Programmed by Antonia Glaser and Alfredo Fee
In a film that would eulogize a bygone moment of carefree tenderness in American history, Hollywood most iconically brought Burt Lancaster and Montgomery Clift together to star beneath the gaze of a single camera lens. From Here to Eternity would later win countless awards for its portrayal of the final days of peace before the outbreak of World War II but it would also remain a singular crossroads and spectacular overlap between the highly decorated careers of both stars, a grandstanding achievement of vision shared by the two of them. Perhaps not the most obvious of on-screen pairings, Burt Lancaster and Montgomery Clift nonetheless left an indelible print on cinema history with their vast and varied roles as well as nuanced performances, demonstrating a crucial contribution to the art of acting consistent throughout their lavishly decorated careers. Known for his "tough guy" demeanor and wide acting range, Burt Lancaster was an actor of legendary status within the scope of classic Hollywood cinema. Montgomery Clift, likewise, drew upon this aura of masculinity alongside his often times fragile and complex evocations of human sensitivity. In this retrospective, containing some of their finest works, both Lancaster and Clift prove their abilities to deliver complex and subtle performances, while also revealing their propensities for involvement in such exemplary and diverse films. Doc Films is proud to screen the best of the best, including The Swimmer, A Place in the Sun, Sweet Smell of Success and many, many more. These are the roles that made these actors not merely idols, but legends as well, a celebration of movie magic at its finest.
(Robert Siodmak, 1946) · Expanding on Ernest Hemingway's short story of the same name, this progenitor of the film noir's shadowy visual style uses the murder of a boxer by two hitmen as a narrative springboard, but an insurance investigator's examination of the dead man's troubled past soon takes center stage. Making his cinematic debut as our deceased protagonist, known simply as "The Swede," Burt Lancaster is radiant opposite Ava Gardner, the deceitful femme fatale par excellence.
runtime: 105m format: 35mm
(Willliam Wyler, 1949) · In a bravado of passion, Olivia De Havilland stuns as the eponymous heiress, delivering a subtle performance as the lovestruck and "unattractive" Catherine Sloper. Opposite her, Montgomery Clift stars as her loving suitor who her domineering and protective father thinks is a greedy fortune hunter. Standing tenderly upon a rampart of befallen hope, love and affection spring forth as the crumpled leaves of avarice and ambition circle round Catherine's uncertain happiness.
runtime: 115m format: 35mm
(Louis Malle, 1980) · Scene: a decaying city, lit by neon casino marquees amidst the ocean fog. Burt Lancaster is Lou, a has-been mobster who thinks he can talk the talk but has never really walked the walk. Cocaine, stolen from the mob, crops up and havoc ensues. Surprises pop out in every dead-end alleyway, a brown Cadillac, deserted boardwalk, and back-room poker game. The film garnered a Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival and six Academy Award nominations.
runtime: 104m format: 35mm
(Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1959) · Based on Tennessee Williams' play, Suddenly, Last Summer entraps, within its wilt of paradise, mankind's predatory heart. Dr. Cukrowicz (Montgomery Clift) visits wealthy Violet's (Katharine Hepburn) home to evaluate her niece, Catherine (Elizabeth Taylor). Overhead looms Catherine's troubled past and the mysterious death of her cousin, Sebastian, the summer before, an event whose truth drives Violet to violently seek her niece's lobotomy as its horror eclipses the present.
runtime: 114m format: 35mm
(Fred Zinnemann, 1953) · "To the legion of the lost ones, to the cohort of the damned... God ha' mercy on such as we" -Rudyard Kipling. Documenting the last days of peace, love and relaxation on Pearl Harbor before the outbreak of World War II, From Here To Eternity stars Montgomery Clift and Burt Lancaster as soldiers stationed at the base, and follows their searches for meaning and fulfillment before the impending war. A testament to the world's dutiful moments of clarity amidst chaos, it is a must-see for all.
runtime: 118m format: 35mm
(Frank Perry, 1968) · Burt Lancaster plays Ned Merrill, an earnest and virile middle-aged man who wakes up one day and decides to swim all the pools in his Connecticut suburb in a quixotic attempt to "swim home." In this underrated classic, Frank Perry reimagines John Cheever's twelve-page riff on The Odyssey as a modern American epic, a tragicomedy of the suburbs with a touch of the surreal. Both Lancaster and Roger Ebert considered The Swimmer to be the actor's greatest performance.
runtime: 95m format: 35mm
(George Stevens, 1951) · Elizabeth Taylor, as society gal Angela Vickers, never looked more breathtaking than here alongside Montgomery Clift as Clyde Griffith, who shares with us the aspirations and internal conflicts of a striving lower-class kid after the American dream. Shelley Winters is the factory girl in love who could "ruin" everything. And Raymond Burr is the prosecutor who demands a conviction. Winner of six Academy Awards, A Place in the Sun cements itself among the best of Hollywood.
runtime: 122m format: 35mm
(Alexander Mackendrick, 1957) · Candidly fierce, Burt Lancaster stars as the sly and controlling J.J. Hunsecker, a ruthless newspaper columnist whose words dismantle reputations at the brush of a pen. Lancaster's performance breaks electric alongside that of Tony Curtis, his bloodsucking underling, when both undertake the destruction of Hunsecker's sister's love interest. With a script crackling with brittle sharpness, extortion and breakneck dialogue, Sweet Smell of Success is an outstanding spectacle.
runtime: 96m format: 35mm
(Alfred Hitchcock, 1953) · Beneath a cathedral's tapestry, Alfred Hitchcock fearlessly draws the curtain of this dramatic thriller. Montgomery Clift stars as Father Logan, an honorable priest caught between the spur of both gallows and high heaven as he stands accused of a murder he did not commit yet one whose confession he has heard. Bound by heaven, and now fellow man, Logan's dilemna between the priestly sacrament of confession and his lost freedom is a communion of both spilled blood and sanctity.
runtime: 95m format: 35mm