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Local screenings: World War II art heist drama in Chestnut Hill, plus Will Ferrell’s Buddy the elf at Philadelphia Museum

“The Train,” starring Burt Lancaster, screens Tuesday night – for free! -- at the Chestnut Hill Film Group. And on Wednesday, the Will Ferrell Christmas farce “Elf” is the featured Philadelphia Museum of Art holiday film presentation. “Elf” producer Todd Komarnicki will intro the film.

Two very different but essential films get screenings this week. Tuesday night, Dec. 3, the Chestnut Hill Film Group shows The Train, the 1964 John Frankenheimer-directed World War II art heist thriller, with Burt Lancaster as a French resistance fighter trying to thwart the Nazi's plans to move a trove of stolen museum masterpieces from Paris to Berlin. In the wake of the recent discovery of a cache of Nazi-stolen art gems in Munich  (nearly 1,500 works by Matisse, Chagall, and others), plus the soon-coming George Clooney's The Monuments Men, about a World War II platoon assigned to retrieve priceless paintings lifted by the Nazis, The Train has renewed resonance. Never mind that it's a great thriller. Chestnut Hill Film Group screenings are free, at the Woodmere Art Museum, 9201 Germantown Avenue. Doors open at 6:30pm, film starts at 7pm. Click here for more info

And Wednesday, Dec. 4, at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Elf  the 2003 Jon Favreau-directed Yuletide classic, will be presented in the Van Pelt Auditorium. Will Ferrell stars as a rather oversized member of Santa's minions, who has to make some serious adjustments when he ventures from the North Pole to New York City to find his biological dad. Local boy and Elf producer Todd Komarnicki will introduce the holiday-themed film. Wednesday is the PMA's pay-what-you-wish night. Elf starts at 6pm. Click here for more info