The Getty Center
Still from The Ornament and the Enchantress

Salome, Cleopatra, Delilah, and Mata Hari: these iconic "femme fatales" and their biblical, mythical, even modern settings captured the imagination of early filmmakers. The popular actresses featured in this series, such as Alla Nazimova, Claudette Colbert, Hedy Lamarr, and the incomparable Greta Garbo, built their careers in roles as temptresses of the Orient. Complements the exhibition The Spectacular Art of Jean-Léon Gérôme.

The series is free; a separate reservation is required for each film. Reservations available beginning Thursday, April 1, at 9:00 a.m. All screenings are held in the Harold M. Williams Auditorium.

Still from Salome


Date: Saturday, June 26, 2010
Time: 3:00 p.m.

(1922, 72 min., 35 mm)
Directed by Charles Bryant

Sometimes regarded as America's first feature-length art film, this silent version of Oscar Wilde's play is best remembered for the contributions of two formidable women: Alla Nazimova, the legendary actress who plays the title role of the biblical seductress, and Natacha Rambova, who designed the eye-popping costumes and sets based on Aubrey Beardsley's illustrations.

Portions of the print are tinted. Live musical accompaniment will be provided by pianist Michael Mortilla.

Preservation funded by George Eastman House.

Still from Cleopatra


Date: Saturday, June 26, 2010
Time: 7:00 p.m.

(1934, 100 min., 35 mm)
Directed by Cecil B. DeMille

Bring on the scantily clad dancing girls, the floating barge, sweat-stained galley slaves, the Roman parade fit for a queen, and a bit of Shakespeare mixed with '30s moderne—welcome to DeMille's world. As Martin Scorsese recently cited, "When you saw a DeMille picture, it stayed with you—the power of that shared experience with a big audience." Preserved by the UCLA Film & Television Archive, this gem is a must-see on the big screen.

Preserved by the UCLA Film & Television Archive.

Still from Samson and Delilah

Samson and Delilah

Date: Sunday, June 27, 2010
Time: 12:00 p.m.

(1949, 131 min., 35 mm)
Directed by Cecil B. DeMille

Dipping again into his favorite source material, here DeMille retells the Samson legend with a lusty sword and sandal, Technicolor edge. Victor Mature plays brawny Samson, opposite Heddy Lamarr's slinky, seductive Delilah. This wonderfully campy epic was once described as the only film in which the hero had bigger breasts than the heroine.

Note: The start time of this screening was incorrectly listed in the printed brochure as 11:00 a.m. The correct time is 12:00 p.m.

Still from Mata Hari

Mata Hari

Date: Sunday, June 27, 2010
Time: 3:00 p.m.

(1931, 89 min., 35 mm)
Directed by George Fitzmaurice

Dutch-born Mata Hari (born Margaretha Geertruida MacLeod) took Paris by storm in the early 20th century with her exotic, Indonesian-inspired, and nearly nude dancing. By World War I she was also a popular courtesan and, some say, spy. MGM romanticized Hari's story, casting their sublimely beautiful new star Greta Garbo as the sensual, doomed femme fatale.

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