Repertory Series

Perspectives On World War II
Thursday, April 5 - Wednesday, April 11, 2007

A recent batch of terrific films has brough one of history's most indelible wars into the foreground once again. With Clint Eastwood's Oscar nominated LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA and FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS as our touchstone, the Brattle explores a wide range of perspectives on World War II - from pre-war coyness (THE LADY VANISHES) to battleground survival (TWELVE O'CLOCK HIGH) to post-war corruption (THE GOOD GERMAN). Traversing a number of decades, this series provides not only the perspective of history but also the perspectives of different outlooks on the war - and yet, it only scratches the surface as it includes only Americanized viewpoints. During this time of a much-questioned war, it is important to remember the scars and implications of even the most justified of conflicts.

Film Descriptions, Dates & Showtimes

Thursday, April 5 at 7:00

Double Feature w/A Foreign Affair
The Good German
(2006) dir Steven Soderbergh George Clooney, Toby Maguire, Cate Blanchett [105 min]
Soderbergh continues his cinematic experimentation with this lush, black and white neo-noir set just after WWII during the Allied occupation of Berlin. Shot exclusively with film technology available in the 1940s, Soderbergh crafts a typically 40s story of love and betrayal in the ruins of Berlin but infuses it with a very contemporary sensibility. Definitely a film to be seen on the big screen.

Thursday, April 5 at 4:30, 9:15

Double Feature w/The Good German
A Foreign Affair
(1948) dir Billy Wilder Jean Arthur, Marlene Dietrich, John Lund [116 min]
Billy Wilder returned to his home city of Berlin to shoot this postwar story about a US congresswoman (Arthur) sent to Germany to look into the conditions of the US occupiers. While there, she enlists army Captain Pringle (Lund) to investigate a lounge singer (Dietrich) who, rumor has it, is a kept woman of a US officer - unaware that Pringle is the officer in question. Lightly told but with the bite of irony, A FOREIGN AFFAIR remains both a terrific romantic comedy and a fascinating document of post-war Berlin.

Friday, April 6 at 7:00 & Saturday, April 7 at 1:30, 7:00

Double Feature w/Letters From Iwo Jima
Flags Of Our Fathers
(2006) dir Clint Eastwood Ryan Phillippe, Jesse Bradford, Adam Beach, John Benjamin Hickey, Barry Pepper, Jamie Bell, Paul Walker, Robert Patrick, Neal McDonough [132 min]
Talk about perspective! Clint Eastwood turned in two films last year that mirror each other across one of the deciding battles of WWII. In FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS, Eastwood explores the story behind one of the iconic images of the war - the raising of the American flag at the battleground of Iwo Jima. Early on in a battle that was to take many hundred lives on both sides, 6 soldiers erectthe flag and become symbolic heroes of the war.

Friday, April 6 & Saturday, April 7 at 4:00, 9:30

Double Feature w/Flags Of Our Fathers
Letters From Iwo Jima
(2006) dir Clint Eastwood Ken Wantanabe, Kazunari Ninomiya, Tsuyoshi Ihara, Ryo Kase [142 min]
Lauded as one of Eastwood's best films as a director, LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA bravely takes the point of view of the Japanese army as they face the all-out onslaught of the American forces during the battle for Iwo Jima. Told primarily from the perspective of the commanding officer, General Kuribayashi (Watanabe), and of a lowly cook (Ninomiya), LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA gives a view of WWII rarely seen by American audiences.

Sunday, April 8 at 5:00 only*

The Dirty Dozen
*We regret that, due to the unavailability of a film print, THE DIRTY DOZEN will be screened from DVD at 5:00pm only. We are pleased to offer screenings of an archival print of the great WWII adventure film, THE GREAT ESCAPE at 2:00 and 8:00pm instead.

(1967) dir Robert Aldrich Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine, Charles Bronson, Jim Brown, John Cassavetes, Richard Jaeckel, George Kennedy, Trini Lopez, Robert Ryan, Telly Savalas, Donald Sutherland [145 min]
By the 1960s, Hollywood had clearly come to terms with the aftermath of WWII to the extent that they felt it was time to make some good, old-fashioned action-adventure movies out of the subject and THE DIRTY DOZEN is one of the best. Prototypically tough-as-nails Major Reisman (Marvin) is put in charge of a dozen men who are deemed expendable by the top brass - in fact they are all accused of crimes that will either win them the death penalty or life in prison - and is instructed to ready them for a suicide mission against a chateau packed with top ranking Nazis.

