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WETA Movie Night: April 26

This weekend, tune into WETA TV26 & HD for the 1962 Broadway drama Gypsy. Music, dance, family drama, and the drive to make it big are the themes that have made this movie such a hit. Starring Rosalind Russell, Natalie Wood, and Karl Malden. Watch a preview of the film below.

Set during the 1920s in the vaudeville era, Rose is an aggressive and domineering woman who desires above all to make her two daughters June and Louise big entertainment stars. Herbie Sommers is an entertainment agent who falls in love with Rose. The two lock-in big circuit bookings for daughter June while the apparently less talented Louise is pushed into the background. Over time, June decides to break away from Rose and Herbie leaving pushy stage mother Rose to work on Louise’s career. Consequently, the trio winds up at a third-rate burlesque house in Wichita. Will Rose step aside and let her daughter rise to the top on her own true talent?
The musical classic Gypsy airs on WETA TV26 & HD Saturday April 26 at 9:30pm and Sunday April 27 at 11am.

 


 

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Free Movies in DC | WETA Movie Night February 23

Determination

Sometimes, you just have to go with what feels right. This week’s WETA Saturday Night Movies on WETA TV26 & WETA HD celebrate people who knew they were right, even when everyone else was telling them they were wrong. We begin at 9:30pm with Top Hat, where Jerry Travers peruses a woman who isn’t interested because she thinks he’s someone else. But Jerry doesn’t give up that easily! Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 is at 11:00pm, which takes a look at activists during the civil rights era who knew they were working for good, even when the media tried to misrepresent them.

Click here to watch video previews of these two films!

 

Top Hat (1935)

What would you do if your best friend’s spouse fell in love with you? Run away! Or in this case, dance in the opposite direction. Dale Tremont (Ginger Rogers) makes her distaste of Jerry Travers (Fred Astaire) known after he wakes her one night with loud tap dancing from the room above her. In a case of mistaken identity, she believes him to be her friend’s husband and is put off even more by his romantic advances. After she travels to Italy, only to be perused by Jerry, the confusion escalates with a marriage proposal. Can these two figure out who they really are and become the perfect pair? If you missed it in January, find out this Saturday at 9:30pm.

Watch Top Hat on WETA TV26 & WETA HD Saturday at 9:30pm! Also airs Sunday at 11:30am.

 

The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975

After 16mm footage of the civil rights movement was discovered in the cellar of a Swedish broadcasting company, filmmaker Goran Hugo Olsson decided to create a documentary about the Black Power movement from 1967 to 1975. Featuring interviews with prominent African American artists, activists, musicians and scholars, as well as input from today's scholars and historians, this film shows a different perspective of the revolution commonly portrayed as a violent protest by United States media of the time. Join us as we continue to celebrate Black History Month through the eyes of Swedish filmmakers, this Saturday at 11:00pm.

Watch Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 on WETA TV26 & WETA HD Saturday at 11:00pm.

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Free Movies in DC: WETA Fall Movie Festival November 17

Every Saturday, WETA hosts the Fall Movie Festival where we compile exciting and commercial-free movies for you to enjoy in your Washington, DC area home. Watch these compelling films this Saturday, November 17!

Truth

George Washington said, “Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains taken to bring it to light.” With the revelation of truth comes serenity and peace. Experience catharsis and multiple sighs of relief as the truth is revealed in three films this Saturday night!

The Truth Will Win Out

When Vincent Parry’s wife is suddenly killed, Parry is promptly convicted of murder. He must exert all of his energies toward clearing his name, without allowing his morning to distract him  Vincent escapes prison and subsequently encounters multiple barriers, but repeatedly manages to evade capture (despite being highly wanted). When Vincent meets Irene, the beautiful woman takes the supposed killer under her wing. Irene developed an unwavering passion in seeking justice for the wrongly convicted when, years earlier, her father was convicted of murder. Dark Passage is a thriller following Vincent’s pursuit for freedom, righteousness, and a clear name. In his tireless attempts for clarity, what extreme measures will Vincent take and will he succeed in tracking down his wife’s killer? To complicate matters, the killer might be right under his nose...

Watch The WETA Movie: Dark Passage Saturday, November 17 at 9:30pm on WETA TV 26 and WETA HD.

