S.O.S. Tidal Wave (1939) & False Faces (1932)
Sunday, March 12, 2017
7:00 pm - 9:30 pm, UCLA Hammer Museum - Billy Wilder Theater
UCLA Festival of Preservation 2017
See below for additional information.
Advance tickets are available online for $10.
Tickets are also available at the Billy Wilder Theater box office beginning one hour before showtime: $9, general admission; free to all UCLA students with valid ID; $8, other students, seniors and UCLA Alumni Association members with ID.
A $50 festival pass is available and grants admission to all Festival of Preservation screenings!
S.O.S. Tidal Wave (1939) directed by John H. Auer. In S.O.S. Tidal Wave television is everywhere, as ubiquitous as the ever-gullible public. Stealing the mayoral election in a city along the Eastern seaboard is easy peasy for a corrupt political machine as voters stampede following a faked Election Day telecast of a biblical flood inundating New York City. Ralph Byrd's investigative TV reporter uncovers the fact that it's just an old movie the miscreants have rented from “Horror Films Incorporated.” New Deal politics frame the spectacle of Manhattan as a New Atlantis, a dazzling finish that welds the narrative to the Welles panic broadcast with found footage from the 1933 disaster movie Deluge. Even in 1939, the recycled devastation still looked clean and crisp as Republic had purchased the original negative and cut it up like a paper doll, consigning Deluge to the legion of lost films (for a half-century at least, until copies turned up in Europe).
Followed by False Faces (1932) directed by Lowell Sherman. The loathsome career of Henry Schireson, the self-styled “King of Quacks” famous for bobbing Fanny Brice's nose and infamous for the botched surgery that necessitated the amputation of Sadye Holland's gangrenous legs, is celebrated in Lowell Sherman's False Faces, a delirious film à clef worthy to be spoken of in the same breath with the best of Warren William's pre-Code muckrakers like Bedside (1934), Skyscraper Souls (1932) and The Mouthpiece (1932). We first meet Schireson's screen counterpart, Dr. Silas Benton (portrayed by director Sherman as an affectless sociopath), extorting money from a poor immigrant family for deceitful medical guarantees. Dismissed from his post at a New York hospital, Benton relocates to Chicago and promotes himself to the idle rich and famous as the doyen of nip-and-tuck. Utterly indifferent to his trail of human wreckage, Benton dallies promiscuously with every woman in sight and gorges himself with riches gleaned from his outlaw surgeries. His ultimate comeuppance is designed to leave the picture audience agog and cheering.