Edmonton Film Society Movie Series
The Edmonton Film Society is a nonprofit group dedicated to keeping the "silver screen" / Hollywood of yesteryear in the public eye. Four series, each consisting of eight movies organized under a particular theme, are presented annually. Each movie is preceded by a short, informative talk about the film. Screenings are normally held Mondays at 8pm in the Royal Alberta Museum's Auditorium.
April 24, 2017 – June 19, 2017
EFS Goes Straight for the Jocular
In the words of Mel Brooks, that most feverish director of comedies, "As long as the world is turning and spinning, we're gonna be dizzy and we're gonna make mistakes." Good on ya, Mel. The Brooks style (actually razor sharp chutzpah), as perfected in Blazing Saddles, is to have characters who are close to or over the top let fly a barrage of zingers and sight gags that's supported by songs that generate almost as many laughs as the other material. This is a man who takes chances (sometimes outlandishly so) that don't always work but who keeps bobbing up for more, a man of India rubber ball consistency.
Brooks's brethren (noted inside) are, with one or two exceptions, more dialed back, giving balance to the program. Situations present themselves and build to satisfying payoffs; characterization plays a bigger role (see, for example, The Solid Gold Cadillac). In short, it's a series propelled by breezy humour with gusts of zaniness.
Over eight nights, look to laughter to make your world go 'round.
Cleavon Little, Gene Wilder, Madeline Kahn
So popular was this riotous Western spoof when it first appeared that it became the second highest earner of its year. None of Brooks’s later films ever topped this one for sheer belly laughs. Little makes an unlikely sheriff, Harvey Korman is the frustrated villain Hedley Lamarr, and Kahn satirizes Marlene Dietrich.
Director: Mel Brooks.
Peter Sellers, Christopher Plummer, Herbert Lom
The return of Inspector Clouseau! The bumbling cop dashes around Europe on the trail of a retired jewel thief who is suspected in a rash of robberies. But the innocent thief is as anxious to solve the crimes as Clouseau. This is a return to form for the popular series.
Director: Blake Edwards.
Judy Holliday, Paul Douglas, Arthur O’Connell
A satire on American corporate corruption defeated by a plucky small shareholder. When Holliday, owner of a tiny ten shares of stock in a huge corporation, challenges salaries and expenses of top executives at a meeting, they conspire to silence her by hiring her for a meaningless position.
Director: Richard Quine.
Gene Wilder, Richard Pryor, Jill Clayburgh
A tired, mild-mannered executive rides a train from L.A. to Chicago, planning to enjoy a relaxing trip. Instead he becomes involved with intrigue, suspense, murder and a beautiful woman. This energetic Hitchcock parody features the first successful pairing of Wilder and Pryor.
Director: Arthur Hiller.
Doris Day, James Garner, Polly Bergen
Immediately after Garner’s nuptials, who should appear but his first wife, thought lost and dead five years ago? Rescued from a desert island, she intends to resume her old life, but how is that possible? Slick, amusing re-make of My Favorite Wife that was to star Marilyn Monroe before production was halted.
Director: Michael Gordon.
Robert Hays, Julie Hagerty, Leslie Nielsen
Stupid but uproarious lampoon of disaster flicks, with the plane crew laid low by food poisoning. Passengers become increasingly crazed and ground support more surreal as our clueless substitute struggles to land the plane. Fast-paced parody mangles every Hollywood cliché in sight.
Director: David and Jerry Zucker, Jim Abrahams.
Ginger Rogers, Ray Milland
A New York career woman, near broke, decides to return home to Iowa, but can only afford the kid’s rate on the train. She masquerades as a twelve-year-old. On her journey she meets the commander of a military-school who decides to see to her welfare. A train accident places her at the school.
Director: Billy Wilder.
John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Terry Gilliam
A twisted version of the King Arthur legend, in which the knights forsake their can-can dancing at Camelot for a higher aim. The historical (or is it hysterical?) tale bursts with modern anachronisms and errors.
Director: Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones.