Hollywood’s Portrayals of Missouri Examined during ‘Watching Missouri’

For Immediate Release:
December 19, 2008
Contact: Paul Smith
Hollywood’s Portrayals of Missouri Examined during ‘Watching Missouri’

Situated in the middle of the country, Missouri and Missourians have frequently played prominent parts in Hollywood movies. Watching Missouri highlights some of those appearances on Saturdays at 1:30 p.m. in the Stanley H. Durwood Film Vault at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St.

This series is a precursor to the Painting Missouri exhibit, on display in the Guldner Gallery at the Central Library starting January 24.

Admission is free for all screenings. Free parking is available in the Library District Parking Garage located at 10th and Baltimore. The film line-up includes:

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1939) on January 10. MGM chips only some of the edge off of Twain’s classic story of Huck’s and Jim’s trip on the Mississippi River, and Mickey Rooney is largely convincing in the role. Stellar supporting work is provided by great African-American actor Rex Ingram, as well as Walter Connolly and William Frawley. Convincing period details complete the picture. Not rated. (89 min.)

The Girl from Missouri (1934) on January 17. Kansas City’s Jean Harlow is cast in a part she knew well — a girl from Missouri out to snag a millionaire — while preserving her self-respect. The suitable comic dialogue is courtesy of Anita Loos (Gentlemen Prefer Blondes). Not rated. (75 min.)

King of the Hill (1993) on January 24. Depression-era St. Louis and its determined residents provide the backdrop for this coming-of-age story directed by Steven Soderbergh and based on the book by A.E. Hochner. Rated PG-13. (109 min.)

Kansas City (1996) on January 31. This is Kansas City-born Robert Altman’s take on Kansas City during the wide-open 1930s; not surprisingly it touches on politics, race, and music. Jennifer Jason Leigh, Miranda Richardson, and Harry Belafonte star. Rated R. (116 min.)

Kansas City Public Library Beta