WHEELING - The Wheeling Film Society, which brings film enthusiasts together to watch and discuss some of America's iconic films, will launch its new season with a screening of Alfred Hitchcock's 1943 psychological thriller Shadow of a Doubt at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6 at Oglebay Institute's Towngate Theatre and Cinema.
The Wheeling Film Society is in its second year of programming and will present four classic films on Towngate's big screen and host post-screening discussions as part of the Ohio County Library's successful Lunch with Books program. All screenings and discussions are free and open to the public.
"We are happy to give area residents an opportunity to watch these films as they were intended to be seen on the big screen. Many people have only seen them in the small screen format," said Oglebay Institute director of performing arts Kate Crosbie.
John Whitehead, professor of film studies at Wheeling Jesuit University, will serve as the Wheeling Film Society host, leading the post-screening conversations about each film.
Regarding the first selection, Shadow of a Doubt, Whitehead explained, "In the midst of a series of more overt propaganda films about WWII, Hitchcock released this genre-bending noir comedy about peaceful, small-town America invaded by the spirit of evil in the guise of friendly Uncle Charlie."
The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Story, and Hitchcock often said the film was his personal favorite. In 1991 is was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry of the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant."
The Society's season comprises four films Shadow of a Doubt, the Marx Brothers' comedy A Night at the Opera, the critically esteemed western Stagecoach, starring John Wayne and Steven Spielberg's blockbuster Jaws.
All films will be shown on the big screen at Towngate Cinema at 7 p.m. on select evenings, and discussions take place at the Ohio County Library at noon on the Tuesday following each screening.
The complete schedule is as follows:
- 7 p.m. Dec. 6
Screening: Shadow of a Doubt, Towngate Cinema
- Noon Dec. 10 Conversation: Shadow of a Doubt, Ohio County Public Library
- 7 p.m. Jan. 24
Screening: A Night at the Opera, Towngate Cinema
- Noon Jan. 28
Conversation: A Night at the Opera, Ohio County Public Library
- 7 p.m. April 25 Screening: Stagecoach, Towngate Cinema
- Noon April 29 Conversation: Stagecoach, Ohio County Public Library
- 7 p.m. May 24 Screening: Jaws, Towngate Cinema
- Noon May 27 Conversation: Jaws, Ohio County Public Library
The Wheeling Film Society is presented through a partnership among Oglebay Institute's Towngate Theatre and Cinema, Wheeling Jesuit University's Fine and Performing Arts Department and the Ohio County Public Library's Lunch with Books Program. All screenings and conversations are free and open to the public. Guests may attend as many or as few events as their schedules permit.