Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Watch us on Youtube Join the Archive Mailing List Read our Blog

The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry / Secret Beyond the Door

Joan Bennett holding a flashlight.
March 4, 2023 - 7:30 pm

Admission is free. No advance reservations. Free tickets must be obtained on a first come, first served basis at the box office, where seating will be assigned.

Restoring and Reinvigorating “Failures”

When we think about restoring films, so often the ones that receive the most attention are the so-called “classics” or the award-winners and critical darlings. But that doesn’t mean that the less-successful movies should be lost to time as we rediscover forgotten gems, make new finds, learn from creative missteps, and recontextualize works in our current culture.—Felicity Flesher

Preservation funded by the AFI/NEA Film Preservation Grants Program and Taurus Films

The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry

U.S., 1945

German-born master of the thriller Robert Siodmak helms this daring melodrama about a lonely bachelor (George Sanders) torn between his domineering sister and a promising romance. The film was troubled from the outset, with a new ending tacked on to comply with the censors, causing producer Joan Harrison (known for her collaboration with Alfred Hitchcock) to leave the film. After a poor box office showing, the film was seen for years in a heavily edited reissue version titled The Zero Murder Case. The UCLA Film & Television Archive was able to restore the film to its original form and has continually updated the sound and image quality with newly discovered elements.

35mm, b&w, 80 min. Director: Robert Siodmak. Screenwriter: Stephen Longstreet. With: George Sanders, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Ella Raines.

Preserved by the UCLA Film & Television Archive and The National Film and Television Archive (U.K.) and Republic Pictures.

Preservation funded by The Film Foundation and the Franco American Cultural Fund, a partnership of the Directors Guild of America (DGA); Société des Auteurs, Compositeurs et Editeurs de Musique (SACEM); The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA); and the Writers Guild of America—West (WGAW)

Secret Beyond the Door

U.S., 1947

What begins as an exotic romance for newly wealthy bride Celia (Joan Bennett) and her secretive groom Mark (Michael Redgrave) turns sinister when Celia uncovers Mark’s macabre hobby. What is behind that locked door and will she live to find out? This twist on the Blackbeard tale previewed terribly prompting major edits. The “very unfortunate adventure” (as director Fritz Lang termed it) would lose over $1 million and received poor reviews. Upon revisit, Secret Beyond the Door is an intriguing Hollywood effort from the legendary German Expressionist director with its investigation of Freudian neuroses translated through nightmarish imagery and a hypnotizing Miklos Rozsa score.

35mm, b&w, 99 min. Director: Fritz Lang. Screenwriter: Silvia Richards. With: Joan Bennett, Michael Redgrave.

Preserved by the UCLA Film & Television Archive and The Film Foundation.