Act One Film Society

The Act One Film Society launched in January 2016 as a spin-off subgroup of Chapter One, in order to allow interested group members to enjoy and discuss great cinema.  The group focuses primarily on classic or influential films, or movies with a cult following. 

Each month, Act One watches two films selected by group members, and discussion takes place online.  The films currently scheduled are noted below.


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December 1 - 15, 2018

Gremlins (1984)

Directed by Joe Dante

Film #71

Inspired by legends going back to World War II but infused with a dark humor that could only have come from the 1980s, Gremlins quickly established itself as a cult classic upon its debut. When a young man named Billy (Zach Galligan) receives a mysterious creature known as a mogwai for Christmas, he has no idea the danger that comes with his adorable new buddy Gizmo (voiced by Howie Mandel). Soon all hell breaks loose in Billy’s small town, and it’s up to him, his friend Kate (Phoebe Cates) and Gizmo to set things right before the entire world is threatened by the gremlins’ wrath. Inspiring both a sequel and a legion of imitators from Critters to Ghoulies, Gremlins has become a Christmas classic that can safely be enjoyed after midnight.

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December 16 - 31, 2018

It’s a Wonderful Life (1963)

Directed by Frank Capra

Film #72

Regarded as one of the most beloved films of all time and the quintessential Christmas movie, It’s a Wonderful Life introduces viewers to depressed banker George Bailey (James Stewart) as he contemplates suicide on Christmas Eve. Clarence Odbody (Henry Travers), an angel eager to prove himself and earn a promotion, is assigned to save Bailey, and the two set off on an odyssey of memory and possibility. Featuring performances from Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore and Thomas Mitchell, It’s a Wonderful Life initially received lackluster attention from audiences and critics alike. This all changed 30 years after its debut, when it became an unexpected television staple during 1976’s Christmas season. Following its rediscovery by the public, It’s a Wonderful Life was lauded as one of the greatest films ever made and has been ranked by the American Film Institute as the most inspirational American film of all time.