Public Domain Theater: Kansas City Confidential (& “To Spring”)

Welcome to Public Domain Theater, your home for the wonderful world of films that have (in the United States, at least) fallen into the public domain, and are free for everyone to see!

It’s been a while since we featured a film noir on this series, so why don’t we fix that with a stylish little thriller from 1952, Kansas City Confidential. You may recognize one of the gangsters in this as Lee Van Cleef, who would go on to have a prolific career in Spaghetti Westerns, including playing the sinister Angel Eyes in The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. The plot of this flick might also seem familiar to you; I’m not gonna say anything definite, but I’d lay good money Quentin Tarantino watched this film before he made Reservoir Dogs.

We also have an animated short for you, and this one’s a real treat! Depending on where you live, it may not feel much like Spring right now; heck, for half of the world, we’re actually heading into Autumn. But in my neck of the woods, temperatures are finally starting to rise, snow’s finally starting to melt, and it feels like the tight grip of Old Man Winter is at last beginning to slip. To celebrate this happy occasion, I want to share with you the classic MGM cartoon “To Spring”, which dramatizes the changing of the seasons through the eyes of the elfin folk and their fantabulous rainbow machine! . . . Cartoons are weird, y’all.

So whether you want to see a surreal and fantastical ode to springtime, or just want to see a bunch of crooks fighting over the spoils of a bank heist, grab yourself a seat and enjoy what the public domain has to offer!

Opening Cartoon:

Feature Presentation: