The Stanford Theatre

Summer 2022

Exactly thirty-five years ago, in July of 1987, the Packard Foundation rented the Stanford Theatre and presented two weeks of non-stop Fred Astaire. The great dancer had just died, and we wanted people to have a chance to experience him in a real movie theatre. Some said that watching films in a real theatre was pointless because everybody could see them on television. But our 1175-seat theatre was nearly sold out for two solid weeks. Many people came every night, and we got 700 fan letters. This persuaded us to buy the theatre and make the celebration permanent. Fred Astaire is why the Stanford Theatre still exists.

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 in case this schedule isn't quite up-to-date! Programs are subject to change. For information, call (650) 324-3700.

March 2, 2020 – July 8, 2022: closed for plague
July 9 – 10:
The Gay Divorcee (1934) 3:45, 7:30
d Mark Sandrich. w George Marion, Jr., Dorothy Yost, Edward Kaufman. ph David Abel. md Max Steiner. RKO. 107 min.

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

Top Hat (1935) 5:40, 9:25
d Mark Sandrich. w Dwight Taylor, Allan Scott. ph David Abel. m Irving Berlin. RKO. 99 min.

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 Ray
first played at the Stanford Theatre Oct 2, 1935; last played July 2018
July 11 – 13: closed

July 14 – 15:
It Started With Eve (1941) 7:30
d Henry Koster. w Norman Krasna, Leo Townsend. ph Rudolph Maté. m Hans J. Salter. Universal. 90 min.

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

One Hundred Men and a Girl (1937) 5:55. 9:15
d Henry Koster. w Bruce Manning, Charles Kenyon & Hans Kraly. ph Joseph Valentine. Universal. 84 min.

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

July 16 – 17:
"With the coming of the Second World War, many eyes in imprisoned Europe turned hopefully, or desperately, toward the freedom of the Americas. Lisbon became the great embarkation point. But not everybody could get to Lisbon directly; and so, a tortuous, round-about refugee trail sprang up: Paris to Marseilles, across the Mediterranean to Oran, then by train, or auto, or foot, across the rim of Africa to Casablanca in French Morocco. Here the fortunate ones, through money, or influence, or luck, might obtain exit visas and scurry to Lisbon, and from Lisbon to the New World. But the others wait in Casablanca... and wait... and wait... and wait."
Casablanca (1942) 3:50, 7:30
d Michael Curtiz. w Julius J. Epstein, Philip G. Epstein, Howard Koch, from the play Everybody Comes to Rick's by Murray Burnett & Joan Alison. m Max Steiner. ph Arthur Edeson. Warner Bros. 102 min.

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>

"I was born when she kissed me; I died when she left me; I lived a few weeks while she loved me."
In a Lonely Place (1950) 5:45, 9:25
d Nicholas Ray. w Andrew Solt, from the novel by Dorothy B. Hughes. ph Burnett Guffey. m George Antheil. Columbia/Santana. 93 min.

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

July 18 – 20: closed

July 21 – 22:
The Miracle of Morgan's Creek (1943) 7:30
w/d Preston Sturges. ph John Seitz. m Leo Shuken, Charles Bradshaw. Paramount. 99 min.

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

"If you can't sleep, it isn't the coffee, it's the bunk."
Christmas in July (1940) 6:10, 9:20
w/d Preston Sturges. ph Victor Milner. m Sigmund Krumgold. Paramount. 67 min.

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

July 23 – 24:
To Sir, With Love (1967) 3:35, 7:30
w/d James Clavell, from the novel by E.R. Braithwaite. ph Paul Beeson. m Ron Grainer. Columbia. 105 min.

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

"They call me Mister Tibbs!"
In the Heat of the Night (1967) 5:30, 9:25
d Norman Jewison. w Sterling Silliphant. ph Haskell Wexler. m Quincy Jones. United Artists. 109 min.

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

July 25 – 27: closed

July 28 – 29:
"That's a secret private world you're looking into out there. People do a lot of things in private they couldn't possibly explain in public."
Rear Window (1954) 7:30
d Alfred Hitchcock. w John Michael Hayes, from the novel It Had to be Murder by Cornell Woolrich. ph Robert Burks. m Franz Waxman. Paramount. 112 min.

