The Theatre is funded in part with a Facility Operating Grant from the City of Salem’s Transient Occupancy Tax Funds


The Historic Elsinore Theatre and Chemeketa Community College

The Wednesday Evening Film Series


The Historic Elsinore Theatre, in partnership with the Chemeketa Community College Humanities Department & Film Studies Program, presents a program of classic movies.

Our spring 2015 series Classic Program begins April 15th with Alfred Hitchcock’s Spellbound.  It’s the first of three movies by great American directors about identity and purpose and finding one’s way.  Self-discovery is explored in these three films, first through psychoanalysis in Hitchcock’s suspense thriller, then fiery psychodrama in Elia Kazan’s East of Eden, and finally the regenerating, purifying chaos of screwball comedy in Preston Sturges’ The Palm Beach Story.

We are also presenting three terrific movies famously shot in our region of the world:  One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Bend of the River, and McCabe & Mrs. Miller.  The locations are Salem, Mt. Hood, and Vancouver, B.C. in our three-week mini-series entitled, Filmed in the Pacific Northwest: The Path of the Anti-hero.  Notable for much more than their location filming, each acclaimed movie introduces us to a nonconformist loner or misfit with a dark past –– yet harboring a latent civilizing impulse.  A former outlaw leading pioneers along the Oregon trail, a shady gambler with big business dreams, and a small-time convict with an “insanity” scheme are the fascinating heroes in these three movies, each of whom believes his fortune is looking up when he ventures into unfamiliar territory.  Program notes offering commentary are provided at the six sound-era Classic Program screenings.

The Silent Program will offer three movie evenings, beginning April 22nd with the first thriller made by the Master of Suspense, Alfred Hitchcock’s The LodgerSilent Program presentations feature the latest digital restorations from archival discoveries whenever possible and live musical accompaniment by Rick Parks on the “Mighty Wurlitzer Organ.”

Tickets are $5 each and can be purchased at the Historic Elsinore Theatre and at all Tickets West locations.  Phone 503.375.3574 for information.  Box office and doors open at 6:15 pm, movies start at 7:00 pm. 

Series Coordinator:  Robert Bibler, Chemeketa CC Film Studies Program
Silent Films Organist:  Rick Parks
Series Sponsor:  Illahe Vineyards
Sustaining Partner: 
Allied Video Productions  

April 15
7:00 pm   Spellbound 

(Alfred Hitchcock, USA, 1945)

A psychiatrist at a private clinic (Ingrid Bergman) is attracted to her mysterious, handsome new colleague, Dr. Edwards (Gregory Peck), even as his behavior becomes alarming.  Leaving the clinic together as lovers, the couple embark on a risky journey of discovery to restore Edwards’ mental stability.  In this romantic suspense thriller, Hitchcock imaginatively depicts the workings of the unconscious mind –– including a bizarre surrealist dream sequence designed for Hitch by Salvador Dali.  Hitchcock was working out psychosexual themes of attraction and self-destructive impulses that would lead to the twisted romantic relationships in Notorious and VertigoSpellbound is itself full of cinematic invention and narrative delight.  Nominated for six Oscars.  With Leo G. Carroll, Rhonda Fleming, and Michael Chekhov.  111 minutes.

“Absorbing tale…, Dali dream sequences, innovative (and Oscar-winning) Miklós Rózsa score [all] help Hitchcock create another unique film.”   ––Leonard Maltin’s Movie Guide

“Hitchcock decided to turn out ‘the first picture on psychoanalysis.’  But Spellbound is also a tale of suspense, and Hitchcock embellishes it with characteristically brilliant twists, like the infinite variety of parallel lines that etch their way through Peck’s mind.”  ––Time Out Film Guide

April 22
7:00 pm  The Lodger 

(Alfred Hitchcock, UK, 1927)

Hitchcock fans have waited for decades for this splendid 2009 restoration of The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog, regarded as the “first true Hitchcock film.”  As a “Jack-the-Ripper” serial killer stalks London, a stranger (Ivor Novello) takes up lodging in a boarding house, where a pretty blonde, Daisy, catches his eye.  Despite her engagement to a police officer, Daisy is drawn to the new lodger.  Key ingredients of suspense, moral transgression, suspicion, and guilt crucial to Hitchcock’s cinema begin with this film.  Color tinted.  Silent.  83 minutes.

