News Column

Early Films Featuring Airplanes, Deanna Durbin to Be Shown on Mount Pony

May 31, 2013


May 31--Celebrate the life, love and laughter of the late soprano-actress Deanna Durbin (1931-2013) at Saturday night's free showing of her four-time Oscar-nominated "Spring Parade" (Universal, 1940) on the big screen in the Library of Congress Packard Campus Theater on Mount Pony.

The classic black & white romantic musical comedy will show from a brand new print made on the Packard Campus just months ago and screened only once at David Packard's Stanford Theater in Palo Alto, Calif. The film stars Canadian-born Durbin, who died April 30 in France, where she lived since 1950 just outside of Paris. Durbin was 91.

Her obituary in the L.A. Times described the musical actress as a "singing starlet with the bubbly personality and the jewel-tone voice." In her 12-year Hollywood career, Durbin acted in one short and 21 feature films.

She was "the perfect girl next door," the UK's Guardian said.

In "Spring Parade," Durbin plays a Hungarian woman destined for good fortune in love. She stars alongside the eternally youthful Robert Cummings with who she appeared in three films.

"Spring Parade" earned Oscar nods for its cinematography and music earning nominations for Best Original Song ("Waltzing in the Clouds" by Robert Stolz and Gus Kahn), Best Musical Score and Best Sound Recording.

The movie screens at 7:30.

Other highlights of the free June film series on the Packard Campus include a special program June 6, "Accidentally and Intentionally Preserved: A Showcase of Newly Preserved Silent Shorts from Archives Around the World." The presentation will include an evening of short movies including selections starring the famous French singer Mistinguett, who headlined the Moulin Rouge. Andrew Simpson, Ben Model and Phil Carli will provide live musical accompaniment for this most unique cultural offering.

Showing June 8 in the State Theatre is Buster Keaton's classic "Sherlock Jr." (Metro, 1924), another must-see silent with live music to boot. There is a $10 admission to see this LOC print in the newly renovated Main Street venue.

June 13 back in the Packard Campus Theater it's Spencer Tracy and Elizabeth Taylor in "Father of the Bride" (MGM, 1950), a romantic comedy about the details of nuptials. The movie screens as part of the LOC's nod to the traditional months for weddings as part of a lovely series, "Another Bride, Another June." Other films involving tying the knot will include Rob Reiner's "The Princess Bride" (20th Century Fox, 1987) showing June 20 and the ABBA musical "Mama Mia" (Universal, 2008) screening June 21.

The Packard Campus flies high with early aviation in June as well with a special presentation June 15 by writer, educator and filmmaker Paul Glenshaw featuring "The First Aviation Documentary -- the Wright Brothers and the First Military Airplane" about that famous first flight at Fort Meyer in July, 1909.

Coming Soon:

Saturday "Spring Parade" (Universal, 1940)

June 6 "Accidentally and Intentionally Preserved: A Showcase of Newly Preserved Silent Shorts from Archives Around the World" (Various silent shorts, 1920s) with live musical accompaniment

June 7 "The Family Secret" (Universal, 1924), silent with live musical accompaniment

June 8 "Sherlock Jr." (Metro, 1924) at the State Theatre

June 8 "Pauline at the Beach" (Orion, 1983)

June 13 "Father of the Bride" (MGM, 1950)

June 14 "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" (Paramount, 1989)

June 15 "The First Aviation Documentary -- the Wright Brothers and the First Military Airplane"

June 20 "The Princess Bride" (20th Century Fox, 1987)

June 21 "MAMMA MIA!" (Universal, 2008)

June 22 "The Rocketeer" (Disney/Buena Vista, 1991), 2 p.m.

June 27 "The Bride Came C.O.D." (Warner Bros, 1941)

June 28 "Feminine Visions: TV Women of the 50s and 60s"

June 29 A 1933 Universal Double Feature: "The Kiss Before the Mirror" and "Her First Mate"

The Packard Campus Theater is located inside the Library of Congress National Audio Visual Conservation Center at 19053 Mount Pony Rd. All shows are free and show at 7:30 p.m., unless otherwise noted. Make reservations up to one week in advance during business hours Mon-Fri at (540) 827-1079 ext. 79994. Reservations are held until 10 minutes before show time.


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