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April 2 - 21, 2002



April 2 (Tuesday) 9 pm
April 7 (Sunday) 7 pm


Directed by William Wyler
US 1940, 35mm, b/w, 95 min.
With Bette Davis, Herbert Marshall, James Stephenson

Continuing our ongoing tribute to director William Wyler in his centenary year, we present this acclaimed adaptation of W. Somerset Maugham’s play set in Malaya, about a tycoon’s wife who murders her lover and claims self-defense. After their success with Jezebel, actress Bette Davis and director Wyler collaborated again on The Letter, which earned seven Academy Award nominations for its forceful craftsmanship. Although Maugham’s tale of murder and deceit could easily have been filmed as turgid melodrama, Wyler’s magnificent handling of the material and Davis’s taut and calculated performance converted it into an enduring cinematic classic.

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April 21 (Sunday) 7 pm - Live Piano Accompaniment by Martin Marks


Directed by D.W. Griffith
US 1921, 35mm, silent, b/w, 150 min.
With Lillian Gish, Dorothy Gish, Joseph Schildkraut

Considered Griffith’s last masterpiece, Orphans of the Storm was the final film collaboration between the great film director and his muse, Lillian Gish. Griffith gave the original scenario, based on Adolph Ennery’s 19th-century French play The Two Orphans, a much-needed twist by changing the setting to the French Revolution. Using the social and political upheaval as his backdrop, Orphans of the Storm became Griffith’s anti-communist manifesto.

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April 22 (Monday) 9pm
April 30 (Tuesday) 9pm


Directed by Elaine May
US 1971, 35mm, color, 102 min.
With Walter Matthau, Elaine May, Jack Weston

Combining her already well-established talents as a writer, director, and comedienne, Elaine May made her directorial film debut with this delightful satiric comedy. May herself plays a frumpy and eccentric, but very wealthy botanist who is pursued with murderous intent by an aging and financially embarrassed rake (Matthau). Despite re-editing by Paramount, which prompted May to disown the film, A New Leaf boasts wonderful performances from both stars.

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Harvard Film Archive • Carpenter Center • 24 Quincy Street • Cambridge MA 02138 • 617-495-4700