The Reel McCoy Film Group

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Screening world cinema and forgotten gems since 1990

The Reel McCoy Film Group is a not-for-profit film society that since 1990 has been catering for people interested in cinema, particularly those who like to see timeless classics and overlooked gems at low cost.

Membership is $50 per annum, $35 for 6 months, or $20 for 3 months. Membership runs from the date of joining.

With grateful support from



Canberra Museum and Gallery
Members of CMAG are welcome to join the Reel McCoy at a substantial discount:
membership for a year for only $20.


Screenings are held in the Theatre of Canberra Museum and Art Gallery, usually on the second and last Sundays of each month at 1:00 pm.

Next screening:

Sunday, 28 May 2017 at 1:00 pm

HARVEY
USA · 1950 · 104 min.
Director Henry Koster
Cast James Stewart, Josephine Hull, Peggy Dow

Elwood P. Dowd (Stewart) has a best friend in an invisible 6' 3½" [1·92 m] tall rabbit named Harvey. Elwood is an eccentric middle-aged man who lives with his sister and niece and embarrasses them by introducing everyone he meets to Harvey. Is Harvey a product of his propensity to drink or perhaps mental illness? Is there method to his apparent madness? Is it better to be happy or "normal"? The film gives Stewart a chance to shine as the disingenuous lovable character and also showcases the talents of Josephine Hull as his sister Veta who attempts to have him committed to a sanatorium.

+

ROPE
USA · 1948 · 80 min.
Director Alfred Hitchcock
Cast James Stewart, John Dall, Farley Granger

In this movie version of a play that was inspired by the Leopold-Loeb murder case, two young men strangle their "inferior" classmate, hide his body in their apartment, and invite his friends and family to a dinner party as a means to challenge the "perfection" of their crime. James Stewart plays a very different role here as a suspicious friend who wonders where the murdered man is. A psychological thriller presented in real time and shot to appear as a single long take, Rope remains one of the most interesting experiments ever attempted by a major director working with big box-office names.


For more information, e-mail us or come along to a screening


Programme for February through August 2017:

Sunday 12 February

THE BOOT CAKE
Australia · 2008 · 74 min.
Director Kathryn Millard

Guest speaker Andrew Pike introduces The Boot Cake from Ronin Films.
A small desert town on the edge of western India’s famous salt plains is the unlikely home of the world’s largest population of Charlie Chaplin impersonators. They are members of the Charlie Circle of Adipur, a cross between a local Rotary Club and a film society. The members are dedicated both to Charlie Chaplin and the philosophy of life depicted in his films. Award-winning Australian film-maker Kathryn Millard explores how one community, reeling from the tragedy of the Gujarat earthquake that killed 200,000 people, finds hope and inspiration in the comic genius of Charlie Chaplin, one of the global icons of the past century.

+

MODERN TIMES
USA · 1936 · 87 min.
Director Charlie Chaplin
Cast Charlie Chaplin, Paulette Goddard, Henry Bergman

Charlie Chaplin’s last outing as the Little Tramp follows his struggles to live in modern industrial society with the help of a young homeless woman (Goddard). This was Chaplin's first overtly political-themed film, and its unflattering portrayal of industrial society and of the Great Depression generated controversy in some quarters. Modern Times is usually considered the last commercially-produced silent film in the USA, and the fact that it is one of Chaplin’s great masterpieces is testament to both his artistic resilience in the face of industry change and the enduring power of great silent comedy.


Sunday 26 February

GOODBYE MR. CHIPS
UK · 1939 · 115 min.
Director Sam Wood
Cast Robert Donat, Greer Garson, Paul Henreid, John Mills

Donat won the Best Actor Academy Award® for his moving portrayal of the English school master, Mr Chipping. This much-loved film, based on the novel by James Hilton, follows his long career from beginning to end. It is as much about the changing history and social mores of England as it is about a teacher in a prestigious school. A central part of the film focuses on the school’s experiences during the First World War, as teachers and students head off to France. Of course, only some return.

DVD courtesy of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia

+

THE BROWNING VERSION
UK · 1951 · 90 min.
Director Anthony Asquith
Cast Michael Redgrave, Jean Kent, Nigel Patrick

This film, in common with Goodbye Mr. Chips, is about an old Classics teacher, but is much darker, as is to be expected given it is adapted from a play by Terence Rattigan. The master, Andrew Croker-Harris, has not had such a warm relationship with his pupils nor a loving wife. Can the gift by one of his pupils assuage some of his bitterness? The gift is the version by Robert Browning of the play Agamemnon by the Greek writer of tragedies, Aeschylus. The pupil has inscribed the volume with "God from afar looks graciously upon a gentle master."


