ALL NEW DIGITAL RESTORATIONS!
The enormously popular LAUREL & HARDY FESTIVAL returns with one for their greatest features and a long lost silent short, both looking better than ever! This year, we open with the restored 1927 silent short THE BATTLE OF THE CENTURY, with live accompaniment by Karl Eilers on the Heights' Mighty Wurlitzer, followed by the classic feature, SONS OF THE DESERT. Desperate to get to Chicago for a convention of their fraternal lodge, but knowing that their wives won't approve, Laurel & Hardy work every conceivable angle to sneak away, with hilariously disastrous results. Don't miss this day of silent and sound comedy from the greatest comedy duo in cinema history!
Chauncey Gardiner tends to the greenhouses of a beloved and wealthy man in Washington, D.C. Never given any sort of education, and learning all he knows from TV, Chauncey lives a life free from chaos... until his benefactor dies, and he is on the street. Out for just a short while, he is injured by the limousine of Ben and Eve Rand, a Washington fixer and his trophy wife. Taking him in, both are struck by Chance the Gardner (as he is now named) and his pearls of wisdom, which are merely Chance's gardening tips and tidbits he learned from the boob tube. Soon, Chance is considered to be a rising star, and perhaps... the next president? You could do worse.
Going against type after years of zany comic performances, Peter Sellers was cast as Chance the Gardner, in his penultimate role (and the last while he was alive) before his untimely death at age 55. Inspired, he turned in a brilliant portrayal of a simpleminded buffoon whose kindness wins over even the most hard-hearted cynics. Based on the acclaimed novel by Jerzy Kozinski, and directed by Hal Ashby (Harold and Maude), BEING THERE is a sharp parody of politics, television and sex, and is a classic by any standard.
Like Murder by Death before it, Clue (loosely based on the board game) is a spot-on parody of classic murder mysteries, with a star-studded cast of the 80s best comic actors, and featuring not one but three endings (each included at our screening!) Six strangers appear at an old mansion, are given pseudonyms (Col. Mustard, Mrs. White, etc., from the game), and soon, chaos and hilarity ensue! Tim Curry cements the whole thing as the crazed butler, while Martin Mull, Madeline Kahn, Leslie Ann Warren, Christopher Lloyd and even the Go-Go's Jane Wiedlin make appearances. A flop in its day, Clue has since gone on to be a hilarious cult classic!
Fargo's outrageous story of a kidnapping gone very wrong is grounded by Frances McDormand's Oscar-winning role as Marge Gunderson, the very pregnant police chief of Brainerd, whose persistence and wisdom wins the day. Fargo is at once an intensely violent and painful look at loneliness and greed, and a hilarious send up of hot dish Minnesota nice.
Now a Heights yearly tradition, Hal Ashby's poignant black comedy about anti social Harold and his geriatric girlfriend Maude has to be one of the classic misfit love stories of all time. Harold and Maude was a true cult film phenomena in it's day running a record 2 years at the (now closed) Westgate Theater in Minneapolis, and it is not to be missed on the big screen.
One of the most epic films in all of cinema history, presented in glorious 70mm. The story of T. E. Lawrence's exploits in the Arabian Peninsula during the first World War launched Peter O'Toole into the spotlight, and cemented Lean's status as one of the greatest directors in the world. Don't miss this rare screening of LAWRENCE OF ARABIA in 70mm, the way it was meant to be seen!
PG-13for mature thematic material including comic horror violence, substance abuse, language and sex references
Who would have thought that Roger Corman's ultra-low budget shlock horror film from the 60s would turn into an off-Broadway musical, itself turned into one of the most underrated musicals in cinema history! Believe it! When timid Seymour (Rick Moranis) tries to help his bullying flower-shop boss Mr. Mushnik (Vincent Gardenia) by displaying Audrey II, a strange flower Seymour bought in Chinatown, little did they know they were unleashing a creature from outer space that just loves to devour flesh.
Levi Stubbs of The Four Tops plays the monstrous Audrey II, the human-eating plant that sings, and Ellen Greene reprised her original stage role as Audrey I. Steve Martin is on hand as Audrey's Sado Masochistic denist boyfriend, and the musical numbers are outstanding. Perhaps most impressive is the giant Audrey II, made up entirely of enormous puppets and hand made special effects more convincing than the best CGI.
When television anchor Howard Beale (Peter Finch) is told he is going to be replaced in two weeks, he gets drunk and announces, on air, that he will commit suicide live in two weeks, for which he's fired. Max Schumacher (William Holden), a downbeaten drunk himself, intervenes and allows Beale to have a final farewell with dignity. But Beale gets angry, and during his show proclaims "I'm mad as hell and not going to take it anymore!" When this proves to be a ratings bonanza, the station keeps him around... until he's no longer useful.
