Line-Up for ‘Maryville Talks Movies’ Series Announced


[St. Louis, Mo.]—Maryville University has announced the fall schedule for Maryville Talks Movies. The series brings together students and the St. Louis community to watch and discuss significant films in a variety of genres. The goal is to expand participants’ understanding of contemporary events, history, ideas, and art. Although this is a for-credit course, the public is invited to attend the movie screenings and accompanying discussions.

“One of the aims of the series is to discuss film as the artistic medium of the 20th century,” says Germaine Murray, PhD, professor of English. “The professors presenting these films believe there are some films, like some novels, that everyone from every generation should see and hopefully appreciate.”


Fall 2014 Schedule

A professor will introduce each film and then, after the viewing, lead a 40-minute presentation or Q & A session. Maryville Talks Movies will be held in the Auditorium. Admission is free and open to the public, with seating on a first-come, first-served basis.


Sept. 4, 6 p.m.

The African Queen, director John Huston (1951)
Prof. John Baltrushunus, PhD

*This film will launch the University’a commemoration of the beginning of the World War I.

Well known for the on-screen chemistry between Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn, The African Queen is considered one of Houston’s best films. The screenplay was notably written by James Agee and the backdrop of the film is the outbreak of the First World War and how it affects European African colonies.


Sept. 11, 6 p.m.

The Wild Bunch, director Sam Peckinpah (1969)
Maryville President Mark Lombardi. PhD

Set in the early 1900’s in Texas and Mexico, The Wild Bunch follows an aging group of outlaws as they make a final criminal stand against industrial might, state corruption, a former brother outlaw turned hunter, and their own belief that their “male code” is eroding. A groundbreaking and violent western, the movie is one of the best examples of the anti-hero genre of films that gained prominence during the late 1960s and 1970s.


Sept. 18, 6 p.m.

Streetcar Named Desire, director Elia Kazan (1951)
Prof. Germaine Murray, PhD

*Co-sponsored by The Health and Wellness Office and the Personal Counseling Office of Maryville University

With Streetcar Named Desire, director Elia Kazan broke free of the studio system, giving him an artistic freedom that many directors did not experience until later in the decade. Tennessee Williams adapted the play for the screen and was forced to change the ending and some aspects of characterization.


Oct. 2, 2014, 6 p.m.

Lawrence of Arabia, director David Lean (1962)
Prof. John Wickersham, PhD

* This film’s presentation is part of the university’s commemoration of the beginning of World War I.

Lawrence of Arabia is widely regarded as one of the greatest films in the history of cinema. Today, a half-century later, one is still stupefied by the power of its story, and by the sweep and grandeur of its cinematography. The movie is based on the exploits of Thomas Edward Lawrence, a young British army officer, specifically his participation in the Arab Revolt during WWI.


Oct. 9, 6 p.m.

Paths of Glory, director Stanley Kubrick (1957)
Prof. Dennis Wachtel, PhD

* This film is part of the university’s commemoration of the beginning of World War I.

Based on Humphrey Cobb’s 1935 searing anti-war novel, Paths of Glory tracks an incident that took place in the French Army during WWI. Following a failed attack launched under impossible circumstances against a German front-line position, the commanding officer of the attack shifts the responsibility for failure onto the attacking French troops and demands that a number of them be selected at random to be court-martialed and shot for cowardice.


Oct. 16, 6 p.m.

All the Presidents Men, director Allen J. Pakula (1976)
Prof. Kent Bausman, PhD

This suspenseful political thriller chronicles the Watergate scandal that lead to the resignation of President Nixon. All the Presidents Men serves as a powerful reminder of the role and responsibility a free and independent press has as a check against the abuse of power in all realms of social life. It also is a testament to the power of such responsibility when exercised.


Oct. 23, 6 p.m.

Star Wars, director George Lucas (1977)
Prof. Peter Henderson, DM

The soundtrack to Star Wars features some of the most recognizable film music of the last 40 years. Although George Lucas intended to use classical music for the soundtrack, John Williams convinced Lucas to allow him to compose original music, creating a unique musical identity for the film. Williams’ score earned him the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 1977.


Nov. 6, 6 p.m.

Manhattan, director Woody Allen (1979)
Prof. Johannes Wich-Schwarz, PhD

Famously called “the one truly great American movie of the ‘70s” by Andrew Sarris, Manhattan is often considered the pinnacle of Woody Allen’s movies. Discussion will examine the dialectical tension between the surface chatter of the movie’s characters and the existential backdrop of modern life. Manhattan is being screened in memory of its cinematographer, Gordon Willis, who died earlier this year.


Nov. 13, 6 p.m.

All Quiet on the Western Front, director Lewis Milestone (1930)
Panel of Professors

* This will be a panel discussion on the importance of this film and part of the campus wide commemoration of the start of World War I.

One of the greatest antiwar films ever made, All Quiet on the Western Front captured the plight of men caught in the midst of a senseless battle with little faith in military or political leadership and no way to get supplies short of scrounging them from the dead. Told from the perspective of young German soldiers, the story follows closely the novel of the same name by Erique Maria Remarque in 1929. Banning Remarque’s novel was one of the first official acts of Adolph Hitler when he came to power as the Chancellor of Germany.


Nov. 20, 6 p.m.

Gallipoli directed by Peter Weir, (1981)
Professor Linda Pitelka, PhD

* This film is part of the university’s commemoration of the beginning of World War I.

One of the greatest Australian films ever made, Gallipoli tells the story of the Battle of Gallipoli. A WWI campaign, the battle was a joint offensive by Allied forces and the first major engagement for Anzac, the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. Gallipoli was intended to capture Constantinople and secure a sea route to Russia, but it failed to achieve its objective and incurred one of the highest death tolls of the war.