Film/Video

Cracking the (Pre) Code: She Done Him Wrong


In her movie star–making role, Mae West plays a diamond-loving Bowery saloon keeper of the Gay Nineties. A very young Cary Grant is a “Salvation Army officer” who hangs out at her joint a bit too much. One of the biggest blockbusters of the year, She Done Him Wrong is the only West film to be nominated for an Oscar as best picture, and it immortalized her most famous quip: “Come up sometime and see me.” Based on West’s part in the Broadway play Diamond Lil.

• Check out a review of the film.

• Get more background from the Library of Congress.

When:
Jul 28, 2019
Cost:
General Admission $9. MFAH members, senior adults & students with ID, $7
Time:
3:30 pm
Sunday Time & Price:
3:30PM $9. MFAH members, senior adults & students with ID, $7
General Categories: 

Cracking the (Pre) Code: Shanghai Express


Aboard the title train, befeathered Marlene Dietrich finds mysterious Anna May Wong (the era’s only Chinese American star) and stoic ex-lover Clive Brook, but Chinese rebel leader Warner Oland (a Swedish-born actor who also played Charlie Chan) demands an unscheduled stop.

“A triumphant fusion of sin, glamour, shamelessness, art, and perhaps a furtive sense of humor.” – film critic Pauline Kael.

Read about the film's cinematography.

Read a Criterion essay.

Read more about Marlene Dietrich and Josef von Sternberg.

When:
Jul 21, 2019
Cost:
General Admission $9. MFAH members, senior adults & students with ID, $7
Time:
5:00 pm
Sunday Time & Price:
5PM $9. MFAH members, senior adults & students with ID, $7
General Categories: 

Cracking the (Pre) Code: Gold Diggers of 1933


Out of work showgirls Joan Blondell, Ginger Rogers, and Ruby Keeler team up with songwriter Dick Powell to put on a Depression-proof Broadway show. The greatest of all Pre-Code musicals, with sparkling dialogue and lavish, eye-popping production numbers by the great Busby Berkeley, including the downright smutty “Pettin’ in the Park” number.

Print preserved by the Library of Congress.

Read a review here.

When:
Jul 19, 2019
Cost:
General Admission $9. MFAH members, senior adults & students with ID, $7
Time:
7:30 pm
Friday Time & Price:
7:30PM $9. MFAH members, senior adults & students with ID, $7
General Categories: 

Cracking the (Pre) Code: Three on a Match


Three slum-raised schoolgirls, whose lives seem to have been predestined, grow up to be Ann Dvorak, Joan Blondell, and Bette Davis – and things don’t quite work out as planned. A strong Pre-Code cast also includes Warren William and Humphrey Bogart in one of his earliest gangster roles.

Read a review.

Read Turner Classic Movies' description.

When:
Jul 19, 2019
Cost:
General Admission $9. MFAH members, senior adults & students with ID, $7
Time:
6:00 pm
Friday Time & Price:
6PM $9. MFAH members, senior adults & students with ID, $7
General Categories: 

Cracking the (Pre) Code: Blood Money


Intro and Outro by Bruce Goldstein

Shady bail bondsman George Bancroft, already involved with nightclub owner Judith Anderson, dallies with thrill-seeking Frances Dee, who’s fascinated by low life and rough stuff. The third film produced by Darryl F. Zanuck’s Twentieth Century Pictures was censored around the world. 

“One of the toughest of the early underworld movies.” – David Shipman (UK film critic)

Read reviews here and here.

When:
Jul 14, 2019
Cost:
General Admission $9. MFAH members, senior adults & students with ID, $7
Time:
1:00 pm
Sunday Time & Price:
5PM $9. MFAH members, senior adults & students with ID, $7
General Categories: 

Cracking the (Pre) Code: Blessed Event


Intro and Outro by Bruce Goldstein

Lee Tracy, who practically invented the Pre-Code acting style, is a high octane, stop-at-nothing gossip columnist. This rare print is the most complete version ever screened.

“No movie came even close to displaying Tracy’s abundant energy and rat-a-tat-tat style; he was as great a star of the era as Jimmy Cagney or Edward G. Robinson.” – Bruce Goldstein

Print preserved by the Library of Congress.

Read New York's Film Forum description.

Read essays here and here.

