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Old Capitol Mall to screen film featuring UI football alum

BY CLAIRE DIETZ | NOVEMBER 20, 2014 5:00 AM

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The Iowa football team has seen nearly 250 players join the NFL, with Alex "Mad Duck" Karras one of the first in 1958. But unlike most former Hawkeyes, Karras was also a movie and TV star, having roles in Blazing Saddles, the sitcom "Webster," and Paper Lion.

The Old Capitol Museum will celebrate Karras' intriguing career with a screening of Paper Lion at 6:30 p.m. today as part of their Movies Under the Dome series. The film was selected by museum staff to coincide with their current exhibit Iowa Football: Birth of a Legacy, along with Remember the Titans, which screened in October.

Released in 1968, Paper Lion follows Sports Illustrated writer George Plimpton as he becomes a "player" on the Detroit Lions despite being a total amateur. Karras, who was a first-round draft pick for the Lions, plays himself in the film.

The museum's Movies Under the Dome series began last spring and had success.

"We opted to feature seven films, both full-length features and shorter documentaries, to complement the temporary exhibits that were on display at the time," said Casey Westlake, the communications coordinator for the Old Capitol Museum. "We've continued to show films through the summer and fall that match the themes found in our exhibits."

The featured movies are selected to suit a wide audience.

"When Poe: A Wilderness of Mirrors was on display, we showed two classic Vincent Price films based on [Edgar Allen] Poe's work— The Masque of the Red Death and The Pit and the Pendulum …" Westlake said. "We showed State Fair in conjunction with Kurt Ullrich's photo exhibit, and the film is set at the Iowa State Fair. When Iowan David Thoreson displayed photographs of his circumnavigation of the Americas, we also showed the documentary of his journey."

Katherine Moermond, the education and outreach coordinator at the Old Capitol Museum, said the staff had first considered the idea of a film series in the spring of 2013 as a supplement to its Civil War exhibit.

"We showed a range of popular films and independent films that connected with it," she said. "When deciding upon the films, we hope to highlight another perspective of the current exhibit and target a new audience that wouldn't normally visit the museum alone but might then because of the film."

Westlake said the films act as a bridge between movie lovers and museum goers. 

"The films are a great opportunity for community members to enjoy some free entertainment and to explore the wonderful temporary and permanent exhibits we have on display," Moermond said.


FILM
Movies Under the Dome, Paper Lions
When: 6:30 p.m.
Where: Old Capitol Museum 
Admission: Free


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