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USA Film Festival Announces Opening Night Titles

by Stephen Becker 8 Apr 2011 2:14 PM

The USA Film Festival will screen a pair of films on opening night, April 27 – one old and one new.


The USA Film Festival will screen a pair of films on opening night, April 27 – one old and one new. The new is The Perfect Host, in which David Hyde Pierce hosts a dinner party and unknowingly accepts an on-the-lam criminal into his home. Pierce is scheduled to attend the screening. Also showing opening night is To Catch a Thief. Why, you may ask, is the festival showing a 55-year-old movie opening night? Consider it more a celebration of Cary Grant, whose daughter will be in town to discuss her father’s career and her new book, Good Stuff: A Reminiscence of My Father, Cary Grant.

You can read more about both events below; the full schedule will be announced April 13.

DALLAS – The USA Film Festival announces the Opening Night programs for the 41st Annual USA Film Festival, April 27 – May 1, 2011. All programs will be held at the Angelika Film Center Dallas, 5321 E. Mockingbird Lane, Dallas, Texas. Advance tickets are available exclusively through Ticketmaster beginning Friday, April 15, 2011.


On-stage conversation with Jennifer Grant, book-signing and 55th Anniversary screening of TO CATCH A THIEF (1956)

Wednesday, April 27 7:00pm

How the sweeping vistas of the Riviera pale next to the sight of Cary Grant and Grace Kelly falling in love in this sprightly heist movie. Grant stars as reformed cat-burglar John Robie, who comes out of retirement when a new jewel thief goes to work using his signature style of thievery. Kelly plays Frances, a proper debutante who discovers that larceny is an aphrodisiac – a theme Hitchcock would pursue more explicitly in Marnie – and tests Robie’s resolve by throwing herself, and her priceless jewels, at him. With glorious costume design by Edith Head, a hilarious supporting turn by Jessie Royce Landis as Kelly’s mother (she would play Grant’s mother in Hitchcock’s North by Northwest four years later) and unforgettable fireworks (both literal and figurative), To Catch a Thief remains one of the most charming and exciting films from the Master of Suspense. 106 mins. The program will be hosted by historian and author Foster Hirsch.

Good Stuff: A Reminiscence of My Father, Cary Grant

Good Stuff is an enchanting portrait of the profound and loving relationship between a daughter and her father, who just happens to be one of America’s most iconic male movie stars. Jennifer Grant was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. She graduated from Stanford University with a degree in history. Her first acting role was in Aaron Spelling’s Beverly Hills, 90210, and she later appeared in Friends, Super Dave, and CSI, as well as several feature films. She lives with her son, Cary Benjamin, in Beverly Hills. Complimentary copies of Jennifer Grant’s book, Good Stuff, will be distributed (limited supply).


Wednesday, April 27 7:30pm

Warwick Wilson (David Hyde Pierce) is the consummate host. He carefully prepares for a dinner party, the table impeccably set and the duck perfectly timed for 8:30pm. John Taylor (Clayne Crawford) is a career criminal. He’s just robbed a bank and needs to get off the streets. He finds himself on Warwick’s doorstep posing as a friend of a friend, new to Los Angeles, who’s been mugged and lost his luggage. As the wine flows and the evening progresses, we discover just how deceiving appearances can be. Co-writer/director Nick Tomnay’s dark-hearted comedy/drama is full of outrageous moments and suspenseful twists. Audiences may never look at David Hyde Pierce the same way again after seeing this slippery psychological thriller that reveals just how far we’re willing to go to satisfy our needs. Also featuring Nathaniel Parker, Helen Reddy, Megahn Perry, Joseph Will and Tyrees Allen. 93 mins. David Hyde Pierce in attendance.