UCLA tribute to Universal films: Kenneth Turan's pick of the week
The UCLA Film and Television Archive tribute to the 100th anniversary of Universal Pictures goes into high gear this weekend, with programs changing daily at the Hammer Museum's Billy Wilder Theater in Westwood. Top films include the antiwar gem "All Quiet on the Western Front" at 7:30 p.m. Friday and "Three Smart Girls Grow Up," starring the irrepressible Deanna Durbin, at 7 p.m. Sunday.
My personal favorites, however, would be split between 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Saturday afternoon. Playing Thursday is an outstanding silent-film double bill of the anti-slavery "Traffic in Souls" and Lois Weber's "Where Are My Children," a pioneering, socially conscious film that was simultaneously pro-birth control and anti-abortion.
More delirious than anything else is the wild and crazy "Cobra Woman," playing at 4 p.m. Saturday. This gaudy Technicolor extravaganza stars Maria Montez as a cheerful bride-to-be whose twin sister just happens to be, no kidding, the evil priestess of the dread cobra cult. You won't believe your eyes.
-- Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times film critic
Photo: A scene from "Traffic in Souls." Credit: UCLA Film and Television Archive