The Stanford Theatre is dedicated to bringing back the movie-going experience of Hollywood's Golden Age. It is one of the few places where you can still watch movies on a big screen projected the way they were intended — in 35mm prints. 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 every night before and after the 7:30 show, or providing the accompaniment to “silent” films.
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.)
Gene Kelly (Don Lockwood), Donald O'Connor (Cosmo Brown), Debbie Reynolds (Kathy Selden), Millard Mitchell (R.F. Simpson), Jean Hagen (Lina Lamont), Rita Moreno (Zelda Zanders), Cyd Charisse (Dancer), Douglas Fowley (Roscoe Dexter).
Perhaps the most popular film musical of all time is set in Hollywood at the dawn of talking pictures. Silent stars Don Lockwood and Lina Lamont are making their first sound picture. When Lina's voice doesn't quite match her glamorous image, up-and-comer Kathy Selden steps in.
Singin' in the Rain has been the tenth most widely attended
film at the Stanford Theatre — 47,820 tickets since 1989.
first played at the Stanford Theatre July 27, 1991; last played May 2017
Errol Flynn (Sir Robin of Locksley), Basil Rathbone (Sir Guy of Gisbourne), Claude Rains (Prince John), Olivia de Havilland (Lady Marian Fitzwater), Alan Hale (Little John), Patric Knowles (Will Scarlet), Eugene Pallette (Friar Tuck), Ian Hunter (King Richard), Melville Cooper (High Sheriff of Nottingham), Una O'Connor (Bess), Herbert Mundin (Much the Miller's Son), Montagu Love (Bishop of Black Canons), Howard Hill (Capt. Philip of Arras).
This is (as everyone knows) one of the truly great adventure films of all time. From time to time they try to improve on the original, but there is still no substitute for the genuine article. The dashing Errol Flynn in his greatest role as Robin Hood, speaking treason "fluently", with Olivia de Havilland as the lovely Maid Marian is one of the most indelible images from old Hollywood.
Erich Wolfgang Korngold's score (Academy Award) is a major reason for the film's unending popularity.
"Life and the movies have their compensations, and such a film as this is payment in full for many dull hours of picture-going." The New York Times
The Adventures of Robin Hood has been the twenty-fourth most widely
attended film at the Stanford Theatre — 30,775 tickets since 1989.
first played at the Stanford Theatre May 22, 1938; last played Aug 2017
Fred Astaire, Jane Powell, Sarah Churchill, Peter Lawford, Keenan Wynn.
This film contains two of Astaire's most famous numbers, his dance across the ceiling and his dance with a hat rack. The story of a brother and sister song-and-dance team is based loosely on Astaire's own life. Winston Churchill's daughter Sarah plays the second female lead.
Songs include: Every Night at Seven; Open Your Eyes; The Happiest Day of my Life; How Could You Believe Me When I Said I Love You When You Know I've Been a Liar All My Life; Too Late Now; You're All the World to Me; I Left My Hat in Haiti; What a Lovely Day for a Wedding.
first played at the Stanford Theatre July 19, 1987; last played June 2014
Jane Powell, Ann Sothern, Carmen Miranda, Barry Sullivan, Louis Calhern, Fortunio Bonanova, Hans Conried.
In this remake of Deanna Durbin's It's a Date, Jane Powell plays Ann Sothern's daughter, and both are chasing the same man (without knowing it).
first played at the Stanford Theatre Aug. 26, 1994; last played Aug. 1994
Dick Powell, Ellen Drew, Ernest Truex, Al Bridge, Raymond Walburn, William Demarest.
In this charmingly offbeat romantic comedy, a young man mistakenly believes he has won $25,000 in a slogan contest.
"Probably Sturges' warmest comedy, and a fine illustration of the 'common man' touch which tempered his worldly sophistication." Baseline Movie Guide.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Jan 16, 1941; last played Dec 2014
Fred Astaire (Guy Holden), Ginger Rogers (Mimi Glossop), Edward Everett Horton (Egbert Fitzgerald), Alice Brady (Hortense Ditherwell), Erik Rhodes (Rodolfo Tonetti), Eric Blore (Waiter), Lillian Miles (Hotel Guest), Betty Grable (Hotel Guest).
