|Dimensions In Sound: A
Celebration of 4-Track Magnetic Stereo
Presented in association with Sabucat Productions
With the arrival of CinemaScope in the early 1950s,
audiences received a double bonus, one they may not have fully recognized: the
introduction of glorious 4-track Stereophonic Sound in film, equalling (if not often
surpassing) the widescreen images on display. From lavish musical productions like PORGY
& BESS, THE KING AND I and CAROUSEL, to fantastic adventures like JOURNEY TO THE
CENTER OF THE EARTH, to intense dramas like EAST OF EDEN and REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE, studio
composers and arrangers leapt at the incredible vistas opened up by true stereo sound
a process that involved coating four distinct magnetic "stripes" on a 35
mm. print to create right, left, center and surround channels in the theatre.
4-track mag (as its known) wasnt the first stereo
sound system in film Warner Bros. and Disney had briefly flirted with 3-track
stereo in the early 1940s, and Cinerama had featured multi-channel stereo sound a
year before the arrival of Cinemascope. But these early systems never caught on like
4-track mag (or its bigger brother, 6-track stereo in 70 mm.). At its best, 4-track gave
composers like Bernard Herrmann, Elmer Bernstein, Leonard Rosenman, Lerner & Lowe and
others a fabulously rich, multi-colored pallette of sound dimensions to work with. From
the early 1950s to the late 1970s, hundreds of Hollywood features were
released in 4-track stereo. The inherent fragility of the process (the delicate magnetic
stripes tended to damage or wear out quickly), and the introduction of Dolby optical
stereo with STAR WARS in 1977 spelled the end for 4-track mag by the early 1980s,
with Brian De Palmas SCARFACE being one of the last Hollywood features released in
This series is a very rare opportunity to see original,
4-track magnetic stereo prints of a number of classic and overlooked films
including unique, full-length versions of PORGY & BESS, PAINT YOUR WAGON, PEPE and
Friday, November 29 7:30 PM
Original 4-Track Stereo Technicolor
Print Complete Version!!
PORGY & BESS, 1959,
George Gershwin Trust/Samuel Goldwyn Co./MGM-UA, 138 min. Director Otto
Premingers sumptuous film adaptation of the classic George Gershwin musical
stars Sidney Poitier and the heavenly Dorothy Dandridge as starcrossed
lovers on Catfish Row, surrounded by a phenomenal supporting cast including Sammy Davis
Jr., Pearl Bailey, Brock Peters and Diahann Carroll. Four-track stereo sound was never
used to better effect than in PORGY & BESS, seen here in an original Technicolor print
of the incredibly rare, full-length version, featuring the complete score with
"Summertime," "It Aint Necessarily So," "I Got Plenty Of
Nothin" and other songs. Discussion following with
actor Brock Peters, Hope Preminger (Mrs. Otto Preminger), Ingo Preminger and other guests,
moderated by film historian Foster Hirsch (schedules permitting).
Saturday, November 30 4:00 PM
Ultra-Rare 35 mm. Stereo Print!!
THE CENTER OF THE EARTH, 1959, 20th Century Fox, 132 min. Dir. Henry
Levin. Along with Richard Fleischers 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA, this is one
of the finest versions of a Jules Verne novel ever filmed, with James Mason
beautifully cast as an obsessive Scottish geology professor who descends into the depths
of the Earth with eager student Pat Boone, alluring widow Arlene Dahl, and
sinister nemesis Thayer David. The dazzling underground crystal caves and mushroom forests
are among the most delightful Hollywood creations of the 1950s. Produced and
co-written by Charles Brackett (Billy Wilders longtime partner), with a terrific
stereo score by the maestro Bernard Herrmann. Rarely revived since its original
release, this screening features an ultra-rare 4-track mag stereo print from England!
Saturday, November 30 7:30 PM
Double Feature Actress Carol
Channing In Person!!
MILLIE, 1967, Universal, 138 min. Dir. George Roy Hill. In this charming
musical, the irresistible Julie Andrews stars as Millie, a newly arrived,
self-styled "flapper" determined to make it on her own in 1920s New York
City. She spends her days plotting to marry her boss (John Gavin) and Charlestons
the nights away with pals Jimmy (James Fox) and Miss Dorothy (Mary Tyler Moore).
A weekend visit to "Jazz Baby" and widowed millionairess Carol
Channings estate turns Millies love life upside down. And when things
cant get much worse, Millie and Ms. Dorothy find themselves in the clutches of a
white slavery ring headed by their housemistress (Beatrice Lillie)! With Jack Soo and Pat
Morita. Featuring costumes by Jean Louis and a lovely, Academy Award-winning Elmer
Bernstein score -- heard here in glorious 4-track stereo!! Now a Tony Award-Winning
SWEET CHARITY, 1969,
Universal, 133 min. Legendary choreographer/director Bob Fosse helmed this
high-octane musical adapation of Federico Fellinis classic NIGHTS OF CABIRIA,
starring Shirley MacLaine as a lovable dance-hall girl who falls into screen idol Ricardo
Montalbans dream world for one magical night then is forced to return to
her hard-luck life the next day. Co-starring Sammy Davis Jr., Chita Rivera, John McMartin.
