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 http://www.stanfordtheatre.org 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.)
Gregory Peck, Audrey Hepburn, Eddie Albert, Hartley Power, Harcourt Williams.
A young princess on a European goodwill tour escapes her guardians for 24 hours of freedom in Rome with an American reporter (Gregory Peck).
The whole world fell in love with Audrey Hepburn in her first Hollywood role. The film received a total of ten Oscar nominations and Audrey was voted Best Actress.
"When she smiles, we're all goners." Pauline Kael
first played at the Stanford Theatre Sep 20, 1953; last played July 2012
Humphrey Bogart, William Holden, Audrey Hepburn, Walter Hampden, John Williams, Martha Hyer, Joan Vohs, Marcel Dalio, Marcel Hillaire, Nella Walker, Francis X. Bushman, Ellen Corbey.
In this wonderfully romantic picture Audrey Hepburn plays Sabrina, the chauffeur's daughter on a Long Island estate. She loves the playboy son (Holden) of her father's boss, but his stuffy elder brother (Bogart) surprises everyone in the end.
Bogart was not happy while making this film, but we are grateful that he did it. Over the past ten years, Sabrina has been the number three box office favorite at the Stanford Theatre, exceeded only by Casablanca and Gone With the Wind
Isn't it Romantic is the theme song of the Stanford Theatre.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Oct 13, 1954; last played July 2012
James Ellison, Frances Dee, Tom Conway, Edith Barrett, James Bell, Christine Gordon, Theresa Harris, Sir Lancelot, Darby Jones, Jeni LeGon.
A rich American planter brings a nurse to Haiti to care for his mysteriously ill wife. Frances Dee is very good as the frightened, resourceful nurse.
"An unqualified horror masterpiece. Essential viewing." Baseline Movie Guide
"Exceptional Val Lewton chiller with rich atmosphere, mesmerizing story." Leonard Maltin
"The ridiculous suddenly becomes beautiful and arresting." David Thomson
first played at the Stanford Theatre Nov 15, 2000; last played Jan 2011
Boris Karloff, Ellen Drew, Marc Cramer, Katherine Emery, Helene Thimig, Alan Napier, Jason Robards, Ernest Dorian.
A group of travelers is stranded on a Greek island, quarantined by a plague — or perhaps something more sinister. Borsi Karloff gives a fascinating performance as the Greek general in charge.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Nov 22, 2000; last played July 2009
Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Edward Everett Horton, Alice Brady, Erik Rhodes, Eric Blore, Lillian Miles, Betty Grable.
The first film made specially for Fred and Ginger (it was their second film together) was a tremendous box office success. It was based on Cole Porter's 1932 Broadway musical, but kept only one original song, Night and Day. A new song, The Continental, won the first Oscar ever given for Best Song.
Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers perform their first true romantic dance to Night and Day. To call it a dance of seduction could give entirely the wrong impression, but that is nonetheless what it is. Although Ginger had begun as a Charleston dancer in Texas, she had an innate understanding of the dramatic and emotional richness of the new style Astaire was creating.
The script is bright and fast-paced, and several supporting actors (Eric Blore, Edward Everett Horton, Erik Rhodes) would return in future films as a kind of Astaire-Rogers stock company.
Songs: Night and Day, music and lyrics by Cole Porter; Let's K-nock K-nees and Don't Let It Bother You, music and lyrics by Mack Gordon and Harry Revel; A Needle in a Haystack and The Continental, music and lyrics by Con Conrad and Herb Magidson.
All in all, The Gay Divorcee remains after more than 70 years one of the very best musical pictures ever made.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Nov 11, 1934; last played Oct 2011
Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Edward Everett Horton, Erik Rhodes, Eric Blore, Helen Broderick.
In their most popular film together (set in London and Venice), Ginger mistakes Fred for the husband of her best friend. In addition to the unforgettable dances, sensational score, and brilliant comedy script, Top Hat is notable for its gorgeous Art Deco sets.
