Films

Rod Serling with Movie Projector

The Western New York Movie Expo always includes a special program on Rod Serling, acclaimed writer of suspense.

Our film schedule for 2019 is now posted on this website.

This year we’ll be bringing you many classic silent-era movies, early talkies, animation, and short subjects.

Comedy classics from Laurel and Hardy, W.C. Fields, Buster Keaton, and Hal Roach. A variety of films – both silent and sound – including dramas, comedies, and musicals. Television classics from Jack Benny, Danny Thomas, Edgar Bergen, and more.

Movies will begin in the evening on Thursday, August 1, 2019.

Take a look at our list of movies! And to find out more, click on the title’s link, and the IMDB.com entry will open.

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Rod Serling Festival ~

Mike Pipher, Serling archivist and historian, returns for a fourth year to host our annual Serling festival, In the Zone with Rod Serling.

This year, two Serling authors will join Mike for special presentations.

Nicholas Parisi, author of Rod Serling: His Life, Work, and Imagination (2018), will read from his book and participate in a “Question and Answer” session, as well as autograph sessions. He will also have a display of some unusual Serling memorabilia.

Amy Boyle Johnston, author of the Rod Serling biography Unknown Serling (2015), will return to the Expo and discuss Seven Days in May (1964), following a screening of the feature film, which was written by Rod Serling, who adapted the screenplay from the novel.

Screenings include ~

Seven Days in May (1964) – Rod Serling wrote the screenplay, adapted from the novel Seven Days in May, by Fletcher Knebel and Charles W. Bailey II. Directed by John Frankenheimer and starring Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Frederic March, and Ava Gardner.

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Special guests and presentations ~

Jeff Rapsis returns for a fourth year to accompany several silent movies on his electronic keyboard. Find out more about Jeff on our page Meet Jeff Rapsis.

An auction will be held over the weekend. More information coming soon.

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Features from the Silent Era ~

Jeff Rapsis will accompany these films with live music.

The Cameraman (1928) – Buster Keaton and Madeleine Day – In love with a woman working at MGM Studios, a clumsy man (Keaton) attempts to become a cameraman.

The Docks of New York (1928) – Josef von Sternberg classic, starring George Bancroft and Betty Compson – A blue-collar worker on New York’s depressed waterfront finds his life changed when he saves a woman attempting suicide.

It’s the Old Army Game (1926) – W.C. Fields, Louise Brooks – Druggist Elmer Prettywillie (Fields) finds it hard to get to sleep with constant interruptions.

Pandora’s Box (1929) – Directed by G.W. Pabst, starring Louise Brooks and Fritz Kortner – The rise and fall of an amoral but naive woman (Brooks) whose eroticism inspires lust and violence in the men around her.

Special Delivery (1927) – Directed by Roscoe Arbuckle, starring Eddie Cantor, Jobyna Ralston, and William Powell – An inept Secret Service agent goes undercover as a mailman to catch a notorious criminal and impress his father, his boss.

The Wedding March (1928) – Directed by Eric von Stroheim, starring von Stroheim, Fay Wray, and Zasu Pitts – A young impoverished aristocrat falls in love with an inn-keeper’s daughter, but has to marry money.

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And features from the Talkies Era ~

Most are confirmed – few are pending.

Arsenic and Old Lace (1944) – Cary Grant, Priscilla Lane, Raymond Massey, Peter Lorre – A drama critic (Grant) learns his maiden aunts (Josephine Hull, Jean Adair) have been murdering lonely old men and burying them in their cellar.

Captain Boycott (1947) – Stewart Granger, Katherine Ryan, Cecil Parker, Alastair Sim – In 1880 Ireland, poor farmers rebel against the abuses of their British landlords. From the Dave Barnes Collection.

“Chuck Chan Theater” – Movies starring Warren Oland, Sidney Toler, and J. Carroll Naish, all as detective Charlie Chan – From the StuFink Collection

Chicago Deadline (1949) – Alan Ladd, Donna Reed, June Havoc in a film noir classic, about a Chicago newspaper reporter (Ladd) who finds a dead woman and an address book full of men who are afraid of the woman but claim they don’t know her.

A Chump at Oxford (1939) – Laurel and Hardy in a classic feature! Fee Fi Fo Fum! After capturing a bank robber, Stan and Ollie are rewarded with a scholarship to Oxford, but are met with resentment by other students.

The Crime Smasher (1943) – Frank Graham, Edgar Kennedy, Gale Storm, Mantan Moreland – Playing amateur detective, Prof. Cosmo Jones (Graham) teams up with a janitor to find a kidnapped heiress.

The Day the Bookies Wept (1939) – Joe Penner, Betty Grable, and Richard Lane – A group of taxi drivers pool their money and buy a beer-loving racehorse. From the Jack Roth Collection.

