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Thursday, February 24, 2011

saturday classics at the Loew's Jersey landmark

Saturday, February 26 - 6 pm
The Big Sleep
Starring Humphrey Bogart & Lauren Bacall.
Directed by Howard Hawks.  (1946, 114 mins.)

One of the most popular noir films and most influential detective movies ever made, The Big Sleep nevertheless has one of the most convoluted scripts of any movie made in classic Hollywood. Director Howard Hawks literally blew past red herrings and possible dead ends by letting dialogue and action spill out so fast that there is barely time to acknowledge, never mind contemplate, a new plot twist. But Hawks did slow down to let the audience fully appreciate the erotic innuendo in the repartee between Bogart's Philip Marlowe and Bacall's Mrs. Rutledge -- performances that were made palpable by the couple's real-life relationship. This was cutting edge stuff for a Hollywood still under the Production Code. It's the combination of this razor sharp sexual edge with the disquieting murky mystery that gives the film its distinctly hot yet cold, dream/nightmare feeling.

Saturday, February 26 - 8:30 pm
Dark Passage
Starring Humphrey Bogart & Lauren Bacall.
Directed by Delmar Davis.  1947, 107 mins.
A well constructed Film Noir that is one of the most darkly seductive but seldom revived pairings of Bogart & Bacall. Bogart is a man wrongly accused of his wife's murder who undergoes plastic surgery to conceal his identity. Bacall, more vulnerable here than in other roles, is a lonely heiress who shelters Bogie -- and falls for him -- while he tries to find his wife's real killer. The film makes great use not only of its stars' real life  chemistry but also of its San Francisco setting. The Bay Area's hills and winding roads, world-famous bridges and even prison proximity are integral to the story, while the city's mixture of affluence and squalor, misfits and money men give texture to the shadowy atmosphere. The supporting cast more than hold their own, and Director Delmar Davis makes great use of the tight, efficient script. The opening scenes filmed from Bogart's perspective are especially effective, adding a distinct, perhaps even Hitchcock-ian feel. Don't miss this rare chance to see this noir gem on the Big Screen.