May 1 at 6pm preceded by “Projections” at 4pm


Sag Harbor, NY – Sag Harbor Cinema will highlight the importance of Sag Harbor resident John Steinbeck’s work and the community effort to preserve his historic Bluff Point home with a series of screenings, including both adaptations from Steinbeck’s novels, as well as films scripted by Steinbeck, and a Projections panel.

The program will start on May 1st with a rare 35mm showing of The Forgotten Village (1941), a documentary that Steinbeck wrote for director Herbert Kline that was shot in the Mexican states of Puebla and Tlaxcala with a non-professional cast of mostly indigenous residents of the region. Spencer Tracy was initially asked to voice Steinbeck’s narration, but since MGM would let him out of his contract, he was replaced by Burgess Meredith.

The screening of The Forgotten Village will be preceded at 4pm by a Projections panel moderated by Steve Hamilton, the co-founder of Bay Street Theater. Participants will include Bret Johnston, Director of the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas in Austin; Tommy John Schiavoni, who is a Councilperson for the Town of  Southampton; and Kathryn Szoka of Canio’s Cultural Cafe, sponsor of the “Steinbeck in Search of America” initiative (for more information on previous and future events, see www.caniosculturalcafe.org).

“Projections” will focus on Steinbeck’s work and will illustrate the aims of the campaign to preserve his home in Sag Harbor and turn it into a world class writing center. The Sag Harbor Partnership is a co-sponsor of this panel discussion.

This is the third event of Sag Harbor Cinema’s “Projections” series, an initiative that aims to activate the Cinema’s Rosenberg Workspace through collaborations with regional not-for-profit groups in order to amplify voices, begin conversations, and build audiences through the Cinema’s network and digital presence. “Projections” was created by Sag Harbor Cinema’s Education Committee Chair, Bill Collage.


Upcoming titles of the film program, running through the Summer and Fall at Sag Harbor Cinema, will include The Moon Is Down (1943) on May 25th; East of Eden (1955); Grapes of Wrath (1940); Viva Zapata! (1952) and The Pearl (1947). Future dates and showtimes will be announced and listed on the Cinema’s website.


Tickets for “Projections” at 4pm are free, but due to limited seating, must be reserved at sagharborcinema.org. Tickets for the The Forgotten Village and other film screenings are separate and can be purchased at sagharborcinema.org.


More information on the film is available below:


Dir. Herbert Kline

USA, 1941; 67 mins, in English

Not Rated


His first work written for the screen and his only screen documentary (actually more of a docudrama told in the form of a parable), Steinbeck became involved in the project when friends introduced him to Herbert Kline, a distinguished young director who had recently directed four anti-fascist documentaries. In the film, an indigenous couple lives with their six children in the small and remote pueblo of Santiago, somewhere on the central plateau of Mexico. The film focuses on their oldest son, Juan Diego, who attempts to bridge two very different worlds, one traditional and one modern. Through an idealistic young teacher at the government school in his village, Juan Diego is introduced to modern science. As an outbreak of a mysterious disease begins to affect his family and the village around him, Juan Diego struggles to overcome ancient superstitions and tries to save his small community from suffering and death.


“….integrity is the distinctive quality that lends authority to this handsome picture.… integrity in the simple but eloquent writing of John Steinbeck, in the sensitive direction of Herbert Kline and in the eloquent photography of Alexander Hackensmid” wrote Bosley Crowther, in the New York Times, November 19, 1941.


Preservation from the original 35mm nitrate picture and soundtrack negatives from the Stanford Theatre Foundation Collection and a 35mm nitrate fine grain master positive from MOMA. Laboratory services by The Stanford Theatre Film Laboratory, Film Technology Company, Inc., DJ Audio, Inc. and Audio Mechanics. 

35mm print courtesy of UCLA Film Archive.


Sag Harbor Cinema

As a community based organization, Sag Harbor Cinema is dedicated to presenting the past, present and future of the Movies and to preserving the film-going experience in its three state-of-the-art theaters. The Cinema engages its audiences and the community year-round through dialogue, discovery, and appreciation of the moving image– from blockbusters to student shorts and everything in between. Revitalized and reimagined through unprecedented community efforts to rebuild the iconic Main Street structure after a fire nearly destroyed it in 2016. SHC continues a long historic tradition of entertainment in the heart of Sag Harbor Village. SHC Members enjoy discounts on tickets and merchandise and can purchase food and drink at our concession stand, cafe, as well as our member only rooftop lounge, The Green Room.



AAQ / Resource

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