Royer Film Festival at the Eisenhower Presidential Library


ABILENE, Kan. –  The 24th annual Paul H. Royer Film Festival is set for March 5, 12, and 19 at the Eisenhower Presidential Library, Museum, and Boyhood Home. Each movie will be shown at 7 p.m. in the Visitors Center Auditorium and include free soda and popcorn.


The film series is sponsored by Robert H. (Hank) Royer, Jr., in memory of his grandfather who was a founding member of the Eisenhower Foundation and Abilene High School classmate of President Eisenhower. The three films chosen for this year were chosen to complement the current temporary exhibit “World War II Remembered: Leaders, Battles, & Heroes” marking the 70th anniversaries of WWII.


ANCHORS AWEIGH: Thursday, March 5, 2015

Joe and Clarence are two sailors on leave in Hollywood. All Joe wants to do is to have a good time and meet up with his girl, the unseen Lola. Clarence on the other hand just wants to get a girl. They soon meet a little boy who ran away from home and wants to join the navy. They take him home and meet his young and beautiful aunt Susan, an aspiring singer. Clarence develops a crush on her, and asks Joe to help him get Susan to like him. Soon Joe gets caught in between a promise to Susan to meet a big time music producer and trying to get Clarence ready for their date. The only problem is, Joe doesn’t know the music producer and he’s starting to fall in love with Susan himself. So what’s a guy to do?

140 minutes – color

Starring Frank Sinatra, Kathryn Grayson, Gene Kelly

Nominated for 5 Academy Awards – won for Best Musical Score


THE STORY OF G.I. JOE: Thursday, March 12, 2015

War correspondent Ernie Pyle joins Company C, 18th Infantry, as this American army unit fights its way across North Africa in World War II. He comes to know the soldiers and finds much human interest material for his readers back in the States. Later, he catches up with the unit in Italy and accompanies it through the battles of San Vittorio and Cassino. He learns from its commanding officer, Lt. (later Capt.) Bill Walker of the loneliness of command, and from the individual G.I.’s of the human capacity to survive drudgery, discomfort, and the terror of combat.

Starring Burgess Meredith, Robert Mitchum

108 minutes – black and white

Nominated for 4 Academy Awards; won 5 other awards


PRIDE OF THE MARINES: Thursday, March 19, 2015

Married couple Jim and Ella Merchant set up their single friend Al Schmid on a blind date with Ruth Hartley. The two hit it off and begin dating. After learning of a friend’s enlistment in the Marine Corps, Al decides to enlist. Al and Ruth have a last date, with Al insisting that she forget about him as he is about to go into combat. However, when Ruth goes to meet his departure train, he is overjoyed and gives her an engagement ring. Assigned to Guadalcanal, Al and his squad are tasked with preventing the Japanese from breaching their line. During a night attack, many of his fellow Marines are slain, but Al ends up single-handedly saving the day, killing scores of Japanese. However, he is wounded by a suicide bomber near the end of the battle. At the hospital, Al learns that he is blind, a condition that persists even after surgery. Feeling sorry for himself, he dictates a letter to a nurse, informing Ruth that he is relieving her of any obligation to marry him. Neither his friend Lee, the nurse, or the doctors can persuade Al to try rehabilitation in order to attempt a return to a “normal” life. Finally, he has to be kicked out of the hospital and returns home. To his dismay, Ruth comes to see him and pledges her love, but he is still discouraged, as he does not feel that he is a real man anymore and his pride will not allow her to take care of him. For his bravery, Lee is awarded the Navy Cross. Will he overcome his pride and give the audience a happy ending?

Starring John Garfield, Eleanor Parker

120 minutes – black and white

Nominated for one Academy Award


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