Theater Society, Depot, to feature films Saturday night in Brady

The Heart of Texas Depot Restaurant and the McCulloch County Historical Theater Society are teaming up for some train-themed movie entertainment Saturday, June 9. Alfred Hitchcock’s comedy thriller, “The Lady Vanishes” (1938) will be presented Saturday night beginning around 8:15 p.m.’ Before the show, The Depot Restaurant will have a hamburger bar set up with an assortment of condiments so that diners can prepare their burger any way that they like. The restaurant will have their usual drink menu, plus popcorn will be available during the movies. At about dusk, the Theater Society will present two fun-filled train movies. Tickets are $5 and are not included with the meal.’ Movie patrons are not required to buy dinner, although diners will get first choice of seating. Door prizes will be given away. ‘The comedy short to begin the show is Our Gang’s “Choo Choo (1932).’ This film was only George ‘Spanky’ McFarland’s second film. He is already a talented movie actor who nearly steals the film without saying a single word of dialog. The story concerns a group of orphans on a train who are chaperoned by a prissy railroad man who hates kids.’ The orphans find ‘the gang’ playing nearby and switch clothes with them so that the Our Gang kids have to ride on the train.’ Spanky, Stymie, Wheezer, Pete the Dog and the rest of the gang cause mayhem on the train, especially after a drunken novelty salesman gives them a bunch of noisemakers. Next, the kids release a bunch of animals from the baggage car, and a monkey, goat, and a bear really upset the passengers.’ For the climax, the kids find the salesman’s fireworks samples and really ‘light up’ the train. The feature is one of director Alfred Hitchcock’s last films before he left England for bigger fame in Hollywood. Actress Margaret Lochwood plays Iris, a pampered young woman who is soon to be married and is returning from a vacation.’ She gets stranded at a mountain hotel due to a snowstorm.’ Music teacher Michael Redgrave and an old woman named Mrs. Froy are stranded there too.’ Two British cricket fans are upset because the snow is going to cause them to miss a big cricket match. The first 20 minutes is mostly comedy as the travelers are forced to bunk together due to lack of space and then the hotel runs out of food. After the snow melts, the passengers’ journey begins and so does the suspense. Iris shares a cup of tea with Mrs. Froy on the train. After both return to their train seats, Iris is accidentally knocked unconscious when something falls on her head. When she wakes up, the old woman is nowhere to be found.’ All of the other passengers swear that there was never an old woman on the train. At first Iris thinks that she is losing her mind, but then she suspects that some of the passengers have done something with Mrs. Froy. Alfred Hitchcock was famous for making a cameo appearance in each one of his films.’ In this film he appears near the end at Victoria station as a portly man wearing a dark coat and smoking a cigarette. This program will be presented on 16mm film, not video projection.’Both films were released before the MPAA gave ratings to films, but “The Lady Vanishes” contains some mild violence that might not be suitable for very young kids.

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