The Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention also doubles as a film festival, providing rare films you will not see anywhere else. After all, why go to a convention and watch movies that you can see at the convenience of your own home? In many cases the films we offer are being screened exclusively for MANC. Look over the schedule and make plans to enjoy some of these rare gems. And there will be late-night horror movies after Midnight!
This year we pay tribute to film noir, a style or genre of cinematographic film marked by a mood of pessimism, fatalism, and menace. Deadly females who smoked and drank, innocent children suffering in the slums, and private detectives who are forced to do the dirty work that drives them to drink. We also pay tribute to jazz, a music genre that originated in the African-American communities of New Orleans, having developed from blues and ragtime. This musical expression crept into a large number of movies during the 1950s and 1960s, all of which are worthy of viewing even if you are not a fan of the music.
Movie times are approximate.
All movies scheduled for screening are subject to change.
You are allowed to eat and drink in the movie room but we ask that you pick up any wrappers and garbage before you leave. Please exercise the same courtesy to your neighbors as you would in a major movie theater.
6 pm ROUTE 66, "The Clover Throne" (1961)
Tod and Buz, in Indio, California for lunch, meet a flirtatious young woman. The two end up working at her guardian's date farm. The guardian wants to marry his ward despite her indifference. Complicating the situation is a disputed highway paving project and one of the road crew workers who has an interest in the girl. Starring Martin Milner and George Maharis, with guests DeForest Kelly, Jack Warden and weekend guest Anne Helm.
7 pm THE WORLD OF SUZIE WONG (1960)
A businessman moves to Hong Kong to pursue a career as an artist and falls in love with a prostitute he hires as a model. Starring William Holden and weekend guest Nancy Kwan, this was 20-year old Kwan's first movie having been hired to replace France Nuyen in the title role of Suzie Wong after Nuyen "suffered a sudden case of pregnancy." William Holden reprised the role he played on Broadway. There is more romance in this movie than Casablanca and The Sound of Music combined. The location is beautifully captured, with background music embellishing the landscape. Yes, this is the kind of film you sit back after it is over and admit they do not make movies like this anymore.
9:15 pm KOJAK (1977)
Rarely screened on television these days, this detective program starring Telly Savalas as a bald, lollipop sucking police detective with a fiery righteous attitude remains among our favorites as he battles crime in his city. In the two-part episode, “Kojak’s Days” weekend guest Maud Adams stars in a major role. Kojak and his detectives try to identify the dead man found in the trunk of a Rolls Royce, while also searching for: 1) a woman who admits to killing her husband and plans to kill herself, 2) an armed youth who is on the streets looking for the pushers who've gotten his mother hooked, and 3) a prostitute who a religious fanatic accuses of accosting him.
11 pm VINTAGE SPOOKY CARTOONS
An hour of spooky cartoons from the 1930s and 1940s, with plenty o black bats, dancing skeletons and black cats. Ghosts that were designed to scare you but being cartoons are more funny than frightening.
12 MIDNIGHT ALL-NIGHT HORROR MOVIES
Titles to be announced
9 am LIL' ABNER (1940)
Starring Buster Keaton and Edgar Kennedy, this classic comedy is based on the newspaper strip of the same name, concerning the goings-on in the rural Southern community of Dogpatch, USA. The hero is Li'l Abner, a strapping big young man who eats "pork chops for' breakfast, pork chops for' dinner, and for' supper, mo' pork chops." To quote the opening song, "He's the biggest catch in Dog Patch." The entire plot revolves around the impending Sadie Hawkins race where eligible gals chase eligible guys to win husbands.
10:30 am SEND FOR PAUL TEMPLE (1946)
Keeping up with our annual tradition to screen one of the four Paul Temple movies, we are screening another! A gang has been executing a daring series of smash and grab robberies. A policeman on the case appears to commit suicide, but crime novelist and amateur sleuth, Paul Temple, suspects foul play. With the help of the victim's sister, reporter Louise Harvey (who uses the pseudonym "Steve Trent"), Paul sets about tracking down the notorious diamond robbers.
12 noon THE LONE WOLF RETURNS (1935)
Once a jewel thief always a jewel thief? Yes and no. Yes if you consider the fact that Michael Lanyard also known as the Lone Wolf, once retired from the "trade," but relapses back into his old habits when he is tempted by the emerald pendant of beautiful socialite Marcia Stewart. The trouble is that he falls for the belle and he soon gets more interested in getting the girl than the jewels that adorn her. What he wants now is to return the pendant but a rival gang interfere and force him to take part in a big-time caper. If you love those THIN MAN mystery-comedies, you will enjoy this gem, one of a series of classic B-mysteries.