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

"Well, it's better than anything we have back in Portland, Oregon."
To Catch a Thief (1955) 5:35, 9:35
d Alfred Hitchcock. w John Michael Hayes. ph Robert Burks. m Lyn Murray. Paramount. 103 min.

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

July 30 – 31:
"And there was a man of no particular title who took care of a small pool in the garden for a goldfish named George."
Sabrina (1954) 3:45, 7:30
d Billy Wilder. w Billy Wilder, Samuel Taylor, & Ernest Lehman, from the play Sabrina Fair by Samuel Taylor. ph Charles Lang, Jr. m Frederick Hollander. Paramount. 113 min.

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

"What is time? The Swiss manufacture it. The French hoard it. Italians squander it. Americans say it is money. Hindus say it does not exist. Do you know what I say? I say time is a crook."
Beat the Devil (1954) 5:50, 9:35
d John Huston. w John Huston & Truman Capote, from the novel by James Helvick. ph Oswald Morris. m Franco Mannino. Santana-Romulus/United Artists. 93 min.

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

August 1 – 3: closed

August 4 – 5:
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1945) 7:30
d Elia Kazan. w Tess Slesinger & Frank Davis, from the novel by Betty Smith. ph Leon Shamroy. m Alfred Newman. 20th Century-Fox. 128 min.

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

The Curse of the Cat People (1944) 6:05, 9:50
p Val Lewton. d Robert Wise & Gunther V. Fritsch. w DeWitt Bodeen. ph Nicholas Musuraca. m Roy Webb. RKO. 70 min.

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

August 6 – 7:
"Meet me in St. Louis, Louis, meet me at the fair..."
Meet Me in St. Louis (1944) 3:30, 7:30
d Vincente Minnelli. w Irving Brecher & Fred F. Finklehoff, from stories by Sally Benson. ph George Folsey. songs Hugh Martin & Ralph Blane MGM. 113 min.

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

"We're off to see..."
The Wizard of Oz (1939) 5:35, 9:35
d Victor Fleming & King Vidor. w Noel Langley, Florence Ryerson, Edgar Allan Wolfe, from the book by L. Frank Baum. ph Harold Rosson. songs E. Y. Harburg & Harold Arlen. MGM. 102 min.

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

August 8 – 10: closed

August 11 – 12:
High Noon (1952) 7:30
d Fred Zinnemann. w Carl Foreman, from The Tin Star by John W. Cunningham. ph Floyd Crosby. m Dimitri Tiomkin. Republic / United Artists. 85 min.

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

"Those women must be mad!"
"I don't know... They love their men."

Morocco (1930) 5:45, 9:05
d Josef von Sternberg. w Jules Furthman, from the novel Amy Jolly by Benno Vigny. ph Lee Garmes & Lucien Ballard. m Karl Hajos. Paramount. 97 min.

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

August 13 – 14:
"It's all right, Tracy. We all go a little haywire at times — and if we don't, maybe we ought to."
The Philadelphia Story (1940) 3:25, 7:30
d George Cukor. w Donald Ogden Stewart & Waldo Salt, from the play by Philip Barry. ph Joseph Ruttenberg. m Franz Waxman. MGM. 112 min.

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

Dinner at Eight (1933) 5:30, 9:35
d George Cukor. w Frances Marion & Herman J. Mankiewicz, from the play by George S. Kaufman and Edna Ferber. ph William Daniels. m William Axt. MGM. 109 min.

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

August 15 – 17 closed

August 18 – 19:
"They have no bananas?
Yes, they have no bananas."

Only Angels Have Wings (1939) 7:30
d Howard Hawks. w Jules Furthman. ph Joseph Walker, Elmer Dyer. m Dimitri Tiomkin. Columbia. 121 min.

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

The Talk of the Town (1942) 5:20, 9:45
d George Stevens. w Irwin Shaw & Sidney Buchman, based on a story by Sidney Harmon. ph Ted Tetzlaff. m Frederick Hollander. Columbia. 118 min.

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

August 20 – 21:
The Hidden Fortress [Kakushi Toride No San-Akunin] (1958) 3:00, 7:30
d Akira Kurosawa. w Ryuzo Kikushima, Hideo Oguni, Shinobu Hashimoto. ph Ichio Yamazaki. m Masaru Sato. Toho. 123 min.

