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Joan Blondell Fest at PFA

Delightful movies worth seeking out at Pacific Film Archive

If earsplitting summer blockbusters aren't your thing, Berkeley's Pacific Film Archive is offering a terrific alternative this month. The actress Joan Blondell is being celebrated in a fantastic series of films. Blondell was an adorable star and her performances ranged from screwball comedy to serious melodrama. She was an absolute delight and I can't wait to see some of these at PFA. The Thursday, June 26 screening of Nightmare Alley is highly recommended...its a masterpiece of horror noir.

Friday, June 20, 2008
7:00 p.m. Three on a Match
This swift, sordid melodrama features Blondell, Ann Dvorak, and Bette Davis as former classmates drawn into an underworld of drugs and crime.

Friday, June 20, 2008
8:30 p.m. The King and the Chorus Girl
“A monarch-in-exile falls for showgirl from Brooklyn Blondell when he ogles her in a cancan ensemble. It’s understandable: she never looked better.”—Village Voice

Sunday, June 22, 2008
6:30 p.m. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
Elia Kazan’s debut feature evokes youthful dreams and family hardships in 1910 Brooklyn. Blondell is “little short of wonderful.”—N.Y. Daily News

Wednesday, June 25, 2008
6:30 p.m. There’s Always a Woman
Blondell as a self-made sleuth in “a zany, agreeable, and well-written comedy-satire of murder mysteries in the Thin Man mold.”—Matthew Kennedy

Wednesday, June 25, 2008
8:15 p.m. Three Girls About Town
Blondell copes with drunken conventioneers and an unruly corpse in this charmingly eccentric comedy. “Altogether delightful.”—Matthew Kennedy

Thursday, June 26, 2008
6:30 p.m. Nightmare Alley
This compelling noir tracks the rise and fall of carnival sleazeball Tyrone Power. “No self-respecting film buff can afford to miss it.”—Time Out N.Y.

Friday, June 27, 2008
7:00 p.m. Lizzie
Blondell plays delightfully drunken aunt to tormented Eleanor Parker in a precursor to The Three Faces of Eve.

Sunday, June 29, 2008
6:30 p.m. Opening Night
Gena Rowlands is an actress in crisis in John Cassavetes’s updated, improvisational take on the backstage drama, with Blondell as a bemused playwright.

Series organized at PFA by Susan Oxtoby.