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The Man Who Wasn’t There: Wendell Corey, Actor

Friday, September 13, 2013
9:00 p.m. My Man and I
William A. Wellman (U.S., 1952)

Archival Print!

Chu Chu Ramírez, a Mexican-born grape picker, is aglow with his new American citizenship. While his buddies spend their time carousing, Chu Chu (Ricardo Montalbán) seeks to better himself in the great San Joaquin. Eventually, he finds employment on the failing farm of Ansel and Elena Ames. The duo of Wendell Corey as a resentful racist and Claire Trevor as his equally troubled better half who longs for Chu Chu’s brown body are the keen creations of John Fante, the great Social Realist writer from Southern California. This rarely seen drama also stars Shelley Winters as a fallen dipso who understands the grapes of wrath.

—Steve Seid

• Written by John Fante, Jack Leonard. Photographed by William Mellor. With Shelley Winters, Ricardo Montalbán, Wendell Corey, Claire Trevor. (98 mins, B&W, 16mm, From UCLA Film and Television Archive, permission Warner Bros.)