Spring 2013 Series
From Courage to Inspiration
April 15, 2013 – June 10, 2013
Everybody loves a winner, and even more so when that person is able to steel himself/herself, stare down adversity, and come out on top. The mindset of the protagonists in these movies is similar to that of American Revolution naval hero John Paul Jones who, when taunted by the captain of a superior force about surrendering, famously said (at least according to his first lieutenant), "I have not yet begun to fight."
These men and women aren't candidates for sainthood but neither are they inherently bad. Fate has been extremely unkind to them (or someone close to them) and they realize that sacrifice and a relentless will to succeed must be constants in their lives. It's time to match their physical and mental strengths and sense of what's right against challenges that are nothing if not formidable.
The struggles promise to be rich in lessons in humanity.
(1957, colour, 115 min., PG)
Cary Grant, Deborah Kerr
A romantic screen classic in which debonair Grant meets an attractive lady aboard ship. Both are involved with others but their undeniable love makes them promise to meet in six months. A tragic accident prevents the rendezvous and the future looks bleak … or is it?
Director: Leo McCarey.
(1939, 109 min., PG)
Henry Fonda, Alice Brady
A film foreshadowing Lincoln’s later greatness. He’s a homespun young lawyer dealing with serio-comic incidents in small town life which soon explode in the splendour of the celebrated final sequence: Lincoln setting out to scale unseen heights against the gloom of a gathering storm. Poetic.
Director: John Ford.
(1952, colour, 117 min., PG)
Susan Hayward, David Wayne
The true story of ’40s singer Jane Froman, badly injured in a wartime plane crash, who attempts to revive her career from a wheelchair. Froman herself dubs the songs for the feisty Hayward. Robert Wagner has a small part which launched his career.
Director: Walter Lang.
(1935, 128 min., PG)
Ronald Colman, Elizabeth Allan
The best screen version of the famed Dickens novel. When a lady is a victim of the French Revolution, a cynical lawyer springs into action, aiding victims of the Reign of Terror, and sparking love. Haunting, dark photography adds mood, and supporting performances are all standouts. An immediate blockbuster.
Director: Jack Conway.
(1954, colour, 108 min., PG)
Rock Hudson, Jane Wyman
An arrogant wastrel chooses to abandon his youthful indiscretions to devote his life to restoring the eyesight of a woman he accidentally blinded. The junky novel (Lloyd C. Douglas is the guilty party) is here transformed into a glossy, meticulously crafted romance. Hudson’s breakout movie.
Director: Douglas Sirk.
(1959, colour, 117 min., PG)
Danny Kaye, Barbara Bel Geddes, Louis Armstrong
The musical biopic of jazz great Red Nichols. The Dixieland cornetist finds time to raise a family but tragedy strikes when his daughter contracts polio. Nichols puts down his horn to earn steady money as a shipyard worker to pay the heavy expenses. Satchmo has a larger-than-normal part.
Director: Melville Shavelson.
(1942, 128 min., PG)
Ronald Colman, Greer Garson
A touching romantic melodrama. Colman emerges from WWI an amnesiac. He wanders from the asylum and a showgirl takes him in. Their romance ends in marriage but an accident causes him to recover his memory as an industrial scion, forgetting about life with the new wife. Happy ending, anyone?
Director: Mervyn LeRoy.
(1969, colour, 116 min., PG)
Maggie Smith, Gordon Jackson
An inspirational, controversial teacher at an exclusive girls’ school in the ’30s finds her unorthodox methods place her career in jeopardy. Romantic entanglements and a student betrayer complicate her life. An Oscar-winning showcase for Smith.
Director: Ronald Neame.
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