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Lana Wood Artwork 2

Meet the Grown-Up BOND GIRL!!!

Lana Wood Artwork

Lana Wood in Person

 

Woods Sisters

John & the Wood Sisters

 

For more information please check out the following article. Lana will be a appearing at the Pickwick Theater in downtown Park Ridge, IL on Sept. 15, 2016!

https://gracerellie.wordpress.com/2016/08/01/come-see-the-searchers-at-the-pickwick-theater-september-15-2016-at-7-pm-in-park-ridge-il/

 

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Click HERE to watch the Theatrical Trailer!

Click HERE to read what Turner Classic Movies has to say about the screening.

The Searchers is not just a tale of the Old West based on the 1954 novel by Alan Le May. It has been suggested by film critics that its basis comes from the true story of nine-year-old Cynthia Ann Parker who was kidnapped in 1836. The similarities between Debbie Edwards in the film and Cynthia Ann are undeniable and yet the real life incident and the movie are not carbon copies of each other.

The movie starts out with the peaceful return of Ethan Edwards to his brother Aaron’s home in Texas. Homecomings aren’t always what you expect them to be and the next day Lars Jorgensen (a close neighbor) and the Texas Rangers arrive at the Edwards’ homestead to get help in hunting down the Comanches who have rustled cattle from Jorgensen. It is decided that Jorgensen, the Rangers, Ethan and the Edwards’ adoptive son Martin Pawley will leave to investigate and that Aaron Edwards will remain home with his family to protect them in case the need arises.

The hunting party doesn’t get far before they discover it was a ploy to pull the men away from their homes. While they aren’t far from either the Jorgensen or the Edwards homesteads, they are too far to simply turn around without killing their horses in the process of getting back. When they do return they find that the Edwards homestead was the target and they are too late. The buildings are in flames and the family is dead with the exception of the two daughters, Lucy and Debbie.

In anger Ethan, Martin and Lucy’s intended Brad Jorgensen set out on a search for the girls. It is a search that will never end until all answers are found. Lucy, is found dead in a canyon and in a rage Brad rushes to avenge her alone with disastrous results.

The search carries on. Ethan and Martin continue to look for Debbie. Here is where The Searchers and history depart ways to a fashion. While Debbie Edwards in our film was searched for by her adoptive brother Martin and her Uncle Ethan for five years, Cynthia Ann’s Uncle James W. Parker spent twenty-four years looking for her. Debbie had no children but was living as an Indian Chief’s wife. Cynthia Ann married a Comanche war chief and had several children. Debbie was torn between leaving the Comanches and staying with them. Cynthia Ann had no intentions of leaving. Both ladies were rescued, Debbie submitting to going home and Cynthia Ann against her will.

To read Cynthia Ann’s story and learn more about the making of the film pick up a copy of The Searchers by Glenn Frankel.

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Shot in VistaVision The Searchers was released March 13, 1956. Instantly it was considered a commercial success. With a production budget of $3.75 million dollars and rental fees of $4.8 million in its first year of release here in the US and in Canada, The Searchers made both its production company (C.V. Whitney Pictures) and its distributor (Warner Brothers) happy.

To this day the film has continued to gain accolades from fans and film-goers alike. In 2007 The Searchers became #12 in the American Film Institute’s list of 100 Greatest American Movies of All Time and the following year the Institute named The Searchers the “Greatest American Western.” Different organizations in the film industry both here and abroad have placed The Searchers on their lists and always its at the top.

John Wayne

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John Wayne was born Marion Robert Morrison on May 26, 1909 in Winterset Iowa. His heritage of English, Scotch and Irish blood could have made for a rough and tumble temperament. His upbringing in the Presbyterian church would make a hearty stand for the opposite. By 1916 the family had moved twice and had settled in Glendale California where his father became a pharmacist.

Eventually Hollywood would beckon but not in the usual way. As a student of the University of Southern California he played football. Then a surfing accident resulting in a broken collarbone ended his football career and his scholarship, without which he would be forced to leave college. Luck would be with him as coach Howard Jones liked Wayne and had given actor Tom Mix tickets to the games. Mix owed Jones and Wayne lucked out with a job. Through Mix and his close friend John Ford, Wayne was hired as a prop boy and a sometimes extra.

His big break came in 1930 when the unknown Wayne was cast as the lead in The Big Trail after being spotted by director Raoul Walsh when he was moving furniture. Despite the epic proportions of the film, shooting it in two formats (35mm & 70 mm Grandeur film) to the tune of over $2 million, the film was a flop. Wayne would be downsized to leads in A-films where he would stay until 1939 when John Ford cast him in Stagecoach. This time the film was a success. He would now get the roles his talent deserved.

