The Portage Theater – 4050 N. Milwaukee Ave – 7:00 – $5.00 per ticket
For the full schedule of classic film screenings at the Portage, please click here.
Special Saturday Presentation
THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
Directed Cecil B. DeMille • 1956
A wonderfully overblown remake of his 1923 film of the same name, Cecil B. DeMille’s 1956 The Ten Commandments (in VistaVision, Technicolor, and running nearly four hours long) was also the great director’s swan song to the silver screen (he retired shortly after suffering a heart attack on set atop a 107-foot ladder). DeMille died in 1959, but not before, as Variety put it, “throwing sex and sand at the eyes of his audience for twice as long as anyone in Hollywood had ever dared to.” The Ten Commandments’ merits as a piece of serious filmmaking may occasionally run dry, but nobody before or since has been able to achieve the level of ferocious terror and sensuality in a biblical epic seen here. Immensely popular on its release, it has also been screened on a Saturday in April on ABC since 1973, and re-released several times in 35 and 70mm (the latter billed as the totally bogus Super VistaVision, which cropped the top and bottom of the original negative to accommodate a wider 70mm frame). We’ll be presenting it as it was meant to be seen: in an original IB Technicolor print, with an intermission and DeMille’s impassioned introduction. With Charlton Heston, Yul Brynner, Anne Baxter, Edward G. Robinson, Yvonne De Carlo, Debra Paget, John Derek, Sir Cedric Hardwicke—and Vincent Price! (JA)
220 min, with intermission • Paramount Pictures • 35mm from private collections
We’ll return to our regular, non-Vistavision programming this Wednesday with Ernst Lubitsch’s rarely screened Angel.
Wednesday, April 11 @ 7:30
Directed by Ernst Lubitsch • 1937
“You really let all Europe wait just to find out if a woman is a brunette?” Marlene Dietrich, in the final film on her Paramount contract, stars as the continent-hopping wife of statesman Herbert Marshall. Their marriage is contented and unquarrelsome until she spends an afternoon in the Paris salon of a celebrated Russian émigré and falls for Englishman Melvyn Douglas, who knows her only as “Angel.” Torn between an affair with a man she hardly knows and the frustrating status quo with a husband more attentive to Yugoslavia’s problems than her own, Dietrich must improvise a tidy end to an untidy love triangle. Mysteriously neglected, despite Lubitsch, Dietrich, Marshall, and screenwriter Samson Raphaelson all in top form, Angel is a wise and observant film about bedroom diplomacy and the negotiation at the heart of all marriages. (KW)
91 min • Paramount Pictures • 35mm from Universal
Cartoon: Popeye in “For Better or for Worser” (Dave Fleischer, 1935) – 16mm