World wide, Top Hat was the second most popular film in 1935. All five Irving Berlin songs became top hits and remain standards to this day: "Cheek to Cheek", "Isn't This a Lovely Day (to be Caught in the Rain)", "Top Hat, White Tie, and Tails", "No Strings", and "The Piccolino".
first played at the Stanford Theatre Oct 2, 1935; last played Oct 2011
Leslie Howard, Bette Davis, Frances Dee, Kay Johnson, Reginald Denny, Alan Hale, Reginald Sheffield, Reginald Owen, Desmond Roberts.
In this celebrated Somerset Maugham tale, a sensitive medical student is obsessed with a selfish, scheming waitress.
Bette Davis' fierce, fearless performance was early evidence of her unique screen personality.
"Mildred was the first leading-lady villainess ever played on a screen for real." Bette Davis
"Davis makes her role work through sheer will; she doesn't let it happen, she makes it happen — and boy, you'd better watch!" Pauline Kael
"I made it very clear that Mildred was not going to die of a dread disease looking as if a deb had missed her noon nap... Mildred emerged as a reality — as immediate as a newsreel and as starkly real as a pestilence." Bette Davis
first played at the Stanford Theatre Jul 28, 1934; last played Jan 2011
Bette Davis, Donald Woods, Margaret Lindsay, Lyle Talbot, Hugh Herbert, Arthur Byron, Robert Barrat, Henry O'Neill, Irving Pichel, Douglas Dumbrille, Alan Hale, Gordon Westcott.
A reckless society girl (Bette Davis) has been helping racketeers sell stolen bonds.
This Warner Bros. crime thriller is a dazzling exhibition of how film editing can achieve a breathless pace. Some scenes were filmed on location in San Francisco.
"The part was one I adored. It also was a very good script, directed superbly by Dieterle." Bette Davis
"Still an intoxicating experience today." Baseline Movie Guide
first played at the Stanford Theatre June 13, 1934; last played Jan 2011
Jack Benny, Carole Lombard, Robert Stack, Stanley Ridges, Felix Bressart, Lionel Atwill, Sig Rumann, Tom Dugan, Charles Halton.
Carole Lombard's last and greatest film, about a troupe of ham actors in the Polish underground, trying to save Warsaw from Hitler.
Lombard's tragic death shortly after the completion of this extraodinary film may have been the greatest single loss ever suffered by Hollywood. Imagine what films there might have been (Lombard was younger than Katharine Hepburn)!
first played at the Stanford Theatre May 7, 1942; last played Jan 2012
Rex Harrison, Linda Darnell, Barbara Lawrence, Rudy Vallee, Kurt Kreuger, Lionel Stander, Edgar Kennedy, Al Bridge, Julius Tannen, Torben Mayer.
During a concert, a symphony conductor who suspects that his wife is unfaithful has fantasies abut revenge, which he then attempts after the concert. One of the most hilarious sophisticated comedies ever made, and the personal favorite of many Sturges fans.
"There are so many great lines and situations in this movie that writers and directors have been stealing from it for years." Pauline Kael
first played at the Stanford Theatre Oct 26, 1991; last played Apr 2010
Gary Cooper, Marlene Dietrich, Adolphe Menjou, Ullrich Haupt, Juliette Compton.
Foreign Legionnaire Cooper and mysterious cabaret singer Dietrich have a languid, moody, exotic love affair, with a truly unforgettable final fade-out. Morocco was a box-office smash, reportedly saving Paramount from bankruptcy. It remains a unique cinematic experience.
This exquisite film is one of the true classics of early Hollywood. Josef von Sternberg created a unique cinematic style, best seen in his films with Marlene Dietrich. They show a sensuous and almost decadent infatuation with visual imagination and the interplay of light and shadow on the screen. For this reason it is especially important that Sternberg's films be presented in the best possible prints.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Feb 18, 1931; last played June 2010
Marlene Dietrich, Clive Brook, Warner Oland, Anna May Wong, Eugene Pallette, Lawrence Grant, Louise Closer Hale, Gustav von Seyffertitz.
Shanghai Lily (Marlene Dietrich) is traveling on a train through China in the midst of a civil war, when armed rebels threaten the lives of her fellow passengers.
Josef von Sternberg created a unique cinematic style, with a sensuous and almost decadent infatuation with visual imagination and the interplay of light and shadow on the screen.
