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October 24, 2012

Hollywood Presidents Take Center Stage at Packard Campus Theater

In the week preceding the elections, the Library of Congress Packard Campus Theater in Culpeper, Va., will showcase three films featuring Hollywood presidents to kick off the schedule of free movie screenings for the month of November. Walter Huston stars as the POTUS in the Depression-era "Gabriel Over the White House," Henry Fonda and Cliff Robertson portray two presidential candidates in Gore Vidal’s "The Best Man," and Michael Douglas plays a widowed commander-in-chief in the romantic comedy "The American President."

The series of spy films—"007@50"—commemorating the 50th anniversary of the James Bond movie franchise continues with a kids’ matinee of "Cloak & Dagger"; the French-Italian "La Femme Nikita"; a double feature of Bond films starring Daniel Craig, "Casino Royale" and "Quantum of Solace"; and Roger Moore in "For Your Eyes Only."

Library of Congress staffer Cary O’Dell will host a multimedia presentation, "June Cleaver Was a Feminist! Reconsidering the Female Characters of Early Television," based on his book of the same name, scheduled for publication in January 2013 (McFarland). Silent film accompanist Ben Model returns for a weekend to provide music for the National Film Registry’s "The Cameraman," starring Buster Keaton, and a double feature of "Almost a Lady" and "You Never Know Women." Both films were preserved by the Library of Congress Film Preservation Lab. Also representing the National Film Registry in November is Orson Welles’ "The Magnificent Ambersons." For more information on the National Film Registry, visit

Screenings are preceded by an informative slide presentation about the film, with music selected by the Library’s Recorded Sound Section. Short subjects will be presented before select programs. Titles are subject to change without notice.

All Packard Campus programs are free and open to the public, but children 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult. For reservation information, call (540) 827-1079 ext. 79994 or (202) 707-9994 during business hours, beginning one week before any given screening. Reservations will be held until 10 minutes before showtime. In case of inclement weather, call the theater reservation line no more than three hours before showtime to confirm cancellations. For further information on the theater and film series, visit

The Library of Congress Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation is a state-of-the-art facility funded as a gift to the nation by the Packard Humanities Institute. The Packard Campus is the site where the nation’s library acquires, preserves and provides access to the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of motion pictures, television programs, radio broadcasts and sound recordings ( The Packard Campus is home to more than 6 million collection items, including nearly 3 million sound recordings. It provides staff support for the Library of Congress National Film Preservation Board, the National Recording Preservation Board, and the national registries for film and recorded sound.

Founded in 1800, the Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution. It seeks to spark imagination and creativity and to further human understanding and wisdom by providing access to knowledge through its magnificent collections, programs and exhibitions. Many of the Library’s rich resources can be accessed through its website at

Series Schedule

Thursday, Nov. 1 (7:30 p.m.)
"Gabriel Over the White House
" (MGM, 1933)
Walter Huston stars as a do-nothing political hack who gets elected president during the depths of the Great Depression. After a near-fatal accident, he is mysteriously transformed into a take-charge dynamo, determined to eliminate racketeers and find world peace. Directed by Gregory La Cava, this political drama-fantasy stars Karen Morley and Franchot Tone.

Friday, Nov. 2 (7:30 p.m.)
"The Best Man
" (United Artists, 1964)
Gore Vidal wrote the screenplay for this dramatic look behind the scenes at political conventions based on his Tony Award-nominated play. Henry Fonda and Cliff Robertson portray the two front-runners for their party's presidential nomination who vie for the ailing president’s endorsement.

Saturday, Nov. 3 (7:30 p.m.)
"The American President
" (Universal, 1995)
Rob Reiner directed this romantic comedy about a widowed president who woos an attractive lobbyist, oblivious to the political impact that the relationship will have during an election year. Michael Douglas, Annette Bening, Martin Sheen and Michael J. Fox star in the film.