The Searchers is regarded by many to be his best performance. Wayne even named his youngest son Ethan after the character he portrayed. Despite the many roles and instrumental films he made it wouldn’t be until 1969, almost the tail end of his acting career, that he would win an Oscar for his performance in True Grit. He granted many interviews including one with Playboy Magazine in May of 1971 in which he told the world what his friends already knew, exactly how he saw the world. He didn’t make everybody happy but he did remain true to himself.

Of the more than 170 films Wayne was in, he was the lead in 142 of his films, of which 83 were westerns. He worked until 1976 when working through stomach cancer became too difficult. He died on June 11, 1979.

Lana Wood

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Lana Wood was born Svetlana Gurdin on March 1, 1946 in sunny Santa Monica California to Russian parents. She became a child actress starring normally as small and bit-parts in her sister Natalie Wood’s pictures. Her film debut came in 1956 when she landed the role of the younger Debbie Edwards to her sister’s older Debbie Edwards in The Searchers. In the 1960’s Wood came into her own doing television appearances in many well known shows including, Bonanza, The Fugitive, Mission Impossible, Peyton Place and many others.

In April of 1971 she agreed to pose for Playboy and later that year she landed the role of Plenty O’Toole in the James Bond film Diamonds Are Forever. During her career she has done more than 20 films and appeared on over 300 television shows. She retired from acting in 1982 and concentrated on producing instead. Then she returned in front of the camera in 2008 and has stayed there in different rolls to the present day.

For more information please visit Park Ridge Classic Film.

What:

The Searchers (1956)

With Special Guest:

Lana Wood seen in this film as the young Debbie Edwards and known to James Bond fans as Plenty O’ Tool in Diamonds Are Forever.

When:

September 15, 2016

Live Organ music by Famed Organist Jay Warren at 6:30 PM

Feature Starts Approx. 7:30 PM (119 Minutes)

Where:

The Pickwick Theater

5 S. Prospect Ave. Park Ridge, ILL

Why:

To Celebrate the Film’s 60th Anniversary

Admission:

2 PM (Feature Only) All Seats $6

7 PM (Feature + Organist & Guest Appearance) – Day of Show $10 / Advanced $8

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The Pickwick Theatre Classic Film Series’ Screening of Thunderball – http://trb.tv/OtWjE

The Courage to Hit, “Send”

Sitting at her desk Cynthia struggled to come to a decision. The story was done. There was nothing more she could do to change it. It was what it was. The characters were completely fleshed out. The story had a beginning, a middle and an end. Nothing was missing. She knew that and yet she hesitated.

Should she change that one word here or there? Did her character’s name roll off the tongue easily enough? After all, it was a unique name. Maybe she should change it. Or maybe she was just second guessing herself.

Cynthia stared at the email she’d written. It was good. The agent would see her clearly. The words she’d chosen gave a complete picture of the woman who’d written them. Jammie Bendwick would read Cynthia’s words and know her to be a plucky woman with a sense of humor and a strong business ethic. A woman who you could count on to get the job done.

Everything was there. The email was complete. The story was typed in 12 Point Times New Roman font. The margins were at .5. There were no indents as requested in the agent’s specifications. She’d followed the rules. Her story followed the guidelines.

So why was she sitting in her small office terrified that she was making a mistake when she knew she wasn’t? Because she was a new writer and this was her first try at publication. What if she never heard back or if she got a rejection notice? Both would be dramatic. Both would be terrifying, even traumatic.

But what if she didn’t send it out? Would she be any less a failure? The reality was staring her in the face. If she didn’t send it out, she might be safe from being told, “No,” but she’d be saying, “No,” to herself. She wouldn’t be giving herself a chance.

Thinking of it that way, she didn’t like the outcome. She was being the judge and jury of herself and if she didn’t let the story go – she’d be pronouncing judgment on herself and become a failure. She didn’t want that. Even if the story came back, she’d given it a chance to live. She could always play with it later and make it better so that someday it would live again. That sounded hopeful.

Taking a few deep, calming, breaths and sending a prayer heavenward, Cynthia, reached out and clicked the SEND button. It was done. The story was sent on its way and Cynthia had just taken her biggest leap towards publication. She was a writer. And she’d sent her work out.

 

It’s that time again for watching zaniness in action. Join us at the Pickwick Theater for a rollicking laugh fest. It’s time for the Marx Brothers!!!!

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It’s time to hear Groucho make some cracks and ad-lib his way out of trouble.

It’s time to watch Chico in action as he sells a singer’s voice.

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It’s time to watch Harpo chase some pretty girls or play some music for them before the chase.