1:30 pm DRAGNET (1953)
With Dragnet celebrating 70 years this June it seems only fitting that we pay tribute with the screening of rare black and white gems from the Golden Age of Television throughout the weekend -- episodes not available anywhere else! In this episode, "The Big Frank," a man is pulled from his car, beaten and robbed. The criminal apparently makes his escape in the man's car. Friday and Smith have to find him.
2 pm THE LIVING GHOST (1942)
In keeping with the old dark house movie theme this weekend we present this B-movie classic from poverty row. Wise-cracking ex-detective Nick Trayne is called in to try to find the whereabouts of wealthy kidnap victim Walter Craig. Craig unexpectedly turns up alive but with apparent brain damage, leaving him in a zombified state. Trayne and his perky assistant Billie Hilton have their work cut out for them as they must sift through a house-load of possible suspects to get at the culprit.
3 pm HAUNTED GOLD (1932)
Starring John Wayne in a very early starring role for his career. Here he plays John Mason, who returns to the Sally Ann mine to claim his half share. Janet Cater also returns although her father lost his half share to Joe Ryan. Ryan and his gang are also there to get the gold. A mysterious Phantom is also present. Mason's plan to expose Ryan as an outlaw and to force him to turn his share to Janet works. But when distracted by the Phantom, John is made a prisoner by the gang. An odd blend of old dark house and western -- and keep an eye out for the Maltese Falcon on display in one scene as a background prop!
4 pm THE MEANEST MAN IN THE WORLD (1943)
One of the rarely-seen Jack Benny movies and perhaps his last good one before the terrible HORN BLOWS AT MIDNIGHT fiasco. The beautiful Priscilla Lane plays the female lead and if you saw ARSENIC AND OLD LACE, you know she is more than capable of comedy. (FYI: There is a brief comedic scene that might be considered insensitive to a few people but the movie will be screened uncut and unedited.) Compassionate small-town lawyer Richard Clarke (plated by Jack Benny) moves to New York City to seek his fortune, but is unsuccessful until he takes a friend's advice and tries to convince the world he's a ruthless heel. Suddenly he's the most popular lawyer in town -- but he could lose his fiancée. Also in the cast is Edmund Gwenn and Eddie "Rochester" Anderson.
5:00 pm SANTA CLAUS CONQUERS THE MARTIANS (1964)
The Martians kidnap Santa Claus because there is nobody on Mars to give their children presents. In our annual tradition to play one ridiculous film that could be best defined as a "guilty pleasure," we offer this 80-minute color classic starring John Call in the title role. Actually, this is not a bad film... just a silly idea. But if your pill is looking back at an era when children in the 1950s and 1960s had heroes to aspire to, look no further. We will also have a Santa Claus roaming the hallways this weekend so remember to behave because he only rewards good little boys and girls.
6:30 pm TOBOR THE GREAT (1954)
As we had requests for 1950s science-fiction (and the type that young children would have ran to the theaters to watch) we offer this unique gem. A young boy-genius befriends his grandfather's robot, designed as a test pilot for space travel and coveted by foreign spies. In case you did not catch it... TOBOR is the name of the Robot (spelled backwards).
7 pm THE LIFE OF RILEY (1948 unaired TV pilot)
Before Jackie Gleason and William Bendix, there was an unaired TV pilot based on the radio program, The Life of Riley, with Lon Chaney, Jr. in the title role. Riley worked in an aircraft plant in California, but viewers usually saw him at home, cheerfully disrupting life with his malapropisms and ill timed intervention into minor problems. His stock answer to every turn of fate became a catch phrase: 'What a revoltin' development this is!"
7:30 pm NERO WOLFE (1958 unaired TV pilot)
Starring Kurt Kasznar and William Shatner as Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin. This unaired TV pilot (supposedly one of three but nothing has been found to verify more than one pilot) offers a modern take on the popular detective, with the mysterious death of a guided-missile scientist during a test launching at Cape Canaveral.
8 pm PAPER MOON (1973)
During the Great Depression, a con man finds himself saddled with a young girl who may or may not be his daughter, and the two forge an unlikely partnership. Paper Moon has to be one of the finest pieces of American cinema to grace the 70's. Peter Bogdanovich's direction bares a strong resemblance to The Last Picture Show, but overall this film is much more satisfying and enjoyable. The black and white photography gives the film a nostalgic beauty that perfectly complements the Depression-era it attempts to recreate. Also notable is the charming Jazz-based score, with a wonderful opening title track, reinforcing the film's charm. The entire success of Paper Moon relied upon the performance of weekend guest Tatum O’Neal, who won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, making Oscar history as the youngest person to win the Award.
