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11.14.07

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This Week's Revivals

By Richard von Busack


Movie Times Mr. Deeds Goes to Town/The Miracle Woman
(1936/1931) Longfellow Deeds (Gary Cooper) discovers that money changes everything. Frank Capra's popular story of a rich yokel suddenly dazed and confused by the big city must owe part of its popularity to Jean Arthur, who learns to love the big goof. Remade (disgustingly) by Adam Sandler. BILLED WITH The Miracle Woman. Barbara Stanwyck stars as Aimee Semple McPherson, godmother of today's evangelists, although she's thinly disguised as Florence Fallon, who performs such stunts as preaching in a lion's den. Stanwyck weathers the woman's transference from hypocrite to healer under Capra's direction. (Plays Nov 17–20 in Palo Alto at the Stanford Theatre.) (RvB)

Movie Times Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum
Regularly scheduled silent films. A Woman of the World with the ever-slinky Pola Negri. Malcolm St. Clair's comedy about a noblewoman who ends up scandalizing a small town; it is based on a then-bestseller called The Tattooed Countess. Plus: Mutt and Jeff in The Big Swim, and the Hal Roach comedian Max Davidson in Pass the Gravy, co-directed by Leo McCarey. (Plays Nov 17 in Fremont at the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum, 37417 Niles Blvd; www.nilesfilmmuseum.org) (RvB)

Movie Times Submarine/The Unchained Goddess
(1928/1958) Budgeted at an incredible $150,000, this red-blooded adventure story shows us the rescue of a crippled sub by intrepid deep-sea diver Jack Dorgan (Jack Holt). And here's the irony: Ralph Graves, as the sub's captain, Bob Mason, had previously been playing "sink the Nautilus" with Jack's wife (Dorothy Revier). The Navy lent out an actual submarine in hopes of bettering its public image, as it had just lost a brace of subs in the deep. Frank Capra, replacing a fired director, made his first dictate: No more makeup and starched uniforms on the marooned sailors. It looks very UFA-worthy from the still photo. Jim Riggs at the Wurlitzer. BILLED WITH The Unchained Goddess. Sounds feminist, don't it, but Meteora the goddess of weather is played as a flirt in this Frank Capra/Shamus Culhane animated educational production. The usual stars appear: Richard Carlson and Dr. Frank Baxter; voices by Mel Blanc, Franklin Pangborn and Hans Conreid. (Plays Nov 16 in Palo Alto at the Stanford Theatre.) (RvB)


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