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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Jan. 21, 2000)
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Director’s award-winning films
subject of 13th annual festival
By Josh Nichols
Many are not aware, but the man
once called the “King of Hollywood”
was bom in Wahoo, Nebraska.
The Museum of Nebraska
History will attempt to change that
with a series of films from the man
who started 20th Century Films,
Darryl F. Zanuck.
The museum will show a movie
every Sunday at 2 p.m., starting Jan.
23. The series, titled ‘“The Wahoo
Kid’ in Hollywood,” will run through
Andrea I. Faling, Associate
Director of the Nebraska State
Historical Society, said this is the
13th year the museum has had a film
Series in the past have featured
Henry Fonda and Marlon Brando
films, Faling said. Other genres, such
as war movies, have also been
This year, the Zanuck series is
something Faling said the State
Historical Society felt had to be done.
“His output was so stupendous
that it cannot be ignored,” Faling said.
Zanuck’s “stupendous” work
began at a young age.
At the age of 25, before he left to
start 20th Century Films, Zanuck was
head of production at Warner
“I Am a Fugitive from a Chain
Gang,” the first movie in the series,
playing this Sunday, will be the only
film shown from the early years
when Zanuck was still at Warner
The movie is about a man who
returned from World War I and was
falsely accused of committing a $10
The man is sentenced to 10 years
of hard labor in a chain gang where
he is forced to endure the brutal,
primitive and torturous conditions
prison facilities provided in the first
part of the century.
The next movie, which will run
Jan. 30, is the light-hearted Shirley
Temple flick, “Poor Little Rich Girl.”
Raymond Screws, Curator of the
Raymond Saunders County
Museum, said Shirley Temple’s suc
cess saved Zanuck early in his career.
But at the same time, Zanuck was
responsible for making the young
actress the huge star she became.
Zanuck’s 20th Century Films had
just merged with Fox when the
unknown actress came along.
Aside from his early success with
Temple, Zanuck may most be
remembered for his productions
dealing with social issues of the time
that other producers would not touch,
He dealt with discrimination dur
ing a time when sensitive issues were
not often seen in the entertainment
world. But these issues were com
mon in Zanuck films.
Ignoring the possible criticisms,
; The Wahoo Kid
WHERE: Museum of
Nebraska History, 15th
and P streets
:: WHEN: Jan. 23 - March 12
•;% :* THE SKINNY: Native
movies featured in film
Zanuck kept producing cutting-edge
“He was bold enough not to let
(controversy) stop him,” Screws said.
The next five films in the Zanuck
film series focus on a variety of peo
ple and situations that have “lasting
significance,” Screws said.
The film “How Green Was My
Valley,” which won the Academy
Award for best picture in 1941, is
about a coal-mining family, and “A
Tree Grows in Brooklyn” is the story
of a family living in Brooklyn, N. Y.
“Gentlemen’s Agreement” and
“Pinky” are the films Zanuck pro
duced dealing with racial prejudice.
“Gentlemen’s Agreement,” a
1947 Academy Award winner, is
about an investigative reporter who
pretends to be Jewish.
Once he begins this charade, he is
shocked at the amount of anti
Semitism he encounters. He sees his
everyday life change significantly as
a result of simply pretending to be
The 1949 film “Pinky,” which
will run Feb. 27, is about a young
black woman who tries and is able to
“pass” as a white woman.
The movie is about the problems
she encounters dealing with the
racial prejudice of the time.
“All About Eve,” which won
seven Academy Awards in 1950,
focuses on the life of a young actress
who maneuvers her way into the life
of a Broadway star.
The final movie shown in the
series is the 1951 science-fiction
flick “The Day the Earth Stood Still.”
The movie is about an alien warn
ing regarding nuclear explosions.
One well-known film produced
by Zanuck that will not be shown is
“The Grapes of Wrath,” only because
it has been shown in past film festi
vals, Faling said.
Both Screws and Faling said there
were too many other good reels to
“We wanted to get some of the
other Oscar winners and films that
Zanuck himself thought were impor
tant (in the series),” she said. “He
always tried to produce films that
would make people think.”
Faling will be on hand before the
production to give an introduction
and at the conclusion to answer ques
“You will get an opportunity to
see movies that have had a lasting
impact socially,” Screws said.
Zanuck © t ©
Jan. 23- “I am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang” (1932)
Jan. 30- “Poor Little Rich Girl” (1936)
Feb. 6- “How Green Was My Valley” (1941)
Feb. 13- “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” (1945)
Feb. 20- “Gentleman’s Agreement” (1947)
Feb. 27- “Pinky” (1949)
March 5- “All About Eve” (1950)
March 12- “The Day*the Earth Stood Still” (1951)
All films begin at 2:00 p.m.
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