Thursday, Nov. 8 (7:30 p.m.)
James Bond Double Feature
"Casino Royale
" (United Artists, 2006)
Daniel Craig stars as 007 in this faithful adaptation of Ian Fleming’s first James Bond novel. Directed by Martin Campbell, the film follows Bond on his first mission, where he must stop Le Chiffre, a banker to the world's terrorist organizations, from winning a high-stakes poker tournament at Casino Royale in Montenegro.

"Quantum of Solace" (United Artists, 2008)
Daniel Craig returns for his second outing as Secret Agent James Bond in this sequel to "Casino Royale." In the film, directed by Marc Forster, 007 is seeking revenge and sets out to stop a corrupt businessman posing as an environmentalist from taking control of a country’s most valuable resource.

Thursday, Nov. 15 (7:30 p.m.)
"The Magnificent Ambersons
" (RKO, 1942)
Directed by Orson Welles, this story about Major Amberson and his descendants traces the upper-class Indianapolis family’s loss of love and money over the generations. Selected to the National Film Registry in 1991, the family drama stars Tim Holt, Dolores Costello, Agnes Moorehead, Joseph Cotten and Anne Baxter.

Friday, Nov. 16 (7:30 p.m.)
"The Cameraman
" (MGM, 1928)
Buster Keaton stars as a sidewalk tintype photographer who develops a crush on a pretty secretary working for MGM Newsreels. Trying to get a job as a newsreel cameraman, he’ll do whatever it takes to be near her. Edward Sedgwick directed the silent comedy, which was added to the National Film Registry in 2005. Ben Model will provide live musical accompaniment for the program, which also will include a silent comedy short.

Saturday, Nov. 17 (2 p.m.)
"Cloak & Dagger
" (Universal, 1984)
This family spy-adventure stars E.T.’s Henry Thomas as a young boy with a penchant for spy thrillers and video games. Pursued by spies, he finds himself in the middle of real espionage after he acquires a video game cartridge containing top-secret government information. Richard Franklin directed the film, which stars Dabney Coleman and Michael Murphy.

Saturday, Nov. 17 (7:30 p.m.)
Silent Movie Double Feature
"Almost a Lady
" (PDC, 1926)
Marie Prevost stars as a dress-store model who is talked into impersonating a famous authoress at a high-society party in order to impress a Duke. Several turns of mistaken identity ensue. Harrison Ford, George K. Arthur and Trixie Friganza are featured in the cast of this romantic comedy, directed by E. Mason Hopper.

"You Never Know Women" (Paramount, 1926)
Famed director William Wellman scored his first critical and commercial success with this dramatic tale about two members of a Russian troupe of acrobats on tour in the U.S. who find their love for one another threatened by a manipulative playboy. Florence Vidor, Clive Brook and Lowell Sherman are the stars of the film. Ben Model will provide musical accompaniment for both features.

Tuesday, Nov. 20 (7:30 p.m.)
"June Cleaver Was a Feminist!
Cary O'Dell, author of the soon-to-be-released "June Cleaver Was a Feminist! Reconsidering the Female Characters of Early Television," will give a multimedia presentation based on his book. In addition to clips from a variety of TV programs, full episodes of "Decoy" (1958) with Beverly Garland, "Honey West" (1965) with Anne Francis, and "I Love Lucy" will be shown.

Thursday, Nov. 29 (7:30 p.m.)
"For Your Eyes Only
" (United Artists, 1981)
Agent 007, played here by Roger Moore, is assigned to hunt for a lost British encryption device used to communicate launch codes to nuclear missiles in Polaris submarines—and prevent it from falling into enemy hands. John Glen directed the film, which features Carole Bouquet, Lynn-Holly Johnson and Topol in the cast.

Friday, Nov. 30 (7:30 p.m.)
"La Femme Nikita
" (Gaumont - Goldwyn, 1990, R-rated*)
Luc Besson directed this action-thriller starring Anne Parillaud as a convicted felon who is recruited to work as a top-secret spy and assassin for the French government. The film was produced in French and Italian with English subtitles.

* No one under 17 will be admitted without a parent or guardian.

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PR 12-204
ISSN 0731-3527

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