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Actor Alan Ladd's son to speak at BYU screening of 1958's "The Proud Rebel" Feb. 14

David Ladd won Golden Globe for his performance as Alan Ladd's son

David Ladd, son of veteran Hollywood star Alan Ladd, will speak at a screening of “The Proud Rebel,” filmed in Utah in 1958, at Brigham Young University’s Harold B. Lee Library auditorium Friday, Feb. 14, at 7 p.m.

Doors open at 6 p.m. and admission is free, but seating is limited. Children ages 8 and over are welcome. No food or drink is permitted in the auditorium.

“The Proud Rebel,” filmed in Technicolor and directed by the famed Michael Curtiz (“Casablanca”), stars Alan Ladd and Olivia de Havilland, and introduces to the screen Ladd’s 10-year-old son David, playing his real-life father’s son.

“We are honored to host David Ladd’s visit from Hollywood to share his memories of appearing with his father in ‘The Proud Rebel’ that was filmed entirely in southern Utah near Kanab and Cedar City,” said James D’Arc, curator of the BYU Motion Picture Archive and host of the film series. “Mr. Ladd has enjoyed a very busy career as an actor and later as a film executive at Columbia Pictures and at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.”

The setting for “The Proud Rebel” is post-Civil War Illinois when ex-Confederate soldier John Chandler (Alan Ladd) arrives in a small town in search of a doctor to help his young son David (David Ladd), who is mute as a result of having seen his mother killed during the Battle of Atlanta. There they meet Linnett Moore (de Havilland), a single rancher who is threatened by Harry Burleigh (Dean Jagger), a vicious neighbor who wants her land to expand his growing sheep herd.

“Nobody in this business is going to make a better picture,” wrote the Hollywood Reporter “than ‘The Proud Rebel.’ It’s the best, by many lengths, that Alan Ladd has had since ‘Shane,’ and for our money it’s even better than ‘Shane.’” The New York Times singled out young David, saying he “is not only extremely likable but also projects movingly and with surprising naturalness and fidelity the helplessness of the mute.”

David Ladd’s performance was so impressive that the Hollywood Foreign Press Associated presented him with its prestigious Golden Globe award for 1958. 

Thursday night’s screening is part of the ongoing BYU Motion Picture Archive Film Series, now in its 15th season, co-sponsored by the L. Tom Perry Special Collections, the Friends of the Harold B. Lee Library and Dennis and Linda Gibson.

For details, contact James D’Arc, curator, BYU Motion Picture Archive, (801) 422-6371,  james_darc@byu.edu.

Writer: Brett Lee

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