Written by Paddy Chayefsky and directed by Sidney Lumet, and starring Holden, Finch and an amazing Faye Dunaway as a steely fixer, NETWORK won Finch, Dunaway and Chayefsky honors (Finch's was the first Oscar awarded posthumously). A film decades ahead of its time, and so honest and cunning it has been produced as an acclaimed stage play on Broadway this year. Don't miss this rare screening!
Rfor strong graphic violence and some language
While out hunting, Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin) discovers two million dollars and a pile of bodies. He goes on the run, but the forces of evil have been unleashed in the form of Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem), whose single-minded pursuit of Moss results in collateral damage that can only be described as apocalyptic. Brooding and violent, No Country for Old Men walked away with Oscars for Best Picture, Director, and Supporting Actor for Bardem.
Charming ad man Roger O. Thornhill (or ROT, to his friends) must run for his life when he's mistaken for an American spy by a dastardly criminal organization. Avoiding death by drunk driving; by gun and knife and gravity; and, most famously, by a crop-dusting, gun-toting plane in the middle of Illinois, poor Thornhill must eventually not only save himself, but the beautiful Eve.
Hitchcock urged screenwriter Ernest Lehman to pull out all the stops, resulting in a breathtaking adventure whose insane plot twists somehow work in spite of themselves. Cary Grant was never more charming, Eve Marie Saint never more alluring, and Hitchcock never more assured. The only way to witness such suspenseful majesty is on the Heights' silver screen.
Three convicts escape the chain gang into rural, Depression-era Mississippi in this vibrant comedy whose period score is now regarded as a classic. Loosely based on Homer's Odyssey (which the Coens claim never to have read), O Brother Where Art Thou? is a hilarious romp in the Preston Sturges tradition.
Call her a square, but Doris Day was perhaps the most underrated comedienne in Hollywood history. And she was never more hilarious, nor charming, as she was in Pillow Talk, an enormous hit in its day. Sparks fly in this story of an arrogant Broadway composer and playboy (Rock Hudson) whose telephone party line keeps getting tangled with a proud interior decorator (Day). Pillow Talk was an enormous hit, was nominated for four Oscars (including one for Day and the great Thelma Ritter) and won an Academy Award for Best Screenplay.
Just a few years after George Lucas and Steven Spielberg changed Hollywood forever with their blockbusters JAWS, STAR WARS and CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND, these two friends teamed up to create an homage to the serial films they loved as children, and launched one of the most popular franchises in history. But none of the Indiana Jones films are anywhere near as perfect as the original RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, with its evil Nazis, rolling boulders, slimy snakes, and overall sense of adventure, all buoyed by amazing stunts, real planes, and very little CGI.
Nicholas Cage is ex-con H.I., and Holly Hunter is police officer Edwina (or Ed), who fall in love, marry, and then fail to conceive a child. Enter the "Arizona Quints", five babies born to furniture salesman Nathan Arizona. A kidnapped baby, prison breaks, bank robberies, chases on foot and in broken down vehicles and... yodeling make this perhaps their best, and most emotional, film.
Famous film producer Otto Kruse brags that he will produce a successful, new kind of revue film, but with escapist musical films being a political hot potato in East Germany, he can not get anyone to agree to work on it. With the project close to collapse, he orders his stage manager Claudia Gluck to "do what it takes" to get it done. Soon she finds herself holding a dramaturg, composer and set designer hostage in a villa-with orders to keep them there until they create a cheerful musical film. The hostages fear it is impossible to please both the public and the critics. Only a young, brash, unknown musician who has insinuated himself into the group is enthusiastically inspired to create an opulent film musical and impress the young stage manager at the same time.
Easily the greatest of all Soviet bloc musicals - and politically the most daring, this 1962 East German DEFA musical spares no expense and is a colorful spectacle of midcentury modernism, and a tour de force of music and dance genres. Like Billy Wilder and Preston Sturges—who discovered that through comedy you could skirt the Hayes Code—Director Gottfried Kolditz uses humor to go places that no other East German filmmaker dared.
Now restored to its original AGFACOLOR - Wide-screen TOTALVISION - 4 channel Stereophonic sound glory, this film is not to be missed on the big screen!
Do we really need to explain this one? Perhaps no movie musical is as beloved as Singin' in the Rain, which has sold out the Heights Theater three times in the last four years, and this year will be presented in 35mm! What a wonderful feeling!
When desperate musicians Joe (Tony Curtis) and Jerry (Jack Lemmon) witness the St. Valentine's Day Massacre in Chicago, they've got to get out of town, and fast. But without any money, what can they do except, well, dress like women and join an all-girls band bound for sunny Florida? The cross-dressing duo find themselves in the same resort as the gangster who order the murders, but that's not the least of their troubles: Joe/Josephine is in love with Marilyn Monroe's "Sugar" and Jerry/Daphne's got a suitor in Osgood Fielding III, a man who won't take no for an answer. This groundbreaking comedy feels ahead of its time even in the 21st Century.
