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An early holiday gift for film fans

Yule favorites 'White Christmas' and 'It's a Wonderful Life' will screen next week.

December 03, 2009|By Susan King

Christmas is coming early to the Southland with two of the most beloved holiday movies screening next week.

On Sunday, Clarence the Angel, George Bailey, Mr. Potter and company are winging into the Million Dollar Theatre downtown for the Los Angeles Conservancy matinee screening of Frank Capra's 1946 "It's a Wonderful Life," starring Jimmy Stewart, Donna Reed and Lionel Barrymore.

Next up is Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye and Rosemary Clooney in the 1954 musical comedy "White Christmas," at the ArcLight Hollywood on Monday. This corny but entertaining feel-good holiday movie features countless standards by Irving Berlin including the title tune. "White Christmas" travels to the ArcLight Sherman Oaks on Dec. 15.

Gilliam tribute

Iconoclastic director Terry Gilliam is being feted by the American Cinematheque beginning Sunday with a sneak of his latest film, "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus," starring Christopher Plummer and the late Heath Ledger in his final film role.

And on Wednesday, the Egyptian travels down South for a Tennessee Williams double bill: 1959's melodrama, "Suddenly Last Summer," starring Elizabeth Taylor, Katharine Hepburn and Montgomery Clift, and 1958's "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," adapted and directed by Richard Brooks and starring Taylor and Paul Newman in their Oscar-winning roles.

The Aero goes to the final frontier with its "Star Trek" festival, co-presented by and Geek Monthly magazine. First up on Friday is this year's "Star Trek" and the 10th anniversary screening of the comedy "Free Enterprise," which includes a cast and crew reunion. There's a triple "Star Trek" bill on Saturday: 1982's "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan," 1984's "Star Trek III: In Search of Spock" and 1986's "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home." "Trek II" director Nicholas Meyer and guests will chat after the first film.

Stanley Kramer's 1959 apocalyptic epic, "On the Beach," with Gregory Peck, Ava Gardner, Anthony Perkins and Fred Astaire, celebrates its 50th anniversary Wednesday at the Aero. The filmmaker's widow, Karen Kramer, and other guests will appear at the screening.

Birthday salute

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences celebrates Douglas Fairbanks Jr.'s 100th birthday Wednesday with a screening at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater of the 1937 swashbuckler "The Prisoner of Zenda," in which he starred with Ronald Colman and Madeleine Carroll. Oscar-winning visual effects supervisor Craig Barron and Oscar-winning sound designer Ben Burtt examine the innovative photographic and sound effects for the film.

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