New York's MOMA celebrates Flynn Chum's 100 Birthday!

10 Apr

“New York's Museum of Modern Art commemorates David Niven's 100th birthday with a film festival that runs from April 12-23 and includes movies rarely seen on the big screen…” reports Cinema Retro Magazine

The films being shown:

The Way Ahead 

1944. Great Britain. Directed by Carol Reed. With David Niven, James Donald, John Laurie, Peter Ustinov, Trevor Howard.

Separate Tables 

1958. USA. Directed by Delbert Mann. Screenplay by Terence Rattigan, John Gay, adapted from two of Gay’s plays. With David Niven, Deborah Kerr, Burt Lancaster, Rita Hayworth, Wendy Hiller. Niven's Best Actor Oscar win.

The Moon Is Blue 

1953. USA. Directed by Otto Preminger. Screenplay by F. Hugh Herbert, based on his play. With David Niven, William Holden, Maggie McNamara, Dawn Addams.

Dawn Patrol 

1938. USA. Directed by Edmund Goulding. With Errol Flynn, Basil Rathbone, David Niven, Donald Crisp, Barry Fitzgerald.

The Silken Affair 

1956. Great Britain. Directed by Roy Kellino. With David Niven, Geneviève Page, Ronald Squire, Beatrice Straight, Wilfrid Hyde White.

Bonjour Tristesse 

1958. Great Britain. Directed by Otto Preminger. With David Niven, Deborah Kerr, Jean Seberg.

Around the World in 80 Days 

1956. USA. Directed by Michael Anderson. Produced by Michael Todd. Music by Victor Young. With David Niven, Cantinflas, Shirley MacLaine, Robert Newton, Buster Keaton.

A Matter of Life and Death (Stairway to Heaven) 

1946. Great Britain. Written and directed by Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger. Cinematography by Jack Cardiff.

Before Winter Comes 

1969. Great Britain. Directed by J. Lee Thompson. With David Niven, Topol, Anna Karina, John Hurt, Anthony Quayle.

Read More…

It was my pleasure to correspond twice with David Niven shortly before he died in 1983 on the subjects of his defense of Errol Flynn and his finely tuned writing skills as a biographer and storyteller.

It is my pleasant memory to have handed Niv a huge laugh, he said, when I wrote that it might be nice if Flynn's children “could sue the pants off Charles Higham so that the world could see what sort of asshole he is… “

— David DeWitt


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  1. Anonymous

    April 10, 2010 at 2:30 pm

    Absolutely delighted to see 'The Way Ahead' has been included, it could well be Niven's best film and along with 'The Dawn Patrol', I'd say his most natural performance. The film itself is quite a fascinating piece of propanganda and after watching it even a sworn pacifist such as myself feels like taking up arms in defence of the realm. Love the two Duke of Glendon's veterans who think the young 'uns have it far too easy.
    I must have watched this film 10-20 times in the past few years, as it's one of those films that helps me re-capture that feeling of pride in being 'British', which is something I've found hard to do in recent times.
    I just wonder if there any plans to commemerate Niv's centenary over here in the UK? Must look into that.
    David, I recall you showing me your correspondance with Niv – I really envy you having the chance to correspond with a man whom I greatly admire. Do you recall the newspaper article I sent you David? The one where Niv and Primmie scratched their names in the mirror with their wedding rings. I actually visited the Inn where the mirror supposedly was – didnt get to see it unforunately but the Inn was beautiful. I also had the priviledge of visiting Primmie's place of rest, which is in a beautiful little churchyard in Huish, the setting was perfect and kind of reminded me of one of those wonderful old MGM studio sets that attempted (and did) recreate Olde England.

  2. Anonymous

    April 11, 2010 at 9:48 pm

    Bri! I remember the article and somehow I saw some photos, too, perhaps on a website? You describe the area perfectly. Did you know that there is a huge picture of Niv dancing on the decks of the Queen Mary posted on the wall down on the bottom deck of the ship leading to the engine area? Not the same one published in books but another and he looks to be having the time of his life! I was so pleased to see it when I visited the ship last year. Naturally, my digital camera seemed to be taking shots of it but the memory card was full and no picture was taken…
    I guess I will have to go back!

  3. Anonymous

    April 13, 2010 at 12:29 am

    Hi David;
    Would this MOMA program of David Niven's movies be televised or is this an internal MOMA presentation?

  4. Anonymous

    April 13, 2010 at 3:07 pm

    I seem to recall another English newspaper picking up on the 'mirror' story a few years after it was first mentioned. I have a cutting somewhere, will try and find that.
    David, I had a similar problem with my digital camera when I went back to Northampton a few months back. Took some photographs of the 'small' Flynn tribute at the Royal Theatre unfortunately I only came away with two photographs out of about a hundred that I thought I had taken. On a more positive note Rick Dodd and I are planning a visit to Northampton in the summer, which is something I'm really looking forward to – I will make sure my camera is fully functional for that trip.
    I read the recent book on Niven by… actually, I forget the authors name, which is quite undertstandable as the book was equally forgettable too. David, yes you must go back and get a snap of that Niven photo.
    best wishes

  5. Anonymous

    April 14, 2010 at 4:54 am

    I think it is an internal event!

  6. Anonymous

    April 14, 2010 at 4:57 am

    Bri! We must have shared a similar “oh shit” moment when discovering our camerous had failed us! I also took a lot of pics of the 100th birthday party at Jack & Louises home in Burbank that were not actually taken for the same reason… but the party was well covered by a lot of other folks, so it was fine. But yes, I do plan to go again to the Queen and get that shot of Niv!