Since that time, we have shown nearly 2,000 different titles, nearly all made before 1960. We have sold over three million tickets, and many people consider the Stanford Theatre to be the best place in the world to watch classic movies.
Tickets cover about half of the cost of running the theatre. The other half is provided by grants from the Packard Humanities Institute, which also has a major role in film preservation.
On March 1, 2020, we were one of the first theatres to close because of the pandemic, and we have not rushed to reopen. We have made some changes to the ventilation system that should reduce the chance of infection, though nothing can eliminate all risk. But life cannot stop forever, and we have decided it is time to reopen.
Since we closed in the middle of a Kurosawa festival, you will find three Kurosawa masterpieces in our calendar. Otherwise we have selected some of our favorite films from the golden age of the movies— including two Sidney Poitier films that strictly fall beyond our normal date limit.
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 stanfordtheatre.org in case this schedule isn't quite up-to-date! Programs are subject to change. For information, call (650) 324-3700.
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 90 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.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Nov 11, 1934; last played June 2018
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 Rayfirst played at the Stanford Theatre Oct 2, 1935; last played July 2018
Deanna Durbin, Charles Laughton, Robert Cummings, Guy Kibbee, Margaret Tallichet, Catharine Doucet, Walter Catlett, Charles Coleman, Leonard Elliott, Irving Bacon, Gus Schilling, Wade Boteler, Dorothea Kent, Clara Blandick.
A young man's wealthy father is seemingly near death, and his last wish is to meet his son's fiancée. The son hires a hat check girl to impersonate her, and his father is so delighted, he recovers. Now they're afraid to tell him the truth, fearing a relapse.
Songs: "The Lord's Prayer," music by Albert Hay Malotte; "Clavelitos," Spanish words and music by Joaquin Valverde, English lyrics by Mrs. M.T.E. Sandwith; "When I Sing," adapted from the Sleeping Beauty ballet by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky; "Goin' Home," music adapted from the New World Symphony by Antonín Dvorák; "Viene la conga," words and music by Valdesti.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Dec 15, 2012; last played Aug 2019
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 Sep 2013
Humphrey Bogart (Richard Blaine), Ingrid Bergman (Ilsa Lund), Paul Henreid (Victor Laszlo), Claude Rains (Capt. Louis Renault), Konrad Veidt (Maj. Heinrich Strasser), Sydney Greenstreet (Signor Ferrari), Peter Lorre (Ugarte), S. Z. Sakall (Carl), Madeline Le Beau (Yvonne), Dooley Wilson (Sam), Joy Page (Annina Brandell), John Qualen (Berger), Leonid Kinsky (Sascha), Helmut Dantine (Jan Brandell), Curt Bois (Dark European), Marcel Dalio (Emil), Corinna Mura (Singer), Ludwig Stossel (Herr Leuchtag), Ilka Gruning (Frau Leuchtag), Charles La Torre (Señor Martinez), Frank Puglia (Arab Vendor), Dan Seymour (Abdul).
Everybody comes to Rick's café — exiles from the Nazis, corrupt officials, and Ilsa Lund, the great lost love of Rick's life.
We can debate whether Casablanca is the best movie ever made. It may be. Certainly few other movies are so universally recognized as expressing the deepest truths about human life — and are also so much fun.
As time goes by, it becomes increasingly unlikely that anyone will ever make a movie better than Casablanca. On its 50th anniversary in 1992, more people saw Casablanca at the Stanford Theatre than anywhere else in the world.
"Of all the movie theatres in all the towns in all the world, they walk into ours."
first played at the Stanford Theatre Feb 24, 1943; last played Feb 2020 P>
Humphrey Bogart (Dixon Steele), Gloria Grahame (Laurel Gray), Frank Lovejoy (Brub Nicolai), Carl Benton-Reid (Capt. Lochner), Art Smith (Mel Lippman), Jeff Donnell (Sylvia Nicolai), Martha Stewart (Mildred Atkinson), Robert Warwick (Charlie Waterman), Morris Ankrum (Lloyd Barnes), William Ching (Ted Barton), Steven Geray (Paul), Hadda Brooks (Singer), Alice Talton (Frances Randolph), Jack Reynolds (Henry Kesler), Ruth Warren (Effie), Ruth Gillette (Martha), Guy Beach (Swan), Lewis Howard (Junior).
In this film noir classic, a hat-check girl is found murdered, and the prime suspect is a screenwriter (Bogart) with an uncontrollable temper and a proclivity towards violence. His alibi is provided by an attractive neighbor (Grahame). They fall in love, but she can't help wondering about his dark, ugly moods...