"It is ridiculous and lovely, just like an orgy for people who know nothing lasts. Yet the film is seventy-six years old as I write and still a monument of erotic art." David Thomson
first played at the Stanford Theatre Mar 27, 1932; last played Mar 2011
Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Victor Moore, Helen Broderick, Eric Blore, Betty Furness, George Metaxa.
The slim plot, with Fred as a professional dancer (and gambler) and Ginger as a dance instructor, provides a vehicle for the most sublime dancing ever recorded on film. If you could spend just three minutes of your life in a movie theatre, a good choice might be to watch Fred and Ginger dancing Pick Yourself Up in Swing Time.
Because of the dances, and Ginger's fine performance, some regard this as the greatest of the ten Astaire-Rogers pictures; it was Ginger's favorite.
The classic songs by Jerome Kern and Dorothy Fields include The Way You Look Tonight (which won an Oscar for Best Song), A Fine Romance, Pick Yourself Up, Never Gonna Dance, and Bojangles of Harlem.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Oct 18, 1936; last played May 2011
Irene Dunne, Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Randolph Scott, Helen Westley, Victor Varconi, Claire Dodd, Torben Meyer.
Famous Paris dress designer Roberta leaves the business to her American nephew (Randolph Scott), who desperately needs the help (and love) of Roberta's sophisticated assistant (Irene Dunne).
While not top-billed, Ginger and Fred have substantial roles and get plenty of chances to dance with freshness and spontaneity. The film ends with a musical fashion show.
This film, based on a Broadway musical, has an exceptionally fine musical score by Jerome Kern, including Let's Begin, I'll Be Hard to Handle, Yesterdays, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, and Lovely to Look At. Astaire's tap solo I Won't Dance is one of his very best.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Mar 24, 1935; last played May 2011
George Arliss, Bette Davis, Theodore Newton, Hardie Albright, Gordon Westcott, J. Farrell MacDonald, Charles Evans, Frederick Burton, Pat Wing, Edward Van Sloan, Claire McDowell.
The owner of the Reeves Shoe Company (George Arliss) and the late owner of the Hartland Shoe Company were friendly rivals in business and in love. While on a fishing trip, Mr. Reeves happens to meet Hartland's children (including Bette Davis), who are more interested in partying than looking after their late father's firm. Without revealing his identity, the sly old fox manages to become their trustee and guides them to a proper understanding of their responsibilities.
This was Bette's second picture with the wonderful George Arliss.
first played at the Stanford Theatre June 28, 1933; last played July 2010
Ronald Colman, Loretta Young, Florence Britton, Frederick Kerr, David Torrence, Mary Forbes, Paul Cavanaugh, Crauford Kent, Myrna Loy.
This likable comedy about a wealthy and charming British playboy gave 17-year-old Loretta Young one of her first important roles. It is essential viewing for Ronald Colman fans.
Occasionally we show an obscure film at the Stanford Theatre and suddenly realize that we have uncovered a gem. There are few films that we anticipate with more pleasure than this one.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Jan 21, 1991; last played Feb 2012
Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Judy Holliday, Tom Ewell, David Wayne, Jean Hagen, Hope Emerson, Clarence Kolb.
Katharine Hepburn plays a lawyer married to a district attorney (Tracy). Her belief in women's rights leads her to defend a woman (Holliday) who shot her two-timing husband. Naturally the prosecutor turns out to be Tracy.
This is probably the best of the Tracy-Hepburn comedies, but Judy Holliday (in her first major film role) steals every scene in which she appears.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Aug 25, 1990; last played Apr 2010
Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Joan Blondell, Gig Young, Dina Merrill, Neva Patterson.
Hepburn is the head of a large TV network's reference department; Tracy is the "methods engineer" who disrupts her quiet, orderly world by installing Emmy, an enormous electronic computer.
Made 50 years ago, Desk Set is one of the first comedies to exploit the inherent absurdity of human beings battling with recalcitrant hardware and software.
first played at the Stanford Theatre May 26, 1957; last played Dec 2011
Patricia Roc, Duncan Macrae, Maxwell Reed, Finlay Currie, Will Fyffe, Andrew Crawford.
An orphan girl (Patricia Roc) is sent to be housekeeper for a fishing family on the Isle of Skye in Scotland. She excites the passions not only of the two sons but also of a member of a rival clan.