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This Thursday (March 10, 2016) we want to find out how many people we can pack into the Pickwick Theater Lobby. Then we want to see if we can fill the theater. It’s going to be a time for side-splitting laughter as we watch the boys go through their round-about way of getting their way.

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Don’t forget to come early and hear Chicago’s Foremost Organist Jay Warren tickle your musical ear. Then we’ll have a Laurel and Hardy short for you. See what “Fine Mess,” the boys get themselves into in the Hal Roach Short, Thicker Than Water.

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What:

A Night At The Opera (1935)

When:

March 10, 2016

Live Organ music by Famed Organist Jay Warren at 7pm

Feature 7:30 p.m. (92 Minutes)

Where:

The Pickwick Theater

5 S. Prospect Ave. Park Ridge, ILL

 

Admission:

Regular – Day of $10 / Advanced $8

Seniors – Day of $7 / Advanced $6

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It’s Halloween and at the Pickwick we bring two kings of laughter in Bud Abbott and Lou Costello. This duo has to contend with the worst of the goonies in Frankenstein, Dracula, the Wolf Man and the Invisible Man. It’s not the easiest of tasks and they don’t believe it at first but in time they will have to make up their minds that this is real or they will never see the light of day again. The Spooks are our to get you.

 

What:

Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)

When:

October 29, 2015

Doors open at 6:30 pm

Live Organ music by David Drazin at 7:00 pm

Feature starts approx. 7:30 pm (83 Minutes)

Where:

The Pickwick Theater

5 S. Prospect Ave. Park Ridge, ILL

 

Admission:

Regular – Day of $10 / Advanced $8

Seniors – Day of $7 / Advanced $6

Diamonds in Our Midst

Many people I know and consider my friends talk about finding their soulmate. That person, they tell me, is hard to find and once found the best gift the universe has to offer.

For myself, I’m not sure about the Universe but I do firmly believe that there are special people that will appear in each of our lives. Some are fleeting but they serve a purpose and fulfill a need for that small segment of time they are in our lives.

Others, are lasting. They might be lifelong friends we meet as children, who we grow up beside and remain with us our whole lives. Some find us in the middle and help us along and still others find us near the end and bring light into those remaining years. Each is equally needed and loved.

But there is that One person who is different somehow. That person is the one who stands beside us and holds our hand in times of need. They are the shoulder we cry on, the most trusted person in our lives. They bring laughter and joy. At odd moments of the day when they are somewhere else they are still beside us. That person’s love and support is with us at every turn in the road. If we are smart and very lucky that person, who sometimes is labeled soulmate, also is our helpmate.

Hopefully someone reading this, who perhaps was ready to give up, will change their mind. Someone is out there waiting for them as they have waited and it isn’t a little green man. It could be someone who wants to give you green (money, flowers).

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The Park Ridge Classic Film Series will be presenting a special 75th anniversary screening of ‘Son of Frankenstein’ next Thursday October 30th at the wonderful Pickwick Theater.  Donnie Dunagan, the last surviving cast member from the film, will be a special guest.  Get more details when programmer Matthew Hoffman joins Nick Digilio.

To download this or any of Nick’s podcast visit our I-Tunes page.

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Please check this out. If you live in the area and have ever wanted to say Hi, now is your chance. I’ll be there and so will a great movie.

WGN Radio - 720 AM

Nick Digilio visits with Matthew Hoffman, programmer of the Pickwick Theatre Classic Film Series about their 50th anniversary showing of Goldfinger on September 18th.

To download this or any of Nick’s podcast visit our I-Tunes page.

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What would life be like if nothing ever happened?

WRITING IS?

Writing is a free-for-all of all of thoughts and activities. Anything that comes to the mind or any action the body can perform can be translated to the written word. Life is creativity and a huge supply of both the mundane, mediocre and the fantastic. All can be wrapped up in one package known as Pandora’s Box. Once opened humanity will suffer from a jarring strain on the nervous systems that threatens to implode.

 

The reality is that we can’t stop the inevitable from happening. We can advise, warn and tell others not to do things but in the end we can’t stop them from doing what they will. Destiny is the unknown and we are indeed powerless to understand it or prevent it.

OLD?

Old, what defines old? Is it a time, an age or a memory on the verge of forgetfulness? Some shop owners define an antique as being any object of fifty years but does that mean that when we ourselves slight forward from forty-nine to fifty that we too are old? If our memories hold true, if we can get up and journey onward doesn’t that mean we haven’t reached the winter of our lives?

 

I submit that to be old, one no longer remembers self. Time itself has forgotten that way of life. Our history books inform us of that other time and place before our parents and grandparents were thought of.

 

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