At The New Beverly March 24 & 25: Two John Payne film noirs!

The New Beverly presents two overlooked and oft forgotten noirs from silver screen hunk John Payne’s repertoire.

Mentioning John Payne and Film Noir in the same sentence is virtually an oxymoron considering his main claim to fame is as the leading man to Alice Faye and Betty Grable in 1930s musicals, and playing opposite Maureen O’Hara in one of the most beloved Christmas films of all time, “Miracle on 34th Street”. And even though he was one of the most handsome men ever to grace the silver screen, Tyron Power and Robert Taylor often overshadowed Payne, leaving him less remembered than he deserves. Nevertheless, Payne’s films are always a pleasure to see, and here’s a chance to see two films unavailable on DVD projected on the big screen. You know, like they use to do in the old days.

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TCM Backs Campaign to Preserve Site of the Hollywood Sign

Turner Classic Movies is joining the effort to help raise awareness of  “Save Cahuenga Peak,” a campaign organized to preserve the surrounding area where the iconic Hollywood sign, known the world over, has rested for many years.

As some may remember, the whole mountainside where the famous sign stands was once part of a realty development known as Hollywood Land. Industrialist Howard Hughes purchased the surrounding land in 1940. Hughes had intended to build a home for movie star Ginger Rogers, whom he had planed to marry. Even though that relationship ended, Hughes kept the land, and it wasn’t until 2002 that his estate sold it to the investors who now own it. Those investors in turn placed the land on the market for $22 million, but have failed to attract a buyer. Currently, the area is zoned for four luxury home sites.

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Quentin Tarantino In-Person! Double Feature! Two Nights in a Row!

Quentin Tarantino will be appearing in person at the Egyptian Theatre Monday, February 8th to discuss one of his most popular films, “Pulp Fiction,” and this year’s Academy Award nominee for Best Picture, “Inglorious Basterds.”

Monday evening’s lineup starts at 6:00 PM with “Pulp Fiction”, Tarantino’s homage to the gritty crime fiction of the 1930s. Arguably the most audacious and exciting American film of the 1990’s, the movie’s cast includes John Travolta in a role that revived his entire career, catapulted him back into super-stardom, and saved him from ever having to do another “Guess Who’s Talking” sequel. Samuel L. Jackson is equally amazing as Travolta’s philosophical partner in crime, Uma Thurman proves to be a formidable femme fatal, and Bruce Willis gives a memorable performance playing an edgier version of his usual reluctant hero. Harvey Keitel, Eric Stolz, Maria de Medeiros, Tim Roth, Amanda Plummer, Christopher Walken and Ving Rhames round out the exceptional cast. Nearly as many questions have been raised about the plot of this film as there have been for the classic noir, “The Big Sleep”. Here’s your opportunity to get some answers straight from the director’s mouth.

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Arthur Hiller In Person at the Aero Theatre!

Known for a broad array of comedies, including incisive satires, stage adaptations, and action-filled farces with brilliant casts, director Arthur Hiller has proven to be one of Hollywood’s most reliable entertainers. Come join The American Cinematheque for a special two-night tribute featuring Hiller’s best known comedies.

First up, this Thursday, February 4th at 7:30 PM, the Aero is presenting a double feature starting with the 1979 version of “The In-Laws”. One of the laugh-out-loud funniest movies of the past 25 years stars Alan Arkin (a personal favorite) as a middle-class dentist who finds himself thrown together with delusional CIA agent Peter Falk (another favorite) when their children become engaged to each other. This is Arkin and Falk at their absolute best as they deliver the most ridiculous lines with absolute aplomb. The two are so great together it will make you wonder why they were never paired up again.

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Once Upon A Time: A Sergio Leone Retrospective at the Egyptian

In 1964, “A Fistful of Dollars” became a mega-hit, leading to a sequel, “For a Few Dollars More,” and the conclusion to the trilogy, “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.” These masterpieces and a few more are included in The American Cinematheque’s Sergio Leone retrospective at the Egyptian Theatre starting Thursday, January 28th. Each screening begins at 7:30PM.

Beginning this Thursday, the Leone retrospective kicks off with the double feature lineup of “A Fistful of Dollars” and “For a Few Dollars More”. When Leone remade Akira Kurosawa’s “Yojimbo” with Eastwood as a poncho-wearing, cheroot-chewing gunman, he wound up creating the most revolutionary Western of the 1960s and solidified the legendary status of one of Hollywood’s greatest idols. The sequel continued to follow the adventures of the Man-With-No-Name as Eastwood and super bad guy Lee Van Cleef play rival bounty hunters who end up tracking the same man.

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