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midweekmovies

Join us on Wednesday, May 20 @ 1 p.m

This month’s Midweek Movie, based on an award-winning musical, features a witch, an evil curse, and fairy tales with a twist.  View the trailer here.

 

Register at the Reader's Advisory Desk or online today!


 

  

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Join us on Saturday, June 20 @ 1 p.m.

Film Club’s first selection this month is a drama about a trapeze artist who seduces a circus sideshow performer. This film is listed on the United States  National Film Registry as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".  View the trailer here.

This month’s second selection features a well-known comedian playing a grocery store owner who moves to California to grow oranges.  View a scene from this film here.

Register at the Reader's Advisory Desk or online today! 


The Oscars: Best Foreign Language Film

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Few Academy Award categories prove quite as mystifying as the Best Foreign Language Film award, where often-obscure films become catapulted to sudden fame and worldwide exposure. Officially introduced as an award category at the 29th Academy Awards ceremony in 1957, where Italy's La Strada captured the crown, the years since have seen countries with burgeoning film industries receive a boost from the Oscar acclaim. Treat yourself to a viewing of an Academy award-winning foreign film from the library's DVD collection:

Read more: The Oscars: Best Foreign Language Film

"You're gonna need a bigger boat..."

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When beaches open this summer, you will be taken by Jaws.

Forty years ago this June, Steven Spielberg's  film, Jaws, terrorized audiences and changed ocean swimming forever. Filmed on the beaches of Martha's Vineyard, Jaws featured state-of-the-art special effects employing a large, mechanical shark. Because the fake shark was prone to problems, John Williams' musical score merely suggested the great white's menacing presence for many of the underwater scenes, adding to the audience's sense of terror. And Spielberg's camera work, from the perspective of the attacking shark, offered viewers a glimpse of the ocean through the great beast's eyes.

When released, more than 67 million Americans headed to theaters to view Jaws, helping the film become moviedom's first summer blockbuster. Take a look at this classic thriller and the sequels it helped spawn, available from the Library on DVD:

 

 

Read more: "You're gonna need a bigger boat..."

Featured Actor: Mary Wickes

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Mary Wicke's nearly 60-year film, stage, and television career stretched from Hollywood's golden era to 1996. Born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1910, Wicke's tall, lanky figure seemed to destine her for comedic roles, and she soon earned a reputation as a plain-talking scene stealer in many of her films.

Wickes honed her acting chops by treading the boards in Broadway plays and summer stock. Her big acting break came when she starred as Miss Preen in the Kaufman/Hart Broadway comedy, The Man Who Came to Dinner.

Selected to portray the same role in the movie version of the play, Wickes was part of an ensemble cast that included Bette Davis and Ann Sheridan. The film was a runaway hit upon its release in 1942 and resulted in the launch of Wickes' lengthy movie career.

Despite an unconventional appearance (by Hollywood standards), Wickes soon found success playing smart-alecky support roles alongside such top-notch talents as Lou Costello, The Andrew Sisters, Robert Montgomery, Bing Crosby, Doris Day, and many others.

In the '50s and '60s, Wickes' acting abilities made an easy transition to the new medium of television, where she played such memorable roles as Lucille Ball's tough-taskmistress ballet instructor on an episode of I Love Lucy. Wickes also held her own while acting alongside some of the comedic greats of the era, including Red Skelton, Bob Hope, Jack Benny, and Jimmy Durante. A well-known Wickes role during this period was her portrayal of Miss Cathcart in the TV series Dennis the Menace.

In later years, Wickes was also a frequent guest star and recurring performer in many  top TV shows, including Sanford & Son, M*A*S*H*, The Father Dowling Mysteries, and Murder, She Wrote.

As she aged, Wickes found success playing curmudgeonly old ladies. Her best-known later film role was cranky Sister Mary Lazarus in Sister Act and Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit. One of her final movie portrayals was in 1994's Little Women, where she played Aunt March to Winona Ryder's Jo.

Check out some of the library's DVDs featuring the unforgettable Mary Wickes:

Read more: Featured Actor: Mary Wickes

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