Alfred Hitchcock is the featured attraction for golden oldies on the big screen during August, with a month-long series of films directed by the Master of Suspense, including most of his best-loved classics, from “Psycho” to “North By Northwest,” from “Vertigo” to “The Lady Vanishes,” from “The Birds” to “Strangers on a Train,” and that just scratches the surface.
Three titles will show daily for a week at the Broadway Centre Cinemas in downtown Salt Lake City, one of them screening twice daily, and then they will be replaced the next week by three different titles.
In addition, the Cinemark series continues with popular ’70s and ’80s films, and the SCERA series in Orem will play a broader range of titles from the 1940s through the 1980s.
“The Miracle Worker” (1962, b/w). Justly famous adaptation of the Broadway play about the turbulent relationship that develops as sight-impaired tutor Anne Sullivan tries desperately to reach blind and deaf Helen Keller. Anne Bancroft as Sullivan and Patty Duke as young Keller won Oscars for repeating their Broadway roles. (Friday, July 26, 10 a.m., SCERA Center, Orem, www.scera.org/events/view/322)
“American Graffiti” (1973, PG). George Lucas was able to make “Star Wars” because he struck box-office gold with this funny, insightful look at teens fresh out of high school in 1962, cruising and drag racing on the last night of summer. Star-making role for Richard Dreyfuss, along with Ron Howard, Cindy Williams, Harrison Ford, Kathleen Quinlan and Suzanne Somers. Great rock ’n’ roll soundtrack. (Sunday, July 28, 2 p.m., and Wednesday, July 31, 2 and 7 p.m., Cinemark Theatres, www.cinemark.com/cinemark-classic-series)
“The Ghost and Mr. Chicken” (1966). Upon leaving “The Andy Griffith Show,” Don Knotts put his nervous-comic persona to good use in several starring films, and this haunted-house farce is the most enduring. (Friday, Aug. 2, 10 a.m., SCERA Center, Orem, www.scera.org/events/view/322)
Hitchcock Series: “Spellbound” (1945, b/w, noon & 9:30 p.m.): Neurotic Gregory Peck romances psychiatrist (Ingrid Bergman). “The 39 Steps” (1935, b/w, 4 p.m.): Innocent man (Robert Donat) accused of murder goes on the run. “Shadow of a Doubt” (1943, b/w, 7 p.m.): Cited by Hitch as his personal favorite; a killer (Joseph Cotten) comes home to his unsuspecting family. (Friday, Aug. 2-Thursday, Aug. 8, Broadway Centre, http://saltlakefilmsociety.org/)
“Ghostbusters” (1984, PG). Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson team up as the title characters, chasing spooks and poltergeists in Manhattan. Inspired farce, with great support from Sigourney Weaver, Rick Moranis and Annie Potts. (Sunday, Aug. 4, 2 p.m., and Wednesday, Aug. 7, 2 and 7 p.m., Cinemark Theatres, www.cinemark.com/cinemark-classic-series)
“The Winning Team” (1952, b/w). Ronald Reagan stars as Major League Baseball pitcher Grover Cleveland Alexander, sidelined by an injury, becoming a full-time farmer and battling alcoholism and epilepsy before a comeback with the St. Louis Cardinals. Doris Day plays his wife in this typical but entertaining Hollywood biography. (Friday, Aug. 9, 10 a.m., SCERA Center, Orem, www.scera.org/events/view/322)
Hitchcock Series: “The Lodger” (1926, silent, b/w, noon): Hitch’s first thriller (with his first cameo) about an innocent man (Ivor Novello) accused of murder. “Rear Window” (1954, 4 and 9:30 p.m.): Laid-up photographer (James Stewart) tells his girlfriend (Grace Kelly) he’s witnessed a killing across his apartment courtyard. “The Lady Vanishes” (1938, b/w, 7 p.m.): An elderly woman (Dame May Whitty) disappears from a moving train. (Friday, Aug. 9-Thursday, Aug. 15, Broadway Centre, http://saltlakefilmsociety.org/)
