Senator offering World War II features

December 05, 1991|By Lou Cedrone | Lou Cedrone,Evening Sun Staff

When ''The Prince of Tides'' opens here on Christmas Day, the Senator will be among those theaters showing the film. Meanwhile, beginning today, management is presenting a double bill commemorating World War II. The films are the 1945 ''They Were Expendable'' and the 1953 ''From Here to Eternity.''

''They Were Expendable'' stars John Wayne and Robert Montgomery as members of a PT squadron stationed at Manila Bay on the day the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor.

It's a long film (135 minutes), much too long, but this is the way to see it, at the Senator, where a very clear black-and-white (it has been colorized for television) 35 mm print is being exhibited.

Montgomery plays commander of the torpedo boat squadron, and Wayne is the co-commander who wants out. He doesn't believe that the patrol boat will ever prove itself in combat.

Of course, it did, and director John Ford showed how.

The movie is terribly dated (the world ''swell'' is heard throughout), and the film, like so many that were made during the war, is unashamedly patriotic. It also shows its age in the treatment of women.

It's great fun spotting the old faces, Marshall Thompson, Leon Ames and Cameron Mitchell among them, and if the film is unbelievably sentimental and incredibly gung-ho (everyone in the film can't wait to get into action), it is still great to watch.

''They Were Expendable'' and ''From Here to Eternity,' for which Frank Sinatra won his best-supporting Oscar (the statuette revived Sinatra's career), will remain at the Senator through Saturday, to be followed by a Festival of Oldies:

''Hans Christian Andersen'' (1952) and ''A Christmas Carol'' (1951) will play Dec. 8-10, ''It's A Wonderful Life'' and ''Miracle of the Bells'' (1948), Dec. 11-14, ''Meet Me in Saint Louis'' (1944) and ''A Christmas Story (1983), Dec. 15-17, and the 1971 ''Fiddler on the Roof'', Dec. 19-24.

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