Program Notes

From the Film Vault Blog

Program Notes: Cat Ballou (1965)

Cat Ballou movie poster

Cat Ballou is a Western comedy with a distinctly modern slant. It takes on the rising phenomenon of feminism and the old phenomenon of prejudice against Native Americans, and turns our expectations of the genre upside down.

Program Notes: The Ballad of Little Jo (1993)

The Ballad of Little Jo movie poster

A horse opera with an unusual perspective, The Ballad of Little Jo combines a gritty visual realism with a contemporary feminist sensibility to tell the tale of a woman who survived on the frontier by masquerading as a man.

Program Notes: Westward the Women (1951)

Westward the Women movie poster

A feminist film? In 1951? The makers of Westward the Women may not have considered themselves feminists but the movie they left behind is an entertaining and moving yarn about female empowerment.

Movies that Matter: The Grand Illusion (1937)

The Grand Illusion movie poster

The Grand Illusion, an anti-war film in which combat is never depicted, effectively dissects the nationalism behind virtually every war. President Franklin Roosevelt declared, “Everyone who believes in democracy should see this film.”

Program Notes: The Great Caruso (1951)

The Great Caruso movie poster

The subject of The Great Caruso is, of course, the legendary operatic tenor Enrico Caruso. But for today’s moviegoers, the real subject is Mario Lanza, the charismatic American singer who portrayed Caruso on film.