This year’s Ava Gardner Festival includes three film screenings on the weekend of October 7-9, 2022. Hosted by Smithfield Cinemas, the screenings are part of the larger schedule of events that include a concert at The Clayton Center, new exhibits, art vendors, and a special Mural and Rose Garden dedication.
On Saturday, October 8 at 5pm, the Ava Gardner Museum is featuring the film noir classic The Killers (1946) with Ava in her breakout role as Kitty Collins, in the remastered 4K version released in 2021. Ava stars with Burt Lancaster as the Swede (in his film debut), Edmond O’Brien, and Sam Levene in a 1927 short story by Ernest Hemingway. The Killers was directed by Robert Siodmak, and John Huston was uncredited as the co-writer of the screenplay.
The film follows insurance investigator Reardon (O’Brien) as he pursues the case of the Swede’s murder, while weaving together threads of the Swede’s life, he uncovers a complex tale of treachery and crime, all linked to gorgeous, mysterious Kitty Collins.
Also on the 8th, the second film Pandora and the Flying Dutchman (1951) will show at 7:30pm. The Cohen Media Group released a new 4K restoration of Albert Lewin’s film starring Ava Gardner, James Mason, Nigel Patrick, Sheila Sim, and Harold Warrender. A timeless romance based on the legend of the Flying Dutchman. Ava Gardner plays Pandora, a woman who has never fallen in love. When she meets the dashing but doomed captain Hendrik van der Zee (Mason), he pushes her to commit an ultimate act of love.
On Sunday, October 9 at 1:30pm the final film screening will be The Barefoot Contessa (1954). This last iconic Ava film was written and directed by Joseph L Mankiewicz about the life and loves of fictional Spanish sex symbol Maria Vargas. It stars Humphrey Bogart and Edmond O’Brien, who for his performance won the academy award for Best Supporting Actor.
Following the festival, the museum will continue the centennial celebration throughout 2023 with special programming and virtual offerings designed to honor Ava’s many contributions to film, fashion, and philanthropy. There will also be more unique events to come and information will be posted on the website: https://www.johnstoncountync.org/ava-gardner/ava-100/.