When: Wed., July 5, 7:30 p.m. 2017
Take advantage of someone’s inspiration to pair two essential classics into this unlikely double feature. Duck Soup is probably the single greatest Marx Brothers romp, with Groucho, Chico and Harpo firing their individual and collective schticks on all cylinders. Oh yeah, straight man Zeppo is also there, not to mention the inimitable Margaret Dumont as her eternal befuddled matron. The “plot,” which combines the satirical and nonsensical, involves Rufus T. Firefly (Groucho) becoming ruler of a European nation called Freedonia and promptly getting into war. One note on context: Groucho’s line about “that’s how darkies were born” is quoting a now-forgotten Paul Robeson song of protest against racism, an attitude Groucho agreed with. As for Cat People, producer Val Lewton was given freedom to make a low-budget horror film on a title supplied by RKO. He and director Jacques Tourneur decided to use shadow and suggestion to avoid showing a monster, and the result is a classic chiller on a heroine’s fear of her own sexuality. Simone Simon plays the woman afraid of killing her bridegroom on the wedding night. The brilliant swimming pool scene is a master class in creating fear out of nothing, and that sequence’s punchline at a bus stop still gives audiences a jolt.
Price: $10-$15 suggested donation