“The director's first suspense thriller….  Look for Hitchcock's first cameo.”  –– Leonard Maltin

“Elements of German Expressionism help to create the mood of terror and guilt that [the director] casts over his characters. . . Hitchcock’s implication of the spectator as voyeur is already present in this first thriller.”  ––Museum of Modern Art Film Archive

April 29
7:00 pm  East of Eden

(Elia Kazan, USA, 1955)

Starring in only three movies, James Dean’s short career ended after Rebel without a Cause created a sensation and the young actor was killed in his Porsche on a California highway.  His few performances are a precious film record of an actor of legendary status, who has personified youthful confusion, alienation, and loneliness for several generations now.  Dean plays the soulful, rebellious Cal in East of Eden, an adaptation of John Steinbeck’s Genesis allegory about a rivalry between two teenage brothers for a girl (Julie Harris) and for the love of their stern father (Raymond Massey), set on the eve of WWI.  Director Elia Kazan’s gift for staging fiery psychodrama is matched by his eye for knockout widescreen framing.  Oscar nominations for Dean, Kazan, and scriptwriter Paul Osborn.  With wonderful performances by Burl Ives, Albert Dekker, and Jo Van Fleet in an Oscar-winning performance as the brothers’ absent mother, a brothel madam.  In color and widescreen.  118 minutes.

“Emotionally overwhelming… [It] affects today’s generation as much as those who witnessed Dean’s starring debut.”  ––Leonard Maltin

“An amazingly high-strung, feverishly poetic movie about Cain and Abel as American brothers living on a lettuce farm…just before the First World War.”  ––Pauline Kael, The New Yorker

May 6
7:00 pm  Piccadilly  

(E. A. Dupont, UK, 1929)

A young Chinese woman (Anna May Wong) working in the kitchen of London's posh Piccadilly Club is given the chance to become the main floor show act, but the spotlight triggers jealousy, forbidden love, and the obsessive attraction of the Club's owner (Jameson Thomas).  Famous for the performance of Wong (The Thief of Bagdad, Shanghai Express) as the beautiful exotic dancer and rising star of the upscale nightclub, Piccadilly is also notable for the camera movement, lighting, and sets that frame and evoke the erotic chemistry between the Club's characters and Wong –– cinema’s first female Asian American to become an international movie star.  Featuring Cyril Ritchard and Gilda Gray, plus Charles Laughton’s film debut as an angry diner and Ray Milland in a bit part.  Gorgeously tinted.  Restored by the British Film Institute.  108 minutes.

 “Dupont shows himself to be fascinated by the Chinese femme fatale portrayed by Anna May Wong, whom he surrounds with decadent glamour…  Dupont’s cinema is marked by his mastery of light and surface texture — the beauty of women’s faces and bodies, the effect of smoke or shadow — all captured with an admirably fluid camera.”

— Roy Armes, British film historian

“The melodramatic machinations of the plot may be weak, but Dupont’s assured direction, Alfred Jünge’s art direction, and Werner Brandes’ lighting create an atmosphere so hauntingly evocative as to be satisfying in itself.”  ––Time Out

May 13
7:00 pm  The Palm Beach Story 

(Preston Sturges, USA, 1942)

With her prideful husband’s architecture career on the rocks and frustrated in her attempts to help him, Claudette Colbert (It Happened One Night) sees divorce as a logical financial option.  Leaving behind husband Joel McCrea (The More the Merrier) and their Park Avenue apartment, penniless Colbert sets out on her own path, a journey of self-discovery that takes her south to Palm Beach, Florida, where millionaires bloom.  This masterful romantic comedy is classic screwball, and Colbert’s journey is a wild one, during which she tests her theory that her sexual allure is a blessing and a legitimate asset.  Sturges gleefully satirizes the idle rich and the excessively privileged, among them the soused and wildly inappropriate members of the Ale and Quail Club, who run amok on a passenger train.  Ingenious comedy, and it’s all beautifully photographed, with that Paramount glow.  Rudy Vallee, Mary Astor (The Maltese Falcon), and William Demarest.  90 minutes.

“A knowing satire on the driving forces of sex and money.  Hilarious, irresistible, impeccably cast.”  ––Time Out

“Hilarious screwball comedy, overflowing with Sturges’ madness.” – Leonard Maltin

“One of the giddiest and most chaotic of Preston Sturges’ satiric orgies….  Sturges’ comic invention soars…; it’s a joy…”  ––Pauline Kael

May 20
7:00 pm  The Gaucho 

(F. Richard Jones, USA, 1927)

Douglas Fairbanks plays the reckless El Gaucho, the charismatic leader of a band of outlaws, in this action-packed adventure film set in Argentina.  Drawn to the riches in the City of the Miracle, a colossal shrine carved into an Andes mountainside, he encounters a young girl (Geraine Greear) gifted with the power to heal.  When the shrine is threatened by a pack of bandits led by the sadistic General Ruiz, El Gaucho faces a moral dilemma.  96 minutes.