Sunday 19 March

LES BAS-FONDS [UNDERWORLD]
France · 1936 · 89 min.
Director Jean Renoir
Cast Jean Gabin, Louis Jouvet

The first of our two screenings of films based on Maxim Gorky's play The Lower Depths, Les Bas-Fonds tells of the friendship between a charming thief and a former wealthy baron who has bankrupted himself through gambling. Renoir turned the play into a vehicle for two fine French actors, Gabin and Jouvet. Winner of the Louis Delluc Prize as the most outstanding French photo-play of 1936 (as selected by the Young Independent Critics of France), as well as a Top Foreign Film finalist for the National Board of Review, USA.

Print courtesy of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia


Sunday 26 March

DONZOKO [THE LOWER DEPTHS]
Japan · 1957 · 137 min.
Director Akira Kurosawa
Cast Toshirô Mifune, Isuzu Yamada, Kôji Mitsui

Now we have a look at Kurosawa's take on Gorky's play, made when he was at the height of his powers. This is more of an ensemble piece than Renoir's version, and shows the power that can be achieved in cinema when sticking close to the source material. It also makes use of Kurosawa's trademark cinematography and editing, both within the confined indoor set and outside the dilapidated tenement house. In both films, life in the lower depths is shown as not so grim, as long as its residents can drink, joke, sing, and dance.

Print courtesy of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia


Sunday 14 May

RIFIFI
France · 1955 · 115 min.
Director Jules Dassin
Cast Jean Servais, Robert Hossein, Carl Möhner, Robert Manuel, Jules Dassin

After making such American noir classics as Brute Force and The Naked City, the blacklisted director Jules Dassin went to Paris and embarked on his masterpiece, the blueprint for all modern heist films. Tony "le Stéphanois" (Servais) is just out of prison and down on his luck. Approached by old friends Jo "le Suédois (Möhner) and Mario Farrati (Manuel) Tony is offered the chance to commit an almost impossible theft: the burglary of an exclusive jewellery shop on the rue de Rivoli. They are soon joined by César, a safecracker played by Jules Dassin himself under the pseudonym of Perlo Vita.


Sunday 28 May

HARVEY
USA · 1950 · 104 min.
Director Henry Koster
Cast James Stewart, Josephine Hull, Peggy Dow

Elwood P. Dowd (Stewart) has a best friend in an invisible 6' 3½" [1·92 m] tall rabbit named Harvey. Elwood is an eccentric middle-aged man who lives with his sister and niece and embarrasses them by introducing everyone he meets to Harvey. Is Harvey a product of his propensity to drink or perhaps mental illness? Is there method to his apparent madness? Is it better to be happy or "normal"? The film gives Stewart a chance to shine as the disingenuous lovable character and also showcases the talents of Josephine Hull as his sister Veta who attempts to have him committed to a sanatorium.

+

ROPE
USA · 1948 · 80 min.
Director Alfred Hitchcock
Cast James Stewart, John Dall, Farley Granger

In this movie version of a play that was inspired by the Leopold-Loeb murder case, two young men strangle their "inferior" classmate, hide his body in their apartment, and invite his friends and family to a dinner party as a means to challenge the "perfection" of their crime. James Stewart plays a very different role here as a suspicious friend who wonders where the murdered man is. A psychological thriller presented in real time and shot to appear as a single long take, Rope remains one of the most interesting experiments ever attempted by a major director working with big box-office names.


Sunday 18 June

THE DEVIL TO PAY
Australia · 1962 · 36 min.
Director Bruce Beresford
Cast

Print courtesy of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia

+

THREE IN ONE
Australia · 1957 · 89 min.
Director Cecil Holmes
Cast

Print courtesy of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia


Sunday 25 June

BLOOD ON THE MOON
USA · 1948 · 88 min.
Director Robert Wise
Cast

In this terrific thriller they might try to shoot ranchers but they can't shoot down the Moon.

DVD courtesy of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia


Sunday 9 July

MEDIUM COOL
USA · 1969 · 110 min.
Director Haskell Wexler
Cast

Wonderful film about a news cameraman whose work threatens to take over his life.


Sunday 30 July

GUESS WHO'S COMING TO DINNER
USA · 1967 · 108 min.
Director Stanley Kramer
Cast Katherine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy


Sunday 13 August

BLOW-UP
UK · 1966 · 111 min.
Director Michelangelo Antonioni
Cast David Hemmings, Vanessa Redgrave

Antonioni’s cult film about a trendy 1960’s photographer. Has he accidently photographed a murder?

DVD courtesy of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia


Sunday 27 August

THE APARTMENT
USA · 1960 · 125 min.
Director Billy Wilder
Cast

It's a romance, it's a comedy, it's a cynical satire – it's one of Billy Wilder's best films.


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