A Call to Action: The Films of Raoul Walsh

7/5/13 to 8/10/13

Raoul Walsh (1887–1980) was a director's director, an inspired pro with an unbridled desire to just make movies. And make them he did-nearly one hundred features and shorts between 1913 and 1964. Our fourteen-film retrospective includes selections of Walsh's Westerns (The Big Trail, Wild Girl, Pursued), comedies (Sailor's Luck, Me and My Gal), war films (Objective Burma, What Price Glory), and gangster movies (Regeneration, High Sierra, White Heat). New York Times critic Dave Kehr introduces several of the films and joins Bay Area–based film critic Michael Fox in conversation on August 1.

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Past Films

  • They Drive by Night

    • Saturday, August 10 6:30 pm

    Raoul Walsh (U.S., 1940). An atmospheric tale of long-haul truckers (Humphrey Bogart and George Raft) during the Great Depression. With Ida Lupino, as the wronged woman, whose performance made her an overnight star. (93 mins)

  • White Heat

    • Saturday, August 10 8:30 pm

    Raoul Walsh (U.S., 1949). A fast-paced, violent classic of the American gangster genre starring James Cagney as the cocky Cody Jarrett, hell-bent on mayhem. “Ma. Top of the world!” (114 mins)

  • High Sierra

    • Wednesday, August 7 7 pm

    Raoul Walsh (U.S., 1941). High Sierra ushered in the era of the gangster as existential antihero, with Humphrey Bogart as “Mad Dog” Roy Earle hiding out in the Sierras and Ida Lupino as the cabaret singer who loves him. (96 mins)

  • Book Signing and Discussion with Dave Kehr, followed by The Lawless Breed

    • Saturday, August 3 6 pm

    Raoul Walsh (U.S., 1953) New print! New York Times critic Dave Kehr discusses and signs copies of his recent anthology, When Movies Mattered, and then introduces The Lawless Breed, with Rock Hudson as Texas desperado John Wesley Hardin. (112 mins)

  • Pursued

    • Saturday, August 3 8:40 pm

    Raoul Walsh (U.S., 1947) Archival print! Introduced by Dave Kehr. Walsh's favorite of his Westerns, Pursued is a fated family tragedy set under cinematographer James Wong Howe's oppressive clouds and menacing cliffs. Starring Robert Mitchum. (101 mins)

  • Behind the Scenes: Film Critics Dave Kehr & Michael Fox in Conversation, followed by Wild Girl

    • Thursday, August 1 7 pm

    Raoul Walsh (U.S., 1932) Archival print! Critics Dave Kehr and Michael Fox discuss the art of popular film criticism beyond the reach of box office before a screening of Wild Girl, Walsh's affectionate parody of silent Westerns, filmed in Sequoia National Park. (c. 165 mins)

  • What Price Glory

    • Saturday, July 27 6 pm

    Raoul Walsh (U.S., 1926). Archival print! Judith Rosenberg on piano. In this war-is-hell silent epic, soldiers Victor McLaglen and Edmund Lowe star as rivals for the attention of Dolores Del Rio. (120 mins)

  • They Died with Their Boots On

    • Wednesday, July 24 7 pm

    Raoul Walsh (U.S., 1942). Walsh's sweeping biopic of General Custer's tragic trajectory may be factually false, but when it comes to Union assaults at Gettysburg and cavalry charges at the Little Big Horn, he gets it right. Starring Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland. (138 mins)

  • Objective Burma

    • Thursday, July 18 7 pm

    Raoul Walsh (U.S., 1945). Walsh's down-and-dirty account of a paratroop mission to knock out a Japanese radar station deep in the Burmese jungle remains one of the most exciting combat movies of WWII. With Errol Flynn. (142 mins)

  • The Big Trail

    • Sunday, July 14 6:30 pm

    Raoul Walsh (U.S., 1930). Archival print! John Wayne had his first starring role as a Missouri-to-Oregon wagon train scout in this breathtakingly scenic 1930 Western, a trailblazing achievement in widescreen cinematography. (122 mins)

  • Regeneration

    • Friday, July 12 7 pm

    Raoul Walsh (U.S., 1915). Archival print! Judith Rosenberg on piano. The first feature-length gangster film, shot on location in New York, stars Anna Q. Nilsson as a society girl running a Bowery mission and Rockliffe Fellowes as a gang leader. “Regeneration, astounding for 1915, marks the start of a new cinema” (Senses of Cinema). (61 mins)

  • The Yellow Ticket

    • Friday, July 12 8:30 pm

    Raoul Walsh (U.S., 1931). Vault print! A Jewish woman is forced to accept a passport identifying her as a prostitute in order to travel within Imperial Russia. Stars Elissa Landi, Lionel Barrymore, and a remarkably young Laurence Olivier. (81 mins)

  • Sailor's Luck

    • Friday, July 5 7 pm

    Raoul Walsh (U.S., 1933). Vault print! Fox studio's leading couple, James Dunn and Sally Eilers, star in this “rambunctious comedy, a study in controlled chaos in which an improvisatory tone masks a careful development of the central romantic relationship.” (Dave Kehr). (78 mins)

  • Me and My Gal

    • Friday, July 5 8:40 pm

    Raoul Walsh (U.S., 1932). Vault print! Sparks fly between Spencer Tracy and Joan Bennett in Raoul Walsh's rough-and-ready waterfront comedy while the visual gags abound and the characters always crack wise. (79 mins)