Chicago on film
Chicago and the movies go way back. Charlie Chaplin and Gloria Swanson, two movie icons from the silent era, started their film careers here. Both Chaplin and Swanson worked at Essanay Studios on West Argyle, now St. Augustine College. Essanay was a bustling place in the early days of the twentieth century. It was a glimpse of Hollywood before there was such a place. But the harsh Midwestern winters made year-round moviemaking in Chicago impractical. Film studios and their stars eventually moved west. The rest, as they say, is history. Even though Chicago’s movie-making glory days are long gone, the city has always been a favorite subject of filmmakers. Celebrate the movies and Chicago with special screenings of these classics:
Call Northside 777 (1948)—Directed by Henry Hathaway and starring James Stewart, this semi-documentary style film is based on a true story, filmed entirely on location in Chicago. Stewart plays P.J. McNeal, a reporter for the Chicago Times who attempts to find new evidence in an 11-year-old cop killer case. McNeal comes to believe that Frank Weicek, the convicted murderer, took the fall for someone else and was falsely imprisoned. The movie features beautiful black and white cinematography and great Chicago locations. See how the city has changed (and remained the same) since 1948.
North by Northwest (1959)—Directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, and James Mason, in one of the classiest espionage films of all time. Grant plays advertising executive Roger O. Thornhill (ROT) who is mistaken for an American agent and framed for murder. Saint plays the mistress of real spy Mason and is used as bait to catch Grant. Featuring some great Chicago locations, including the Ambassador East Hotel, the old LaSalle Street train station, and a glimpse of late-1950s Michigan Avenue. The success of this film led to Grant being offered the role of James Bond, which he turned down, thinking he was too old to play Ian Fleming’s famous agent 007.
|Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell, and Ralph Bellamy in|
His Girl Friday
His Girl Friday (1940)—Directed by Howard Hawks and starring Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell His Girl Friday is an adaptation of the Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur classic Broadway smash, The Front Page. Grant plays Walter Burns, a Chicago newspaper managing editor and Russell is Hildy Johnson an ex-reporter for the same paper and Burns’s ex-wife. On the eve of her marriage to a new man, Burns tries to convince Hildy to come back to the paper…and him. Considered one of the greatest classic screwball comedies of all time, His Girl Friday is filled with non-stop one liners and the fastest dialogue ever recorded on film!
|Tony Curtis, Jack Lemon, and Marilyn Monroe|
in Some Like It Hot
Some Like It Hot (1959)—Directed by Billy Wilder and starring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, and Jack Lemmon, this classic was voted funniest film of all time by the American Film Institute. Curtis and Lemmon play Chicago musicians who accidentally witness the Saint Valentine’s Day massacre of 1929. The men disguise themselves as women and travel south with Sweet Sue’s all-girl band in an attempt to avoid “Spats” Colombo and his gang who are determined to kill them. Monroe—the band’s vocalist—and the “girls” become bosom buddies along the way, which leads to some hilarious situations and some unusual conclusions.
Order Tickets in Advance
Movie admission is $7 per film or $20 for all four. To purchase tickets, click here.
“The Venue 1550” is a unique space in the DayStar Center located at 1550 S. State St. “The Venue 1550” hosts musical concerts, documentary films, lectures, and community meetings. For more information on utilizing this space for yourself or your organization, please call 312.674.0001.