North West Theatre Company Film Club is proud to be screening a double-header of two famous films at Sunday’s monthly Film Club offering. This will be the treat of the year, according to Film Club President John Wearne. “Both these films are exceptional in their own right”, he told the Advocate.
“At a Film Festival earlier this year featuring 26 of David Stratton’s favourite films of all time, 106 hardened film buffs voted ‘12 Angry Men’ and ‘The Kid’ first and second from within a showcase of famous films. Make no mistake – this will be a highlight of the year for the Film Club”, he added.
Screening first, and running for 68 minutes, is “The Kid” – probably the most famous silent movie of them all. Made in 1921, it stars Charlie Chaplin, was directed by Charlie Chaplin, produced by Charlie Chaplin, edited by Charlie Chaplin, with the music (composed in 1971 and presumably dubbed in) by – you guessed it – Charlie Chaplin. And we thought Rick Hutton was versatile!
The film also launched a stellar career for Jackie Coogan – at that stage a vaudeville performer , and made him the first major child star in the movies. In the film he plays Chaplin’s adopted son and sidekick to perfection.
This was Chaplin’s first full-length movie, and was a huge success, being the second-highest grossing movie of 1921 behind ‘The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse’. In 2011, ‘The Kid’ was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being ‘culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant’.
This classic is to be followed by ‘12 Angry Men’ – initially produced for US television in 1954 from the pen of Reginald Rose. It was such a success that it was adapted to film in 1957 and directed by Sidney Lumet in his first feature film.
The film tells the story of a jury made up of 12 men as they deliberate the guilt or acquittal of a defendant on the basis of reasonable doubt. In the United States (both then and now) the verdict in most criminal trials must be unanimous one way or the other.
The film deals with the efforts of one juror – Juror 8 , played by Henry Fonda – to persuade the other 11 to more closely consider the circumstances of the case.
This makes for gripping viewing, and the cast is a who’s-who of actors in the 50’s – Fonda, Lee J Cobb, Edward G. Marshall, Jack Warden, Jack Klugman, Martin Balsam, Ed Begley, etc., all give powerful performances.
The film was nominated for Academy Awards in the categories of Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay, but lost in all three categories to ‘The Bridge on the River Kwai’.
The film today is viewed as a classic, highly regarded from both a critical and popular viewpoint. The American Film Institute named Juror 8, played by Henry Fonda, 28th in a list of the 50 greatest movie heroes of the 20th century; the 42nd most inspiring film; the 88th most heart-pounding film; and the 87th best film of the past hundred years.
Membership still available
The list of members has continued to rise during the year, and now stands at more than thirty. People can still join at a great discount of $6 per month, with four months of the season still to run. A reminder that, from September, our films are ‘Cool Hand Luke’, ‘Little Voice’ and ‘The Eye of the Storm’.
A reminder that Sundays screening starts at 4pm, and that membership can be arranged then at the Roxy.