Dedicated to screening rare & significant films in their original format.

The Melbourne Cinémathèque is a not-for-profit, volunteer-run film society.

We hold screenings at The Australian Centre for the Moving image every Wednesday night for most of the year.

Admission is by membership, which can be obtained on a monthly or yearly basis.


March 29

Dorothy Arzner (1931) 77 mins
Unclassified 15+ (unless accompanied by an adult)

Like Sex in the City set in the Great Depression, Arzner charts the adventures of two Indiana sisters who come to New York City searching for work, love and the right man. This subversive, gendered view of marriage, work, class and the social typing of “good” and “bad” girls based on a play co-written by Vera Caspary (Laura) was described by Arzner authority Judith Mayne as perhaps the director’s “most daring and innovative film.”

With Judith Wood, Dorothy Hall and Paul Lukas.

35mm print courtesy of the UCLA Film & Television Archive.

CTEQ Annotation
‘Pre-Code Women’: Dorothy Arzner’s Working Girls by Gwendolyn Audrey Foster.

Dorothy Arzner (1932) 77 mins
Unclassified 15+ (unless accompanied by an adult)

Arzner regular Fredric March stars as dissolute writer Jerry, wooing and wedding Joan, a naïve young socialite played by Sylvia Sidney whose marital ideals crumble as her husband reverts to his self-loathing nature. Arzner cannily reverses her usual barracking for working-class women’s upward mobility by sympathetically looking at the coddled worldview of high society’s young women.

Features an early performance by Cary Grant.

35mm print courtesy of the UCLA Film & Television Archive.

CTEQ Annotation
Kicking Over the Traces: Dorothy Arzner’s ‘Merrily We Go To Hell’ by Wheeler Winston Dixon.

Dorothy Arzner (1933) 78 mins PG

Arzner’s sleek, deco-modernist fable about the taboos, temptations and fatal perils of female independence, ambition and sexual identity stars Katharine Hepburn in her second screen role as a slim-hipped, strikingly costumed aviatrix (check out her moth costume!) and member of parliament who falls in love with a married man (Colin Clive).

Loosely based on the career of flier Amy Johnson, it features a soaring score by Max Steiner and acting support from the wonderful Billie Burke.

Print courtesy of the National Film & Sound Archive, Australia.



The Melbourne Cinémathèque started out as the Melbourne University Film Society (MUFS) in 1948 and changed its name to Cinémathèque in 1984.

The Melbourne Cinémathèque aims to present films in the medium they were created and as closely as possible to screen films the way they would have originally screened (i.e. big screen, celluloid prints, not video or DVD).

Programmes include a diverse selection of classic and contemporary films showcasing director retrospectives, special guest appearances and thematic series including archival material and new or restored prints.

We have on occasion hosted numerous seminars featuring renowned film scholars such as David Bordwell, Adrian Martin and Ian Christie. We are also dedicated to providing new annotations on the films we screen via the CTEQ annotations, hosted as a part of the quarterly online film journal Senses of Cinema.

The Melbourne Cinémathèque is self-administered and membership-driven relying on support from individuals, foundations, corporations and government funding to maintain its high standard of excellence. If you would like to be involved, or to offer donations or sponsorship, please contact us.

Presented by The Melbourne Cinémathèque and the Australian Centre for the Moving Image.

Curated by the Melbourne Cinémathèque.

Curatorial Committee: Michael Koller, Michelle Carey, Adrian Danks and Eloise Ross with assistance from Cerise Howard.

Supported by Screen Australia and Film Victoria.


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MARCH 16, 7:00PM Douglas Sirk’s ALL I DESIRE to be replaced by Billy Wilder’s DOUBLE INDEMNITY as part of the Barbara Stanwyck program.