American Heroes at TCM Bringing ‘The Godfather,’ ‘Casablanca,’ ‘E.T.’ to Theaters in 2017
One of the greatest advantages of living in or around a major metropolitan area, at least for cinephiles, is the abundance of repertory screening options. Independently run theaters will run older, foreign or rare movies to impassioned audiences who may not have had access to the material otherwise, balancing their filmic diet with a healthy balance of new releases and classics. Sure, pert near everything can be found online if you’re willing to investigate some shadier torrenting sites. But the experience of seeing a movie in a dark theater on the big screen, especially a nicely lived-in celluloid print and all its endearing pops and scratches — that makes a difference.
The good folks at Turner Classic Movies believe that everyone should have the opportunity to see cornerstones of cinema history as they were meant to be seen. This was the rationale motivating their annual Big Screen Classics series, in which they bring gems of years past to neighborhood cineplexes all across America. 2016 saw a mighty return from The Maltese Falcon, Dr. Strangelove (unfortunate foreshadowing), From Here to Eternity, and plenty of others; today, TCM has unveiled their slate for the 2017 season, and there’s a whole lot to look forward to.
The full list has been reproduced below (courtesy of Entertainment Weekly), but let’s highlight a few favorites for small-town and big-city moviegoers alike to watch out for. 1950’s acridly hilarious All About Eve boasts what I’d feel comfortable calling one of the greatest screenplays of all time, chockablock with endlessly quotable dialogue. (Marvel at the sneer of Bette Davis’ lips as she warns her fellow partygoers to “Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy night.”) The Godfather is The Godfather; not much more needs to be said than that, a testament to the totality with which it has shaped and influenced the world of pop culture. And The Graduate has aged like a fine wine; the stammering first half of Dustin Hoffman’s performance as unsure Ben instantly explains Michael Cera, and Mrs. Robinson remains film’s sexiest sex symbol.
TCM partners with exhibition company Fathom to make this program happen; see the full list below and check for participating theaters on their web site.
- Singin’ in the Rain (65th anniversary), Jan. 15 and 18
- An Affair to Remember (60th anniversary), Feb. 12 and 15
- All About Eve, March 5 and 8
- North by Northwest, April 2 and 5
- The Graduate (50th anniversary), April 23 and 26
- Smokey and the Bandit (40th anniversary), May 21 and 24
- The Godfather, June 4 and 7
- Some Like It Hot, June 11 and 14
- Fast Times at Ridgemont High, July 30 and Aug. 2
- Bonnie and Clyde (50th anniversary), Aug. 13 and 16
- E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Sept. 17 and 20
- The Princess Bride (30th anniversary), Oct. 15 and 18
- Casablanca (75th anniversary), Nov. 12 and 15
- Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? (50th anniversary), Dec. 10 and 13