Night and Day: Wednesday, June27, 2002
In Point of Fact...

Jennifer Jones had a scant résumé as an actress before Hollywood mogul David O. Selznick spotted her in 1942, fell in love with her, and gave her a string of leading roles in prestigious dramatic films that she probably wasn’t ready for. He wanted to get her an Oscar. (The result: some poorly deserved nominations, no statue.)

Her real talent was for comedy, as her performance in John Huston’s 1954 film Beat the Devil shows. The nonsensical plot is about an American expatriate (Humphrey Bogart) who’s trying to acquire uranium-rich land for a colorful group of criminals (including Peter Lorre and Robert Morley). Jones plays a dizzy housewife who screws up everyone’s plans because she makes up fanciful stories about herself and her dull husband (Edward Underdown), always prefaced with the phrase, “In point of fact...”. People catch on to her, but the bad information she puts out continues to flummox them. With a blonde dye job and a spotty English accent, Jones is so funny that she easily outshines Gina Lollobrigida, an international sex symbol at the height of her fame, who plays Bogart’s wife.

The film is full of other strange characters, like a haranguing British fascist and an abnormally cheerful ship’s purser. Shooting was reportedly chaotic, with Huston telling some of the cast members that the movie was a comedy and others that it was a thriller. The film lost a ton of money, and Bogart and Huston never worked together again. Too bad — the sunny Italian port setting, the dialogue by Truman Capote, and the wildly eclectic cast make Beat the Devil an unusual and highly entertaining find.

Beat the Devil screens at 7:30pm Tue at AMC Sundance 11, 312 Houston St, FW. Tickets are $6. Call 817-820-0066.



Wes Anderson’s comedy The Royal Tenenbaums struck some people as too cutesy when it came out last year. Consider this, though: a conventional Hollywood treatment would have turned its story about a dying patriarch and his dysfunctional family into an unbearable tearjerker. Anderson’s po-faced visual style and the deadpan work by a ridiculously high-powered cast made the film much more truthful and more moving. The film screens at dusk at UTA’s Activities Bldg, 500 W Nedderman Dr, Arlington. Admission is free. Call 817-272-2963.



The TCU/Cliburn Piano Institute winds up its series of concerts this weekend. Tonight, Brazilian pianist and former Van Cliburn Competition winner Cristina Ortiz plays music by Villa-Lobos and Mompou, which isn’t surprising, since she has always been a proponent of Latin classical music. However, she’s also playing pieces by Debussy, Ravel, Rachmaninov, and Estonian composer Eduard Tubin. The recital is at 8pm at TCU’s PepsiCo Recital Hall, 2800 S University Dr, FW. Admission is $10-20. Call 817-257-7602.



This is the final weekend for several plays being produced locally, but the most intriguing might be the one at Onstage in Bedford. The Trial of Goldilocks casts the story of the Three Bears as a courtroom drama, with Goldilocks brought up on breaking and entering charges. The play’s dialogue is entirely in rhyming couplets. If Johnnie Cochrane were available for the defense, this would be his dream assignment. The play runs 7:30pm Fri and 1pm & 4pm Sat at Trinity Arts Theatre, 2819 Forest Ridge Dr, Bedford. Tickets are $5. Call 817-354-6444.



Ballet Concerto charges admission for the first time for its Summer Dance Concert, but the price should be worth it. The Spanish-themed concert will feature Luis Montero’s Andalusian Suite, Li Chou Cheng’s Tango, and a new work by Christine Marie Hay. The concerts are Thu-Sun on the east lawn of the Amon Carter Museum, 3501 Camp Bowie Blvd, FW. Admission is $12, reserved tables are $20 per person, and kids 12 and under are free. Call 817-738-7915.



Born into slavery in 1856, Henry Ossian Flipper was the first African-American accepted into the U.S. Military Academy, graduating in 1877 and rising to the rank of lieutenant. Five years later, he was convicted of conduct unbecoming an officer, but he went on to achieve success as an engineer. His court-martial was commuted in 1976, and he was officially pardoned by President Clinton in 1999. More on his life story can be learned from author Johnny D. Boggs as he signs copies of his biography of Flipper at 6pm at Barnes & Noble, 1612 S University Dr, FW. Admission is free. Call 817-335-2796.



Choral groups from South Africa, Mexico, and Fargo, North Dakota join the Texas Girls Choir and the 2002 Children’s Universal Music Festival Choir (selected from Metroplex schools and churches) tonight for the festival’s final concert. Each children’s choir will perform one classical piece, one a cappella piece, and one song from their own country. The concert is at 8pm at Bass Performance Hall, 555 Commerce St, FW. Tickets are $17-47. Call 817-212-4280.



Several new exhibits are on display at the Arlington Museum of Art. Christopher Hart: Dingle is named after a sculptor and the town in Ireland where he found ancient rocks that inspired his show. Natural is a show by three artists responding in different ways to nature. You Are Here is a site-specific installation by Jim Malone and Janet Tyson calling attention to the museum’s architectural space and its place in the Metroplex’s cultural life. Christopher Hart and Natural run thru Jul 20, You Are Here runs Jun 26-Aug 24 at 201 W Main St, Arlington. Admission is free. Call 817-275-4600.

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