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11.07.07

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This Week's Revivals

By Richard von Busack


Movie Times Essanay Film Museum
Regularly scheduled silent movies. Tonight Mare Nostrum, the Lust, Caution of its day (don't worry, it's G-rated); swashbuckling director/producer Rex Ingram helmed this tale of a Spanish sea captain romanced by the Kaiser's most comely spy (Alice Terry). Also: In the Switch Tower (a.k.a. The Wrong Track) by Frank Borzage and The Passer-By (1912). Jon Mirsalis at the piano. (Plays Nov 10 in Fremont at the Lincoln Theater, Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum, 37417 Niles Blvd; www.nilesfilmmuseum.org.) (RvB)

Movie Times It Happened One Night/Platinum Blonde
(1934/1931) An heiress (Claudette Colbert) jumps off of her family's yacht; a working-class reporter (Clark Gable) tracks her down to find out why. This favorite romantic comedy is invigorated by the class differences between the rough-housing Gable and the pampered Colbert—not to mention the gritty locations of bus stations and motels, unseen in the context of a comedic love story before. But I am not a fan of this classic; Gable's contempt for the heiress seems to be turned up too many notches. The way he cuts her down to size has a cruel streak, which is obviously endorsed by the director, Frank Capra. BILLED WITH Platinum Blonde. Bright working-class secretary or frivolous millionairess? Reporter Stew Smith (Robert Williams) has trouble deciding before making the populist choice. It's quite a choice, though: Loretta Young as the working girl and Jean Harlow as the beautiful but ultimately demanding heiress. An early Capra comedy from his most uninhibited period. (Plays Nov 10–13 in Palo Alto at the Stanford Theatre.) (RvB)

Movie Times I'm No Angel/Rafter Romance
(Both 1933) Mae West, a dancer and lion tamer (!) tells Cary Grant "Come Up and see me sometime—any time." BILLED WITH Rafter Romance. Ginger Rogers and Norman Foster as people who share a Greenwich Village apartment on different shifts who fall in love outside the place's walls. Robert Benchley guest stars. (Plays Nov 9 in Palo Alto at the Stanford Theatre.) (RvB)

Movie Times The Nightmare Before Christmas
(1993) Tim Burton's charming stop-action musical about Jack Skellington and friends is now in 3-D. (Plays valleywide.)


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