 

Dying Men Speak True…

Dark Victory stars Bette Davis as Judith, the young New York socialite with hobbies suitable for her class: smoking, drinking, horses, and fast cars. A horse-riding accident leaves Judith with some uncomfortable after-effects, and only at the urging of her friend Ann does she seek a doctor’s counsel.  Testing reveals life-altering results: Judith has incurable cancer. She will soon become blind, and death will inevitably follow. However, Judith neglects to say her “adieus” …because her failing health is kept a secret! Why does Dr. Steele keep his lips sealed and will the truth set itself free before it’s too late?  Dark Victory is a tale of love, deceit, and coping.

Watch Dark Victory Saturday, November 17 at 11:20pm on WETA TV and WETA HD.

 

The Truth Right In Front Of Us

Block parties take place in neighborhoods across America every summer. After all, everyone on the street can relate to each other: happy children, full-time jobs, family dinners, weekends spent at the dog park or soccer field. But New York City’s Park Avenue set follows different rules, depending on which half you live. The mega-rich reside on Park Avenue’s Upper East Side—the wealthiest neighborhood in all of New York City. Take a leisurely stroll ten minutes up the block to the South Bronx, however, and the neighborhood sights, sounds, and smells will leave you wondering how only ten minutes mean the difference between luxury and lower income.

Independent Lens brings you Park Avenue: Money, Power & The American Dream, a shocking exploration of the extreme disparity in quality of life along one avenue. On one side live billionaires while. on the other side. forty percent of residents live in poverty. Park Avenue in the South Bronx is America’s poorest congressional district, plaqued by unemployment, crime, and failing schools. Yet these residents can literally see the “other side”, the so-called “better side”, from their windows. So close physically, with dreams of putting truth to the The Jefferson’s theme song lyrics, “moving on up to the East Side”.

But actually making the move to the other side is not as simple as America naively preaches. Sometimes achieving the American Dream demands more than hard work, determination, and a hearty dose of “American spirit”. Park Avenue: Money, Power & The American Dream looks at the invisible barricade that divides rich from poor and powerful from oppressed on both sides of Park Avenue.

Watch Independent Lens Park Avenue: Money, Power & The American Dream Saturday, November 17 at 1:00am on WETA TV26 and WETA HD.

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Free Movies in DC: WETA Fall Movie Festival November 10

 

Watch free movies without commercials on your TV this Saturday. Get a load of our jam packed Fall Movie Festival November 10, a feature film and FOUR documentaries on WETA TV26 and WETA HD.

The Art of Risk-Taking

Jumping out of an airplane, sampling frog’s legs, or buying a lottery ticket all mean incurring some risk.  A skydiver discovering mid-air that his parachute is defective may be a rare situation, but suffering a minor allergic reaction to an exotic food happens more often. In life, we’re faced with both itty-bitty risks and all-or-nothing risks. This Saturday night, don’t do anything dicey. Stay in the comfort and safety of your own home and live vicariously through risk taker after risk taker in a line-up of movies on WETA TV26 and HD that make you hold your breath—without taking any real risks.

 

Love’s Risk

You never know who you’ll meet on the bus. Fate strikes when two bus riders’ lives coincidentally intertwine, proving that every personal encounter has a purpose. When the recently returned World War II veteran Paul strikes up a conversation with Victoria, he learns that she is pregnant out of wedlock and terrified that her traditionalist Mexican father will kill her upon her homecoming from graduate school. So Paul offers to play the role of Victoria’s husband and Victoria accepts. Victoria’s family believes the couple’s announcement but the new son-in-law’s social standing infuriates Victoria’s father. The initial plan takes an unexpected turn when the family invites Paul to stay on the vineyard and assist with the annual grape harvest. The events that follow will convince you of the magic of fate. With family tradition, love, and hate all conflicting, you have the perfect elements to start off a Saturday night movie festival! 

Watch A Walk in the Clouds (1995) Saturday November 10 at 9:30pm on WETA TV26 or WETA HD.

 

Risk for Reward

Though the classroom’s filled with women from a colorful assortment of countries, their similarities outweigh their differences. Many stopped attending school at age ten, either because of the taboo of female education or because work took priority. All of the students have families back home, and all are mothers or grandmothers--a class requirement. Most of the students have never before left their village, let alone their country. Many are also illiterate. These 27 disenfranchised women hail from four continents and make up a class of competitively selected candidates whose training at The Barefoot College in India will empower them to become solar engineers. Yes, solar engineers. In six months time, these women will return home with the ability, confidence, and skill to bring solar electricity to their villages. Learn more about the making of Solar Mamas from producer Mette Heide in this Independent Lens online exclusive! 