This is an extraordinary film, beautifully acted and photographed on the Isle of Skye, with its mysterious traditions.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Oct 11, 2008; last played Oct 2008
Phyllis Calvert, Stewart Granger, Patricia Roc, Peter Glenville, John Stuart, Jean Kent, Nancy Price, Peter Murray Hill, Reginald Tate.
A respectable wife has a secret life as a gypsy dancer. Her mysterious split personality is somehow related to a childhood trauma.
Many consider this the very best of the wild Gainsborough melodramas.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Oct 4, 2008; last played Oct 2010
Dana Andrews, Clifton Webb, Gene Tierney, Judith Anderson, Vincent Price, Dorothy Adams, James Flavin.
A beautiful young woman is murdered, or so it seems.
Laura is one of the most hauntingly unforgettable movies ever made, and the reason is David Raksin's score, one of the greatest ever written. When Hedy Lamarr was asked why she had turned down the role, she said "They sent me the script. They didn't send me the score."
Clifton Webb's portrayal of acerbic radio personality Waldo Lydecker ("I'm vicious, it's the secret of my charm") is one of the treasures of the cinema.
"Everybody's favorite chic murder mystery." Pauline Kael
Laura has been by far the most popular film noir with audiences at the Stanford Theatre. David Raksin was a guest of the theatre four times.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Nov 30, 1944; last played Mar 2012
Gene Tierney, Rex Harrison, George Sanders, Edna Best, Vanessa Brown, Anna Lee, Robert Coote, Natalie Wood, Isobel Elsom.
Hollywood's most fathomlessly romantic fantasy, with Gene Tierney as a young widow who rents a house on the English coast and is romanced by the ghost of a dashing sea captain (Rex Harrison) who once lived there. Bernard Herrmann wrote some of the most beautiful music ever heard on a Hollywood soundtrack.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Sep 19, 1990; last played Nov 2010
Dolores Del Rio, Gene Raymond, Raul Roulien, Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire, Franklin Pangborn, Eric Blore, Blanche Frederici, Walter Walker.
Ginger Rogers' 20th feature film finally paired her with Fred Astaire. In the credits her name was only fourth (his was fifth), but when they danced the Carioca they stole the show and the hearts of the world. In addition to dancing, Ginger sings a sassy song, Music Makes Me.
It is obvious that RKO didn't yet realize what they had discovered; but the film is quite charming in its own right, and the Carioca (most of it without Fred and Ginger) and Flying Down to Rio (with chorus girls on the wings of flying airplanes in the final ensemble) are both truly sensational production numbers, and unique examples of the intoxicating originality of the early days of Hollywood.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Jan 21, 1934; last played Apr 2010
James Cagney, Joan Blondell, Ruby Keeler, Dick Powell, Frank McHugh, Guy Kibbee, Ruth Donnelly, Hugh Herbert, Claire Dodd, Herman Bing, Gordon Wescott.
Jimmy Cagney's rare film appearances as a dancer (rather than as a gangster) reveal him as second only to Astaire in the 1930's. In this story he produces live musical prologues to be shown in movie theatres before the picture. Joan Blondell is his wisecracking (loving) secretary.
Busby Berkeley's sensational aquatic choreography of By a Waterfall provides several of the most gloriously extravagant moments in the history of the Hollywood musical.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Nov 18, 1933; last played July 2011
Judy Garland, Margaret O'Brien, Mary Astor, Lucille Bremer, Tom Drake, June Lockhart, Marjorie Main, Leon Ames, Harry Davenport, Joan Carroll, Chill Wills.
A year in the life of of the Smith family at 5135 Kensington Avenue in St. Louis, leading up to the 1904 World's Fair; based on a series of New Yorker stories by Sally Benson.
One of the very greatest films Hollywood ever made, Meet Me in St. Louis established Minnelli as the undisputed master of of the film musical. He directed the film with a warm nostalgic glow that is never saccharine. The film also made Judy Garland, who had her best role since Dorothy, a major adult star. It was the biggest box office success of MGM's first 20 years, and it remains one of the most universally loved films ever made.