This sad romantic film may reflect the impending failure of the marriage of its director and star Gloria Grahame.
"It is both thriller and love story... probably the best work Bogart ever did." David Thomson
first played at the Stanford Theatre Feb 25, 1995; last played Feb 2019
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 2018
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 June 2018
Sidney Poitier, Christian Roberts, Judy Geeson, Suzy Kendall, Lulu, Faith Brook, Geoffrey Bayldon, Patricia Routledge.
Mark Thackery, an engineer by training, reluctantly takes a job as teacher to a group of unruly juvenile delinquents in London's East End. (Filmed on location).
first played at the Stanford Theatre Sep 20, 1967; first showing by the Stanford Theatre Foundation
Sidney Poitier, Rod Steiger, Warren Oates, Quentin Dean, William Schallert.
Black detective Virgil Tibbs is waiting for a train in Mississippi when he is accused of the murder of the town's leading businessman. Tibbs turns out to be Philadelphia's leading homicide investigator.
first showing at the Stanford Theatre
James Stewart (L.B. Jeffries), Grace Kelly (Lisa Carol Fremont), Wendell Corey (Thomas J. Doyle), Thelma Ritter (Stella), Raymond Burr (Lars Thorwald), Judith Evelyn (Miss Lonely Hearts), Ross Bagdasarian (Songwriter), Georgine Darcy (Miss Torso), Sara Berner (Woman on Fire Escape), Frank Cady (Man on Fire Escape).
A reporter confined to his apartment with a broken leg passes his time watching the neighbors from his rear window.
"To my mind, Rear Window is probably your very best screenplay in all respects: the construction, the unity of inspiration, the wealth of details." Truffaut
"He's a real Peeping Tom. [A critic] complained that Rear Window was a horrible film because the hero spent all of his time peeping out of the window. What's so horrible about that? Sure, he's a snooper, but aren't we all?" Hitchcock
"We're all voyeurs to some extent, if only when we see an intimate film. And James Stewart is exactly in the position of a spectator looking at a movie." Truffaut
Cameo appearance winding a clock.
first played at the Stanford Theatre July 19, 1987; last played May 2019
Cary Grant (John Robie), Grace Kelly (Frances Stevens), Jessie Royce Landis (Jessie Stevens), John Williams (H.H. Hughson), Charles Vanel (Bertani), Brigitte Auber (Danielle Foussard), Jean Martinelli (Foussard), Georgette Anys (Germaine), Roland Lessaffre (Jean Hebey), René Blancard (Commissioner Lepic).
Cary Grant plays a retired cat-burglar who is suspected of a series of jewel thefts committed by a copy-cat.
More romantic comedy than suspense thriller, the film was made on location on the French Riviera, where Grace Kelly met Prince Rainier.
"Grace Kelly actually looks alive, and she's sexier than she is in anything else." Pauline Kael
"Sex on the screen should be suspenseful, I feel. If sex is too blatant or obvious, there's no suspense." Hitchcock
Hitchcock's cameo appearance is on a bus, next to Cary Grant.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Sep 14, 1955; last played Mar 2019
Humphrey Bogart (Linus Larrabee), William Holden (David Larrabee), Audrey Hepburn (Sabrina Fairchild), Walter Hampden (Oliver Larrabee), John Williams (Thomas Fairchild), Martha Hyer (Elizabeth Tyson), Joan Vohs (Gretchen Van Horn), Marcel Dalio (Baron), Marcel Hillaire (The Professor), Nella Walker (Maude Larrabee), Francis X. Bushman (Mr. Tyson), Ellen Corbey (Miss McCardle).
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.
Isn't it Romantic is the theme song of the Stanford Theatre.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Oct 13, 1954; last played May 2017
Humphrey Bogart (Billy Dannreuther), Jennifer Jones (Gwendolyn Chelm), Gina Lollobrigida (Maria Dannreuther). Robert Morley (Peterson), Peter Lorre (O'Hara), Edward Underdown (Harry Chelm), Ivor Barnard (Maj. Ross), Bernard Lee (Insp. Jack Clayton), Marco Tulli (Ravello), Mario Perroni (Purser on SS Nyanga), Alex Pochet (Hotel Manager), Aldo Silvani (Restaurant Manager), Giulio Donnini (Adminstrator), Saro Urzi (Captain of SS Nyanga), Juan de Landa (Hispano-Suiza Driver), Manuel Serano (Ahmed), Mimo Poli (Barman).