If you're a classic film fan you're probably familiar with Gloria Swanson in her brilliant turn in Sunset Blvd., as the off-her-rocker silent film star well past her prime. But few have seen the films that made her the perfect choice for that classic noir. Swanson captured audience imaginations like few before or since, and an even better secret is that she was a brilliant comic actress as well.
And Sunset Blvd. wasn't the only film to poke some fun at her career: behold STAGE STRUCK, which opens with a magnificent Technicolor sequence with Swanson in her most outrageously theatrical performances, as a diva actress pulling out all the stops. Suddenly we're back in black-and-white, to a small river town in West Virginia where Swanson's a weary waitress whose boyfriend can't help but fall in love with every riverboat actress who makes a stop. Hoping to get even, our waitress decides that she's good and ready for the stage... or not.
STAGE STRUCK was one of the eight films that Swanson made with Dwan, whom she considered her favorite director. This is truly an amazing film, gorgeously restored and accompanied by Karl Eilers on the Heights' Mighty Wurlitzer!
Jeff Bridges is "The Dude", or the Little Lebowski, who discovers that an assault on him was intended for the Big Lebowksi, a wealthy man whose wife has been kidnapped... or not. A cult classic, The Big Lebowski is a crazy take on Raymond Chandler noir, Busby Berkeley, 60s counterculture, nihilists and bowling.
Rfor language, some violence and drug content.
Roman (Schoenaerts), a convict in a prison in rural Nevada, participates in a rehabilitation program in which he trains wild mustangs. He struggles to connect with the horses and his fellow inmates alike. But in time, working alongside young convict Henry (Mitchell) and an old trainer Myles (Dern), Roman soothes an especially feisty horse and confronts his own violent past.
This adaptation of the non-fiction novel by Tom Wolfe chronicles the first 15 years of America's space program. By focusing on the lives of the Mercury astronauts, including John Glenn (Ed Harris) and Alan Shepard (Scott Glenn), the film recounts the dangers and frustrations experienced by those involved with NASA's earliest achievements. It also depicts their family lives and the personal crises they endured during an era of great political turmoil and technological innovation.
When small time con men Luther (Robert Earl Jones), Kelly Hooker (Robert Redford) and the Erie Kid (Jack Kehoe) unknowingly spoil a money drop of noted Chicago numbers-runner Doyle Lonnegan, the boys are in trouble. And when Luther is murdered, a whole underground team of cons seeks revenge, turning to Shaw Gondorff to pull the wool over the gangster's eyes and fleece him for millions.
With an army of the best character actors in the business, set designs that captured the Depression perfectly, intertitles that harkened back to the silent era (and the Saturday Evening Post of days gone by) and a score of Scott Joplin rags that was was number one on the charts, THE STING took America by surprise... and by storm. Reuniting the Butch Cassidy team of George Roy Hill directing with Robert Redford and Paul Newman was the number one box office film of 1973, and won seven Oscars, including Best Picture. Don't miss this rare screening of an archival 35mm print!
In honor of its 70th Anniversary, the Heights is proud to present the newly restored THE THIRD MAN, one of the greatest films ever made. Written by Graham Greene, and starring Joseph Cotten, Aida Valli, and of course Orson Welles as Harry Lime, The Third Man is a classic espionage film that also undermines the trope of the American sleuth solving the crime and winning the love of the femme fatale. A gorgeous, thrilling and melancholy film, The Third Man has influenced countless other films through the decades.
35MM TECHNICOLOR DYE-TRANSFER PRINT!!
Like Singin' In The Rain, The Wizard of Oz is one of our most popular events and sells out year after year, which is no surprise because you may never see OZ look so amazing on the big screen than in this rare 35mm TECHNICOLOR DYE TRANSFER presentation!! Has there ever been a more essential piece of movie magic than the journey of Dorothy and Toto? Probably not.
Bradley Cooper's blockbuster remake of A STAR IS BORN showed the world the timelessness of the story of an up-and-coming female star and her mentor, the declining male star whose alcoholism becomes unendurable. Now see where it all started with this super rare 35mm screening of WHAT PRICE HOLLYWOOD?. This 1932 pre-code gem directed by George Cukor stars Lowell Sherman as a big time - but hard drinking - Hollywood director who happens upon waitress Constance Bennett at the Brown Derby restaurant, and realizing that she has the talent to make it as a star. Her star rises while his star falls, leading to tragedy. Loosely based on the life of silent star Colleen Moore and producer John McCormick, WHAT PRICE HOLLYWOOD? is clearly the inspiration for the four versions of A Star is Born that have enthralled audiences for over eight decades. Don't the miss the very first, often unacknowledged version!