Sunday, April 8 at 2:00 & 8:00

The Great Escape
*We regret that, due to the unavailability of a film print, THE DIRTY DOZEN will be screened from DVD at 5:00pm only. We are pleased to offer screenings of an archival print of the great WWII adventure film, THE GREAT ESCAPE at 2:00 and 8:00pm instead.

(1963) dir John Sturges w/Steve McQueen, James Garner, Richard Attenborough, James Donald, Charles Bronson, Donald Pleasence, James Coburn [168 min]
THE GREAT ESCAPE is based on the true story of a group of Allied prisoners of war who attempt an escape from an allegedly impenetrable Nazi prison camp. At the beginning of the film, the Nazis gather all their most devious and troublesome POWs and place them in a new prison camp, designed to be impervious to escapes. Of course, the prisoners immediately develop a scheme where they will leave the camp by building three separate escape tunnels. Attenborough plays the British soldier who masterminds the whole plan, and who commands his motley squad - including Bronson as a Polish trench-digging expert, Garner as an American with a talent for theft, Pleasence as a masterful forger, and McQueen as an American with a rebellious spirit - through the construction of the tunnels and, eventually, their escape. An epic adventure film, THE GREAT ESCAPE features a rousing Elmer Bernstein score and exciting action sequences - including a notorious motorcycle chase between McQueen and the Nazis - the likes of which had never been seen before in Hollywood productions. - adapted from the All Movie Guide

Monday, April 9 at 8:00, 10:00

The Lady Vanishes
(1938) dir Alfred Hitchcock Margaret Lockwood, Michael Redgrave, Paul Lukas, Dame May Whitty [97 min]
Hitchcock made several films that flirted with issues raised by World War II, not the least of which being this terrific pre-war comedy-thriller. A mismatched British couple on a train trying to make it through an unnamed Eastern European country (a thinly veiled Nazi Germany) try to unravel the fate of a sweet old woman who has mysteriously vanished mid-trip. Some extremely witty writing and the undeniable chemistry between the leads aid Hitchcock in creating this indelible romantic comedy.

Tuesday, April 10 at 5:00, 8:00

All Through The Night
(1942) dir Vincent Sherman Humphrey Bogart, Conrad Veigt, Kaaren Verne, Jane Darwell [107 min]
It's no secret that Hollywood was quickly enlisted into the war effort by pumping out propaganda films that would keep the American public engaged in the conflict. ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT is one of the quirkier entries in this group of films. Only months after donning his signature trenchcoat in Casablanca, Humphrey Bogart was drafted into this somewhat daffy film about a gangster fighting Nazi saboteurs in Manhattan after he discovers they are responsible for the death of his favorite cheesecake baker.

Plays with a short program of WWII propaganda cartoons from the Brattle archive. [approx 30 min]

Wednesday, April 11 at 7:00 • Double Feature w/Stalag 17

Twelve O'Clock High
(1949) dir Henry King Gregory Peck, Hugh Marlowe, Gary Merrill, Millard Mitchell [132 min]
Among the more intense dramas based during WWII, TWELVE O'CLOCK HIGH tells the story of a squad of pilots low on morale after suffering many losses in the skies over Germany. Enter General Frank Savage (Peck), a no-nonsense officer who is charged with making the unit once again combat ready. While real-life newsreel footage is spliced in for the air combat scenes, it is the human story that drives this classic film forward. With a particularly intense performance by Peck, this film balances real emotion and the message of maintaining determination in the face of great loss - as the world was trying to do post-War.

Wednesday, April 11 at 4:30, 9:30

Double Feature w/Twelve O'Clock High
Stalag 17
(1953) dir Billy Wilder William Hoden, Don Taylor, Otto Preminger, Robert Strauss [120 min]
Another "men-under-stress" picture, this one from a different viewpoint, as it presents us with an almost film noir tale about the practicality of surviving in a German POW camp. Featuring Holden as a deal-making US prisoner who is accused by his fellow Americans of being a spy for the German guards. In order to prove his innocence, and protect the life of an American saboteur, he must root out the real spy before time runs out. 2

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