) to the swashbuckling “Prisoner of Zenda” (July 7) from 1937, to comedy, in the form of silent classic “Safety Last,” (Oct. 6) starring Harold Lloyd. Rushton said there are some little-known gems regularly mixed into the Silver Screen assortment and 1932’s “If I Had a Million” fits that bill. It’s a series of wacky character studies highlighting what people would do if they were given $1 million. It will be show Feb. 4. “Each story is by a different screenwriter and a different director,” Rushton said. One highlight is watching W.C. Fields’ character’s use of the windfall to get back at road hogs. In another story, a rest home resident forbidden from using pillows wreaks revenge by buying the business. April 7 will bring a screening of 1936’s “San Francisco,” an early disaster film starring Clark Gable and Spencer Tracy. Rushton said the timing is right. April 18 is the anniversary of the 1906 quake the film commemorates. Other films in the series are: “The Bachelor & the Bobby Soxer” (1947) (March 3); “Shanghai Express” (May 5); “It’s a Wonderful World” (June 2); “Without Love” (Aug. 4); “Death Takes a Holiday” (Sept. 1); “Murder My Sweet” (Nov. 3); and “On the Town” (Dec. 1). “”They’re all interesting, entertaining and fun movies,” Rushton said. As well as viewing one of three screenings on Silver Screen Saturdays (1, 4 and 7:30 p.m.) in the Beecher Room of the Auburn Library, 350 Nevada St., film buffs also now have a chance to join Rushton for a deeper discussion of the movie from 7 to 9 p.m. on the Monday following at Round Table Pizza, Auburn Town Center, 370 Elm Ave., in Auburn. Guests for the Monday discussion are asked to bring $5, that month’s film handout and “an interest in looking at movies more carefully.” “It’s a chance to learn more about things like camera angles – why they’re looking at things in a particular way and how the director shows you the character,” Rushton said. “It’s sort of like looking at movies as literature.” The final Silver Screen movie of 2011 will be the musical “Broadway Melody of 1940.” It will be shown Dec. 3. Admission is free to all Saturday screenings. Popcorn and other snacks are available for purchase.