When Howard Hawks directed His Girl Friday back in 1940, he had no idea that his sublime newspaper-world comedy would one day become a treasured relic, lovingly rescued and preserved by the National Film Registry and the Library of Congress. But it has, along with many other great movies from the pre-1951 "nitrate" era, a time when film stock itself was dangerously flammable. This week, the Starz FilmCenter will screen new 35-millimeter prints, made from the original nitrate camera negatives, of Friday and three other terrific Hollywood classics, using its new dual-projection system.
On Thursday, July 8, catch Alfred Hitchcock's subversive small-town thriller Shadow of a Doubt (1943), starring Joseph Cotten and Teresa Wright. On Friday, July 9, it's the aforementioned Howard Hawks evergreen, with Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell as quick-talking, hard-bitten Chicago newsfolk. On Saturday, July 10, the great Warner Brothers star Paul Muni takes charge in 1932's I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang, which embodies Warners' Depression-era commitment to stories about social injustice. On Sunday, July 11, horror-movie cultists can delight again in Jacques Tourneur's Cat People (1942), in which the beautiful Simone Simon is unexpectedly transformed into a murderous panther.
All showings are at 7 p.m. at Starz, in the Tivoli building on the Auraria campus. For information, call 303-820-FILM or visit www.denverfilm.org