Dear Murderer (1947) – Eric Portman, Greta Gynt, Dennis Price, Hazel Court – When successful business man Lee Warren (Portman) suspects his wife Vivian (Gynt) is having an affair, he decides to find her lover, kill him, and make it look like suicide. But then he finds out she has a second lover . . .

The Errand Boy (1961) – Jerry Lewis, Brian Donlevy, Benny Rubin, Joe Besser, Fritz Feld – When Paramutual Pictures executives decide to find out where all the money is going, they hire the bumbling Morty (Lewis) to be their spy, with comedic results.

5 Against the House (1955) – Guy Madison, Kim Novak, Brian Keith, Alvy Moore, Kerwin Matthews, William Conrad – Four vets (Madison, Keith, Moore, Matthews) attending college on the GI Bill and a cabaret singer (Novak, in an early film appearance) try to rob a Reno, Nevada, casino and pull off the perfect crime.

The Gang’s All Here (1943) – Alice Faye, Carmen Miranda, Benny Goodman, Sheila Ryan – A soldier falls for a chorus girl and runs into problems when he is posted to the Pacific. I.B. Tech

The Great Radio Comedians (1972) – Jack Benny, Burns & Allen, Edgar Bergen, many more – Color documentary about radio comedies, primarily focused on Burns & Allen, Edgar Bergen & Charlie McCarthy, The Jack Benny Program, Fibber McGee & Molly, The Bob Hope Show, and The Fred Allen Show.

Here We Go Again (1942) – Fibber McGee & Molly, Edgar Bergen, Harold Peary – Jim and Marian Jordan (Fibber and Molly) want to celebrate their 20th anniversary with a party, but when no one can accept their invitation, they decide to go on a second honeymoon instead. Problems ensue when they run into all their friends at an expensive lodge.

If I had a Million (1932) – Gary Cooper, Charles Laughton, George Raft, W.C. Fields, Allison Skipworth – A dying tycoon gives one million dollars to each of eight people picked from the city directory.

I Dream Too Much (1935) – A musical comedy starring Lily Pons, Henry Fonda, Eric Blore – Struggling composer Johnny Street (Fonda) meets and marries Annette Monard (Pons) while he’s drunk, but complications arise when Johnny sobers up and realizes he doesn’t want to be married – From the Grant Golden Collection

Jet Pilot (1957) – John Wayne and Janet Leigh in this Howard Hughes aviator adventure, directed by Joseph von Sternberg – I.B. Tech

The Lavender Hill Mob (1951) – Alec Guinness, Stanley Holloway – Overseeing the shipment of bullion, a meek bank clerk joins with an eccentric neighbor to steal gold bars and smuggle them out of the country as miniature Eiffel Towers. – From the Dave Barnes Collection

A Killer Walks (1952) – Lawrence Harvey, Susan Shaw, Laurence Naismith star in a psychological thriller about an odd family with an older domineering son who resents both his overbearing grandmother and his younger brother.

Little Big Shot (1952) – Ronald Shiner, Victor Baring, Danny Green – In this British comedy, a boy tries to get himself a police record to impress the gang of criminals headed by his father.

Hitchcock: The Early Years (1999) – Documentary with highlights of Hitchcock’s British period, 1920s to 1930s, up to his move to Hollywood in 1940.

The Men Who Made the Movies: Alfred Hitchcock (1973) – Cliff Robertson narrates this look at Alfred Hitchcock, The Master of Suspense, who is interviewed extensively about his career and film-making techniques, including clips from North by Northwest, Shadow of a Doubt, The Birds, and Psycho – From the Ray Faiola collection

The Lodger (1944) – Laird Cregar, Merle Oberon, George Sanders, Cedric Hardwicke, Sara Allgood – In Victorian London, a landlady (Allgood) suspects her lodger (Cregar) is Jack the Ripper.

Modern Times (1936) – Charlie Chaplin, Paulette Goddard – The Tramp (Chaplin) struggles to live in modern industrial society with the help of a young homeless woman (Paulette Goddard). – From the Dave Barnes Collection

The Movie Crazy Years (1971) – Michael Tolan narrates this look at the movies of the 1930s, with emphasis on the Warner Bros. studio, including Bette Davis, Edward G. Robinson, director Busby Berkeley, and many more.

Nancy Steele is Missing! (1937) – Victor McLaglen, Peter Lorre, Walter Connolly, June Lang – After kidnapping the child of a munitions magnate (Connolly), a pacifist (McLaglen) finds his blackmail scheme put on hold when he lands in prison with a 17-year term; once out of prison, he intends to complete the blackmail, but meets the girl, now an adult (Lang), who assumes he is her father and wants a father-daughter relationship with him.

