“World War I Film Series” Highlights Films Made During and About First World War

April 22, 2014

Film still from "Farewell to Arms" (1932).

Film still from "Farewell to Arms" (1932).

EVENT: The Harry Ransom Center, Paramount Theatre and Austin Film Society present the “World War I Film Series” throughout the summer.

WHEN: Various dates in May, June and July

WHERE: Harry Ransom Center, 21st and Guadalupe streets; The Paramount Theatre, 713 Congress Ave.; Marchesa Hall & Theatre, 6226 Middle Fiskville Road.

BACKGROUND: Join the Ransom Center, Paramount Theatre and Austin Film Society for the “World War I Film Series,” held in conjunction with the Ransom Center’s current exhibition “The World at War, 1914–1918.” Screenings take place at multiple locations in May, June and July and feature 13 World War I films, including “All Quiet on the Western Front,” “Lawrence of Arabia” and “Paths of Glory.” For more information, visit www.hrc.utexas.edu/WWIfilm.

Screenings at the Ransom Center are free. Tickets are required for screenings at the Paramount and Marchesa theaters and may be purchased at their box offices or on the Paramount website or the Austin Film Society’s website.

The Ransom Center's Charles Nelson Prothro Theater has limited seating. Line forms upon arrival of the first person, and doors open 30 minutes in advance. Patrons are encouraged to visit the exhibition, which is open until 7 p.m. on Thursdays, before attending the screenings.
The following films will be screened:

“Grand Illusion” (1937): Monday, May 5, 7 p.m. at the Stateside at the Paramount Theatre: Two French aviators are shot down in German territory and placed in a POW camp in the French masterpiece about class and prejudice during wartime, directed by Jean Renoir and starring Jean Gabin. 114 minutes.

“Shoulder Arms” (1918): Thursday, May 8, 7 p.m. at the Ransom Center: Charlie Chaplin directs and stars in this story of a soldier who dreams of being a hero. 45 minutes.

“All Quiet on the Western Front” (1930): Thursday, May 15, 7 p.m. at the Ransom Center: Lewis Milestone directs this film adaptation of Erich Maria Remarque’s landmark World War I novel. 136 minutes.

“A Farewell to Arms” (1932): Thursday, May 22, 7 p.m. at the Ransom Center: Gary Cooper and Helen Hayes star in this film adaptation of Ernest Hemingway’s novel. 80 minutes.

“Sergeant York” (1941): Thursday, May 29, 7 p.m. at the Ransom Center: Starring Gary Cooper, this film tells the true story of one of World War I’s most decorated soldiers, Alvin York. Directed by Howard Hawks. 134 minutes.

“The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp” (1943): Thursday, June 5, 7:30 p.m. at the Marchesa: Maj. Gen. Clive Wynne-Candy (called Colonel Blimp behind his back) has fought for Britain in the Boer War, World War I and now World War II, but ideas about the proper conduct of war have dramatically changed during his career. Directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger. 164 minutes.

“Paths of Glory” (1957): Thursday, June 12, 7:30 p.m. at the Marchesa: In Stanley Kubrick's relentlessly antiwar film, French officers are determined to make examples of their rebellious soldiers finally refusing to sacrifice themselves in senseless attacks. 87 minutes.

“Jules and Jim” (1962): Thursday, June 19, 7:30 p.m. at the Marchesa: A pre-war romance and friendship between two men and a woman gets turned upside down by World War I and its aftermath. Directed by Francois Truffaut. 105 minutes.

“J'accuse!” (1919): Thursday, June 26, 7:30 p.m. at the Marchesa: Two men initially eager to fight the German army soon discover the horrors, destruction and loss brought by war and forge a close friendship, despite their earlier jealousies back home in France. Directed by Abel Gance. 165 minutes.

“The African Queen” (1951): Thursday July 10, 7 p.m. at The Paramount Theatre: Humphrey Bogart is once again conflicted about getting involved in a world war, this time in East Africa during World War I. It's up to Katharine Hepburn's determined missionary to persuade Bogie to sail the titular riverboat into the fray in one of legendary director John Huston's best films. 105 minutes.

“Gallipoli” (1981): Thursday, July 10, 9 p.m. at The Paramount Theatre: Two young Australian sprinters join the army and find themselves embroiled in the bloody and ultimately tragic Gallipoli Campaign, which robbed the soldiers, and the country, of their innocence. An early highpoint in the careers of director Peter Weir and star Mel Gibson. 110 minutes.

“The Big Parade” (1925) : Friday, July 11, 7 p.m. at the Stateside at The Paramount Theatre: King Vidor's poignant and humanizing silent film follows the spoiled, lazy son of a wealthy family as he joins the Army during World War I and proceeds to make a few friends and fall in love amidst the hardships of war. In other words, he finally grows up. 140 minutes.

“Lawrence of Arabia” (1962): Saturday, July 12, 7 p.m.; and Sunday, July 13, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. at The Paramount Theatre: In this 70mm print, Peter O'Toole portrays historical figure T. E. Lawrence, who struggled with deeply felt, often opposing allegiances to both his homeland of Great Britain and the Arabian tribes who befriend him during World War I. 216 minutes.

High-resolution press images are available for the films screened at the Ransom Center.

For more information, contact: Alicia Dietrich, Harry Huntt Ransom Humanities Research Center, 512 232 3667;  Jennifer Tisdale, Harry Huntt Ransom Humanities Research Center, 512-471-8949.