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 nearly 80 years one of the very best musical pictures ever made.
This was the very first film we showed in our original Fred Astaire Festival in 1987. Some people said that watching Fred Astaire in a real theatre was pointless because everybody could see his films on late-night television. But our 1175-seat theatre was nearly sold out for two solid weeks. Many people came every night, and we received 700 fan letters. This is why the Stanford Theatre still exists.
The Gay Divorcee has been the twenty-fifth most widely attended
film at the Stanford Theatre — 30,770 tickets since 1989.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Nov 11, 1934; last played Dec 2016
Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, Charles Ruggles, Walter Catlett, Barry Fitzgerald, May Robson, Fritz Feld, Jonathan Hale, Asta.
Classic screwball comedy, with dizzy socialite Hepburn and perplexed paleontologist Grant in pursuit of his dinosaur bone and her escaped pet leopard.
Bringing Up Baby has been the twenty-eighth most widely
attended film at the Stanford Theatre — 29,038 tickets since 1989.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Mar 10, 1938; last played Mar 2015
Betty Hutton, Eddie Bracken, William Demarest, Diana Lynn, Porter Hall, Akim Tamiroff, Brian Donlevy, Alan Bridge.
In one of the zaniest screwball comedies, Betty Hutton attends a wild, all-night party for departing soldiers, but the next day she cannot remember the name of the man she apparently married. James Agee said that watching this film is "like taking a nun on a roller coaster... one of the most violently funny comedies that ever came out of Hollywood."
"There's that flawless comic rhythm that is uniquely Sturges." Peter Bogdanovich
first played at the Stanford Theatre Nov 17, 1944; last played July 2016
Cary Grant, Raymond Massey, Priscilla Lane, Josephine Hull, Jean Adair, Jack Carson, Edward Everett Horton, Peter Lorre, James Gleason, John Alexander.
Two lovable old ladies serve a special elderberry wine to help old men forget their loneliness.
Capra borrowed Hull and Adair from the Broadway play and made the film in 1941. For contractual reasons, the film could not be released until the play closed (after nearly four years) in 1944. Capra had to change the ending of the play because the preview audience would not accept the death of the beloved character actor Edward Everett Horton.
Arsenic and Old Lace has been the sixty-fourth most widely
attended film at the Stanford Theatre — 17,315 tickets since 1989.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Nov 5, 1944; last played June 2017
Cary Grant, Jean Arthur, Ronald Colman, Edgar Buchanan, Glenda Farrell, Charles Dingle, Emma Dunn, Rex Ingram, Leonid Kinskey, Tom Tyler, Don Beddoe.
In one of Hollywood's great romantic comedies, Ronald Colman plays a mild-mannered law professor who rents a house from a school teacher (Jean Arthur) who is harboring a suspected murderer (Cary Grant).
"One of the most genial casts in history." Baseline Movie Guide
The Talk of the Town has been the eighty-third most widely attended
film at the Stanford Theatre — 13,460 tickets since 1989.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Oct 11, 1942; last played Apr 2015
Clark Gable, Claudette Colbert, Walter Connolly, Roscoe Karns, Alan Hale, Ward Bond, Jameson Thomas, Arthur Hoyt.
Spoiled heiress Colbert escapes from the family yacht and meets reporter Gable on a bus to New York.
MGM sent Clark Gable to make this picture at Columbia ("poverty row") as a punishment. Expectations for the picture were so low that it wasn't even booked into the Stanford Theatre!
Hollywood's first great screwball comedy won all five major Academy Awards in 1934 (best picture, director, actor, actress, writer), and put Frank Capra and Columbia Studio in the major league.
It Happened One Night has been the forty-first most widely
attended film at the Stanford Theatre — 23,476 tickets since 1989.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Feb 23, 1990; last played Jan 2014
w/d Preston Sturges. ph Victor Milner. m Victor Young. Paramount. 88 min.
Claudette Colbert, Joel McRea, Rudy Vallee, Mary Astor, Sig Arno, Robert Warwick, Torben Meyer, Jimmy Conlin, William Demarest, Jack Norton, Robert Grieg, Roscoe Ates, Chester Conklin, Franklin Pangborn, Alan Bridge, Robert Dudley.
In one of the zaniest screwball comedies ever made, Claudette Colbert abandons husband Joel McRae and heads for a Palm Beach divorce. She encounters the Wienie King and boards a train, where she falls in with the wealthy members of the Ale and Quail Club. Rudy Vallee was a surprise sensation as the timid millionaire Hackensacker.
"One of the giddiest and most chaotic of Preston Sturges' satiric orgies." Pauline Kael
The Palm Beach Story has been the seventy-sixth most widely
attended film at the Stanford Theatre — 15,106 tickets since 1989.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Feb 1, 1943; last played Aug 2016
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.
The wonderful Marie Dressler plays an irresistably charming old battle-axe whom Lionel Barrymore loved in his youth. Billie Burke (Barrymore's wife) is giving the eponymous dinner party. Among the guests are Jean Harlow, socially ambitious but more than a match for her bullying businessman husband Wallace Beery.
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 Sep 2014
Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, Doris Nolan, Lew Ayres, Edward Everett Horton, Henry Kolker, Binnie Barnes, Jean Dixon, Ruth Donnelly, Henry Daniell.
A conventional New York socialite (Doris Nolan) brings her unconventional fiancé (Cary Grant) home to meet her wealthy New York family, only to have him fall for her free-spirited sister, played by Katharine Hepburn, in what Pauline Kael calls "her archetypal role." Hepburn was understudy for this role on Broadway in 1928, and she chose it for her initial Hollywood screen test.
"Katherine Hepburn's wit and nonconformity made ordinary heroines seem mushy." Pauline Kael
This classic comedy was recently restored by the UCLA Film Archive.
Holiday has been the sixtieth most widely
attended film at the Stanford Theatre — 19,000 tickets since 1989.
first played at the Stanford Theatre July 10, 1938; last played Mar 2015
Fred Astaire (Jerry Travers), Ginger Rogers (Dale Tremont), Edward Everett Horton (Horace Hardwick), Erik Rhodes (Alberto Beddini), Eric Blore (Bates), Helen Broderick (Madge Hardwick).
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".
"Fred Astaire did not advance the art of film making. He only justified its right to exist." Satyajit RayTop Hat has been the nineteenth most widely attended film at the Stanford Theatre — 34,029 tickets since 1989.
William Powell, Myrna Loy, Maureen O'Sullivan, Nat Pendleton, Minna Gombell, Edward Ellis, Porter Hall, Henry Wadsworth, William Henry, Harold Huber, Cesar Romero, Natalie Moorhead, Edward Brophy, Clay Clement, Asta.
It seems truly incredible that The Thin Man was made in only 12 days, but it is even harder to imagine that it could ever lose its position as Hollywood's all-time favorite sophisticated detective movie, or that there could ever be another screen marriage as perfect as Nick and Nora's.
The Thin Man has been the fifty-fifth most widely
attended film at the Stanford Theatre — 19,745 tickets since 1989.
first played at the Stanford Theatre June 22, 1934; last played Nov 2009
Harold Lloyd, Constance Cummings, Kenneth Thomson, Louise Closser Hale, Spencer Charters, Grady Sutton.
A movie-struck Kansas boy is invited by mistake to come to Hollywood to make a screen test. He causes all sorts of trouble on the set, but at long last the studio recognizes his genius.
Harold Lloyd made only a few sound films, and this is by far his best. It offers a fascinating behind-the-camera look at the studio system in the early days of talkies.
Preserved by the UCLA Film Archive.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Nov 8, 1990; last played August 1998
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 June 2014
Gregory Peck (Joe Bradley), Audrey Hepburn (Princess Anne), Eddie Albert (Irving Radovich), Hartley Power (Mr. Hennessy), Harcourt Williams (Ambassador), Margaret Rawlings (Countess Vereberg), Tullio Carminati (Gen. Provno), Paolo Carlini (Mario Delani), Claudio Ermelli (Giovanni).
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
Roman Holiday has been the second most widely attended film at the
Stanford Theatre — 74,761 tickets since 1989.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Sep 20, 1953; last played May 2017
Greta Garbo, John Gilbert, Ian Keith, Lewis Stone, Elizabeth Young, C. Aubrey Smith, Reginald Owen.