“Armed with a pistol, the requisite sword, and exotic Argentine bolas (which he hurls with remarkable skill, disabling his foes and, in one delightful scene, entwining himself for an especially intimate tango with Lupe Velez)…, the roguish gaucho becomes [an] unlikely savior in an adventure with as many dramatic peaks as the Andes themselves, lightened by raucous comedy and flavored with moments of haunting beauty.” ––Kino Films.

“Drop-dead breathtaking! Fairbanks' best film.” ––Village Voice, 1996.

June 10
7:00 pm  Bend of the River 

(Anthony Mann, USA, 1952)

Bend of the River is a gorgeous western, filmed in Oregon, and it features an extraordinarily intense starring performance by James Stewart.  Co-star Rock Hudson reportedly attended the Oregon premiere at the Elsinore.  Stewart was an expert horseman since childhood, and he made a critically acclaimed series of five westerns with director Anthony Mann.  They were shot on location in spectacular wilderness areas and were among the emerging new “psychological westerns” of the 1950s, which featured emotionally intense, troubled, morally flawed heroes.  In Bend of the River, Glyn McLintock (Stewart) strives to overcome his past as an outlaw and attempts to reform his old friend (Arthur Kennedy) as they guide a wagon train of trusting pioneers to the Oregon Territory.  In color.  91 minutes.

“Compelling Western of 1840’s Oregon, with bristling conflict between Stewart and Kennedy.”  ––Leonard Maltin

“A new Jimmy Stewart evolved [in these westerns]:  fierce, hot-tempered, imploding from demons, who had been glimpsed briefly in the nightmare sequences of It’s a Wonderful Life…”  ––Gerald Peary

June 17
7:00 pm  One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest 

(Milos Foreman, USA, 1975) 

Feigning a mental disorder to avoid a prison work detail, misfit R.P. McMurphy (Jack Nicholson) expects to enjoy a restful stay in a psychiatric ward.  Instead, he locks horns with the resolute Nurse Ratched (Louise Fletcher) and foments resistance amid the passive, medicated patients.  Set in Oregon in 1963, this highly acclaimed, international hit was filmed at the State Hospital on Center St., in Salem.  Nominated for nine Academy Awards, it won five Oscars and six Golden Globe Awards.  Nicholson’s powerhouse performance is matched by Fletcher’s controlled perfection as the authoritarian Ratched and by an amazing ensemble of character actors: Brad Dourif, William Redfield, Michael Berryman, Peter Brocco, Will Sampson, Danny DeVito, Christopher Lloyd, Scatman Crothers, and more.  Rated R.  In color and widescreen.  133 minutes.

 “Smashingly effective version of Ken Kesey’s novel about a rebel outcast…  Louise Fletcher gives a masterfully performance as Nurse Ratched.”  ––Pauline Kael

"Ken Kesey’s story is a triumph of the human spirit….  The first film since It Happened One Night to win all five top Oscars: Best Picture, Actor, Actress, Director, Screenplay.”  ––Leonard Maltin

June 24
7:00 pm  McCabe & Mrs. Miller 

(Robert Altman, USA, 1971)

In this landmark, unconventional Western, a stranger (Warren Beatty) rides into a muddy mining camp in the rainy NW wilderness and soon builds a gambling “House of Fortune.”  Reluctantly, he forms a business partnership with a visionary cockney prostitute (Julie Christie) to provide increased comfort, hygiene, and upscale services.  But his growing prosperity and the persistent frontier legends about his past bring trouble.  Director Altman shot the movie in sequence on a wooded location in West Vancouver, B.C., so we watch the town develop as his sets were being constructed.  And, as the filming progressed and winter approached, the changing seasons and weather became a genuine feature of the movie’s remarkable feeling and authenticity.  Photographed by the great Vilmos Zsigmond and accompanied by hauntingly beautiful songs by Leonard Cohen.  With Keith Carradine and Shelley Duvall.  Rated R for nudity, language, and violence.  In color and widescreen.   121 minutes.

“Robert Altman has made a dozen films that can be called great in one way or another, but one of them is perfect, and that one is McCabe & Mrs. Miller.”  ––Roger Ebert

“A beautiful pipe dream of a movie:  Robert Altman’s fleeting vision of what frontier life might have been…in the turn-of-the-century Northwest.  Delicate, richly textured, and unusually understated, this modern classic is not like any other film.”  ––Pauline Kael

The Film Studies program at Chemeketa Community College offers courses in film appreciation.  See the College website www.chemeketa.edu for further information.

Historic Elsinore Theatre
170 High St SE, Salem OR 97301  

All films at the Historic Elsinore Theatre.  Box office and doors open at 6:00 pm, movies begin at 7 pm.

Films subject to change.


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