The Lawless / The Well

Mon 7/24/2023 • 7:30PM PDT

Billy Wilder Theater

Admission is free. No advance reservations. Your seat will be assigned to you when you pick up your ticket at the box office. Seats are assigned on a first come, first served basis. The box office opens one hour before the event.

The Lawless
U.S., 1950

A racially-charged altercation between a young farm worker (Lalo Rios) and a wealthy white scion at a local barn dance sets in motion a series of events that quickly plunges a central California community into a frenzy of mob violence and vigilantism. A jaded newspaper editor (MacDonald Carey) takes up the farm worker’s cause after he’s beaten by a cop and manages to escape custody but muckrakers from out of town keep stirring the pot. In his second feature after The Boy with Green Hair (produced by Dore Schary), soon-to-be blacklisted director Joseph Losey delivers a message of tolerance and justice with pulp intensity. The breadbasket of the world has never felt so noir.

16mm, b&w, 83 min. Director: Joseph Losey. Screenwriter: Daniel Mainwaring. With: MacDonald Carey, Gail Russell, Johnny Sands.

Print courtesy of the Academy Film Archive.

The Well
U.S., 1951

Independent filmmakers Leo Popkin and Russell Rouse ride waves of rage and redemption across a surprisingly complex portrayal of systemic racism and white privilege in small town America that was nominated for two Academy Awards (Best Screenplay and Editing). When a young Black girl goes missing and a white suspect is arrested, rumors and accusations roil the residents on both sides of a community’s racial divide. Popkin and Rouse give ample time to voices righteous and rotten while ratcheting up the suspense as the potential for full scale violence grows. The town’s rising fever breaks when the girl is discovered, trapped in the titular well, and the film deftly resets the clock on its gripping race against time.

16mm, b&w, 82 min. Director: Leo Popkin, Russell Rouse. Screenwriter: Russell Rouse, Clarence Greene. With: Gwendolyn Laster, Richard Rober, Maidie Norman.

Print courtesy of the Academy Film Archive.

Please note: This film contains offensive language.

#Arts #MovieFilm

Event Website

Add to My Calendar (ICS)

LibraryFilm & Television Archive