The Rancho Mirage Writers Festival Film Club is a free series, held on the third Thursday of each month from September 2018 to June 2019. Films will start at 3 pm and free popcorn and water will be available. A new sound system has been installed in the room for the highest quality viewing experience. Films are selected by Jamie Kabler and Peter Bart. The theme for the 2019 Festival centers around the 75th Anniversary of D-Day. These movies have been selected to complement and explore that theme.
September 20, 2018: The Longest Day (1962)
An epic war film about the D-Day landings at Normandy. The massive ensemble cast includes John Wayne, Robert Mitchum, Richard Burton, Sean Connery, Henry Fonda and Robert Wagner. The movie won two Academy Awards and was nominated for three others.
October 18, 2018: Is Paris Burning? (1966)
A French-American epic historical war film about the liberation of Paris in August 1944 by the French Resistance and the Free French Forces. The all-star ensemble cast is star-studded, including Kirk Douglas, Orson Welles, Anthony Perkins and Charles Boyer.
November 15, 2018: The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
This British-American epic war film is a work of fiction that uses the historical setting of the construction of the Burma Railway in 1942–1943. The film was widely praised, winning seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture. The cast includes William Holden and Alec Guinness.
December 20, 2018: The Dirty Dozen (1967)
This American war film starring Lee Marvin was inspired by a real-life group called the “Filthy Thirteen,” assigned and trained as demolition saboteurs to destroy enemy targets behind the lines. The film is #65 on the American Film Institute’s 100 Years… 100 Thrills list.
January 17, 2019: Flags of Our Fathers (2006)
Clint Eastwood directed, co-produced, and scored this American war film. It tells the story of the 1945 Battle of Iwo Jima, the five Marines and one Navy corpsman who were involved in raising the flag on Iwo Jima, and the aftereffects of that event on their lives.
February 21, 2019: Empire of the Sun (1987)
This American coming-of-age film was directed by Steven Spielberg and stars John Malkovich and Christian Bale. The film tells the story of a young boy who goes from living in a wealthy British family in Shanghai, to becoming a prisoner of war in a Japanese internment camp.
March 21, 2019: Von Ryan’s Express (1965)
Starring Frank Sinatra as a determined, resourceful American Air Force colonel, this adventure film is about a group of Allied prisoners of war who conduct a daring escape by hijacking a freight train and fleeing through German-occupied Italy to Switzerland.
April 18, 2019: The Great Escape (1963)
This film is based on the 1950 book of the same name, a non-fiction first-hand account of the mass escape from a German POW camp. Starring Steve McQueen, James Garner, and Richard Attenborough and with technical advisor Wally Flood, one of the original tunnel-digging POWs.
May 16, 2019: Saving Private Ryan (1998)
Directed by Steven Spielberg, the film follows the search for Private Ryan, the last-surviving brother of four servicemen. The film was nominated for 11 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress.
June 20, 2019: The Guns of Navarone (1961)
This British-American epic war film was based on the book of the same name. Starring Gregory Peck, David Niven and Anthony Quinn, it follows the efforts of an Allied commando unit to destroy a seemingly impregnable German fortress that threatens Allied naval ships in the Aegean Sea.