Pennies from Heaven (1936) – Bing Crosby, Madge Evans, Louis Armstrong – In prison on false charges, a self-described troubadour (Crosby) promises a condemned criminal (John Gallaudet) he will deliver a message to the family of the man Gallaudet murdered – From the John Millen Collection

Seven Days in May (1964) – Shown in conjunction with Rod Serling biographers’ forum.

Seven Days Leave (1930) – Gary Cooper, Beryl Mercer – In this World War I drama, based on the J.M. Barrie play The Old Lady Shows Her Medals, a Canadian soldier (Cooper) on medical leave in London learns that a Scottish widow (Mercer) believes she is his mother, and he agrees to pose as her son.

Shantytown (1943) – Mary Lee, John Archer, Marjorie Lord, Billy Gilbert, Carl Switzer – The dramatic lives of a group of people who live in a ramshackle boarding house on the wrong side of the tracks.

She Gets Her Man (1945) – Joan Davis, William Gargan, Leon Errol, and Milburn Stone in a comedy-mystery involving murders by blow-gun darts.

So Dear to My Heart (1948) – Burl Ives, Beulah Bondi, Bobby Driscoll – Walt Disney classic about a country boy who adopts a mischievous lamb – I.B. Tech – John Millen Collection

This is the Army (1943) – George Murphy, Joan Leslie, George Tobias, Alan Hale, and Ronald Reagan – The restored version of the Warner Bros. classic about a dancer (Murphy) who stages an all-soldier show on Broadway – color

This’ll Make You Whistle (1936) – Jack Buchanon, Elsie Randolph, Jean Gillie, Marjorie Brooks – In this screwball comedy, a London gent (Buchanon) finds himself engaged to two different women (Gillie, Brooks)

Taxi (1932) – James Cagney, Loretta Young, George E. Stone, Guy Kibbee, George Raft (uncredited) – Independent cab drivers struggling against a taxi company consortium find a leader in Matt Nolan (Cagney).

Way Out West (1937) – Laurel and Hardy, James Finlayson – Stan and Ollie are enlisted to deliver the deed to a goldmine to the daughter of a dead prospector, but run into problems when the deed is stolen.

The Whole Town’s Talking (1935) – Edward G. Robinson, Jean Arthur, and directed by John Ford – In this comedy-drama, a meek clerk (Robinson) is mistaken for a criminal (also played by Robinson) – from the Grant Golden Collection

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Shorts and Short Subjects ~

“The Real Stan & Ollie” ~

Three Stooges Comedies – To be announced

A pair of Leon Errols –

Dummy Ache (1936) – Edgar Kennedy, Lucile Ball
A Miner Affair (1945) – Andy Clyde, Mel Blanc
Git Along Little Zombie (1946) – Hugh Herbert, Dudley Dickerson
Keystone Hotel (1935) – Ben Turpin, Ford Sterling, Vivian Oakland, The Keystone Cops
Mr. Noisy (1946) – Shemp Howard’s remake of Charley Chase’s The Heckler
Seeing Red (1939) – Red Skelton and A. Robins “the Banana Man”
Where’s Bunter? – Very rare Sidney Howard science-fiction comedy short

A pair of Edgar Kennedys ~

Emaciated comedian Tom Howard in a pair of short comedies ~

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Classic Era Silent Comedies ~

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Animation Fests – A collection of animation and cartoons from the golden age featuring the great works of Tex Avery, Bob Clampett, Friz Freleng, Dave Fleischer, and many others.

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Music on Film ~

Musical Soundies and Shorts Programs with Jazz, R&B, Blues, Rock & Roll artists.

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TV Shows from the 1950s and 1960s ~

    • The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show (1952) – Very early live comedy show
    • Jack Benny Comedy Hour Special – Dick Van Dyke, Bob Hope, Señor Wences
    • Jimmy Durante Show
    • The Danny Thomas Show, “Terry’s Crush” (Feb. 24, 1958) – with guest star Dean Martin
    • The Red Skelton Show – Guest stars Terry-Thomas and Dusty Springfield
    • Wayne and Shuster Take an Affectionate Look at, “The Marx Brothers” (1965)
    • The New Adventures of Charlie Chan (1957-58) – Starring J. Carroll Naish as Chan – from the StuFink Collection
    • Hollywood and the Stars, “Monsters We’ve Known and Loved” (Jan. 13, 1964) – Narrated by Joseph Cotton, with many great clips of Boris Karloff, Bela Lugosi, and more
    • The Great Horror and Science-Fiction Trailer Show
    • The Ed Sullivan Show (Nov. 11, 1962) – With guests Rowan and Martin, Robert Goulet, Señor Wences, Buster Keaton, others

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