Minnelli often identified the "Halloween" episode as his favorite sequence among all his films, and the performance of seven-year-old Margaret O'Brien as the troubled younger sister "Tootie" stands out as one of the true miracles in the history of the cinema.
Songs include: The Boy Next Door, The Trolley Song, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Mar 11, 1945; last played July 2012
Jeanne Crain, William Holden, Edmund Gwenn, Gene Lockhart, Griff Barnett, Randy Stuart, Bett Ann Lynn.
An elderly professor contemplates suicide, but things change when a young wife and her GI husband come to live in his attic. The professor is played by Edmund Gwenn, who played Santa Claus in Miracle on 34th Street.
We discovered this wonderful film a few years ago, and we urge you to see it in this beautiful Technicolor nitrate print from UCLA.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Oct 28, 1948; last played Jan 2011
Margaret Lockwood, James Mason, Patricia Roc, Griffith Jones, Michael Rennie, Felix Aylmer, Enid Stamp Taylor, Jean Kent, Martita Hunt, Frances Lister.
A bride makes the mistake of inviting her cousin (Margaret Lockwood) up from London before the wedding. Stealing the groom is only the beginning of her deliciously wicked career, which includes masquerading as a highwayman and meeting the genuine article in James Mason.
We discovered this picture during our Fall 2008 British Festival. This one deserves to be much better known. Author David Thomsen suggests that Margaret Lockwood could have been Scarlett O'Hara. In this film she's twice as wicked.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Sep 27, 2008; last played Mar 2011
John Lodge, Margaret Lockwood, Hugh Williams, Rene Ray, Linden Travers, Marie Tottenham, Wally Patch, Kathleen Harrison, Garry Marsh, Jeanne Stuart.
Londoners flock to a seaside resort for the holiday. The central character is nurse Margaret Lockwood, who has agreed to spend an illicit weekend with her boyfriend.
This very appealing movie — a kind of Grand Hotel By the Sea — was made just before The Lady Vanishes (where Lockwood is looking for the missing lady).
first played at the Stanford Theatre Sep 19, 2008; last played Sep 2008
Ronald Colman, Greer Garson, Philip Dorn, Susan Peters, Henry Travers, Reginald Owen, Margaret Wycherly, Bramwell Fletcher, Arthur Margetson.
One of Hollywood's great romances, about a WW I soldier suffering from amnesia. He marries a music hall dancer, but suddenly remembers his past life.
This film, based on a James Hilton novel which seems almost to have been written with Ronald Colman in mind, was enormously popular in its time.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Mar 14, 1943; last played Dec 2010
Ronald Colman, Peggy Cummins, Edna Best, Vanessa Brown, Richard Haydn, Charles Russell, Richard Ney, Percy Waram, Mildred Natwick, Nydia Westman.
In this gentle comedy, Colman gave a superb performance as George Apley, the ultimate proper Bostonian, who must eventually learn to compromise. Peggy Cummins, the dangerous female from Gun Crazy, plays a decidedly different role here.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Feb 7, 1991; last played June 2010
Audrey Hepburn, Peter Finch, Edith Evans, Peggy Ashcroft, Dean Jagger, Mildred Dunnock, Patricia Collings, Beatrice Straight.
In one of her very best roles, Audrey Hepburn plays a Belgian girl who joins a convent, works as a nurse in Africa (filmed on location), and eventually faces a crisis in her spiritual life. This beautiful film captures the mystery and dignity of the monastic life without losing sight of the ambiguity it can cause in the soul of a person who cannot help living in the world.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Apr 5, 1960; last played July 2009
Humphrey Bogart, Katharine Hepburn, Robert Morley, Peter Bull, Theodore Bikel, Walter Gotell, Gerald Onn, Peter Swanwick, Richard Marner.
A gin-drinking river trader and a prim missionary travel down the river together in German East Africa during WW I, in one of the greatest adventures and love stories ever filmed.
"An inspired piece of casting brought Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn together. This is a comedy, a love story, and a tale of adventure, and it is one of the most charming and entertaining movies ever made." Pauline Kael
first played at the Stanford Theatre Jun 22, 1991; last played Oct 2009
Humphrey Bogart, Jennifer Jones, Gina Lollobrigida. Robert Morley, Peter Lorre, Edward Underdown, Ivor Barnard, Bernard Lee, Marco Tulli, Mario Perroni, Alex Pochet, Aldo Silvani, Giulio Donnini, Saro Urzi, Juan de Landa, Manuel Serano, Mimo Poli.
