GRAND HOTEL
1932, Warner Bros., 113 min, USA, Dir: Edmund Goulding

Director Edmund Goulding orchestrates a dazzling parade of iconographic stars and intersecting subplots. Ballerina Greta Garbo, aristocrat John Barrymore, secretary Joan Crawford and cutthroat mogul Wallace Beery are just a few of the legends who make their way through this classic ensemble drama, a film whose influence can be seen in later films by Robert Altman and P.T. Anderson, among many others. Cedric Gibbons’ stunning Art Deco art direction gives the players an opulent setting for their personal melodramas.


TRUE CONFESSION
1937, Universal, 85 min, USA, Dir: Wesley Ruggles

Director Wesley Ruggles helmed this rarely screened screwball comedy. Pathological liar Carole Lombard tries to boost the career of her scrupulously honest (and thus unsuccessful) lawyer husband (Fred MacMurray) by confessing to a murder so he can defend her. John Barrymore is an egotistical opportunist who tries to blackmail her, with hilarious results. “Lombard is in full command of her daffy talent, dominating a number of long, virtuoso takes. One scene with slow-burning cop Edgar Kennedy is like a master class in comic timing.” – Dan Callahan, Slant Magazine


THE BELOVED ROGUE
1927, 99 min, Dir: Alan Crosland

Based on the life of poet François Villon, this silent is set in William Cameron Menzies’ fantastic vision of 15th-century Paris and is packed with adventure and laughs. Star John Barrymore described Villon as a “poet, pickpocket, patriot - loving France earnestly, French women excessively, and French wine exclusively.” With Conrad Veidt as King Louis XI.


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