Free movies will be shown morning, noon and night on Saturday


What better way to spend a hot summer day than in the cool comfort of the library, enjoying a free movie festival starring one of the most beloved actors in American film?



Thaddeus Bejnar, Socorro Public Library’s reference librarian, has put together what he’s calling a “Jimmy Stewart Western Movie Extravaganza” beginning at 9 a.m. in the library’s second floor meeting room and lasting until 4 p.m.

Bejnar said Stewart appeared in many roles, notably cast as a villain in the 1936 film “After the Thinman” and in Hitchcock’s 1948 film “Rope.”

“But he also starred with Marlene Dietrich in a remake of “Destry Rides Again” — the first one might have been a silent film — and he thoroughly enjoyed the Western format,” Bejnar said. “After the war, when he disagreed politically with most of the movies being made, Western movies appealed to him for values of courage, integrity and manliness.”

So, one of the movies the library is showing is “Destry Rides Again.”

“The other three,” Bejnar said, “were all directed by Anthony Mann, and represent a progression from “Bend in the River,” where the conflicts between good and evil are blurred in a psychological contest of wills to the direct focus on character in the “Man from Laramie.”


Bejnar provided the following synopses:

“Bend of the River,” at 9 a.m., stars Jimmy Stewart, Arthur Kennedy, Rock Hudson and Julie Adams. Glyn McLyntock (Stewart), a former outlaw, saves Cole (Kennedy) from a lynching. They then work together guiding a group of Oregon-bound farmers. That winter McLyntock attempts to bring much needed food to the settlers, but seems to be blocked at every turn. Stunning shots of Mt. Hood and the Columbia River Valley. Rated PG for shootouts and brawls.

“Winchester ’73,” at 10:45 a.m. stars Jimmy Stewart, Shelley Winters, Stephen McNally, Dan Duryea and Will Geer. In a marksmanship contest, Lin McAdam (Stewart) wins a prized Winchester rifle which Dutch Henry Brown (McNally) then steals and skips town. Pursuit follows with the rifle changing hands numerous times. Rated PG for shootouts and brawls.

“Destry Rides Again,” at 12:30 p.m., stars Jimmy Stewart, Marlene Dietrich, Brian Donlevy and Mischa Auer. Kent (Donlevy), the unscrupulous boss of the town of Bottleneck, had Sheriff Keogh killed when he asked one too many questions about a rigged poker game that gave Kent a stranglehold over the local cattle ranchers. So the town orders a new sheriff — the son of the ferocious and legendary peace officer Tom Destry. Tom Destry Jr. (Stewart) turns out to be an easygoing type who’s opposed to the use of firearms and relies instead on hilarious exemplary tales with rather grim morals. However, he proves quite adept both at his job and with the saloon girl (Dietrich). Black and white, rated PG for shootouts and brawls.

“The Man from Laramie,” at 2:15 p.m., stars Jimmy Stewart, Arthur Kennedy, Donald Crisp, Cathy O’Donnell and Alex Nicol. Army Captain Will Lockhart (Stewart) assumes the role of a muleskinner operating in New Mexico to ferret out gunrunners. Loading up on apparently free salt he angers the local cattle baron family, the Waggomans. With his wagons burned, he must stay in town for a while, which only intensifies the problems with the Waggomans: volatile, lunkheaded son Dave (Nicol), stern, crafty father Alec (Crisp), Dave’s cousin, Barbara (O’Donnell), and her fiancé, Vic (Kennedy). Two murders are pinned on Lockhart, and gunrunning to the Apache remains unabated. Location shots were filmed on the Bonanza Creek Ranch, outside of Santa Fe. Rated PG for shootouts and brawls.


Evening film, too

If that’s not enough free movies for one day, Healthy Family Initiative is sponsoring a free family movie night at Clarke Field, with an 8:30 p.m. showing of “Despicable Me.”

“Come join us for a family night under the stars,” says HFI’s Richard Chavez. “Bring your family, picnic, blankets and your lawn chair!”

Everyone who comes will receive one free hotdog, one free bottle of water, and “all the popcorn you want.” The movie starts at 8:30 p.m. but Chavez invites everyone to come early to find a good spot and socialize.


Contact Suzanne Barteau