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The Silver Screen


The Stanford Theatre is an old-fashioned movie palace on University Avenue, the main drag here in Palo Alto. It somehow avoided having its solitary spacious theater, complete with a balcony and ornate décor, chopped into a multiplex like the haunts of my youth. This place even has a pipe organ that rises from an orchestra pit and a real live organist entertaining the crowd between features. In honor of the centennial of Jimmy Stewart's birth, a few films starring the actor are being shown all summer. Tonight I saw two of them: Strategic Air Command (1955) and No Highway In The Sky (1951), the latter of which also starred Marlene Dietrich. The first of the double feature was to the 1950s Air Force what Top Gun was to naval aviation in the 1980s: a love letter featuring lots of beauty shots of the planes soaring through the clouds--basically a long form recruiting ad! (Turns out that Stewart was an avid pilot who rose to the rank of general in the Air Force Reserves.) The second, a black-and-white classic, was more enjoyable; it was a witty and suspenseful film about an absent-minded scientist living in Britain who thinks he discovers a flaw in an airplane design, and then finds himself on one of those planes on the brink of catastrophe.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on July 11, 2008 11:53 PM.

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