A cast of unconventional characters seeks an elusive plot of land in Africa, which supposedly contains uranium. This "screwball noir" (shot on location in Italy) was neglected on its first release but now is regarded as a cult classic.
"It succeeded in some original (and perhaps dangerously marginal) way by finding a style of its own." Pauline Kael
first played at the Stanford Theatre Jan 31, 1998; last played Jan 2010
Simone Simon, Tom Conway, Jane Randolph, Jack Holt, Kent Smith, Alan Napier, Elizabeth Dunne, Elizabeth Russell, Mary Halsey, Alec Craig.
A Serbian emigrée in New York City (Simone Simon) believes that she suffers from a hereditary curse and will become a panther if her passions are aroused.
This remarkable low-budget B picture — extraordinary on any budget — was producer Lewton's first and greatest success.
"Testifies to the power of suggestion and the priority of imagination over budget in the creation of great cinema." Baseline Movie Guide
first played at the Stanford Theatre Feb 20, 1943; last played Jan 2011
Simone Simon, Kent Smith, Jane Randolph, Ann Carter, Eve March, Julia Dean, Elizabeth Russell, Erford Gage, Sir Lancelot.
A lonely little girl creates her own fantasy world, with a mysterious friend, a beautiful lady who could possibly be only a figment of her imagination.
This wonderfully poetic sequel to Cat People is more of a childhood fantasy than a true horror picture.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Mar 6, 1991; last played Mar 2011
Marie Dressler, John Barrymore, Lionel Barrymore, Billie Burke, Wallace Beery, Jean Harlow, Lee Tracy, Edmund Lowe, Madge Evans, Jean Hersholt, Karen Morley, Louise Closser Hale, Phillips Holmes, May Robson, Grant Mitchell, Elizabeth Patterson.
Archetypal all-star entertainment, with the Edna Ferber-George Kaufman play translated by expert and very funny screenwriters. Cukor runs the film like a host at a good party. The Barrymores are at their best, and the pace never flags (the film was shot in four weeks); but nothing surpasses the final droll encounter of Jean Harlow and Marie Dressler with their estimate of timeless professionalism.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Feb 18, 1934; last played Feb 2011
John Barrymore, Bebe Daniels, Melvyn Douglas, Doris Kenyon, Onslow Stevens, Isabel Jewell, Thelma Todd, Mayo Methot.
John Barrymore gives what may be his finest performance in this pre-code gem about a successful Jewish lawyer whose society wife is embarrassed by his impoverished beginnings and the sensational cases he takes on. Fortunately his loyal (and loving) secretary is there to help him out when things get tough.
"A monument to acting and direction at peak form." Baseline Movie Guide
first played at the Stanford Theatre Nov 17, 2005; last played Sep 2012
Deanna Durbin, Nan Grey, Barbara Read, Binnie Barnes, Charles Winninger, Alice Brady, Ray Milland, Mischa Auer, Ernest Cossart, Lucile Watson, John King, Nella Walker, Hobart Cavanaugh.
14-year-old Deanna Durbin was billed as `Universal's New Discovery' in her very first film. She had previously appeared on Eddie Cantor's radio program and in a short film with Judy Garland. She quickly became one of Universal's top stars. Here she plays the youngest of three sisters plotting to bring their divorced parents back together.
Songs: "Il bacio", vocal waltz by Luigi Arditi; "My Heart Is Singing" and "Someone to Care for Me", words by Gus Kahn, music by Bronislaw Kaper and Walter Jurmann
first played at the Stanford Theatre Mar 12, 1937; last played Jan 2013
Deanna Durbin, Nan Grey, Helen Parrish, Charles Winninger, Nella Walker, Robert Cummings, William Lundigan, Ernest Cossart, Felix Bressart.
Sequel to Three Smart Girls gives the two eldest sisters new romantic partners, with youngest sister Deanna playing matchmaker to the mismatched pairs.
