CHAMPAIGN — The News-Gazette Film Series is back for the 2013-2014 season, showcasing feature films from the golden age of movies, but readers are being asked to pick the first movie.
Tickets are $6 for the shows at the Virginia Theatre, 203 W. Park Ave., C. All shows are at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.
The series opens with the Reader's Choice between two classics. Readers will be able to go http://www.thevirginia.org to vote for the August movie.
The deadline to vote is July 26. Readers will choose between "The Long Long Trailer" (1954) and "The Thin Man" (1934).
"The Long Long Trailer" (1954)
Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz star in this hilarious travel comedy about newlyweds with dreams of starting out with their own home on wheels. Arnaz made a bet with the studio that the movie would make more money than the current highest grossing comedy at that time ("Father of the Bride," starring Spencer Tracy and Elizabeth Taylor) and won.
"The Thin Man" (1934)
Based on the Dashiell Hammett novel of the same name, "The Thin Man" stars William Powell and Myrna Loy as Nick and Nora Charles. Nick is a hard-drinking, retired private detective and Nora a wealthy heiress; together they try to solve the mystery of a friend's disappearance and possible involvement in murder.
"The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" (1962)
A senator made famous for killing a notorious outlaw returns for the funeral of an old friend and tells the real story about his past. Directed by John Ford and starring James Stewart and John Wayne (appearing together for the first time), this classic black-and-white western was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress.
Starring Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine. Alfred Hitchcock's renowned gothic thriller paired a naive young Fontaine with moody rich widower Olivier. As the unlikely couple settles into his gigantic mansion, Fontaine finds the memory of Olivier's first wife haunts both her husband and the servants—especially the housekeeper, Mrs. Danvers (played by Judith Anderson).
"All About Eve" (1950)
Bette Davis stars in this famed behind-the-scenes story of an ingnue (Anne Baxter) who insinuates herself into the company of an established but aging stage actress and her circle of theater friends. The only film in Oscar history to receive four female acting nominations.
"It Happened One Night" (1934)
A spoiled heiress (Claudette Colbert) runs away from her family and is helped by a man (Clark Gable) who's actually a reporter looking for a story. The film was the first to win all five major Academy Awards (Best Picture, Director, Actor, Actress and Screenplay).
Jan. 18, 2014
"Witness for the Prosecution" (1957)
Agatha Christie's engrossing courtroom yarn of a man on trial for murder—in a story featuring surprise after surprise. With Tyrone Power, Marlene Dietrich and Charles Laughton. Laughton's real-life spouse Elsa Lanchester plays his character's foil, Nurse Plimsoll.
Feb. 8, 2014
Philadelphia Story (1940)
One of the most popular romantic comedies of all time. When a socialite's ex-husband and a tabloid-style reporter turn up just before her planned remarriage, she begins to learn the truth about herself. Starting Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn and James Stewart.
The film was nominated for six Academy Awards, winning two.
March 15, 2014
Steamboat Bill Jr. (1928)
"Steamboat Bill Jr." is a feature-length silent film starring Buster Keaton and released in 1928. The film was the last product of Keaton's independent production team and set of comedy writers. The director was Charles Reisner and also featured Ernest Torrence, Marion Byron and Tom Lewis.
April 5, 2014
"A Streetcar Named Desire" (1951)
"Stella!" This acclaimed film adaptation of Tennessee Williams' Pulitzer Prize-winning stage play went on to win four Academy Awards. Marlon Brando, Kim Hunter, and Karl Malden, all members of the original Broadway cast, reprised their roles for the film. Vivien Leigh, who had appeared in the London theatre production, was brought in for the film version in lieu of Jessica Tandy, who had created the part of Blanche DuBois on Broadway.
May 24, 2014
"A Night at the Opera" (1935)
The Marx Brothers pose as sly business managers in a scheme to help their two opera singer friends achieve success. With Groucho, Chico and Harpo Marx and featuring Kitty Carlisle, Allan Jones, Margaret Dumont, Sig Ruman and Walter Woolf King. It was the first film the Marx Brothers made after Zeppo left the act and was a smash hit at the box office.
June 21, 2014
"The Maltese Falcon" (1941)
A private detective, Sam Spade (Humphrey Bogart), takes on a case that entangles him in the deadly plotting of three eccentric criminals and their quest for a priceless statuette. Also starring Mary Astor, Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre and Gladys George. It has been named as one of the greatest films of all time by Roger Ebert and was cited by Panorama du Film Noir Amricain as the first major film noir.
July 12, 2014
"Mutiny on the Bounty" (1935) The British tall ship Bounty leaves Portsmouth in 1787; its destination—to sail to Tahiti and load breadfruit. And Captain Bligh will do anything to get there as fast as possible, using any means necessary to keep strict discipline. Starring Charles Laughton, Clark Gable and Franchot Tone.