Free film programs to begin January 22 at Semiahmoo Resort

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A seven-week free public series of film programs will begin on Wednesday, January 22 at the Semiahmoo Resort, starting with “When Rivals Meet,” a two-part program about what happened when famous rival film stars finally met in the same movie.

Tickets are not required for the weekly programs, which will run from 7 to 9 p.m. in the resort’s Discovery Theater, where movie scenes will be shown on a big screen. Free refreshments will be provided by the hotel.

In the two-part “When Rivals Meet” program, host Ron Miller will present singers Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra, two of the most popular singers of their day, in a scene from their first film together, the 1955 musical High Society. “They were not only rivals in song, but competed for the affection of Grace Kelly in the movie,” said Miller.

The January 22 session will also feature singers Judy Garland and Deanna Durbin, who made their film debut together in 1936 and went on to become the top singing stars at two rival movie studios.

Also featured will be silent screen comics Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton, who performed together in the 1952 film Limelight; singing cowboys Gene Autry and Roy Rogers, who fought each other in The Old Corral (1936); action heroes John Wayne and Randolph Scott, who slugged it out in one of the most famous fight scenes in movie history in 1942’s The Spoilers; and rival Olympic swimming stars Johnny Weissmuller and Buster Crabbe, who fought an underwater battle to the death in Captive Girl (1950).

For the January 29 session, dancers Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly were seen dancing together in 1946’s Ziegfeld Follies; movie monsters Bela Lugosi and Boris Karloff faced each other seven times on screen starting with The Black Cat (1934); movie gangsters James Cagney and George Raft were dance rivals in their first film together, but were prison buddies in 1940’s Each Dawn I Die; rival glamour girls Jane Russell and Marilyn Monroe turned up as pals in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953); and feuding drama queens Bette Davis and Joan Crawford were bitter enemies in What Ever Happened to Baby Jane (1962).

Host Ron Miller was a nationally syndicated newspaper entertainment writer and is the author of six books about movies and television. He has conducted film programs at the Semiahmoo Resort for several years, and has taught classes on the subject. He is a resident of Blaine.

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