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 Feb 2019
Peggy Ann Garner, James Dunn, Dorothy McGuire, Joan Blondell, Lloyd Nolan, Ted Donaldson, James Gleason, Ruth Nelson, John Alexander, Adeline de Walt-Reynolds, Charles Halton.
Absolutely splendid film about a bright young girl in a turn-of-the-century New York tenement family. Peggy Ann Garner won a special Oscar for her remarkable performance.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Apr 8, 1945; last played Aug 2019
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 the sensationally successful Cat People is more of a childhood fantasy than a true horror picture, notwithstanding the lurid title given by the studio. The performance by 8-year-old Ann Carter is exquisite.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Mar 6, 1991; last played Aug 2019
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.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Mar 11, 1945; last played Aug 2019
Judy Garland (Dorothy Gale), Frank Morgan (Prof. Marvel / Oz, the Wizard), Ray Bolger (Hunk / The Scarecrow), Jack Haley (Hickory / The Tin Woodman), Bert Lahr (Zeke / The Cowardly Lion), Margaret Hamilton (Almira Gulch / The Wicked Witch of the West), Billie Burke (Glinda, the Good Witch of the South), Charley Grapewin (Uncle Henry), Clara Blandick (Aunt Em), Pat Walsh (Nikko), Terry the Dog (Toto).
One of the most beloved films of Hollywood's Golden Age, The Wizard of Oz continues to enchant adiences more than 70 years after its premiere. You haven't really been to Oz until you've seen it on our big screen in glorious Technicolor, with an audience.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Sep 3, 1939; last played Dec 2019
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 Aug 2018
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 Aug 2018
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!
first played at the Stanford Theatre Feb 9, 1941; last played June 2019
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 July 2018
Cary Grant (Geoff Carter), Jean Arthur (Bonnie Lee), Richard Barthelmess (Bat McPherson), Rita Hayworth (Judith McPherson), Thomas Mitchell (Kid Dabb), Sig Rumann (Dutchman), Victor Kilian (Sparks), John Carroll (Gent Shelton), Allyn Joslyn (Les Peters), Donald Barry (Tex Gordon), Noah Beery, Jr. (Joe Souther), Lucio Villegas (Dr. Logario), Melissa Sierra (Lily).
In this aviation classic, the arrival of a stranded showgirl disrupts the lives of a group of American flyers in South America. Rita Hayworth had her first major success in this film, and Cary Grant demonstrates once again why he is a candidate for the greatest actor in the brief history of the movies.
Here is a chance to see (and hear) Richard Barthelmess, one of the silent era's most popular stars, twenty years after his performance in Broken Blossoms.
"[Cary Grant] is uproarious in every way, except how he talks, and that's where the film is not just ecstatic, precise, and real, but modern, absurd, and exhilirating. Here we are in 1939 as a genius sees that the medium is flimflam, and all the better for that." David Thomson
first played at the Stanford Theatre June 22, 1939; last played Dec 2019
Cary Grant (Leopold Dilg), Jean Arthur (Nora Shelley), Ronald Colman (Michael Lightcap), Edgar Buchanan (Sam Yates), Glenda Farrell (Regina Bush), Charles Dingle (Andrew Holmes), Emma Dunn (Mrs. Shelley), Rex Ingram (Tilney), Leonid Kinskey (Jan Pulaski), Tom Tyler (Clyde Bracken), Don Beddoe (Chief of Police), George Watts (Judge Grundstadt), Clyde Fillmore (Sen. James Boyd).
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
first played at the Stanford Theatre Oct 11, 1942; last played July 2018
Toshiro Mifune, Misa Uehara, Minoru Chiaki.
A headstrong princess and her stoic general, fleeing through enemy territory with her family's hidden gold, are joined by two bumbling and constantly bickering farmers. Probably Kurosawa's most dazzling exercise in pure filmmmaking, this exciting and richly comic live-action fairy tale for adults was the first Japanese film in Cinemascope. Toshiro Mifune, in perhaps his most purely swashbuckling vehicle, performed all his own stunts. The Hidden Fortress was George Lucas' acknowledged chief inspiration for Star Wars.
"Grand, bold movie-making." Roger Ebert
first played at the Stanford Theatre Oct 9, 1998; last played Aug 2015
Toshiro Mifune, Eijiro Tono, Kamatari Fujiwara, Takashi Shimura, Seizaburo Kawazu, Isuzu Yamada, Hiroshi Tachikawa.
