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UCLA Festival of Preservation

The historical sweep and technical wizardry of the UCLA Film & Television Archive's preservation projects – from early silent films and Golden Age classics, to fascinating rarities and contemporary gems – are showcased in the biennial UCLA Festivals of Preservation. Audiences celebrate an entire century’s worth of moving images with feature films, television and newsreel programs, and shorts. The event is not only an established part of the Los Angeles cultural landscape, but also a preeminent film event worldwide.

All films from UCLA Film and Television Archive. Special thanks to Shannon Kelley and Todd Wiener (UCLA Film and Television Archive); John Couch, (Ralph and Barbara Edwards Family Foundation); and to all the generous funders who made the preservation possible. Julie Kohner’s appearance is made possible by the generosity of the Ralph and Barbara Edwards Family Foundation. Program notes by Jeffrey Bickel, Dan Einstein, Steven K. Hill, Jan-Christopher Horak, Shannon Kelley, Ross Lipman, Mark Quigley, Pauline Stakelon, and Todd Wiener (UCLA Film and Television Archive). 

Download the UCLA Festival of Preservation program guide here.

Past Films in This Series


Cry Danger

Directed by Robert Parrish
Framed for a crime, an ex-con (Dick Powell) searches for the real culprit. Rhonda Fleming also stars in this L.A. film noir filled with double crosses. The film's standout performance comes from supporting actor Richard Erdman, who, according to a review from the New York Times, "[had] been around Hollywood since 1943—just waiting for the right chance, no doubt." In his directorial debut, former editor Robert Parrish skillfully illuminates screenwriter Bill Bowers’s equally acerbic and droll Cry Danger into an under-appreciated noir gem. ... more info

Come Back to the 5 & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean

Directed by Robert Altman
After the critical failure of Popeye, Robert Altman turned away from Hollywood, directing Ed Graczyk’s stage play. For the film, Altman retained the original stage set, which featured two identical Texas “five-and-dimes” separated by two-way mirrors that allowed the story to move back-and-forth between the past and the present. Set in 1975 and starring Sandy Dennis, Cher, and Karen Black, the story relates the twentieth reunion of “The Disciples of James Dean” fan club. They meet at the local hangout, ... more info

This Is Your Life: Holocaust Stories

Directed by Axel Gruenberg and Richard Gottlieb
Introduced by Julie Kohner, daughter of Holocaust survivor Hanna Bloch Kohner The TV series This Is Your Life, hosted by Ralph Edwards, paid tribute to notable people and aired on NBC from 1952 to 1961. Not only movie and television stars received the This Is Your Life treatment—war heroes, country doctors, educators, religious leaders, humanitarians, and ordinary people also found themselves the subjects of biographical journeys featuring reunions with long-lost friends and relatives. Among those “regular” people were three courageous women, all survivors of the Holocaust, the horrors of which were still fresh at the time. This ... more info

On the Vitaphone: 1927–30

Directed by Various directors
Vitaphone technology was an early method of syncing recorded sound to film via 16” shellac discs. Film critics were astounded that vocal and musical reproductions could sound so “natural.” Of course, the silent cinema was never truly silent, as at the very least live musical accompaniment was featured with every performance. However, the idea of synchronized sound, with both the image and the voice seemingly originating from the same human form, had long captured the imagination of movie audiences and producers ... more info

Sleep, My Love

Directed by Douglas Sirk
Although his reputation as an auteur wouldn’t materialize until much later in his career, director Douglas Sirk’s early Hollywood career contained some interesting efforts. Although it didn’t have the box-office success of Rebecca, Suspicion, or Gaslight, Sleep, My Love still remains a surprisingly effective terrorized-wife drama. With a story by Leo Rosten and atmospheric, noir-like cinematography by Joseph Valentine, the plot centers on a socialite, played by Claudette Colbert, who is being driven mad by her faithless husband (Don Ameche, ... more info

Samuel Beckett's “Film”

Directed by Alan Schneider
Written by Samuel Beckett and directed by Alan Schneider, Film is in essence a chase film—arguably the craziest committed to celluloid. It’s a chase between camera and pursued image that finds dread embedded in the very apparatus. The link to cinema’s essence is evident in the casting, as the chased object is none other than an aged Buster Keaton, who was befuddled at Beckett’s imperative to keep the character's face hidden from the camera’s gaze. Preservation funded by the Film ... more info


Directed by Barbara Loden
Please arrive early for best parking opportunities. Cited by Jonathan Rosenbaum as one of the 100 greatest American films ever made, Barbara Loden’s neorealist gem centers on her brilliant performance as a rural Pennsylvanian housewife embarked upon a flight to nowhere, traveling through an American landscape of decrepit factories, two-lane wastelands, and ratty motels. Dragged into a relationship with a small-time crook (Michael Higgins), Loden’s Wanda seems to possess a view of desperation filtered through a tinted windshield. Her creative partner in the ... more info

The Crusades

Directed by Cecil B. DeMille
Following the great success of 1934’s Cleopatra, Cecil B. DeMille lost no time arranging another thundering epic to confirm his supremacy at Paramount Pictures. The Crusades posits a takeover of Jerusalem by Islamic warrior Saladin, and the pan-European response to this supposed offense against Christianity’s holiest site. Urged to war by his fellow kings, Richard the Lionheart sees an opportunity to escape an expedient marriage to the dour princess of France (DeMille’s daughter, Katherine), but finds it necessary to grudgingly ... more info

Strangers in the Night

Directed by Anthony Mann
The inky noir style and fatalist themes that would emerge full force in director Anthony Mann’s T-Men (1948) and Border Incident (1949) begin to take shape in this early, gothic B-thriller about a returning vet lured into a psychological nightmare by the promise of love. While recovering from combat wounds he received in the South Pacific, Marine Sergeant Johnny Meadows (William Terry) starts up a correspondence with a woman whose name he finds written inside a book of poetry. The ... more info