From the 1930s through the mid-'40s, movie stars' squeaky clean images were cultivated with great care by the big movie studios. These days, a well-publicized scandal can either end a career or provide a much needed boost to a luminary's star power. Two of the 1950s most controversial celebrities, Marilyn Monroe and Robert Mitchum, were among the first to use the aired dirty laundry to their advantage by beefing-up their public personae. Mitchum's bust for smoking marijuana was perfectly in-line with his image as a film-noir anti-hero, while Monroe's pre-fame nudies graced the first issue of Playboy and were slyly leveraged to create the ultimate sex symbol. Monroe and Mitchum made just one film together, the 1954 Western River of No Return, which was directed by Otto Preminger (no stranger to controversy himself. Despite the pedigree of the creative team, perhaps the most notable feature of River of No Return is its technical background -- it was shot in widescreen Cinemasope. See it as it was meant to be seen tonight at 7:30 p.m. at Moore Auditorium (470 East Lockwood Avenue, Webster Groves; 314-968-7487 or www.webster.edu/filmseries) as part of the Webster Film Series' "Classic Widescreen" celebration. Tickets are $4 to $6.
Fri., Jan. 11, 2013