Met at the entrance to a deserted village by a stray mutt sauntering past with a severed hand in his jaws, wandering ronin Mifune realizes a skilled Yojimbo (bodyguard) could rake in the ryo in this town. And after checking out the sake merchant's thugs squaring off against the silk merchant's goon squad, twice as much, if he hires out to both sides.
Venice Festival acting prize to Mifune.
"The best samurai film ever made… a treasure trove of attitude." J. Hoberman
first played at the Stanford Theatre Sep 12, 1998; last played Aug 2015
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.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Nov 30, 1944; last played Aug 2018
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 Feb 2018
Cary Grant (Roger Thornhill), Eva Marie Saint (Eve Kendall), James Mason (Philip Vandamm), Jessie Royce Landis (Clara Thornhill), Leo G. Carroll (Professor), Philip Ober (Lester Townsend), Josephine Hutchinson (Handsome Woman), Martin Landau (Leonard), Adam Williams (Valerian), Edward Platt (Victor Larrabee), Robert Ellenstein (Licht), Les Tremayne (Auctioneer).
In Hitchcock's most successful blending of romance and suspense, and one of Hollywood's most enduring classics, mild-mannered advertising executive Cary Grant answers the wrong page one afternoon and finds himself embroiled with spies, murderers, the FBI, and Eva Marie Saint — which only gives Hitchcock the chance to display some of his most extravagant fantasies, such as the crop dusting scene and the Mt. Rushmore climax.
"Cinema, approached in this way, becomes a truly abstract art, like music... It's obvious that the fantasy of the absurd is a key ingredient in your film-making formula." François Truffaut
"The fact is I practice absurdity quite religiously." Hitchcock
"Since that [crop-dusting] scene doesn't move the action forward, it's the kind of concept that would simply never occur to a screenwriter; only a director could dream up an idea like that." Truffaut
Hitchcock appears crossing the street.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Jan 24, 1990; last played Mar 2019
Cary Grant (Devlin), Ingrid Bergman (Alicia Huberman), Claude Rains (Alexander Sebastian), Louis Calhern (Paul Prescott), Leopoldine Konstantin (Mme. Sebastan), Reinhold Schunzel (Dr. Anderson), Moroni Olsen (Walter Beardsley), Ivan Triesault (Eric Mathis), Alexis Minotis (Joseph), Ricardo Costa (Dr. Barbosa), Eberhard Krumschmidt (Emil Hupka), Peter von Zerneck (Wilhelm Rosner), Friedrich von Ledebur (Mr. Knerr), Sir Charles Mendl (Commodore).
U.S. agent Cary Grant enlists the help of notorious party girl Ingrid Bergman to infiltrate a ring of Nazis in South America.
Notorious is without doubt one of the supreme creations of Hollywood's golden age. Many persons (including Truffaut) regard it as Hitchcock's greatest film, and it is a leading candidate for top rank among the films of Ingrid Bergman and of Cary Grant. In any case, it is one of the most popular films at the Stanford Theatre (topped only by Casablanca, Roman Holiday, and Sabrina).
first played at the Stanford Theatre Jan 5, 1947; last played Mar 2019
Harold Lloyd (Harold, the Boy), Mildred Davis (Mildred, the Girl), Noah Young (the Law), Bill Strother (Bill, the Pal), Westcott Clarke (the Floorwalker).
Dennis James at the mighty Wurlitzer.
In his most famous role, Harold scales a skyscraper (and winds up dangling from a clock) to win $1,000.
Safety Last has proven to be by far the most popular silent film at the Stanford Theatre. Thousands have seen it!
first played at the Stanford Theatre Jan 17, 1990; last played Jan 2012
Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Edgar Kennedy, Charley Rogers.
Dennis James at the mighty Wurlitzer.
first played at the Stanford Theatre May 5, 1929; first showing by the Stanford Theatre Foundation
Buster Keaton, Marion Mack, Glen Cavender, Jim Farley, Frederick Vroom, Charles Smith, Frank Barnes, Joseph Keaton, Mike Donlin, Tom Nawn.
Dennis James at the mighty Wurlitzer.
Confederate engineer Buster has his beloved train (and his girl) stolen by the Union Army.
Many people consider this film to be the greatest silent comedy of all time. Too sublime to be called merely a comedy, this film is an exquisite poetic creation.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Jan 18, 1990; last played Aug 2011
Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, James Finlayson.
Dennis James at the mighty Wurlitzer.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Apr 21, 1929; first showing by the Stanford Theatre Foundation
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
first played at the Stanford Theatre Sep 20, 1953; last played July 2019
w/d Luigi Commencini. ph Arturo Gallea. m Alessandro Cicognini. Titanus. 90 min.
