Footprints Film Festival - Now, Voyager & Saboteur

 

Now, Voyager

Sunday November 27th

4:00 pm

Lawrence Arts Center Theater

940 New Hampshire Lawrence, KS 66044

Both of our films were released in 1942. The Great Depression had come to a screeching halt with the economic boom of preparing for World War II. Americans were still largely unaware of the horrors of the war. They were happy to have a job and extra money in their pockets. 

You wouldn’t know from our first movie that the world was at war. The conflict at hand was that of Charlotte Vale (Bette Davis), a Boston heiress, and her elderly, controlling and cruel mother. Charlotte was a dowdy, stay-at-home spinster. She was desperately unhappy. Somehow, against her mother’s wishes, she connects with Dr. Jaquith (Claude Rains), a soothing psychiatrist with great bedside manner. Therapy, a new hair style, eyebrow plucking, new wardrobe and an on-board romance with suave and debonair Jerry Durrance (Paul Henreid) transforms Charlotte. She emerges from her dark chrysalis a fully formed, strong willed woman. Yes, it is a soap opera with an abundance of heartache, but with the fine acting of Davis, Rains and Henreid, it is a joy to watch.

 

Saboteur

Sunday November 27th

7:30 pm

Lawrence Arts Center Theater

940 New Hampshire Lawrence, KS 66044

In our second film, America is very much at war, beset with fifth columnists bent on espionage. Like  Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps and North by Northwest, a wrongly accused man (Robert Cummings) is involved in a perilous cross-country chase. He is in constant danger from both the police and spies. Fry (Norman Lloyd), a German spy, starts a deadly fire at a California defense plant, with Cummings wrongly taking the blame. It is a fast-paced roller coaster ride full of delightful Hitchcock touches of humor and suspense. With stops at Hoover Dam, Radio City Music Hall, the Brooklyn Navy yard, our hero finally finds himself battling Fry dangling from the Statue of Liberty’s torch.  

It is so much fun to watch, you don’t wonder why Cummings doesn’t call the police. Hitchcock had an abnormal fear of authority. Police are to be avoided. The film seems to say that the outcome of the war will be the result of everyday Americans coming together to save the world from Fascism. Throughout our breathless chase from the west coast to New York, it is the kindness of strangers which saves the day. There is a delightful scene where Cummings hitches a ride with a traveling circus. Each of the circus performers represents a different faction of the American public. Their debate shows that we too had Fascist tendencies, but fortunately there were enough good people for democracy to win.


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