10:00 pm MURDER BY THE CLOCK (1931)
An elderly woman installs a horn in her crypt in case she is buried alive. For those who love old dark house chillers, this is worth staying up late to see. The opening scene takes place in a murky old Gothic-style graveyard, then goes on into the tombs. Borderline horror with a cast of weird characters, an evil woman, strange happenings and in one scene a corpse disinterred to make certain she is really dead. Yeah, this is one you do not want to miss.
11:30 pm ALL-NIGHT HORROR MOVIES
Titles to be announced
9 am THE ADVENTURES OF BILL AND BOB (1920-1922)
For three years William Bradbury and Bob Bradbury Jr. starred in a series of fourteen silent comedies involving the boys' high adventures in the wilderness. Bob Bradbury Jr. later changed his name to Bob Steele and became a famous screen cowboy and stunt man. Thanks to Mr. Hardy of Grapevine Video, we are presenting three silent comedy shorts! (For more information, visit www.grapevinevideo.com.)
9:30 am DRAGNET (1953)
With Dragnet celebrating 70 years this June it seems only fitting that we pay tribute with the screening of rare black and white gems from the Golden Age of Television throughout the weekend -- episodes not available anywhere else! In this episode, "The Big Barrette," Friday and Smith have considerable physical evidence but very few genuine leads to help them solve the mysterious beating death of a well-liked young woman.
10 am DANIEL BOONE (1967)
Frontier hero Daniel Boone (played by Fess Parker) conducts surveys and expeditions around Boonesborough, running into both friendly and hostile Indians, just before and during the Revolutionary War. In this third season episode, “When I Became a Man, I Put Away Childish Things,” Israel's pet fawn Rosebud is growing up. She destroys the new pastor's crops. Israel builds a pen but she escapes. Daniel says she is too tame to set free but too wild for a pet. Israel has trouble accepting this and runs away with Rosebud. Israel Boone is played by weekend guest Darby Hinton.
11 am THELMA TODD COMEDY FILM SHORTS
Three classic film short comedies starring Thelma Todd and Patsy Kelly. Determined to find the female equivalent of "The Boys," Roach paired Thelma Todd (already under contract and a veteran of several Chase shorts) with comic actress ZaSu Pitts. Thelma and ZaSu appeared in 17 shorts between 1931 and 1933 that were very popular with moviegoers, but their fruitful partnership ended when Pitts and Roach failed to come to terms on a new contract. In "Backs to Nature" (1933), the girls go camping in the woods. In "Air Fright" (1933), the girls are air hostesses during a flight to test an experimental parachute. And in "Babes in the Goods" (1934), the girls get locked in a department store overnight... the last one is hilarious!
12 noon THE WRECKING CREW (1968)
The last of the Dean Martin - Matt Helm movies, co-starring weekend guest Nancy Kwan. If anyone watched Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood this summer, they no doubt watched Sharon Tate visit the movie theater to see her performance on The Wrecking Crew, and Nancy Kwan on the big screen. Here is your chance to watch that very movie. The count has stolen enough gold to cause a financial crisis in the world markets so I.C.E. sends in ace spy Matt Helm to stop him. As Matt works alone, the British send in Freya to aid Matt, but it seems that Freya causes more problems than she solves.
2 pm CAPTAIN FATHOM (1955)
While traveling in enemy waters, Captain Fathom and his crew detect an anomalous reading of radioactivity. The submariners investigate and discover a huge bomb lying on the ocean bottom. While Fathom fastens an explosive to destroy the atomic device, his ship is attacked by an enemy submarine. He orders the vessel to flee leaving the Captain and his team of scuba divers behind with a dwindling supply of oxygen in their tanks. This unaired TV pilot starring Don Megowan and Kenneth Tobey never sold but years later became the subject of a lawsuit when Cambria Studios, Inc., filed a lawsuit against Hanna-Barbara claiming their unaired (and practically unseen) CAPTAIN FATHOM was "plagiarism and misappropriation of trade secrets" for the JONNY QUEST series. Naturally, we know the suit was invalid but nonetheless secured an injunction from the courts (only momentarily) which caused JONNY QUEST not to get renewed for a second season. For fans of the TV series, you can check out the unsold CAPTAIN FATHOM pilot for your amusement...
