Classic cinema sizzles this Summer at Carolina Theatre

by Mark Burger

With the summer movie season in full swing, the Carolina Theatre in Greensboro will once again bring a bevy of classic films to the big screen for a full, five-week marathon of screenings.

The 8 th Annual Summer Film Festival, which opens July 6 and runs through Aug. 13, encompasses comedy, adventure, musical, thriller, science-fiction and fantasy and even a couple of special “singalong” presentations.

Once again, Mondays are devoted to the works of Alfred Hitchcock, the undisputed master of suspense, beginning with The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956) on July 6, starring James Stewart and Doris Day, and winner of the Oscar for Best Song (“Que Sera, Sera”). On July 13, Ingrid Bergman and Gregory Peck star in Spellbound (1945), for which Salvador Dali supervised the dream sequences and which earned Miklos Rosza an Oscar for his score, with additional nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Special Effects and Best Supporting Actor (Michael Chekhov). On July 20, Joseph Cotten and Teresa Wright star in Shadow of a Doubt (1943), which earned an Oscar nomination for Best Original Story and which Hitchcock himself considered the favorite of all his films. On July 27, Michael Redgrave, Margaret Lockwood, Paul Lukas and Dame May Whitty (as the “lady” in question) star in The Lady Vanishes (1938). On Aug. 3, James Stewart and Grace Kelly star in Rear Window (1954), which earned four Oscar nominations including one for Hitchcock as Best Director (an award he never won). On Aug. 10, Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman star in Notorious (1946), which earned Oscar nominations for Claude Rains as Best Supporting Actor and Ben Hecht’s original screenplay.

The Tuesday screenings kick off with the immortal monster movie King Kong (1933) on July 7, followed on July 14 by Steven Spielberg’s 1975 blockbuster Jaws (rated PG). On July 21, you’ll believe a man can fly in director Richard Donner’s original 1978 superhero saga Superman (rated PG), which earned three Oscar nominations (Best Original Score, Best Editing, Best Sound) and a special award for special effects. The film launched (no pun intended) Christopher Reeve to superstar status in the title role and featured an all-star cast including Marlon Brando, Margot Kidder, Glenn Ford, Ned Beatty, Valerie Perrine, Jackie Cooper, Trevor Howard, Terence Stamp and, in a role that made him a personal icon, Gene Hackman as master criminal Lex Luthor. On July 28, Charlton Heston finds himself on Planet of the Apes (1968), which launched a five-filmfranchise and earned two Oscar nominations (Best Original Score, Best Costume Design), plus a special award for John Chambers’ makeup effects. On Aug. 4, it’s time to revel in head-bashing, heavy-metal rock ‘n’ roll with Rob Reiner’s classic 1983 “mockumentary” This is Spinal Tap (rated R), which undoubtedly features the greatest gag involving Stonehenge in the history of cinema. On Aug. 11, David Bowie and Jennifer Connelly headline Jim Henson’s 1986 fantasy Labyrinth (rated PG).

Wednesday screenings kick off in tuneful fashion with director Richard Lester’s fun-filled “chronicle” of the Fab Four in A Hard Day’s Night (1964), which earned two Oscar nominations (Best Original Screenplay, Best Music) and introduced The Beatles to the big screen. On July 22, three directors (John Ford, George Marshall and Henry Hathaway) and an all-star cast (including Gregory Peck, John Wayne, James Stewart, Henry Fonda, Richard Widmark and Eli Wallach) dramatize How the West Was Won (1962), which won three Oscars (Best Original Screenplay, Best Editing and Best Sound) and was nominated for five more (including Best Picture). On July 29, Bruce Willis became a bona fide star in the original 1988 hit Die Hard (rated R), which earned four Oscar nominations (Best Editing, Best Sound, Best Sound Effects Editing and Best Visual Effects). Director Rob Reiner’s 1986 coming-of-age drama Stand by Me (rated R) will be screened Aug. 5. Based on Stephen King’s story The Body, the film earned an Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay and served as a career springboard for its young cast, including River Phoenix, Wil Wheaton, Jerry O’Connell, Corey Feldman and Kiefer Sutherland. On Aug. 12, the spirit of ’76 lives again in Richard Linklater’s classic 1993 comedy Dazed and Confused (rated R), which likewise showcased such up-andcoming talent in Matthew McConaughey, Ben Affleck, Parker Posey, Rory Cochrane and Cole Hauser. (Look fast and you’ll spy Renee Zellweger, too.)

Thursday’s screening opens with Richard Gere and Julia Roberts in Garry Marshall’s 1990 romantic comedy Pretty Woman (rated R) on July 9. On July 23, the audience is invited to sing along with Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer and the entire Von Trapp clan in Robert Wise’s 1965 musical smash The Sound of Music. On July 30, Elvis Presley finds himself surrounded by Girls! Girls! Girls! in the 1962 musical comedy. On Aug. 6, the tragic romance of Romeo & Juliet is retold, on the streets of New York, in West Side Story (1961), which won a whopping 10 Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director (Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins), Best Supporting Actor (Rita Moreno) and Best Supporting Actor (George Chakiris). Then, on Aug. 13, it’s time to sing along again – this time with the blockbuster 1978 screen version of the Broadway smash Grease (rated PG), which stars John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John and copped an Oscar nomination for Best Song (“Hopelessly Devoted to You”).

On Wednesday, July 15 and Thursday, July 16, the Carolina Theatre will play host to the annual 48 Hour Film Project, in which filmmakers from the area are charged with conceiving, shooting and editing a short film – in 48 hours’ time. !


The Carolina Theatre is located at 310 S. Greene St., Greensboro. Showtimes are 7 pm. Tickets are $7 (general admission) and $6 (senior citizens, students with ID, military members, and groups of 10 or more). Showtimes and ticket prices for the 48 Hour Film Project screenings (July 15 and 16) may vary. For advance tickets or more information, call 336.333.2605 or visit the official website: