RON MILLER FILM LECTURE SERIES

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RON MILLER FILM LECTURE SERIES


Semiahmoo is thrilled to have Ron Miller join us for a Film Lecture Series this winter. Ron was a nationally syndicated newspaper TV columnist from 1977 to 1999. He is the former national president of the Television Critics Association. Ron is also the author of four books, including Mystery! A Celebration (1996), the official companion book for PBS's Mystery! television series. His newest book is Conversations with Legendary Television Stars (2019).

7:00pm to 9:00pm | Discovery Theater

Wednesday, January 22 | When Rivals Meet, Part One
The first program in our series is the first of two that tell the story of what happened when great stars the public considered as career rivals finally met in the same movie. Featured tonight: singers Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland and Deanna Durbin, Gene Autry and Roy Rogers, silent screen comics Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton, Olympic swimming stars and former movie Tarzans Johnny Weissmuller and Buster Crabbe, and action heroes John Wayne and Randolph Scott.

Wednesday, January 29 | When Rivals Meet, Part Two
Another round of examples of rival stars who finally met on screen: dancers Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly, movie monsters Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff, screen gangsters James Cagney and George Raft, bombshells Jane Russell and Marilyn Monroe, drama kings and double Oscar winners Fredric March and Spencer Tracy, and drama divas Bette Davis and Joan Crawford.

Wednesday, February 5 | The Strange Career of Louise Brooks
Those who saw the recent Masterpiece Theatre drama The Chaperone about the youthful rise of beautiful teenager Louise "Lulu" Brooks to worldwide silent screen stardom should enjoy seeing the rest of her story. We'll follow her early Hollywood films, followed by her immortal German classics Pandora's Box and Diary of A Lost Girl, and finally her decline after returning to Hollywood in the talkie era, ending her career as leading lady to John Wayne in a cheap 1936 "B" movie western.

Wednesday, February 12 | Actors of Character
Ron showcases the work of the screen's great characters actors, best remembered for their supporting roles. Among them: Walter Brennan, Thomas Mitchell, Jane Darwell and many he talked with in person, like Andy Devine, Iris Adrian, John Lithgow, Barnard Hughes, Keye Luke, Lou Gossett Jr., Norman Lloyd, Karl Malden and Mary Steenburgen.

Wednesday, February 19 | America at War: World War One
One of today's most talked about current films is 1917, a drama about World War One, which just won the Golden Globe for Best Film of 2019. Tonight's program covers a wide variety of films about the First World War, made over a span of nearly 90 years, among them the silent classics The Big Parade, Lilac Time, Shoulder Arms, The Strong Man and Wings and such unforgettable sound films as All Quiet on the Western Front, Hell's Angels, Sergeant York, The African Queen, Paths of Glory, Flyboys, War Horse and They Shall Not Grow Old.

Wednesday, February 26 | Blacklisted!
The post-war era in which Senator Joseph McCarthy and the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) tried to root out the communists in Hollywood is now regarded as one of the darkest periods in film history. Tonight we show some of the work done by major filmmakers both before and after they were blacklisted, including members of the notorious Hollywood Ten that Ron met and talked with in their later years. With scenes from Blockade, Five Came Back, Sahara, Naked City, Never on Sunday, Rififi, Born Free, Spartacus, and many more.

Wednesday, March 4 | Films from the Forbidden Zone
Controversial films have rattled the movie industry ever since the silent days, prompting waves of censorship of various kinds. Tonight's program examines films originally reviled by some, but are widely regarded as classics today. Featured are the grotesque 1930s horror movie Freaks, which was banned in England for a generation, the scandalous Story of Temple Drake, based on William Faulkner's best-seller Sanctuary, the Czech film Ecstasy, which introduced actress Hedy Lamarr, Howard Hughes' oft-banned western The Outlaw, which introduced Jane Russell, Otto Preminger's comedy The Moon is Blue, which earned a "condemned" rating from the Catholic Legion of Decency, and the grim independent films Native Son, Christ in Concrete and Salt of the Earth, which were attacked as communist propaganda in their day.


Wednesday, March 18 | Saluting Kirk Douglas
Host Ron Miller presents a special program as a tribute to actor Kirk Douglas, who died in February at the age of 103. The two-hour program will include scenes from Douglas' first film, The Strange Love of Martha Ivers, and scenes from his many classic films, including Spartacus, Lonely Are the Brave, Ace in the Hole, The Bad and the Beautiful, The War Wagon, Lust for Life, The Man From Snowy River, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and It's All in the Family. Miller will also include anecdotes from his 1984 interview with Douglas, conducted during Miller's time as a nationally syndicated entertainment writer.

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