2:30 pm THE PHANTOM (1961)
The unaired TV pilot based on Lee Falk's "The Phantom" stars Roger Kreed in the title role, with support from Lon Chaney, Jr., Paulette Goddard, Reginald Denny and Richard Kiel. The Phantom, along with canine companion Devil, investigate wicked doings at the plantation of Mrs. Harris. If you never heard of actor Roger Kreed, neither did we. (We had to look him up.) Seems he was a stunt man who played supporting roles but when you think about it, having a stunt man play the title character in an action film based on a newspaper strip is brilliant. (Kreed was Bob Hope's stunt man and took a fall to his death towards the end of Cecil B. Demille's The Ten Commandments.
3 pm THE LIEUTENANT, "The Art of Discipline" (1963)
If you have never seen this series, we highly recommend it. This was Gene Roddenberry's baby before Star Trek and the scripts are top-notch. The program concerns the trials of a young U.S. Marine Lieutenant and his comrades at Camp Pendleton. In this episode, Rice is given a difficult unit to command after the previous commander failed to meet his objectives. Rice tries to turn the unit around by raising morale but his own commanding officer questions his techniques. Stars Gary Lockwood, Robert Vaughn and weekend guest Anne Helm.
4 pm TARZAN (1968)
Starring Ron Ely as the vine-swinging hero, this weekly television program is rarely-seen on television today. This episode, “Leopard on the Loose,” stars weekend guest Russ Tamblyn. A young man's plan to get back home by selling a rare Jaguar backfires, placing himself, Jai and Tarzan in grave danger.
5 pm ON AGAIN, OFF AGAIN (1937)
One of many Wheeler and Woolsey comedies. Bert Wheeler and Robert Woolsey were tremendously popular, competing against The Marx Brothers, but would soon be overshadowed by Abbott and Costello. To be fair, Wheeler and Woolsey's prime expired in late 1934 when the Code took effect and their inappropriate one-liners were not allowed on the big screen. In this movie, the wacky vaudeville-style romp casts the irreverent comedy team as feuding co-owners of a drug company. Historically, Robert Woolsey was in constant pain during the filming due to a severe kidney ailment that eventually took his life in late 1938, so keep an eye out and you will see his discomfort on the screen.
6 pm CORKY OF GASOLINE ALLEY (1951)
In the second of two Gasoline Alley movies, Elwood Martin, a brash extrovert with an aversion to work come to live with Walt Wallet and his wife, Phyllis. He blunders about their house, and the diner owned by Corky Wallet and the fix-it shop belonging to Skeezix Wallet, creating havoc at every stop. Corky and his kid sister, Judy Wallet decide the only way to save the Wallet family from bankruptcy and insanity is to persuade the free-loading Elwood to move on. The latter then fakes an injured back.
7:30 pm DRAGNET (1954)
With Dragnet celebrating 70 years this June it seems only fitting that we pay tribute with the screening of rare black and white gems from the Golden Age of Television throughout the weekend -- episodes not available anywhere else! In this episode, "The Big Rod," A pregnant woman is run down by teens out joyriding leaving Sgt Friday and his fellow officer Smith to track down those responsible. They find that kids are uncooperative, refusing to inform on their friends. Features Michael Ansara in the cast!
8 pm THE LODGER (1944)
Starring Laird Cregar. In late Victorian London, Jack the Ripper has been killing and maiming actresses in the night. The Burtons are forced to take in a lodger due to financial hardship. He seems like a nice young man, but Mrs. Burton suspects him of being the ripper because of some mysterious and suspicious habits, and fears for her beautiful actress niece who lives with them.
9:30 pm INNER SANCTUM (1948)
A man fleeing the police after having committed a murder hides out in a boarding house in a small town. This low-budget film from M.R.S. Pictures was produced after Universal finished production of six Lon Chaney Jr. movies of the same name. As Simon & Schuster was publishing a monthly mystery novel under the "Inner Sanctum Mystery" byline, the low-budget studio took advantage of the opportunity to cash in on the popular radio horror program of the same name. (Note the radio microphone on the poster art.) This mystery is worth watching if you plan to stay up late and enjoy some creepy movies!
11 pm THE TELL-TALE HEART (1934)
A young man is driven mad by his obsession with the repulsive diseased eye of the old man who cares for him. This British obscurity has been a much sought-after horror film by fans for decades. (You can thank Sinister Cinema for providing us with the opportunity to see this film.) The acting at times is a bit crude and stilted, but what shines is the use of close-ups to amplify the feelings of brooding horror. There are some great shots throughout the film, especially in the final minutes when it becomes apparent that madness is overwhelming Dryden, who does his melodramatic best as the killer. Kelt, as the old man, sports a pretty scary-looking eye, the grisliness of which is often shown in close-up. It's a pretty grisly moment when he's dug up from under the floorboards! This film was released stateside as Bucket of Blood, the print we will be showing for those who love horror Holy Grails.