Discussion between films with THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE actress
Carol Channing (schedule permitting). Ms. Channing will also be signing copies of her new
book in the Theatre lobby at 6:45 PM.
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Friday, December 6 7:15 PM
Actor Steven Bauer In-Person!!
SCARFACE, 1983, Universal, 170
min. Director Brian De Palma and screenwriter Oliver Stone reinvented Howard
Hawks classic gangster saga from the ground up, moving it to early 1980s Miami
during the mushrooming coke trade in the wake of Cubas Mariel boatlift. Al Pacino
is stupendously larger-than-life as twisted Tony Montana, a two-bit Little Ceasar who
almost singlehandedly creates anarchy in the Miami underworld, destroying not only himself
but everyone around him. Opulent, stylishly shocking, and boasting a disco-flavored
Giorgio Moroder score that in 4-track mag will literally knocks your socks off! With Michelle
Pfeiffer, Steven Bauer, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio and Robert Loggia. Discussion following with actor Steven Bauer (schedule permitting).
Saturday, December 7 5:00 PM
Ultra-Rare Roadshow Version in
PAINT YOUR WAGON, 1969,
Paramount, 166 min. Dir. Joshua Logan. Colorful, much-underrated film version of
the hit Lerner & Loewe Broadway musical about gold miners in 1840s California,
starring the great Lee Marvin as a hilariously salty miner who forms a very unusual
three-way partnership with greenhorn Clint Eastwood and feisty Jean Seberg.
Lovely stereo score featuring some of L&Ls best songs, including "They Call
The Wind Mariah, "Wandrin Star" and "I Talk To The Trees"
(sung by Clint!). Co-starring Ray Walston, Harve Presnell. This is the original roadshow
version of the film, not seen in theaters in over 30 years!
Saturday, December 7 9:00 PM
Original 4-track Stereo Technicolor
THE CONQUEROR, 1956,
Universal, 111 min. Dir. Dick Powell. Only in Hollywood: the great John Wayne
delivers one of his most over-the-top performances as Mongol leader Genghis Khan, opposite
sultry Susan Hayward as (you guessed it) a full-blooded Tartar princess!! With its
buxom harem dancers, swooning Oriental score (by Victor Young) and riotous dialogue, THE
CONQUEROR is the absolute height of 1950s Hollywood exotica. In a strange
post-script, THE CONQUEROR became infamous for the early, cancer-related deaths of many of
its key players (much of the film was shot on location in the desert near the U.S. atomic
Preceded by the rare Atomic Era short, "Survival City," 1955, 20th Century Fox,
approx. 20 min. Dir. Anthony Muto. Hands down, one of the most surreal and alarming pieces
of propaganda weve EVER seen, "Survival City" shows the positive, human
side of nuclear warfare: Dad and Son get to build a bomb shelter together, while two
female mannequins enjoy a risqué nap in bed. And then mushroom clouds blossom in
stupendous Cinemascope and four-track stereo sound. Must be seen to be believed!
Sunday, December 8 2:30 PM
Special Added Attraction Free
"4-Track Magnetic Stereo
and Cinemascope Demonstration Film" 1953, 20th Century Fox,
approx. 90 min. This incredibly rare, 5-reel film was produced in 1953 by 20th
Century Fox to sell theatre owners on the then-brand new technologies of 4-track mag
stereo and Cinemascope projection. Hosted by legendary Fox studio head Darryl F. Zanuck,
the film features clips from several of the first Cinemascope and stereo productions being
made at the studio in the early 1950s. Please note that this, the only surviving
print, is extremely faded; because of its rarity, were including it here as a free
event. Tickets available on a first come, first served basis.
Sunday, December 8 5:00 PM
Rare Roadshow Version in
PEPE, 1960, Columbia, 195 min. Dir.
George Sidney. The story of rodeo clown Cantinflas hoping to hit the big
time with his prize stallion is really just an excuse for this comedic mindbender of a
Hollywood parade of stars that makes the number of cameos in AROUND THE WORLD IN EIGHTY
DAYS look downright stingy! Shirley Jones, Kim Novak, Maurice Chevalier, Bing Crosby,
Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Bobby Darin, Sammy Davis, Jr., Judy Garland, Janet
Leigh, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Tony Curtis, Ernie Kovacs and Edward G. Robinson are just
a few of the luminous greats appearing in this rarely-seen extravaganza, with music by
Johnny Green. This is the original roadshow version of the film, in beautiful dye-transfer
Technicolor and 4-track stereo! Plus, the short "The Miracle of Stereophonic Sound," 1954,
20th Century Fox, approx. 20 min.
Actor (PEPE) Carlos Rivas will
introduce the screening.