The Brigham Young University Special Collections Motion Picture Archive Film Series will begin its 9th season with a diverse offering of classic American motion pictures during fall semester 2007.
“We’re beginning another year of presenting these rare prints of classic motion pictures to the BYU community as well as to those in the surrounding area,” said James D’Arc, curator. “What makes this series so important is that the films shown are projected from rare film prints, not video, in our large theatre located next to Special Collections on the first floor of the Harold B. Lee Library.”
All showings will be on Fridays at 7 p.m., with the exception of “Sergeants 3,” which will be shown at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 31. Admission to all screenings is free but is on a first-come, first-served basis.
The fall 2007 season begins Sept. 28 with a film of faith, “The Story of Ruth.” The 1960 adaptation by screenwriter Norman Corwin dramatizes the Biblical account of Ruth, the Moabitess, and Naomi, her mother-in-law, whom she took care of at the same time she made the God of Israel her God.
The film was produced and released by 20th Century Fox and will be presented in its original widescreen CinemaScope format. Henry Koster, director of the film, donated his original files to Special Collections in the early 1980s. As with all screenings in the series, this film will be accompanied by an introductory lecture by D’Arc.
The season continues Oct. 26 with the 1939 adventure tale “Gunga Din,” inspired by Rudyard Kipling’s poem. It stars Cary Grant, Victor McLaglen, Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and Sam Jaffe, who plays the title role of the Sikh tribesman who helps save a British regiment in India from a massacre by a ruthless death cult. Produced and directed by George Stevens, “Gunga Din” will be presented in its original uncut version.
“Sergeants 3,” another adaptation of “Gunga Din” filmed 23 years after the George Stevens original, will be shown on Oct. 31 as part of Utah Archives Month at BYU. This version is set in the American Westand stars Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Peter Lawford, Sammy Davis Jr. and Joey Bishop.
“Sergeants 3” was filmed in southern Utah and was directed by John Sturges. It has never appeared on video or DVD and has not been seen on television for more than 40 years.
Errol Flynn’s “Adventures of Don Juan,” a romantic comedy drama featuring an original score by Max Steiner, will be shown on Nov. 16. Steiner’s film scores also includes t” “Jezebel,” “Gone With the Wind,” “Casablanca ” and the original “King Kong.” Many of his papers, music and studio recordings are found in the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Film Music Archive.
“A Tree Grows in Brooklyn,” from the acclaimed novel by Betty Smith, which is still in print, and the first feature film directed by Elia Kazan, will be shown on Nov. 30. This film earned a special Academy Award for child actress Peggy Ann Garner’s performance.
The fall 2007 semester portion of the series will conclude on Dec. 7 with the 9thannual showing of “It’s A Wonderful Life,” starring James Stewart and Donna Reed. This original print was included in Stewart’s 1983 donation of papers, films, and memorabilia to BYU’s Special Collections Motion Picture Archive.
The Special Collections Motion Picture Archive Film Series is co-sponsored by the L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Friends of the Harold B. Lee Library and Dennis and Linda Gibson. All motion pictures come from the permanent collection in the vaults of the BYU Motion Picture Archive. A complete schedule of the film series can be found online at sc.lib.byu.edu. For more information, contact James D’Arc at (801) 422-6371.