Cinema Arts Centre - Cinema 3 Sat, Feb 4, 2023 12:00 PM


One Day Only!

Admission is Free!

Saturday, February 4th at 12noon

Joe Dante’s


A send-up and a celebration of mid-century American kitsch, Joe Dante’s epic pop culture mash-up, The Movie Orgy, entertained college campuses through the late 1960s and 1970s, drawing upon an ever-changing library of ’50s drive-in movies, vintage commercials, TV westerns, and political speeches. Re-discovered and re-cut by Dante into its 280 minute “Ultimate Version,” this legendary cinematic event now comes to the Cinema Arts Centre! SEE a colossal collage of nostalgia! SEE an experience of mind-rotting celluloid hysteria! SEE thousands of performers in roles that earned them obscurity!  SEE bosomy starlets, juvenile delinquency, Christian puppetry, Elvis PresleyGroucho Marx, and Richard Nixon!

Few films (or “film experiences”) have evolved over time as much as Joe Dante’s The Movie Orgy, a comically massive and massively comic super-cut of Cold War Americana culled from B-features, movie serials, and television. Starting as a lark assembled and performed by Dante, then a student at the Philadelphia College of Art and a contributing editor to the magazine Castle of Frankenstein, and Jon Davison, a 16mm film collector still in high school (and a long way from becoming the producer of Airplane! and Robocop), The Movie Orgy played on college campuses for less than a decade and then vanished. In the years after, the five to seven-hour screening became a cinematic legend that only a select few could rightfully claim to have witnessed. Yet, like all great movie monsters, The Movie Orgy has risen from its tomb. Dante’s nearly 5-hour long, digitally preserved “Ultimate Version” has returned for audiences ready to embrace the “lost opus” of a favorite filmmaker.

Reconsidering The Movie Orgy, it’s easy to read its history as a reflection on the cinematic life of Joe Dante (GremlinsGremlins 2: The Next BatchThe HowlingPiranhaSmall SoldiersMatineeInnerspaceThe ‘BurbsHollywood BoulevardRunaway Daughters) himself, from young artist to elder statesman. Thankfully, the stories of Dante and his epic found footage epic are long and fascinating ones.

(USA, 1968, 222 min., color & b/w, DCP / Director: Joe Dante / Producer: Jon Davison / Cast: Ann-Margaret, The Beatles, Ngo Dinh Diem, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Ralph Richardson, Elvis Presley, Richard Nixon, Groucho Marx, Edward R Murrow, Bela Lugosi, Jack Nicholson, Phyllis Diller, Walter Cronkite, Bing Crosby, Dean Martin, Dave Garroway, Gordon Scott, Walter Brennan, Howard K. Smith, Howdy Doody, Robert Vaughn, and many more!)

Still from THE MOVIE ORGY (1968)

Still from THE MOVIE ORGY (1968)

Film poster for THE MOVIE ORGY (1968)