You’ve been waiting for this, so here it comes…the list of the 2012 Kentucky Theatre Summer Classics Series. As you may be aware, the movie biz is in the midst of transition from 35mm film to digital projection. That’s making it harder to get good 35mm prints for theatres like the Kentucky. However…we’re not giving up, just being more creative. Here’s what you can expect to see during the summer of 2012.
All films are shown on Wednesdays at 1:30 pm and 7:15 pm. All seats are $5. And, as we’re proud of mentioning, all are shown via 35mm prints with reel-to-reel projection on our big screen.
Rare Studio Vault Print! Stanley Donen’s CHARADE (1963), the best non-Hitchcock Hitchcockian thriller ever, starring Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn, Walter Matthau, and James Coburn, with a stunning Henry Mancini score.
Original IB Technicolor Print! Victor Fleming’s THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939), one of the all-time favorites for the series, and one you can obviously watch over and over. Starring Judy Garland, Ray Bolger, Bert Lahr, Jack Haley, Billie Burke, and the Munchkins.
Rare Studio Vault Print! Nicholas Ray’s JOHNNY GUITAR (1954), a hard-edged western in which the antagonists are women and the violence is fast and furious. Joan Crawford and Sterling Hayden star, with able support from Mercedes McCambridge, Scott Brady, and the absolutely wonderful Ernest Borgnine, who, at age 96 is still working today. Music is by Victor Young, who co-wrote the title tune with Peggy Lee.
New 35mm Print! Ivan Reitman’s GHOSTBUSTERS (1984). Although rumors of a third outing are still just that, here’s a chance to see the original with all your friends. Bill Murray, Dan Ackroyd, Harold Ramis, Ernie Hudson and Sigourney Weaver star in this landmark special effects adventure.
Woody Allen’s ANNIE HALL (1977) won Oscars for Best Picture, Director, Actress (Diane Keaton) and Screenplay. And, no, I can’t give you a good reason why we’ve never shown this before in the series. Come and enjoy!
Frank Capra’s MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON (1939). In this election year, who wouldn’t love to have a chance to vote for Jimmy Stewart for anything! Not to mention it’s the perfect film for the 4th of July. Co-starring Jean Arthur, Claude Rains, Edward Arnold, and the outstanding Harry Carey. Three cheers for the US of A!
Stanley Kramer’s IT’S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD (1963). This all-star, frantic, frenetic comedy is a fan favorite, and it’s the first time we’ve shown it. The amazing cast includes Spencer Tracy, Milton Berle, Sid Caesar, Phil Silvers, Ethel Merman, Jonathan Winters, Mickey Rooney, Buddy Hackett, and cameo appearances by just about anyone who was funny in 1963…including The Three Stooges, Buster Keaton, and Eddie “Rochester” Anderson. Forget that it may not always be “politically correct,” just enjoy the ride.
70th anniversary Showing of one of the greatest “accidental” movies ever made: Michael Curtiz’ CASABLANCA (1942). It wasn’t supposed to turn out this way, but fortunately for all of us, it did. Celebrate with Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henried, Claude Rains, Sidney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, and…as they used to say…a cast of thousands!! Here’s looking at you kid!
New Restored 35mm Print! Henry King’s film version of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s CAROUSEL (1956). It’s hard to find new prints of any R&H titles, but here’s a tale that says “summertime” just like an old-fashioned clambake. Gordon MacRae and Shirley Jones star, with support from Cameron Mitchell, Gene Lockhart, and Jacques d’Amboise. You’ll sing all the way home!
Disney Studios Vault Print! Alfred Hitchcock’s NOTORIOUS (1946). It’s spy vs. spy in post WWII South America, with Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman, Claude Rains, and Louis Calhern. One of Hitch’s best romantic thrillers ever.
Robert Stevenson’s MARY POPPINS (1964) is another tuneful family favorite that’s always at the top of the request list. Fun and fantasy with terrific tunes by The Sherman Brothers, and a cast that includes Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke, David Tomlinson, Glynis Johns, and Elsa Lanchester.
John Frankenheimer’s THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE (1962). After showing MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON on the 4th of July, it’s only fair to give screen time to the greatest thriller ever made about the dark side of politics (oh…wait! That’s an oxymoron isn’t it?). Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey, Janet Leigh, and Angela Lansbury will have you on the edge of your psyche. This is the last surviving 35mm print in the US, so it may be your only chance to catch it on a big screen again.
Michael Gordon’s PILLOW TALK (1959), an iconic comedy of its era, which not only was the first of three teamings of Doris Day and Rock Hudson, but was also the only time that Doris got an Oscar nomination. Also featuring Nick Adams, Thelma Ritter and Tony Randall. They don’t make rom-coms (or have casts) like this anymore!
Raoul Walsh’s WHITE HEAT (1949) is a searing gangster yarn in which Jimmy Cagney plays a psychopathic, epileptic killer who’s married to gorgeous Virginia Mayo, and still nurtures an Oedipal complex. Not to mention he has a bad temper. This is Cagney at his bullet-blasting best; with a supporting cast featuring Edmond O’Brien, Steve Cochran, Margaret Wycherly as Cagney’s mom, and a rare bad-guy turn for character actor Fred Clark. Don’t miss it.
New Restored 35mm Print! Luchino Visconti’s THE LEOPARD (1963). This is a film that has been through more cuts and versions than just about anything. Here is the restored original 205 min. version, in Italian, with English subtitles. Visconti’s magnum opus is set in Sicily during the mid-1800s, and stars Burt Lancaster, Alain Delon, Claudia Cardinale, and Terence Hill (billed under his real name of Mario Girotti). If nothing else, it’s worth seeing to experience Nino Rota’s lush symphonic score that is among the two or three best he’s ever done.
Here’s hoping that some, if not all, of these are to your liking, and you’ll be spending many Wednesdays this summer at the Kentucky Theatre! Let us know what you think and be sure to share this list with your film fan friends (trying saying that three times!)