The Stanford Theatre

Lauren Bacall

1924 — 2014

For the next three weeks we present ten films with Lauren Bacall, including the four she made with Humphrey Bogart.

Bacall was born in the Bronx and did some acting and modeling before becoming an instant star in her first film, To Have and Have Not, with Humphrey Bogart, whom she married (she was 20, he was 45).

Perhaps best known for her striking film noir "look" and husky voice, Bacall was also very good in other roles, including comedy. Starting in the 1960s, she had a series of successful stage roles including Applause, which was a musical version of the film All About Eve.

The Stanford Theatre is dedicated to bringing back the movie-going experience of Hollywood's Golden Age. Great classic films were not made to be watched on a video screen in your living room. They depend on a larger-than-life image, and the shared reactions of a real audience.

The Stanford Theatre first opened in June of 1925. For decades nearly every important Hollywood picture played there on its first release. The people of Palo Alto saw them all for the very first time in this theatre.

In 1987 the Packard Foundation bought the theatre and restored it to its original condition. It quickly became America's most popular classic movie house. More people saw Casablanca there on its 50th anniverary in 1992 than at any other theatre in America.

The non-profit Stanford Theatre Foundation is dedicated to the preservation and public exhibition of films from the Golden Age of Hollywood. This means classic movies in a classic movie palace, complete with Wurlitzer organ rising from the orchestra pit.

Note: This is an unofficial posting of the Stanford Theatre schedules, from published information. This site is in no way connected with the Stanford Theatre nor the Stanford Theatre Foundation. Please check out the official site at in case this schedule isn't quite up-to-date! Programs are subject to change. For information, call (650) 324-3700.

(Showtimes in parentheses are for the Saturday and Sunday screenings.)

October 13 – 16: closed

October 17 – 19:
"You don't have to say anything and you don't have to do anything. Oh, maybe just whistle. You know how to whistle, don't you Steve? You just put your lips together and blow."
To Have and Have Not (1945) (3:25), 7:30
d Howard Hawks. w Jules Furthman & William Faulkner, from the novel by Ernest Hemingway. ph Sid Hickox. m Franz Waxman. Warner Bros. 100 min.

Humphrey Bogart, Walter Brennan, Lauren Bacall, Dolores Moran, Hoagy Carmichael, Walter Molnar, Sheldon Leonard, Marcel Dalio, Walter Sande, Dan Seymour, Aldo Nadi, Paul Marion, Patricia Shay, Emmett Smith, Sir Lancelot.

Bogart plays a fishing boat skipper-for-hire on the island of Martinique, who normally rents his boat out to wealthy sportsmen. He reluctantly becomes involved with the Nazis, the French Resistance — and with a stranded and very persistent young Lauren Bacall.

This enormously enjoyable film was Bacall's first. She and Bogie made a total of four films together.

first played at the Stanford Theatre Feb 11, 1945; last played Sep 2013

Key Largo (1948) 5:35, 9:40
d John Huston. w Richard Brooks & John Huston. ph Karl Freund. m Max Steiner. Warner Bros. 101 min.

Humphrey Bogart, Edward G. Robinson, Lauren Bacall, Lionel Barrymore, Claire Trevor, Thomas Gomez, Harry Lewis, John Rodney, Marc Lawrence, Dan Seymour, Monte Blue, William Haade, Jay Silverheels, Rodric Redwing.

Robinson, a notorious racketeer, has taken over a Florida hotel owned by Lionel Barrymore and his widowed daughter-in-law, Lauren Bacall. Ex-army major Bogart arrives and minds his own business — at first.

"A suspenseful and entertaining minor classic." Baseline Movie Guide

first played at the Stanford Theatre Aug 29, 1948; last played Oct 2013

October 20 – 21: closed

October 22 – 23:
Young Man With a Horn (1950) 7:30
d Michale Curtiz. w Carl Foreman, Edmund H. North, based on the novel by Dorothy Baker. ph Ted McCord. md Ray Heimdorf. Warner Bros. 112 min.

Kirk Douglas, Lauren Bacall, Doris Day, Hoagy Carmichael, Juano Hernandez, Jerome Cowan, Mary Beth Hughes.

The highs and lows of a jazz musician, with Bacall as his selfish socialite wife and Doris Day the band singer who really loves him. Harry James performs Kirk Douglas' trumpet solos.

first played at the Stanford Theatre Apr 9, 1950; first showing by the Stanford Theatre Foundation

Woman's World (1954) 5:45, 9:50
d Jean Negulesco. w Claude Binyon, Mary Loos et al., based on a story by Mona Williams. ph Joe McDonald. m Cyril J. Mockridge. 20th Century-Fox. 94 min.

Clifton Webb, June Allyson, Van Heflin, Lauren Bacall, Fred MacMurray, Arlene Dahl, Cornel Wilde, Elliott Reid.

A retiring buisness owner invites his top three executives and their wives to New York so he can choose his successor. He believes that the "woman behind the man" can be a potential asset to his company, so the wives find themselves being scrutinized as well.

first played at the Stanford Theatre Nov 2, 1954; first showing by the Stanford Theatre Foundation

October 24 – 26:
"You go too far, Marlowe"
"Those are harsh words to throw at a man, especially when he's walking out of your bedroom."

The Big Sleep (1946) (3:10), 7:30
d Howard Hawks. w William Faulkner, Leigh Brackett, & Jules Furthman, from the novel by Raymond Chandler. ph Sid Hickox. m Max Steiner. Warner Bros. 114 min.

Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, John Ridgley, Martha Vickers, Dorothy Malone, Peggy Knudsen, Regis Toomey, Charles Waldron, Charles D. Brown, Bob Steele, Elisha Cook, Jr, Louis Jean Heydt, Sonia Darrin, James Flavin, Thomas Jackson, Dan Wallace, Theodore Von Eltz, Joy Barlowe, Tom Fadden, Ben Welden.

