‘The Godfather’, ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ and other classics return to Huntington Film Arts Center

The Center for the Cinematic Arts will present treasured classic films in rare big-screen screenings this year.

Some of the most important films of all time are returning to the big screen at the Huntington Film Arts Center this year as part of a new film series “Best of the Big Screen.” The series will feature classic films such as Francis Ford Coppola’s Oscar-winning adaptation of Mario Puzo’s gangster novel The Godfather, Harper Lee ) of the 1960 Pulitzer Prize winner To Kill a Mockingbird and Peter O’Toole’s acclaimed film adaptation of the historical epic, Lawrence of Arabia .

The films will be screened as new digitally restored films, many of which will also celebrate their release anniversaries. The films will be introduced by film historian and New York State Librarian Philip Harwood, who will explore each film’s significance to film history prior to screening.

Most of the films selected for Best Big Screen Series in Cinemas have been selected for preservation in the National Film Registry and are deemed “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant” by the U.S. Library of Congress. The Center for the Cinematic Arts is excited to offer the opportunity to relive the magic of seeing these historically important films in theaters as they were meant to be seen.

Best upcoming big-screen shows:


50th Anniversary Screening

Tuesday, August 30 at 7:00 PM

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Oscar-winning masterpiece The Godfather. Considered by many to be one of the greatest films of all time, the film tells the story of the Corleans led by Don Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando) and later son Michael (Al Pacino). The saga of the Lyon crime family. Gangster movies were no longer a popular genre when Paramount chose Mario Puzo’s novel about an aging crime family head and son who is reluctant to join the family business, but Francis Ford Coppola’s faithful and emotionally resonant version of the film was a box-office hit and one of the most critically acclaimed American films of all time, with many of the best actors of the modern era playing their first star roles. (United States, 1972, 177 minutes, color, DCP / Director: Francis Ford Coppola / Actors: Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Diane Keaton, Robert Du Val, Thalia Shire)

to kill a robin

60th Anniversary Screening

Tuesday, September 20 at 7:00 pm

Sixty years after its premiere, To Kill a Mockingbird remains one of the most treasured films in Hollywood history. In 1995, it was elected to the National Film Registry of the U.S. Library of Congress. Faithfully adapted by playwright Houghton Foote from Harper Lee’s beloved Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, the film and the book are so intertwined in national consciousness that they merge as “an inevitable part of our cultural DNA”. Directed by Robert Mulligan, the film gives Gregory Peck the iconic role of his life as Atticus Finch, the small-town lawyer who defends Tom Robinson, a black man accused of raping a white woman (Brock Peters) defended, sparking a paranoid white community. Pike’s performance resonated so strongly that when the American Film Institute polled all-time screen heroes, his portrayal of Finch was rated number one, ahead of the likes of Han Solo and James Bond. darling. Parker pays close attention to the themes of parenting two young children, as well as themes of social and racial justice at the height of the Civil Rights era. In one of the most competitive Oscar competitions of the twentieth century, he won the very popular Academy Award for Best Actor. One of the film’s eight nominations, including best picture and director, was for a supporting actress, who cast newcomer Mary Badham as Atticus’ six-year-old daughter, Scu Scout, it is through her eyes that the story unfolds. Her extraordinary performance conveys all the wonder and innocence of the childhood imagination, and she’s backed by first-rate actors, including Robert Duvall’s pivotal role of “Boo” Radley in his screen debut. Harper Lee was involved in the preparation of the film and is “very proud and grateful” for the fidelity of the finished film. (United States, 1962, 129 minutes, black and white, DCP / Director: Robert Mulligan / Screenwriter: Houghton Foote, based on a Harper Lee novel / Actors: Gregory Peck, Mary Badham , Brock Peters, Robert Duvall)

Lawrence of Arabia

60th Anniversary Screening

Tuesday, October 25th at 7:00 PM

The defining “epic” film, Lawrence of Arabia, is oversized in every way, from director David Lane’s grand vision, to exploring TE Lawrence’s (Peter O’Toole) role in the Ottoman Empire in Hejaz and Hejaz during the World Wars. The grand plot of the experience of the greater Syrian province of the first war, especially his attacks on Aqaba and Damascus and his involvement in the Arab National Council. Its grand themes include Lawrence’s emotional struggle with the personal violence inherent in war, his own identity, and his divided loyalties in his native England, his army, and his newfound comrades among the Arabian desert tribes. Then there’s its groundbreaking performances (O’Toole, Alec Guinness, Anthony Quinn), its panorama, its impact (it’s not on any “best” list?), and of course its length. Quite simply, they don’t let them be like this anymore. (US/UK, 1962, 216 min, colour, DCP, English/Arabic/Turkish, subtitled/PG level | Director David Lean)

singing in the rain

70th Anniversary Screening

Tuesday, November 29 at 7:00 PM

On a short list of the greatest screen musicals of all time, “Singing in the Rain” begins with legendary MGM producer Arthur Fried, and gives screenwriters Betty Condon and Adolph Green a piece he wrote early in his career. Pile of songs (with partner Nacio Herb Brown) – including “Broadway Melody,” “You Are My Lucky Star” and the title track – the simple request was to weave a story around the numbers. What emerges is the perfect mix of song and dance, innocence and nostalgia, heartbreaking romance and surreal comedy (especially in co-star Donald O’Connor’s stunning “Make ‘Em Laugh” show) . Co-director Gene Kelly stars as silent-film icon Don Lockwood, whose career (and the diva, played by Jean Hagen hilariously), has been marred by the arrival of the voice. Threats – until he hooks up with the lovely innocent Debbie Reynolds. Outstanding supporting roles include Millard Mitchell, Douglas Foley and the great Cyd Charris, who nearly stole the show with Kelly’s long-legged “Broadway Melody” ballet! (USA, 1952, 103 min, color, DCP | Directors Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly)

white christmas

new digital fix

Tuesday, December 13th at 7:00 PM

Join us for the big screening of one of the most popular holiday movies of all time! Bob (Bing Crosby) and Phil (Danny Kaye) meet during World War II, and the latter convinces the former, a Broadway performer, that they should be an entertainment duo. After the war, the two became hugely popular and eventually became music producers. When the sisters Betty (Rosemary Clooney) and Judy (Vera Allen) audition, they are hooked, though Bob needs some persuasion to let Betty know how he feels. Now in limbo when the foursome finally arrived at the hotel owned by the Vermont man’s former commander, Bob called on national television for their former division to come to the hotel on Christmas Eve. With a plethora of songs by Irving Berlin, including of course White Christmas (first heard at the Holiday Inn in 1942), any musical fan must enjoy it on the big screen. (USA, 1954, 120 minutes, color, DCP / Director: Michael Curtiz)

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