12 MIDNIGHT ALL-NIGHT HORROR MOVIES
Titles to be announced
9 am VINTAGE ANIMATED CARTOONS
A full hour of vintage cartoons just like you remember watching on Saturday mornings. From Mighty Mouse to Popeye, the Sailor, black and white and color cartoons with a few surprises in between!
10 am THE DEADLINE (1931)
If you love classic black and white Westerns, we have a grand one for you starring Buck Jones. On parole from prison for a murder he did not commit, and not allowed to carry a gun, Buck sets out to find the real killer. His clue is a corner torn off a wanted poster with some handwriting on it.
11 am MELODY RANCH (1940)
Harkening back to the days of Saturday Matinee we present two cowboy westerns for a classic Saturday Matinee. With a longer-than-usual running time on original release and sold to the exhibitors as a "Gene Autry Special," which the movie studio would do once a year from 1939-1943, comes this above-average Gene Autry classic. Jimmy Durante and Ann Miller star in this western with Gene returning to his hometown of Torpedo as guest of honor at the Frontier Days Celebration. Once there, he encounters his childhood enemies, the Wildhack brothers (Barton MacLane, Joe Sawyer and Horace MacMahon in pecking order), now the local gangsters.
12:30 pm MAN WITH A CAMERA (1958)
Stars Charles Bronson as a former combat cameraman named Mike Kovac, now a freelance photographer in New York City, specializing in difficult and dangerous assignments where he can get the kinds of pictures that other photographers cannot, or will not take. He sometimes gets help, often reluctantly, from his contact in the police department, Lt. Donovan, and advice from his immigrant father Anton. In this episode, “Closeup on Violence,” Kovac takes a crowd shot at a fire scene, inadvertently recording the daughter of an aged mobster (played by Angie Dickinson), hiding out in a tough neighborhood. The old man is being protected by a gang of young hoods, or so he thinks.
1 pm EDGAR KENNEDY COMEDIES
Continuing our annual tradition of screening three Edgar Kennedy comedy classics... In Tramp Trouble (1937), while driving in town Edgar almost runs over a tramp. Feeling sorry for him, he brings the man home with him to help him get back on his feet. The tramp soon pretty much takes over the whole house--and not only that, but he starts getting all of his tramp friends over to "visit." In Maid to Order (1939), Father-in-law Billy Franey discovers the letter that Edgar has written to a matrimonial agency in an effort to marry him off and get rid of the father-in-law. To get even, the old man slips Edgar's picture in it! In Taint Legal (1940),
Edgar is over-joyed when told he has won a $5,000 prize in a "How To Be Happy Though Married" contest. A reporter interviews Edgar and his wife Vivien who tell him about their engagement and elopement. That is when Vivien's father tells them that according to a law he has found in a law-book, they aren't legally married!
2:00 pm DRAGNET (1955)
With Dragnet celebrating 70 years this June it seems only fitting that we pay tribute with the screening of rare black and white gems from the Golden Age of Television throughout the weekend -- episodes not available anywhere else! In this episode, "The Big Family," An executive leaves a suicide note in his car with a pistol, two bullets spent and no trace of the body. Friday and Smith working Homicide, Missing Persons Detail, begin their search for the man.
2:30 pm THE BATTLING ORIOLES (1924)
For those of you who support the Baltimore Orioles, this one is a novelty. A silent 1924 movie (running time is a little less than an hour) about the once-famous and scrappy Battling Orioles baseball team, whose members are now rich, old, and grouchy and belong to the National Club. Their president, "Cappy" Wolfe, discovers barber Tommy Roosevelt Tucker to be a son of a former Oriole and invites him to come to the city and work in the club. Jubilant because his sweetheart, Hope Stanton, is also in the city, Tommy tries to cheer up the old fellows. He only incurs their wrath, but the group rises to the Battling Orioles tradition in order to help Tommy rescue Hope from her Uncle Sid Stanton, who is trying to involve her in a confidence scheme. The film opens with some excellent comedy depicting baseball as it was played in 1870, and film buffs who are curious to see his Hal Roach silent comedy will be pleased to know four of the Our Gang kids (a.k.a. The Little Rascals) make an appearance!
We will be screening a newly-restored print transfer with custom music score!
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