Vittorio de Sica, Gina Lollobrigida, Marisa Merlini, Roberto Rossi.
The new sergeant of police in a rural village comes looking for a wife.
This Italian comedy's great popularity made an international star of Gina Lollobrigida, who soon found her way to the United States.
first played at the Stanford Theatre May, 1998; last played July 2019
Tyrone Power (Don Diego Vega), Basil Rathbone (Capt. Esteban Pasquale), Gail Sondergaard (Inez Quintero), J. Edward Bromberg (Don Luis Quintero), Linda Darnell (Lolita Quintero), Eugene Pallette (Fray Felipe), Montagu Love (Don Alejandro Vega), Janet Beecher (Señora Isabella Vega), Robert Lowery (Rodrigo), George Regas (Sgt. Gonzalez), Chris-Pin Martin (Turnkey), Belle Mitchell (Maria).
In this very successful sound version of the Fairbanks silent film, Tyrone Power, the consummate romantic swashbuckler, is a perfect Diego de Vega, cowardly fop by day, but dashing sword-fighting avenger by night.
Director Rouben Mamoulian showed that it is possible to create a remake of a great classic worthy of the original. This feat is remarkably rare.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Nov 27, 1940; last played Sep 2019
Ronald Colman, Elizabeth Allan, Edna May Oliver, Blanche Yurka, Reginald Owen, Basil Rathbone, Donald Woods, Walter Catlett, H.B. Warner, Isabel Jewell, Henry B. Walthall, Claude Gillingwater, Fritz Leiber, Lucill LaVerne, Tully Marshall, Billy Bevan, E.E. Clive.
This famous film version of Dickens' novel is widely regarded as Ronald Colman's masterpiece. Producer David O. Selznick's fidelity to the original and remarkable production values lend support to Colman's complex and deeply human portrayal of the disillusioned Sydney Carton, who finds fulfillment in dying for love: "It is a far, far better thing I do now than I have ever done."
first played at the Stanford Theatre Feb 13, 1936; last played June 2015
Rex Harrison (Prof. Henry Higgins), Audrey Hepburn (Eliza Doolittle), Stanley Holloway (Alfred P. Doolittle), Wilfrid Hyde White (Col. Hugh Pickering), Gladys Cooper (Mrs. Higgins), Jeremy Britt (Freddy Eynsford-Hill), Theodore Bikel (Zoltan Karpathy), Isobel Elson (Mrs. Eynsford-Hill), Mona Washbourne (Mrs. Pearce), Walter Burke (Main Bystander).
The film version of My Fair Lady (Best Picture of 1964) came nearly a decade after the Broadway musical. In the meantime, Lerner and Loewe created the music for Gigi. Although Audrey Hepburn had played Gigi on Broadway in 1952, she turned down the role in the 1958 film. Many people in 1964 thought that Julie Andrews should have played Eliza (as she did on Broadway). It may be a little hard to accept Audrey as a guttersnipe in the early scenes, but future generations will surely be grateful to rediscover in this film the most authentic fair lady of our age. The world will be grateful that Cukor's film preserves Rex Harrison in one of the great performances of the twentieth century.
first played at the Stanford Theatre Sep 8, 1990; last played July 2019
Tatsuya Nakadai, Akira Terao, Jinpachi Nezu, Daisuke Ryu.
Resting after a wild boar hunt among spectacular green mountainscapes, 16th century daimyo Tatsuya Nakadai decides to divide his domain among his three sons, instructing them with a parable: individually, three arrows can easily be broken; together, they are strong.
A giant battle between color-coded armies is fought solely to the great Toru Takemitsu's plaintive music, culminating in a single gunshot; an entire castle burns to the ground, as Nakadai's glassy-eyed Lord Hidetora staggers down its steep stone steps.
A decade-long dream (he had storyboarded the entire film in his own watercolors), Kurosawa's adaptation of Shakespeare's King Lear proved the master's flair for epic sweep and stylistic innovation undimmed at the age of 75.
Gorgeous new 35mm print, made from the original camera negative.
"Kurosawa's late-period masterpiece, transposing King Lear to period Japan, is one of the most exquisite spectacles ever made, a color-coordinated epic tragedy of carnage and betrayal — passionate, somber, and profound." New York magazine
"Spectacular… The wide-screen, color-coordinated battle scenes will blow your mind and must be seen in a theater. Don't ever think of watching Ran on a DVD or cellphone!." V.A. Musetto, New York Post
first played at the Stanford Theatre Mar 27, 2010; last played Mar 2010