Chris Hicks: Vintage favorites scheduled in local movie theaters through mid-August

Published: Thursday, June 19 2014 5:05 p.m. MDT

Gene Wilder is the title character in "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" (1971), which will play at local Cinemark theaters in early July.

Paramount Pictures

IF YOU’RE OF a certain age, the word “vintage” may mean a movie from the 1930s or ’40s, or perhaps the 1950s or ’60s — or (shudder) the 1980s or ’90s.

Whatever era it signifies to you, lots of oft-requested vintage films are being revived in theaters over the next month or two.

So mark your calendars. Here’s a sampling of what’s coming, with films dating from 1934 to 2000. They’ll be playing at local Cinemarks, the Tower Theater in Salt Lake City, the SCERA Center in Orem and Peery’s Egyptian Theater in Ogden. For complete schedules, use the links provided with each title.

“Lilies of the Field” (1963, b/w). Sidney Poitier won the best-actor Oscar for his role here as a handyman driving through a remote area of Arizona when he stops for water at a farm being operated by European nuns. Only the Mother Superior (Lilia Skala) speaks English and she manipulates Poitier into helping build a chapel. Warm, funny, charming, human. (Friday, June 20, 10 a.m., SCERA, scera.org/events/view/322)

“The Godfather” (1972, R) and “The Godfather, Part II” (1974, R). Francis Ford Coppola’s Oscar-winning adaptations of Mario Puzo’s novel offer superlative performances by an all-star cast (Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, Robert Duvall, James Caan, etc.) in the story of the rise and fall of American gangsters. (Sunday, June 22, and Wednesday, June 25: both days, “The Godfather” at 2 p.m. and “The Godfather, Part II” at 7 p.m., cinemark.com/cinemark-classic-series)

“The Wreck of the Mary Deare” (1959). A salvage operator (Charlton Heston) is on his tug when he comes upon a ship that appears to be on fire and abandoned. Then one crew member (Gary Cooper) reveals himself and reels Heston into a seemingly crooked scheme, though there is actually more to it than meets the eye. Two great stars deliver fine performances in this mystery. (Friday, June 27, 10 a.m., SCERA, .scera.org/events/view/322)

“Airplane!” (1980, PG). This clever, silly, occasionally crude spoof of disaster pictures created comedy careers for veteran actors Lloyd Bridges and especially Leslie Nielsen, and is filled with memorable scenes that fans can quote verbatim. (Friday and Saturday, July 4 and 5, 11 p.m., and Sunday, July 6, noon, Tower Theater, saltlakefilmsociety.org/summerlatenights/)

“Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory” (1971, G). Forget Johnny Depp. Fans of Roald Dahl’s story know that Gene Wilder is the real Willy Wonka, and this version of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” is the favorite. (Sunday, July 6, 2 p.m., and Wednesday, July 9, 2 and 7 p.m., Cinemark Theaters, cinemark.com/cinemark-classic-series)

“Born Free” (1966, PG). This wonderful family film is the true story of a game warden in Kenya and his wife raising three lion cubs, sending two to zoos and deciding to train the third to hunt so she may return to the wilderness. (Friday, July 11, 10 a.m., SCERA, scera.org/events/view/322)

“Babe” (1995, G). The hilarious story of orphaned pig adopted by a gentle farmer (James Cromwell) and befriended by a border collie that teaches him to herd sheep. Wonderful family film that kids and parents will enjoy equally. (Friday, July 12, 10 a.m., SCERA, scera.org/events/view/322)

“Pretty Woman” (1990, R). This vulgarized spin on “Pygmalion” made Julia Roberts a star and gave Richard Gere one of his most ingratiating roles. And most of the way, it’s funny and charming. But it’s also an R-rated movie about a streetwise hooker and is hampered by its more unsavory elements. (Sunday, July 13, 2 p.m., and Wednesday, July 16, 2 and 7 p.m., Cinemark Theaters, cinemark.com/cinemark-classic-series)

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