Greta Garbo had her most radiant role as the 17th Century Swedish queen, under the inspired direction of Rouben Mamoulian. This film includes several of Garbo's most unforgettable scenes, including her night at the country inn with the Spanish ambassador, and her final sailing from Sweden. Indeed, it could be said that this film contains the greatest performance by the greatest star of the greatest art form of the 20th century. Do not miss it!
Queen Christina has been the eighty-seventh most widely
attended film at the Stanford Theatre — 12,655 tickets since 1989.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Mar 11, 1934; last played May 2015
Greta Garbo, Melvyn Douglas, Sig Rumann, Alexander Granach, Felix Bressart, Ina Claire, Bela Lugosi.
A Bolshevik special envoy (Greta Garbo) is sent to Paris to bring back three wayward comrades, who have become charmed by the freedom of the decadent west.
Ninotchka has been the seventy-fifth most widely attended
film at the Stanford Theatre — 15,533 tickets since 1989.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Dec 17, 1939; last played Mar 2017
Fred Astaire, Cyd Charisse, Peter Lorre, Janis Paige, George Tobias, Jules Munshin, Joseph Buloff, Wim Sonneveld.
Astaire's last major musical (and the last film directed by Rouben Mamoulian) is a musical version of Ninotchka, with songs by Cole Porter.
Songs: Too Bad (You Can't Go Back to Moscow); Paris Loves Lovers; Siberia; Stereophonic Sound; Satin and Silk; It's a Chemical Reaction, That's All; All of You; Silk Stockings; Without Love; Fated to be Mated; The Red Blues; The Ritz Roll and Rock.
first played at the Stanford Theatre July 22, 1987; last played Sep 2015
Lana Turner, Kirk Douglas, Gloria Grahame, Walter Pidgeon, Dick Powell, Barry Sullivan, Gilbert Roland, Leo G. Carroll, Vanessa Brown, Paul Stewart.
In perhaps the greatest movie ever made about Hollywood (it won five Oscars), a brilliant but egomaniacal producer asks three of his protegés to work again with him, but they cannot forgive him for the price they had to pay for their success. David Raksin's musical score is one of the best ever composed for a Hollywood film.
The character of the producer Jonathan Shields (played by Kirk Douglas) is at least partly based on Val Lewton. The low-budget horror film, The Doom of the Cat Men, is an obvious reference to Lewton's Cat People. A discussion between the producer and director applies perfectly to Lewton's films:
"Put five men dressed like cats on the screen, what do they look like? Like five men dressed like cats. When an audience pays to see a picture like this, what do they pay for? To get the pants scared off them. And what scares the human race more than any other single thing? The dark. Of course. Why? Because the dark has a life of its own. In the dark all sorts of things come alive. Suppose we never do show the cat men?"
The Bad and the Beautiful has been the sixty-fifth most widely
attended film at the Stanford Theatre — 17,304 tickets since 1989.
first played at the Stanford Theatre July 6, 1990; last played Apr 2017
Kirk Douglas, Edward G. Robinson, Cyd Charisse, George Hamilton, Dahlia Lavi, Claire Trevor, Erich von Stroheim, Leslie Uggams, James Gregory.
A washed-up actor, recovering from a nervous breakdown, gets a chance to revive his career by going to Rome for a location shoot.
A companion piece to The Bad and the Beautiful (with the same star, director, and composer), the film never reaches the level of its exquisite predecessor, but is full of stylish Minelli extravagance.
first played at the Stanford Theatre July 30, 1990; last played June 2006
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.
Random Harvest has been the seventy-fourth most widely
attended film at the Stanford Theatre — 15,537 tickets since 1989.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Mar 14, 1943; last played Aug 2014
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 Aug 2013
Katharine Hepburn (Tracy Lord), Cary Grant (C.K. Dexter Haven), James Stewart (Macauley Connor), Ruth Hussey (Elizabeth Imbrie), John Howard (George Kittredge), Roland Young (Uncle Willie), John Halliday (Seth Lord), Mary Nash (Margaret Lord), Virginia Weidler (Dinah Lord), Henry Daniell (Sidney Kidd).