In this film noir masterpiece, detective Philip Marlowe (Bogart) is hired to discover why a woman is being blackmailed. The plot is much too complex to summarize (or even follow), but nobody doubts that The Big Sleep is one of the greatest detective films ever made.

Max Steiner's brilliant score perfectly captures the film noir mood, at times dark and explosive, at times ironic, at times strongly romantic.

first played at the Stanford Theatre Oct 27, 1946; last played Oct 2013

Dark Passage (1947) 5:30, 9:50
w/d Delmer Daves. ph Sid Hickox. m Franz Waxman. Warner Bros. 106 min.

Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Bruce Bennett, Agnes Moorehead, Tom D'Andrea, Clifton Young, Douglas Kennedy, Rory Mallinson, Houseley Stevenson.

A man wrongly convicted of killing his wife escapes from San Quentin and is befriended by a mysterious woman.

The first part of the story is shot entirely from Bogart's point of view, and the audience doesn't see his face until halfway through the picture.

first played at the Stanford Theatre October 12, 1947; last played Oct 2013

October 27 – 28: closed

October 29 – 30:
Written on the Wind (1956) 7:30
d Douglas Sirk. w George Zuckerman, from the novel by Robert Wilder. ph Russell Merry. m Frank Skinner. Universal-International. 99 min.

Lauren Bacall, Robert Stack, Dorothy Malone, Rock Hudson, Robert Keith, Grant Williams.

Lauren Bacall marries an alcoholic wastrel and falls in love with his honorable best friend (Rock Hudson), who is being pursued by the wastrel's equally troubled sister.

Douglas Sirk's overwrought melodramas, with (mostly) overrripe performances and lush Technicolor, were very popular in the 1950s. Director Sirk said: "... there is a very short distance between high art and trash, and trash that contains an element of craziness is by this very quality nearer to art." Decide for yourself!

first played at the Stanford Theatre Dec 30, 1956; last played Jan 2013

The Cobweb (1955) 5:15, 9:35
d Vincente Minnelli. w John Paxton, from the novel by William Gibson. ph George Folsey. m Leonard Rosenman. MGM. 124 min.

Richard Widmark, Lauren Bacall, Gloria Grahame, Charles Boyer, Lillian Gish, John Kerr, Susan Strasberg, Oscar Levant, Tommy Rettig, Fay Wray.

A kind of Grand Hotel set in a psychiatric clinic, where the most pressing crisis is the choice of new drapes - which brings out all manner of personality disorders. This interesting and unusual melodrama has many Minnelli touches, along with fine performances, especially by Lillian Gish and Gloria Grahame. Thirty minutes were cut from the film over Minnelli's objection.

first played at the Stanford Theatre July 18, 1990; last played May 2006

October 31 – November 2:
How to Marry a Millionaire (1953) (3:20), 7:30
d Jean Negulesco. w Nunnally Johnson. ph Joe MacDonald. m Cyril J. Mockridge. 20th Century-Fox. 96 min.

Lauren Bacall, Marilyn Monroe, Betty Grable, William Powell, Cameron Mitchell, David Wayne, Rory Calhoun, Alex D'Arcy, Fred Clark.

Three women pool their resources to rent a posh New York penthouse and immediately set out to trap millionaire husbands.

first played at the Stanford Theatre Jan. 13, 1954; last played May 2013

Designing Woman (1957) 5:20, 9:30
d Vincente Minnelli. w George Wells. ph John Alton. m André Previn. MGM. 118 min.

Gregory Peck, Lauren Bacall, Dolores Gray, Sam Levene, Tom Helmore, Mickey Shaughnessy, Jesse White, Chuck Connors.

A sportswriter (Peck) and a dress designer (Bacall) marry in haste and repent at leisure. A surprisingly pleasant attempt to revive the great sophisticated comedies of an earlier era, with two stars not normally known for comedy rising to the occasion under Vincente Minnelli's excellent direction.

first played at the Stanford Theatre July 18, 1990; last played May 2013

November 3 – 6: closed

November 7 – 21:
"Tara. I want to go home to Tara."
Gone With the Wind (1939) (2:00), 7:30
d Victor Fleming (and George Cukor, Sam Wood). w Sidney Howard and others, from the novel by Margaret Mitchell. ph Ernest Haller, Ray Rennahan. m Max Steiner. Selznick International. 221 min.

Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Olivia de Havilland, Leslie Howard, Thomas Mitchell, Barbara O'Neil, Hattie McDaniel, Butterfly McQueen, Victor Jory, Evelyn Keyes, Ann Rutherford, Laura Hope Crews, Harry Davenport, Jane Darwell, Ona Munson, Ward Bond.

Everyone knows the famous names and the drama that "made" Gone With the Wind. Let's therefore mention a couple who get less attention: production designer William Cameron Menzies, who conceived the look of the movie and story-boarded most of it; and Jack Cosgrove, who painted matte backgrounds on glass for effects scenes. Their art is all through the picture and testifies to Selznick's command of detail and painstaking craft — old-fashioned movie-making, to say nothing of magic. There's one other name: Technicolor, a system that came of age with Gone With the Wind. Many in Hollywood doubted color (notably Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer). But after Gone With the Wind, and the enforced economizing of war, color became irresistable. Later on, Technicolor was abandoned for other systems supposedly truer to life. Today we regret the lost, painterly passion of Technicolor and its durability, for the new color systems fade, while Technicolor still burns.

A great film epic deserves to be seen in a theatre of epic proportions.

first played at the Stanford Theatre May 3, 1940; last played Jan 2012