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  • Saturday, February 18

    6 PM (95 mins)

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Drug abuse -- United States -- Drama, Family life -- United States -- Drama, Insanity -- United States -- Drama, Megalomania -- Drama, Middle class -- United States -- Drama, Teachers -- United States -- Drama

Bigger Than Life

35mm 'Scope Print

Also screens on 2.8.17 in In Focus: Hollywood Outsiders


James Mason, Barbara Rush, Walter Matthau, Robert Simon,

One of Ray's least known films is also acclaimed by many critics as his best, featuring James Mason in one of his finest performances. Mason portrays a small-town schoolteacher who moonlights as a taxi driver to supplement his salary. When he begins taking cortisone to ward off the crippling effects of arthritis, his personality takes on a Jekyll-and-Hyde transformation. Ray's use of CinemaScope photography to frame this intense, close-in psychological drama is even more remarkable than in Rebel Without a Cause; what emerges is a powerful and many-layered vision of the pressures of middle-class life turning its uncomprehending victims into monsters.

Judy Bloch