Yes, just as we did with the “lost” Joe Stefano film THE HAUNTED so now do we encore with a freshly-restored 35mm print of another
“lost” Leslie Stevens film – PRIVATE PROPERTY (1960), starring Corey
Allen, Warren Oates and Kate Manx (then Mrs. Leslie Stevens). Stevens’
hope was “to bring the (French) New Wave crashing into the heart of
Hollywood,” and the movie was promptly condemned by the Catholic Legion
of Decency for tackling such taboo themes as dominance, rape fantasies,
and "latent" homosexuality. This is a pristine, sparkling restoration
that has to be seen to be believed, thanks to Scott MacQueen and the
preservationists at the UCLA Film Archive. Funding courtesy of the
Packard Humanities Institute.
DJS WILL EMCEE (unless Scott tears
the podium away from him). Come celebrate with us! (It’s also the UCLA
Film & TV Archive’s 50th Anniversary!)
Presented on no less
than FRIDAY THE 13th (March 13th) at 7:30 P.M. at the Billy Wilder
Theatre (Courtyard Level at the Hammer Museum).
The Billy Wilder Theater box office opens one hour before show times. 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90024.
General Admission: $9 Seniors: $8 UCLA Alumni Association Members: $8 Non-UCLA Students: $8
Parking is available in the lot under the Billy Wilder Theater. Enter from Westwood Blvd., just north of Wilshire Blvd.
Monday - Friday before 6 p.m.: $3 for first 3 hours with museum
validation and $1.50 every 15 minutes thereafter. To obtain validation,
show your ticket stub at the welcome desk in the museum lobby.
MORE TO READ:
Produced on a minuscule budget reportedly just below $60,000, Leslie
Stevens’ controversial directorial debut Private Property was hailed by
Variety as a “possible forerunner of an American ‘new wave’ movement”
and was equally condemned by the National Catholic Legion of Decency for
its exploration of seduction, rape and latent homosexuality. Due to
the film’s taboo subject matter, the Production Code Administration
denied the work a code seal, making Private Property the first U.S.
feature to be released without MPAA approval since Otto Preminger’s
stark exploration of heroin addiction, The Man with the Golden Arm, in
1955. Lack of Code approval, however, which kept major distributors
from picking-up and widely releasing Private Property, didn’t prevent
the disquieting independent film from eventually grossing over $2
million in box office receipts and enjoying successful art house runs
Framed by Academy Award-nominated cinematographer
Ted McCord’s gritty noir shadows as juxtaposed against a tony, sunbathed
Beverly Hills location (in reality, Leslie Stevens’ own home), Private
Property showcases a trio of edgy, superbly understated Method-esque
performances by leads Kate Manx (in her screen debut), Corey Allen
(Rebel Without a Cause, 1955), and Warren Oates (Bring Me the Head of
Alfredo Garcia, 1974). As a vulnerable, affluent young woman driven to
psychological distress by a sexless marriage, and further menaced by a
pair of sociopathic drifters, Manx conveys a muted, permeating
melancholy that effectively serves to anchor the drama’s purposeful
excesses of Freudian symbolism.
Married prior to the making of
Private Property in 1958, Manx and Stevens would divorce in 1964, with
the actress tragically dying later that year from a reported overdose of
sleeping pills. Stevens continued to successfully work in film and
television into the1990s, and is best-remembered for creating and
writing and directing episodes of the cult-classic science fiction
television series, The Outer Limits (1963-1965). —Mark Quigley
(Director: Leslie Stevens. Production: Kana Productions, Inc., Daystar
Productions. Distribution: Citation Films, Inc. Producer: Stanley
Colbert. Screenwriter: Leslie Stevens. Cinematographer: Ted McCord.
Editor: Jerry Young. Music: Alex Compinksy. Cast: Corey Allen, Warren
Oates, Kate Manx, Robert Wark, Jerome Cowan. 35mm, b/w, 79 min.)
Restored from a 35mm acetate composite dupe negative, a 35mm acetate
print and a 35mm acetate track negative. Laboratory services by The
Stanford Theatre Film Laboratory, Audio Mechanics, DJ Audio, Simon