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The Great American Novel film series starts at Capitol Theatre

Posted 9/16/22

Rome’s Capitol Theatre, 220 W. Dominick St., will screen a six-movie series, The Great American Novel, in the 1928 auditorium beginning Saturday, Sept. 24.

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The Great American Novel film series starts at Capitol Theatre


ROME — Rome’s Capitol Theatre, 220 W. Dominick St., will screen a six-movie series, The Great American Novel, in the 1928 auditorium beginning Saturday, Sept. 24.

Presented in conjunction with Jervis Public Library and the Keaton & Lloyd Bookshop, the series will focus on critically-acclaimed American movies based on classic American novels. The series will include:

• Saturday, Sept. 24, 2:30 and 7 p.m.: “The Grapes of Wrath” (20th Century Fox, 1940; B&W, 129 minutes) John Ford directed and Henry Fonda, Jane Darwell, and John Carradine star in the film adaptation of the controversial John Steinbeck best-seller that looks at a family of displaced “Oakies” who are forced to relocate from the “Dust Bowl” to California during the Great Depression. Leonard Maltin’s Movie & Video Guide said the story is, “Lovingly brought to the screen. Fonda, as ex-con, is unforgettable in role of his life.” Oscars included Best Director and Best Supporting Actress (Darwell).

• Saturday, Nov. 19, 1:30 and 6:30 p.m.: “Giant” (Warner Bros., 1956; Technicolor; 201 minutes) Directed by George Stevens, Edna Ferber’s epic 1952 novel covering two generations of Texas oil families was brought to the screen four years later; the resulting movie was Warner Bros. biggest grossing production to date, and would be nominated for 10 Oscars. Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, and James Dean star.

• Friday, Feb. 10, 2023, at 7 p.m.; Saturday, Feb. 11 at 2:30 and 7 p.m.: “In the Heat of the Night” (Mirisch/United Artists, 1967; color; 110 minutes) John Ball’s groundbreaking novel, translated to the screen, chronicles the explosive case of a black police inspector (Sidney Poitier) from Philadelphia who, while traveling in the deep South, becomes a suspect in a brutal murder simply because of the color of his skin.

After he is assigned to assist in the case he butts heads with the bigoted police chief (Rod Steiger) and the locals who resent a black man in a position of authority.

• Saturday, May 6, 2:30 and 7 p.m.: “The Magnificent Ambersons” (RKO, 1942; B&W, 88 minutes). Orson Welles’ adapted, directed, and narrates this screen adaptation of Booth Tarkington’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of a wealthy Indiana family at the turn-of-the-century whose lives are sent into a turmoil by changing times. Welles’ movie version is often considered one of the most faithful and affectionate silver screen incarnations of a work of literature ever made.

The stars include Joseph Cotton, Tim Holt, Anne Baxter, Dolores Costello and Agnes Moorehead. Nominated for four Oscars, in recent years the movie’s reputation has increased in some quarters to the extent that it is considered on a par with Welles’ famed Citizen Kane.

• Saturday, July 1, 2:30 and 7 p.m.: “Drums Along the Mohawk” (20th Century Fox, 1939; color, 103 minutes) Boonville-born author Walter D. Edmonds’ best-selling novel was colorfully brought to the screen by the legendary Hollywood director John Ford. The story of life in Upstate New York (set primarily in Deerfield, near present-day Utica) during the American Revolution stars Henry Fonda, Claudette Colbert, Edna May Oliver, Ward Bond, and John Carradine.

• Thursday, Aug. 10, 7 p.m.: “The Maltese Falcon” (Warner Bros., 1941; B&W, 100 minutes) Considered by many film historians to be the quintessential “film noir,” the 1941 film version of Dashiell Hammett’s novel about hard-boiled detective Sam Spade. Humphrey Bogart was elevated to full-star-status with his performance of Spade, and others in the cast include Mary Astor, Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, and Ward Bond.

The movie was nominated for three Oscars and, in 1989, was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”

In addition to the film screenings, there will be various events surrounding the novels on which they are based hosted by Jervis Public Library and the Keaton & Lloyd Bookshop. The first such event will be the regular monthly meet-up of the Keaton & Lloyd Book Club on Wednesday, Nov. 9 at 6 p.m., when the selection under discussion will be Edna Ferber’s Giant.

Julie Whittemore, proprietor of Keaton & Lloyd says, “All are welcome to join in a fun and informal discussion — no RSVP is necessary,” said Julie Whittemore, owner of (Keaton & Lloyd Bookshop at 236 W. Dominick St. Additional events at Jervis and Keaton & Lloyd will be announced in the future.

Tickets for the individual shows are available at the door or in advance from the Capitol Theatre, either on-line (, by telephone at 315-337-6277, or in-person at the Capitol Box Office, Tuesday through Friday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Admission is $7, $6 for seniors, students, and military, $5 for Capitol Friends, and $3 for children ages 12 and under.

Although the movies are rated for general audiences, parents and guardians should use their discretion, recognizing that all the movies have moments of intensity that could prove disturbing for young children.


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