When:
Jul 13, 2019
Cost:
General Admission $9. MFAH members, senior adults & students with ID, $7
Time:
6:30 pm
Saturday Time & Price:
6:30PM $9. MFAH members, senior adults & students with ID, $7
General Categories: 

Cracking the (Pre) Code: Baby Face


Intro & Outro by Bruce Goldstein

In the Citizen Kane of Pre-Code, the exploited daughter (Barbara Stanwyck) of an illegal speakeasy owner moves to the city after her father dies and uses her brains and sexuality to move up the economic ladder.

Costarring George Brent, John Wayne, and Theresa Harris as perhaps the screen’s very first black “best friend” to a female star. Long considered one of the raciest movies of the early 1930s, now even more so with this never-released uncensored version from the Library of Congress.

Print preserved by the Library of Congress.

Read about Theresa Harris' groundbreaking role.

An essay on the film from the Library of Congress.

When:
Jul 12, 2019
Cost:
General Admission $9. MFAH members, senior adults & students with ID, $7
Time:
7:00 pm
Friday Time & Price:
7PM $9. MFAH members, senior adults & students with ID, $7
General Categories: 

Cracking the (Pre) Code: Emplolyee Entrance


Intro and Outro by Bruce Goldstein

“Me too,” Depression style: Store manager Warren William (“the King of Pre-Code”) uses Mussolini tactics to get his business out of the red – and seduces innocent salesgirl Lorretta Young, before and after marriage to nice guy Wallace Ford. One of the fastest-paced and funniest movies of the era.

“My desert island Pre-Code movie” – Bruce Goldstein

Read about Warren William's performance.

Check out a review of the film.

An essay on the film.

When:
Jul 13, 2019
Cost:
General Admission $9. MFAH members, senior adults & students with ID, $7
Time:
5:00 pm
Saturday Time & Price:
5PM $9. MFAH members, senior adults & students with ID, $7
General Categories: 

New Releases: Amazing Grace


In 1972, filmmaker Sydney Pollack and crew filmed Aretha Franklin’s gospel performances at the New Bethel Baptist Church in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles. This new concert film features never-before-seen footage of the live recordings that became Franklin’s iconic, best-selling album Amazing Grace. 

“How sweet the sound, indeed.” —Los Angeles Times

“It will make you feel as if you’ve seen the face of God.” —Rolling Stone

“Glorious . . . Don’t bother with tissues. Bring a towel.” —New York Times

“A transcendent, spine-tingling, uplifting, utterly joyous experience.” —NPR

• How Amazing Grace was born, buried, and resurrected

• Aretha Franklin’s live album Amazing Grace made gospel history

When:
Jul 4, 2019 to Jul 7, 2019
Cost:
General Admission $9. MFAH members, senior adults & students with ID, $7
Time:
12:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Thursday Time & Price:
12PM $9. MFAH members, senior adults & students with ID, $7
Friday Time & Price:
7PM $9. MFAH members, senior adults & students with ID, $7
Saturday Time & Price:
7PM $9. MFAH members, senior adults & students with ID, $7
Sunday Time & Price:
2&5PM $9. MFAH members, senior adults & students with ID, $7
General Categories: 

New Releases: Buddy


In this poignant and carefully composed portrait of six service dogs and their owners, renowned documentary filmmaker Heddy Honigmann explores the close bond between animal and human. Honigmann respectfully questions the owners about what the animals mean to them. Buddy is an ode to the fighting spirit of the main characters and a loving portrait of the deep bond between human and dog.

“Critic’s Pick! Warm, observant, mildly philosophical and deeply curious… Without a millimeter of overreach, Honigmann's movie convinces you that the dogs have kept these people away from overwhelming bleakness by also guiding them into the light.” — The New York Times

“An audience favorite! A tender tribute to tail-wagging treasures.” — Hollywood Reporter

"An exquisite portrait of the lives of six guide dogs and their owners. But because it’s a Heddy Honigmann film it inevitably transforms into a philosophical meditation — in this case, an exploration of the love affair between mankind and its best friend." – Filmmaker Magazine

Read an interview with the filmmaker.

When:
Jun 28, 2019 to Jun 30, 2019
Cost:
General Admission $9. MFAH members, senior adults & students with ID, $7
Time:
5:00 pm to 3:00 pm
Friday Time & Price:
5&7PM $9. MFAH members, senior adults & students with ID, $7
Saturday Time & Price:
5&7PM $9. MFAH members, senior adults & students with ID, $7
Sunday Time & Price:
3PM $9. MFAH members, senior adults & students with ID, $7
General Categories: 


PO BOX 66494
Houston, TX 77266-6494


713.868.1839


Fresh Arts |  The Silos at Sawyer 1502 Sawyer St, Studio #103 Houston, TX 77007

Cart