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

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

“The Thin Man” (1934, b/w). Hilarious adaptation of Dashiell Hammett’s comedy-mystery novel about a detective (William Powell) who retires after marrying a wealthy woman (Myrna Loy). But when he’s asked to help an old friend (Maureen O’Sullivan) clear her father of a murder charge, it’s his wife who is eager to take the case, and a wonderful movie franchise is born. (Friday, July 18, 10 a.m., SCERA, scera.org/events/view/322)

“E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial” (1982, PG). Steven Spielberg’s self-professed “most personal” movie is this comic coming-of-age alien-encounter fantasy in which a young boy befriends a creature from a spaceship and tries to keep him safe when the government comes calling. Still magical and enchanting. (Saturday, July 19, 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., Peery’s Egyptian Theater, Ogden, egyptiantheaterogden.com/calendar/2014-07-19?mini=calendar%2F2014-07)

“The Breakfast Club” (1985, R). John Hughes’ best teen film puts five very different personalities (Molly Ringwald, Ally Sheedy, Emilio Estevez, Judd Nelson, Michael Anthony Hall) into a room for detention and observes as they squabble, bicker, and eventually mellow out and gain respect for each other. (Sunday, July 20, 2 p.m., and Wednesday, July 23, 2 and 7 p.m., Cinemark Theaters, cinemark.com/cinemark-classic-series)

“Back to Bataan” (1945, b/w). John Wayne stars in this World War II action picture about the liberation of the Philippines, teaching the Filipinos to fight after recruiting one of their own to lead them. (Friday, July 25, 10 a.m., SCERA, scera.org/events/view/322)

“The Princess Bride” (1987, PG-13). This hilarious, anachronistic fairy tale unfolds as a bedtime story read by Peter Falk to young Fred Savage about a a former farm boy rescuing his true love. The great comic cast is led by Robin Wright, Cary Elwes and Mandy Patinkin. (Friday and Saturday, July 25 and 26, 11 p.m., and Sunday, July 27, noon, Tower Theater, saltlakefilmsociety.org/summerlatenights/)

“Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” (1954). A toe-tapping musical set in 1850 Oregon as a woodsman (Howard Keel) takes a wife (Jane Powell) and brings her home, where she discovers they will be living under one roof with his six rowdy brothers. So she teaches these mountain men a few things that might help them find wives of their own. Wonderful employment of widescreen format with great choreography. (Saturday, July 25, 7 and 9 p.m., Peery’s Egyptian Theater, Ogden, egyptiantheaterogden.com/calendar/2014-07-25?mini=calendar%2F2014-07)

“The Cowboys” (1972, PG). John Wayne is a cattleman deserted by his drovers when the Gold Rush calls, so he reluctantly recruits a band of schoolboys who will learn to be men during the 400-mile drive. Little do they know, however, that rustlers are stalking them. One of Wayne’s most memorable late-in-his-career films. (Saturday, July 26, 7 and 9 p.m., Peery’s Egyptian Theater, Ogden, egyptiantheaterogden.com/calendar/2014-07-26?mini=calendar%2F2014-07)

“Monty Python and the Holy Grail” (1975, PG). Arguably the best film by the British absurdist sextet Monty Python, athisspoof of the King Arthur leg isnd, loaded with hilarious set pieces, many of them supremely quotable. And, of course, it was the inspiration for the Broadway musical comedy “Spamalot.” (Sunday, July 27, 2 p.m., and Wednesday, July 30, 2 and 7 p.m., Cinemark Theaters, cinemark.com/cinemark-classic-series)

“Bell, Book and Candle” (1958). James Stewart is bewitched by a witch (Kim Novak) in this supernatural comedy, and he discovers that her family is equally enchanting … literally. Jack Lemmon, Ernie Kovacs and Elsa Lanchester co-star. (Friday, Aug. 1, 10 a.m., SCERA, scera.org/events/view/322)

“Cattle Drive” (1951). This nice Joel McCrea Western is set during a cattle drive as a surly teenager (Dean Stockwell), the son of a wealthy railroad owner, finds he is lost and must join up to get back to civilization. Good performances put this one over. (Friday, Aug. 8, 10 a.m., SCERA, scera.org/events/view/322)

“Beverly Hills Cop” (1984, R). Yes, it’s violent and profane, but the culture-clash comedy that made Eddie Murphy a movie star is also very funny. He’s a mouthy undercover Detroit cop who finds himself in Beverly Hills, California, where the police respect (perhaps a bit too much) their posh surroundings. (Sunday, Aug. 10, 2 p.m., and Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2 and 7 p.m., Cinemark Theaters, cinemark.com/cinemark-classic-series)

“Brigadoon” (1954). This delightful Broadway musical makes for an enjoyable film with Gene Kelly and Van Johnson as hunters lost in the Scottish woods who stumble upon the title village, which appears for a single day every 100 years. Great songs, with Cyd Charisse at her most enchanting, but it’s all too obvious that it was all filmed on sound stages instead of on location. (Friday, Aug. 15, 10 a.m., SCERA, scera.org/events/view/322

“Big Trouble in Little China” (1986, PG-13). Funny, oddball buddy adventure-comedy with supernatural overtones as trucker Kurt Russell and his friend Wang Chi (Dennis Dun) battle a 2,000-year-old sorcerer. Kim Cattrall co-stars. (Friday and Saturday, Aug. 15 and 16, 11 p.m., and Sunday, Aug. 17, noon, Tower Theater, saltlakefilmsociety.org/summerlatenights/)

Chris Hicks is the author of "Has Hollywood Lost Its Mind? A Parent’s Guide to Movie Ratings." He also writes at www.hicksflicks.com and can be contacted at hicks@deseretnews.com.

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