Solar Mamas follows the journey of one particular Barefoot College class, shedding light (no pun intended) on the natural energy crisis and the challenges rural women face worldwide.

Watch Independent Lens: Solar Mamas Saturday, November 10 at 11:15pm on WETA TV26 or WETA HD.

 

Risking Life and Limb

The prospect of $20,000 and college tuition assistance in exchange for serving in the Michigan National Guard just one weekend a month seemed too good to pass up for a group of nine long-time friends who were fresh out of high school in rural Michigan. And it was…as most things that seem too good to be true usually are. Soon, they would all be deployed on a tour to Afghanistan, where they would search for roadside bombs with their explosives unit. After nine  fearfull and uncertain months, nothing could prepare the once carefree “boys” for the obstacles they would endure upon returning home.

Where Soldiers Come From follows the lives of three of these men over the course of four years, from their basic training, to their deployment, and ultimately, to their tumultuous return home. The film illustrates the transformation of these happy-go-lucky teenagers into hardened and emotionally-scarred men. The film also paints a poignant portrait of the far-reaching effects of a far-away war, while touching upon politics, class, and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. Check out this powerful map of Veterans in the United States from POV Where Soldiers Come From

Watch POV: Where Soldiers Come From Saturday, November 10 at 12:30am on WETA TV26 or WETA HD.

 

Risk on the Behalf of Others

On-call at all hours of the day and night, they rush to their “office” when the familiar phone call comes. A price could never be put on the free and generous service they provide with their smiles, hugs, and words of encouragement for men and women in uniform. At Bangor International Airport in Maine, a pack of senior citizens has made history by greeting and seeing off nearly one million American troops who are on their way to and from Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Way We Get By tells a moving story about growing old, finding purpose, and living life to the fullest. The film looks at three of the senior volunteers, as they deal with the inevitable effects of aging and find their reason to continue living. One volunteer must cope with a cancer diagnosis, while another must cope with the deployments of beloved family members. Meanwhile, one volunteer explains the group’s goal very succinctly: “Make a soldier smile before he goes over.” The parallels between the gray-haired volunteers and soldiers passing through the plane terminal reveal the film’s central message: It is through service to others we find our purpose. Watch or read this POV interview with The Way We Get By filmmaker Aron Gaudet. 

Watch POV: The Way We Get By on Saturday, November 10 at 2:00am on WETA TV26 or WETA HD.

 

Risking it all for a Dream

“We miss the shot, we get shot.”

For wildly successful filmmakers László Kovács and Vilmos Zsigmond, such a statement was not far from the truth in their native Hungary. Maybe it was luck and their innate talent that led to their success in the film industry, or maybe it was the day-to-day struggle of surviving in Hungary’s hostile environment that taught them to fight. Whatever the case, that success certainly did not mushroom overnight. No Subtitles Necessary: Laszlo & Vilmos honors the pair, all the while telling their story from struggle to triumph.

László and Vilmos quickly became friends back in film school, but little did they know that their friendship would thrive for decades to come and withstand as much as it did. During the Hungarian Revolution, the two fled for America, camera and film in tow. Remarkably, they managed to avoid ever getting caught and filmed many of the horrific scenes involved in their escape. Finding work was no easy feat, and for ten years they admirably kept their dreams alive by working on low-budget films. Their “big breaks” came in due time, and once Hollywood recognized their talent as Directors of Photography, America swooned. Thanks to their grit and persistence, László and Vilmos have changed Hollywood’s standards for cinematography. Check out this No Subtitles Necessary: Laszlo & Vilmos behind the scenes content from Independent Lens and director / producer James Chressanthis!

Watch Independent Lens: No Subtitles Necessary: Laszlo & Vilmos on Saturday, November 19 at 3:30am on WETA TV26 or WETA HD.

 

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Free Movies in DC: WETA Fall Movie Festival November 3

Every Saturday, WETA hosts the Fall Movie Festival where we compile exciting, free, and commercial-free movies for you to enjoy in your Maryland, Virginia, and DC homes. Watch these compelling films and documentaries this Saturday November 3!

