'Death Takes a Holiday' (1934), followed by 'Murder at the Vanities' (1934)

Sunday, November 18, 2012
7:00 pm - 10:00 pm, UCLA Hammer Museum - Billy Wilder Theater

That Signature Style: The Films of Mitchell Leisen

See below for additional information.


$9 general admission; $8 non-UCLA Students, seniors, UCLA Alumni Association members (ID required).

Free for UCLA students (current ID required).


UCLA Film & Television Archive
(310) 206-8013



Additional Information

'Death Takes a Holiday' (1934). Feeling misunderstood, Death, played by Frederic March, takes human form for a weekend to learn why mortals fear him and cling so desperately to their physical existence. When he finds himself drawn to an ethereal woman, he learns of love and comes to a deeper understanding of life. Leisen brings a haunting, atmospheric romanticism to a film that’s part philosophical allegory, part surrealist fable. Followed by: 'Murder at the Vanities' (1934). Leisen keeps things lively in this pre-Code backstage musical mystery in which a hardboiled police inspector investigates a murder at a theater while the show goes on. Songs include “The Rape of the Rhapsody,” featuring Duke Ellington and his orchestra, and a number “(Sweet) Marihuana,” that was cut from the film before its release but which survived in the elements copied for UCLA’s preservation.

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