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BYU Special Collections to once again offer classic film screenings

Now in its tenth year, the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Motion Picture Archive Film Series promises a diverse offering of classic films at Brigham Young University.

Screenings will take place in the Harold B. Lee Library auditorium on the library's first level. Each film begins at 7 p.m. Doors open 30 minutes prior to each screening. Admission is free and guests eight years of age and older are encouraged to arrive early to get a seat.

The shows in the series are motion picture prints of films — not video — that come directly from the collections of film directors, actors and producers. These rare film prints have not been manufactured for more than 30 years, said James V. D’Arc, Special Collections curator of arts.

“We’re here to share wonderful treasures in the L. Tom Perry Special Collections and to make them available to faculty, students and the general public,” D’Arc said. “Contrary to public opinion, these collections aren’t acquired to be locked up, rather, to be preserved for future generations and be reinvested into the intellectual and cultural community — to be used, appreciated, commented upon and written about.”

Prior to each screening, an introductory lecture will give moviegoers the context of each film and the historical significance behind its story and production. Items from Special Collections pertaining to each film will also be on display.

The films for this semester include:

• "Stagecoach" — Sept. 26 at 7 p.m. “Stagecoach” was the first of more than 40 films to be made in Utah’s Monument Valley. The copy of the film that will be shown belonged to producer Merian C. Cooper, whose papers are kept in Special Collections. Starring John Wayne and Claire Trevor. 1939.

• "Invaders From Mars" — Oct. 24 at 7 p.m. A cult classic, “Invaders From Mars” was one of the first films of the modern science fiction genre. Filled with paranoia, spaceships and giant green men, the film echoes growing concerns of the time surrounding the spread of communism. Starring Jimmy Hunt, Helena Carter and Arthur Franz. 1953.

• "The Charge of the Light Brigade" — Oct. 17 at 7 p.m. One of the most well-known adventure films of the 1930s, “The Charge of the Light Brigade” was among the first projects of celebrated film composer Max Steiner. In his honor, the film score has been re-recorded and will be released the evening of the screening. Starring Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland. 1936.

• "The Nun’s Story" — Nov. 21 at 7 p.m. A compelling portrayal of faith on film, Audrey Hepburn’s performance as a young nun striving for a career as a nurse earned her an Academy Award nomination. Starring Audrey Hepburn, Peter Finch, Edith Evans and Peggy Ashcroft. 1959.

• "The Bishop’s Wife" — Dec. 5 at 7 p.m. Robert Nathan’s 1928 novel is brought to life by director Henry Koster, whose collection is preserved in Special Collections. The music and papers of Academy Award-winning film composer Hugo Friedhofer, who wrote the score for this movie, are also in Special Collections. Starring Cary Grant, Loretta Young and David Niven. 1947.

For more information, contact Norm Gillespie at (801) 422-2985 or

Writer: Brady Toone

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