The society marriage of Tracy Samantha Lord and C. K. Dexter Haven ended in divorce. Tracy is about to marry "man of the people" George Kittredge, when Spy Magazine sends a couple of reporters to cover the wedding.
Philip Barry wrote the play specially for Katharine Hepburn. After its successful Broadway run she sold the play to MGM, retaining the right to select the director and cast.
Jimmy Stewart won the Oscar as Best Actor of 1940 for his performance as reporter Macauley Connor.
This wonderful picture ranks as one of the supreme treasures of Hollywood's golden age. The Stanford Theatre brings it back at least once a year — always to enthusiastic crowds. It never grows old!
The Philadelphia Story has been the twelfth most widely
attended film at the Stanford Theatre — 47,117 tickets since 1989.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Feb 9, 1941; last played Aug 2016
Dana Andrews (Mark McPherson), Clifton Webb (Waldo Lydecker), Gene Tierney (Laura Hunt), Judith Anderson (Ann Treadwell), Vincent Price (Shelby Carpenter), Dorothy Adams (Bessie Clary), James Flavin (McAvity).
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.
Laura has been the eighteenth most widely attended film
at the Stanford Theatre — 37,409 tickets since 1989.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Nov 30, 1944; last played Feb 2016
Claudette Colbert, Joseph Cotten, Jennifer Jones, Shirley Temple, Agnes Moorehead, Monty Woolley, Lionel Barrymore, Guy Madison, Robert Walker, Hattie McDaniel, Nazimova, Albert Basserman, Gordon Oliver, Keenan Wynn, Craig Stevens.
Set entirely on the home front, this movie about WW II was a fond portrait of the women left at home, one of the greatest films Hollywood ever made. Claudette Colbert is very touching as the mother of Jennifer Jones and Shirley Temple, helping her daughters grow up while their father is away at war. The glorious Monty Woolley provides the necessary vinegar to balance Joseph Cotten's amiability.
David O. Selznick wrote the script himself and lovingly produced it with his own trademarked aura of quality. Some of us prefer this film even to his Gone With the Wind.
"The film rings out like a song of America. It's a panorama with a heartbreak that will reach the theatres." Ben Hecht
first played at the Stanford Theatre Dec 14, 1944; last played Mar 2014
Gary Cooper, Grace Kelly, Thomas Mitchell, Lloyd Bridges, Katy Jurado, Otto Kruger, Lon Chaney, Henry Morgan.
Gary Cooper, the retired marshal scheduled to leave town with his new Quaker bride, does his lonely duty at high noon for the ungrateful town.
Tiomkin wrote the music for the title song High Noon (lyrics by Ned Washington), and his entire score is a musical development on this single theme.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Apr 2, 1953; last played Sep 2016
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 July 2016
Ronald Colman, Madeleine Carroll, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Mary Astor, C. Aubrey Smith, Raymond Massey, David Niven, Byron Foulger, Montagu Love.
An Englishman on vacation in Ruritania helps defeat a rebel plot by impersonating the local king, who is his exact double. He presides at the coronation of the absent king, foils the king's enemies, romances the king's intended, but, true to his code of honor, departs in the end.
This splendid adventure story, with spectacular duels between Colman and Fairbanks, is one of the great treasures of the cinema, and one of the most entertaining films ever made.
The Prisoner of Zenda has been the sixty-sixth most widely
attended film at the Stanford Theatre — 17,199 tickets since 1989.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Dec 26, 1937; last played Sep 2016
Ronald Colman, Basil Rathbone, Frances Dee, Ellen Drew, C. V. France, Heather Thatcher, Henry Wilcoxon, Sidney Toler.
Preston Sturges wrote the screenplay for this non-musical version of The Vagabond King, with Colman as the poet François Villon. Basil Rathbone is outstanding as the reptilian King Louis XI.
This remarkable film totally captivated the audience during the Ronald Colman festival in 1991. At that time the only available print was nitrate, so the Stanford Theatre Foundation decided to fund the preservation of the film at the UCLA Film Archive.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Nov 10, 1938; last played June 2015
John Wayne, Joanne Dru, John Agar, Ben Johnson, Harry Carey, Jr., Victor McLaglen, Mildred Natwick, George O'Brien, Arthur Shields.
John Wayne plays Captain Nathan Brittles, who has one last mission to perform before returning to civilian life: warfare with the Indians has begun again, and he must lead his troops on the trail. At the same time he has to escort the Major's wife (Mildred Natwick) and her daughter (Joanne Dru) out of the danger zone.
Winton C. Hoch won an Academy Award for his Technicolor photography on this film, which is considered by some to be the most beautiful Western ever made. In an interview with Peter Bogdanovich, Ford said: "I like She Wore a Yellow Ribbon. I tried to copy the Remington style there— you can't copy him one hundred percent— but at least I tried to get his color and movement." For many years this film was only available in inferior 16mm prints and videotapes that did not do justice to the subtle color effects that Ford and Hoch tried to achieve. We are showing a gorgeous color print from the UCLA Film Archive.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Dec 18, 1949; last played May 2009
John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Barry Fitzgerald, Ward Bond, Victor McLaglen, Mildred Natwick, Francis Ford, Eileen Crowe, May Craig, Arthur Shields, Sean McClory.
John Wayne's role as a retired prizefighter who only wants to live in peace with his boisterous neighbors gave him a rare opportunity to demonstrate his often underestimated range as an actor.
The Quiet Man's cinematography won an Academy Award, and Ford himself picked up an unprecedented fourth Oscar for Best Direction. Much of The Quiet Man was shot on location in Connemara, Ireland, where Ford was surrounded by family and old friends.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Oct 9, 1952; last played Sep 2012
Judy Garland (Esther Smith), Margaret O'Brien ("Tootie" Smith), Mary Astor (Anne Smith), Lucille Bremer (Rose Smith), Tom Drake (John Truett), June Lockhart (Lucille Ballard), Marjorie Main (Katie), Leon Ames (Alonzo Smith), Harry Davenport (Grandpa), Joan Carroll (Agnes Smith), Hank Daniels (Lon Smith, Jr.), Chill Wills (Mr. Neely), Robert Sully (Warren Sheffield).
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.
Meet Me in St. Louis has been the twenty-third most widely attended
film at the Stanford Theatre — 31,956 tickets since 1989.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Mar 11, 1945; last played Aug 2016
Margaret O'Brien, Herbert Marshall, Gladys Cooper, Elsa Lanchester, Dean Stockwell, Brian Roper.
An orphan girl comes to live with her moody uncle and changes the lives of those around her.
This classic film version of the famous novel proves again what an extraordinary actress Margaret O'Brien was.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Nov 27, 1949; last played Dec 2014
w/d Joseph L. Mankiewicz. ph Milton Krasner. m Alfred Newman. 20th Century-Fox. 138 min.
Bette Davis, George Sanders, Anne Baxter, Celeste Holm, Thelma Ritter, Gary Merrill, Hugh Marlowe, Gregory Ratoff, Marilyn Monroe, Barbara Bates, Walter Hampden.
Hollywood's devastating revenge against the "legitimate" stage, in which a great Broadway star Margo Channing, perhaps just beyond the peak of her career (Bette Davis), is stalked by the cunningly obsequious younger actress Eve Harrington (Anne Baxter), under the eye of caustic drama critic Addison De Witt, played to malicious perfection by George Sanders.
Six Oscars, including Best Picture of 1950, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor (Sanders), and Best Costyumes, hardly do justice to one of the most popular films of all time.
All About Eve has been the fifty-ninth most widely
attended film at the Stanford Theatre — 19,025 tickets since 1989.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Nov 12, 1950; last played Sep 2016
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. For this movie, Bernard Herrmann wrote some of the most beautiful music ever heard on a Hollywood soundtrack.
The Ghost and Mrs. Muir has been the fifty-fourth most widely
attended film at the Stanford Theatre — 19,835 tickets since 1989.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Sep 19, 1990; last played Sep 2016
Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, David Manners, Jacqueline Wells, Lucille Lund, Egon Brecher, Harry Cording, Henry Armetta, Albert Conti.
A young couple find themselves trapped in a claustrophobic house of devil worshippers and human sacrifice (with gorgeous Art Deco sets).