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

"You can't get ahead in this world unless folks think you're both a cheat and a killer"
Yojimbo (1961) 5:30, 10:00
d Akira Kurosawa. w Ryuzo Kikushuma, Akira Kurosawa. ph Kazuo Miyagawa. m Masuru Sato. Toho. 110 min.

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

August 22 – 24: closed

August 25 – 26:
"I shall never forget the weekend Laura died. A silver sun burned through the sky like a huge magnifying glass. It was the hottest Sunday in my recollection. I felt as if I were the only human being left in New York. For Laura's horrible death, I was alone. I, Waldo Lydecker, was the only one who really knew her. And I had just begun to write Laura's story when another of those detectives came to see me."
Laura (1944) 7:30
d Otto Preminger. w Jay Drattler, Samuel Hoffenstein, Betty Reinhardt, from the novel by Vera Caspary. ph Joseph La Shelle. m David Raksin. 20th Century-Fox. 87 min.

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

"It took more than one man to change my name to Shanghai Lily."
Shanghai Express (1932) 5:45, 9:10
d Josef von Sternberg. w Jules Furthman. ph Lee Garmes. m W. Franke Harling. Paramount. 84 min.

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

August 27 – 28:
"Tell me, what do you do — besides lure men to their doom on the Twentieth Century Limited?"
North by Northwest (1959) 3:05, 7:30
d Alfred Hitchcock. w Ernest Lehman. ph Robert Burks. m Bernard Herrmann. MGM. 136 min.

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

"He dislikes you. But his criticism of your talents wouldn't go that far — to imagine that you are married to an American agent. You are protected by the enormity of your stupidity."
Notorious (1946) 5:35, 10:00
d Alfred Hitchcock. w Ben Hecht. ph Ted Tetzlaff. m Roy Webb RKO. 101 min.

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

August 29 – 31: closed

September 1:
Safety Last (1923) 7:30
d Sam Taylor, Fred Newmeyer. w Harold Lloyd, Sam Taylor, Tim Whelan, Hal Roach. ph Walter Lundin. Hal Roach Studios. 7 reels, 70 min.

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

also: Two Tars (1928)
d James Parrot. w Leo McCarey, H. M. Walker. Hal Roach. 2 reels, 20 min.

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

September 2:
The General (1926) 7:30
d Buster Keaton, Clyde Bruckman. w Al Boasberg, Charles Smith. ph J. Devereux Jennings, Bert Haines. United Artists / Buster Keaton. 80 min.

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

also: Big Business (1929)
d James W. Horne. w Leo McCarey, H.M. Walker. Hal Roach. 2 reels, 20 min.

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

September 3 – 4:
"Rome, by all means, Rome. I will cherish my visit here in memory as long as I live."
Roman Holiday (1953) 3:40, 7:30
d William Wyler. w Ian McLellan Hunter (Dalton Trumbo), John Dighton. ph Franz Planer, Henri Alekan. Paramount. 118 min.

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

Pane, Amore, e Fantasia [Bread, Love, and Dreams] (1953) 5:50, 9:40

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

September 5 – 7: closed

September 8 – 9:
"A toast, señores: To California, where a man can only marry, raise fat children, and watch his vineyards grow."
The Mark of Zorro (1940) 7:30
d Rouben Mamoulian. w John Taintor Foote, Garrett Fort, Bess Meredith. ph Arthur Miller. m Alfred Newman. 20th Century-Fox. 94 min.

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

A Tale of Two Cities (1935) 5:45, 9:50
d Jack Conway, Val Lewton, Jacques Tourneur. w W.P. Lipscomb & S.N. Behrman, adapted from the novel by Charles Dickens. ph Oliver T. Marsh. m Herbert Stothart. MGM. 121 min.

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

September 10 – 11:
"With blackest moss the flower pots were thickly crusted, one and all."
My Fair Lady (1964) 3:00, 7:30
d George Cukor. w Alan Jay Lerner, from the play Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw. ph Harry Stradling. m Frederick Loewe. Warner Bros. 175 min.

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

September 12 – 14: closed

September 15 – 16:
Ran [Chaos] (1985) 7:30
d Akira Kurosawa. w Akira Kurosawa, Hideo Oguni. ph Asakazu Nakai, Takao Saito, Shoji Ueda. m Toru Takemitsu. 162 min.

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