“Dirty Dancing” (1987, PG-13). Surprise ’80s hit is a fairly routine coming-of-age Hollywood romance bolstered by energetic dance routines as a girl (Jennifer Grey) vacations with her family at a Catskills resort and falls for a working-class dance instructor (Patrick Swayze), with a dubious message about teen sex. Pre-“Law & Order” Jerry Orbach plays Grey’s father. (Sunday, Aug. 11, 2 p.m., and Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2 and 7 p.m., Cinemark Theatres, www.cinemark.com/cinemark-classic-series)
“The Bedford Incident” (1965, b/w). Gripping psychological drama aboard a destroyer during the Cold War as the captain (Richard Widmark) pursues a Soviet submarine, a la “Moby Dick.” Widmark, Sidney Poitier as a civilian journalist and Martin Balsam as the ship’s doctor are all terrific. (Friday, Aug. 16, 10 a.m., SCERA Center, Orem, www.scera.org/events/view/322)
Hitchcock Series: “To Catch a Thief” (19535, noon & 9:30 p.m.): In France, a cat burglar (Cary Grant) being framed for jewel thefts gets help from an heiress (Grace Kelly). “I Confess” (1953, b/w, 4 p.m.): A priest (Montgomery Clift) hears a murderer’s confession but finds himself accused of the crime. “Strangers on a Train” (1951, b/w, 7 p.m.): Robert Walker is excellent as a deranged killer who manipulates a professional tennis player (Farley Granger) into a murder-swap scheme. (Friday, Aug. 16-Thursday, Aug. 22, Broadway Centre, http://saltlakefilmsociety.org/)
“Murphy’s Romance” (1985, PG-13). James Garner has one of his best big-screen roles (and earned his only Oscar nomination) as a middle-aged, widowed pharmacist who finds he is attracted to a younger divorcee (Sally Field) with a 12-year-old son in this winning romantic comedy. (Friday, Aug. 23, 10 a.m., SCERA Center, Orem, www.scera.org/events/view/322)
Hitchcock Series: “The Birds” (1963, noon and 7 p.m.): Our fowl friends attack Tippi Hedren, Suzanne Pleshette and others. “Rope” (1948, 4 p.m.): Hitch’s riff on the Leopold and Loeb killings is a gimmick film, shot as if in one long take, with James Stewart investigating and Farley Granger as one of the murderers. “Psycho” (1960, b/w, 9:30 p.m.): Still the best slasher movie ever, with a thief (Janet Leigh) being attacked in a motel shower by the “mother” of manager Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins). (Friday, Aug. 23-Thursday, Aug. 29, Broadway Centre, http://saltlakefilmsociety.org/)
“There’s No Business Like Show Business” (1954). Colorful CinemaScope musical about the travails of a show-business family is really just an excuse for highly entertaining musical numbers designed for the wide screen and set to Irving Berlin songs. Top-notch performances by Ethel Merman, Dan Dailey, Donald O’Connor, Marilyn Monroe and Mitzi Gaynor. (Friday, Aug. 30, 10 a.m., SCERA Center, Orem, www.scera.org/events/view/322)Comment on this story
Hitchcock Series: “The Man Who Knew Too Much” (1934, b/w, noon): Later remade by Hitch, this one has a young girl kidnapped to keep her parents from revealing an assassination plot, with Peter Lorre impressing as a villain in his first English-language effort. “North By Northwest” (1959, 4 and 9:30 p.m.): Innocent man (Cary Grant) accused of murder goes on the run, with famous Mount Rushmore finale. “Vertigo” (1958, 7 p.m.): Critics consider this Hitch’s best, as a retired police detective (James Stewart) is unable to save a troubled woman (Kim Novak) and later meets someone who seems to be her double. (Friday, Aug. 30-Thursday, Sept. 5, Broadway Centre, http://saltlakefilmsociety.org/)