 

Action

When words fail, actions speak…and in many cases, the latter can be more attention-grabbing and successful than any combination of words, even from the most eloquent of mouths. Sometimes action is unexpected and though we are not prepared for it, our instincts kick in and we handle each situation accordingly. Other times, it knocks us down repeatedly and we must try again and again, never giving up. Action usually works and though it’s risky, when it pays off we cannot help but to revel in the chance we took.  This Saturday night on WETA TV26 and HD, see firsthand examples of taking action in a perfect blend of films. 

 

Taking physical action

Sometimes we feel stuck and an unexpected opportunity for action presents itself. This Saturday, Rocky, a struggling club boxer in Philadelphia supplements his passion and dream of becoming a big-time fighter by working as a debt collector. His talent is often doubted but former boxing trainer Mickey firmly believes Rocky could have succeeded had he worked harder. That knock at the invisible door arrives when the current world’s heavyweight boxing champion, Apollo Creed, proposes the idea of providing a small-time and unknown boxer with the shot at his envied and prestigious title. Upon scoping out Philadelphia’s boxers, Apollo selects Rocky.  Hopes, dreams, and words soon turn into hard work, sweat, blood, tears and action as Rocky prepares for the match of a lifetime. Watch Rocky (1976) Saturday November 3 at 9:30pm on WETA TV26 or WETA HD. 

Rocky will also air on WETA TV26 and WETA HD on Sunday November 4 at 11:30am.

 

Long-awaited action

Protecting the planet is a defining feature of the Native American culture. So it should come as no surprise that when faced with the environmentally-harmful consequences of a practice benefiting the pockets of wealthy corporations, Arizona Native American tribes directly affected swiftly took action. The story serving as the inspiration of Power Paths begins in the 1960s when two coal mines opened on the Navajo and Hopi reservations in Arizona. The mines produced enough coal to supply the insatiable energy demands of Phoenix, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles…but at a significant cost. Over the decades following the opening of the mines, the environment took a detrimental and irreversible hit as did local Native American tribes. The Southwestern skies were polluted, aquifers were drained, and sacred Native American land was scarred.  Not to mention, Native Americans living on the reservations had no running water and no access to basic electricity. The health of the Navajo nation’s people suffered also, and cases of cancers were common.  Independent Lens: Power Paths follows a tribal coalition’s modern day fight to alter their economies for the better by swapping coal mines and power plants with renewable energy technologies. Success in making the switch would preserve and protect their land, honor their culture, provide their reservation’s homes with basic electricity and create necessary jobs in their own community. Power Paths serves as an example of the entire planet’s current plight; finding alternatives to fossil fuels and going green. It may have taken decades but when action is finally taken, will it be all in vain or for the good of future generations? Watch Power Paths, November 3 at 11:30pm on WETA TV26 or WETA HD and see for yourself.

Watch a preview of Power Paths here!

 

Necessary action

They were sent to Iraq as cooks, clerks, and mechanics. Some were sent to provide supplies, and others logistical support, to the male troops. But when fighting unexpectedly broke out in the streets of Ramadi in April of 2004, those very women had no choice but to fight alongside their fellow soldiers. In fact, they were needed, and it did not seem to matter that they hadn't undergone combat training. After all, why would they be? The Department of Defense created a policy prohibiting women from ground combat. Despite this, since 2003, the United States military has been going against official policy and utilizing women in a variety of situations, from conducting house-to-house searches of Iraqis to fighting in some of the most violent and bloody battles to have taken place during the war.

Independent Lens: Lioness tells the story of five female U.S. Army soldiers who made history by becoming the first to be sent into direct combat. The group, members of “Team Lioness,” served one year together in Iraq. Told through personal accounts, journal excerpts, archival footage and interviews, Lioness reveals what the media time and again neglected to inform America of; that women are an integral and necessary part of the military in all facets. The women’s individual stories work in tandem to portray the effects of war from a female perspective. Watch Lioness Saturday November 3 at 12:30am on WETA TV26 and WETA HD.

In this scene of Lioness, the women are gathered together after returning from deployment and watch a documentary about the very battle they fought in. Surprisingly, they are purposefully edited out of any shots.