Music: Invitation to the Dance by Carl Maria von Weber.
first played at the Stanford Theatre May 7, 1939; last played Dec 2012
May Robson, Warren William, Guy Kibbee, Glenda Farrell, Ned Sparks, Walter Connolly, Jean Parker, Nat Pendleton.
Apple Annie, a member of the New York City street scene, has a daughter at school in Spain, who has always believed the fiction that her mother was a wealthy lady. The daughter unexpectedly arrives from Spain with her future husband's aristocratic family. Annie's friends rise to the occasion.
Based on the story Madame La Gimp by Damon Runyon, this wonderful film (out of distribution for decades) is one of the true jewels in Capra's long and fruitful career. It was nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, and Best Writing, the first time that any film made by Columbia Pictures was nominated for anything. It far outshines its 1961 remake, Pocketful of Miracles.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Mar 2, 1990; last played Apr 2010
Warren Williams, Loretta Young, Wallace Ford, Alice White, Hale Hamilton, Albert Gran, Marjorie Gateson, Ruith Donnelly, Frank Reicher, Allen Jenkins.
In this virtual handbook on the fine art of sexual harassment, the general manager of a department store (Warren Williams) has his way with a beautiful shop girl (Loretta Young) before and after his marriage.
This film is an example of many made at Warners before the Production Code with similar vitality, a realistic edge, and (often) a concern with serious social issues. Leonard Maltin calls it "gripping, funny, outrageous and racy."
first played at the Stanford Theatre Sep 3, 1994; last played Feb 2012
Deanna Durbin, Robert Stack, Eugene Pallette, Helen Parrish, Lewis Howard, Leatrice Joy, June Storey, Frank Jenks, Kathleen Howard, Thurston Hall, Marcia Mae Jones, Samuel S. Hinds, Doris Lloyd, Charles Coleman, Jack Mulhall, Mary Treen, Dorothy Vaughan.
The Cinderella story was adapted specially for Deanna, who also received her first screen kiss.
The New York Times called Deanna "… one of the first and most enchanting of cinema Cinderellas."
Songs: "Home, Sweet Home", from the opera Clari, or The Maid of Milan by Sir Henry Rowley Bishop, libretto by John Howard Payne; "Amapola", music by Joseph M. Lacalle, new English lyrics (1910) by Albert Gamse; "Spring in My Heart", from Johann Strauss waltzes, music adaptation by H.J. Salter, lyrics by Ralph Freed; "One Fine Day (Un bel di)", from the opera Madama Butterfly by Giacomo Puccini, libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Jan 7, 1940; last played Dec 2012
Deanna Durbin, Gene Kelly, Richard Whorf, Dean Harens, Gladys George, Gale Sondergaard, David Bruce.
This film noir about a woman who marries a murderer was a complete departure for Deanna Durbin and for Gene Kelly, borrowed from MGM.
This was Deanna's highest grossing film to date.
Songs: "Spring Will Be a Little Late This Year," music and lyrics by Frank Loesser; "Always," music and lyrics by Irving Berlin; "Silent Night, Holy Night" music by Franz Gruber, words by Joseph Mohr, English translation anonymous; selections from the opera Tristan und Isolde by Richard Wagner.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Dec 21, 2012; last played Dec 2012
Deanna Durbin, Adolphe Menjou, Leopold Stokowski, Alice Brady, Mischa Auer, Eugene Pallette, Billy Gilbert, Alma Kruger, Jack Smart, Jed Prouty, Jameson Thomas, Howard Hickman, Frank Jenks.
Deanna's father is a trombone player without a job. After screwball confusions reminiscent of My Man Godfrey (with three of the same actors), she manages to launch a new orchestra with 99 other unemployed musicians, and the help of renowned conductor Leopold Stokowski.
As a young man, director Satyajit Ray greatly admired Deanna Durbin's films. This was his favorite.
Songs: Libiamo from the opera La traviata by Giuseppe Verdi, libretto by Francesco Maria Piave; "It's Raining Sunbeams", music by Frederick Hollander, lyrics by Sam Coslow; "A Heart That's Free", music by Alfred G. Robyn, lyrics by Thomas Railey
first played at the Stanford Theatre Oct 17, 1937; last played Dec 2012