This was the first (and best) pairing of Universal's star monsters, Lugosi and Karloff.
"Still one of the most affecting horrors the genre has ever produced." Baseline Movie Guide
first played at the Stanford Theatre Nov 11, 2000; last played Sep 2014
Boris Karloff, Zita Johann, David Manners, Arthur Byron, Edward Van Sloan, Bramwell Fletcher, Noble Johnson, Kathryn Byron, Leonard Mudie.
British archaeologists unearth an ancient mummy, who returns to life in the form of an ageless Egyptian scholar obsessed with a young woman he is convinced is the reincarnation of his ancient love.
"It's silly but it's also disturbingly beautiful... a langorous, poetic feeling." Pauline Kael
first played at the Stanford Theatre Nov 18, 2000; last played Oct 2012
Cary Grant, Deborah Kerr, Richard Denning, Neva Patterson, Cathleen Nesbitt, Robert Q. Lewis, Charles Watts, Fortunio Bonanova, Matt Moore, Louis Mercier, Geraldine Wall, Sarah Selby.
A shipboard romance is almost thwarted by fate. This remake of the classic 1939 film Love Affair (by the same director with Irene Dunne and Charles Boyer) is one of those rare cases in which the remake is truly worthy of the original.
People probably exist who are immune to this kind of romantic extravaganza, but the rest of us should not forget to bring our hankies.
An Affair to Remember has been the thirty-seventh most widely
attended film at the Stanford Theatre — 25,014 tickets since 1989.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Aug 2, 1957; last played Sep 2011
Spencer Tracy, Joan Bennett, Elizabeth Taylor, Don Taylor, Billie Burke, Moroni Olsen, Leo G. Carroll, Taylor Holmes, Melville Cooper.
Stanley T. Banks (Tracy) comes to terms with the marriage of his daughter Kay (Taylor). You may have seen the remake, but there is just no substitute for the genuine article. The tremendous success of this film, which Minnelli completed in one month, demonstrated beyond any doubt that his genius was not limited to musicals.
"The American domestic comedy par excellence." Halliwell
Father of the Bride has been the sixty-seventh most widely attended
film at the Stanford Theatre — 16,878 tickets since 1989.
first played at the Stanford Theatre July 13, 1950; last played July 2015
Barry Jones, Olive Sloane, Andre Morell, Sheila Manahan, Hugh Cross, Joan Hickson.
An atomic scientist threatens to explode a bomb in London in seven days unless the Prime Minister agrees to a nuclear freeze.
Especially remarkable is the emergency evacuation of London, photographed on location in the documentary style of a newsreel.
"Superbly paced thriller." Leonard Maltin
"A brilliant idea that exerts every extra half screw of tension." David Thomson
"As well as entertainment, this film provides something big to think about, too." Bosley Crowther
first played at the Stanford Theatre Oct 15, 1993; last played Feb 2009
Alastair Sim, Sally Gray, Trevor Howard, Rosamund John, Leo Genn, Megs Jenkins, Judy Campbell, Ronald Ward, Moore Marriott.
This small gem of a suspense comedy stars Alastair Sim as Inspector Cockrill of Scotland Yard, who must solve a series of murders in a rural British hospital.
"An unfairly overlooked delight in the annals of British film history... Watching this film is like sitting up late on a stormy night reading your first Agatha Christie novel." Baseline Movie Guide
first played at the Stanford Theatre Jan 15, 1948; last played July 2015
Jennifer Jones, William Holden, Torin Thatcher, Isobel Elsom, Murray Matheson, Virginia Gregg, Richard Loo.
A war correspondent (William Holden) covering the Korean War falls in love with a Eurasian doctor (Jennifer Jones).
The self-conscious concern about inter-racial romance may now seem quaint, but this is one of Hollywood's best tragic love stories. This intensely romantic film was beautifully filmed on location in Hong Kong. The title song was a popular hit.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Aug 31, 1955; last played Jan 2010
Jeanne Crain, William Holden, Edmund Gwenn, Gene Lockhart, Griff Barnett, Randy Stuart, Betty 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.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Oct 28, 1948; last played Dec 2014