The Museum of Modern Art is screening the extremely rare 1933 Tay Garnett film Destination Unknown as part of its “Son of Universal: More Rediscovered Gems from the Laemmle Years” retrospective. Starring Pat O’Brien and Ralph Bellamy, the film has been unseen for decades and was rescued from oblivion by Library of Congress archivist David Parker. The director’s daughter, Tiela Aldon Garnett, and his biographer, filmmaker John Gallagher, author of Hollywood’s Forgotten Master: The Life and Times of Tay Garnett, will introduce the 7 pm screening on May 12; the film also screens on Monday, May 15 at 5 pm.
Tay Garnett (1894-1977) exemplifies, perhaps better than any other major director, the rise and fall of the studio system, from the fun factories of Hal Roach and Mack Sennett to minor and major studios; in the forefront of technological changes of sound, color, and widescreen; a pioneer in independent cinema and in American television. Best known for the original The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946) and active from 1920 through 1975, he is a giant in Europe but largely forgotten here, with a dozen masterworks, including Destination Unknown, awaiting rediscovery.
For more info, visit the MoMA website.
Tiela Garnett’s essay “The Kingdom That Was Hollywood” is forthcoming in issue 15.2 of Film International.