Marc Eliot's Art of Film Festival | John Ford & Billy Wilder Weekend

Gst Aof Ford Wilder Fest Wb Rev




Peoria Riverfront Museum's Giant Screen Theater

Featuring Marc Eliot in person!

See the Greatest Films on Illinois' Largest Screen, the way they were meant to be seen! Join MARC ELIOT, New York Times best-selling author & resident film curator, for live pre- and post-film talks, Q&As and book signings.


John Ford's 1941

How Green Was My Valley

Thu, Sep 22 | 6:30 PM


This 1941 masterpiece by John Ford won seven Academy Awards, including including Best Picture (over Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane, and Best Director for Ford, it was nominated for three more. Led by a cast that includes the great Donald Crisp (who steals the picture), a young Roddy McDowell. The supporting cast includes Ford regular Maureen O’Hara. This is one of Ford’s most sentimental films that remember life in the Welsh coal mines. Andrew Sarris said, “More tears were shed over this movie than any of Ford’s others.” Deservedly so. A must see, especially on the big screen.


John Ford's 1946

My Darling Clementine

Fri, Sep 23 | 6:30 PM


Ford’s charismatic and best version of the famed gunfight at the OK Corral. This film marked the director’s return to Westerns, after having made only on the previous 20 years. It stars Henry Fonda at his leading-man peak, with his improvised foot-dance on the porch pole one of the most famous in cinema history. Also starring the ill-fated Linda Darnell (on film and in real life) and Victor Mature (as Doc Holliday) before Mature’s name evoked giggles whenever it was mentioned. A film of manner and justice, it was buried in the avalanche that Wyler’s The Best Years of Our Lives produced that year. A rarely seen gem that should not be missed.


Billy Wilder's 1960

The Apartment

Sat, Sep 24 | 6:30 PM


Wilder’s follow-up to Some Like it Hot is the best meditation on the difference between love and sex that has ever been filmed. Jack Lemmon stands out as a character looking for one and finding the other; Shirley MacLaine lights up the screen as both the subject and object of his love, or is it sex? And Fred MacMurray plays against type as a rat. Not to be missed!


Billy Wilder's 1957 

Love in the Afternoon

Sun, Sep 25 | 2:30 PM


Billy Wilder’s 1957 May-December romantic comedy, Love in the Afternoon stars a young Audrey Hepburn, an aging Gary Cooper and an old Maurice Chevalier (in his first non-singing role in a decade) as the unholiest of threesomes. Chevalier plays the father of Hepburn who falls in love with Gary Cooper who is twice her age to say the least. Unusual, with the brilliance of Billy Wilder gleaming in every scene. Wilder was nominated for Best Director by the DGA (Directors Guild of America).


Marc Eliot


Marc Eliot, a well-known and highly respected film critic and historian, is the New York Times bestselling author of 26 books including definitive biographies on Jimmy Stewart, Cary Grant, Charlton Heston, Steve McQueen, Clint Eastwood, Ronald Reagan (Reagan: The Hollywood Years), Walt Disney, The Eagles and his latest work, The Hag, about Merle Haggard.

Eliot began his career as a child actor and student at the High School of Performing Arts. He went on to earn two post-graduate degrees in writing and Film History and Criticism from Columbia University, where he was mentored by the renowned film critic and scholar Andrew Sarris, who brought the French Auteur Theory to America.

A New York City native and resident, Eliot has become a regular visitor to the Peoria region, first serving as artist-in-residence at Eureka College in 2012. He hosted his first "Art of Film" festival, on Alfred Hitchcock, in March of 2019 at the Peoria Riverfront Museum, where he serves as resident film curator.

Go behind the scenes with Marc Eliot. Get the exclusive Art of Film newsletter. Sign up for Film Society emails HERE!


Marc Eliot's Art of Film Festival is sponsored by Drs. Jane & Darrel Gumm, Kathy & Harry Puterbaugh and Film Society of the Giant Screen Theater.