Once again, Bryant Park will be a destination for film buffs on summer nights in New York City, with an all-star legendary film line up for the 19th year of the HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival presented by Bank of Americaand in association with The Bryant Park Corporation.
Continuing the popular tradition of presenting "stars under the stars," the free outdoor festival returns Monday evenings at sunset, beginning June 20 and running through August 22. The season kicks off on the first day of summer with ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST, starring Jack Nicholson as a patient who leads a revolt at a mental facility in this 1975 favorite. The film's Oscar winning director Milos Foreman, will attend the opening night festivities in Bryant Park on June 20th to introduce the film.
The festival's closing night film, DIRTY HARRY, stars Clint Eastwood who made movie history when he took the role of Harry Callahan. Other highlights of this year's festival include Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell in GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES, Paul Newman in COOL HAND LUKE, and Oscar winning film IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT.
"Support for the film festival reflects our belief that the arts, in all its forms, should be shared with the widest possible audience," said Jeff Barker, Bank of America New York City president. "Only in New York can you spend a summer evening outdoors with legends of the screen and people from all walks of life amid the city's skyscrapers."
"It is with great pride that HBO enters its 19th year of showing classic films on the big screen in Bryant Park. The festival has turned into a favorite summertime tradition for many New Yorkers. As neighbors of Bryant Park, it is a great way for HBO and Bank of America to give back to the city," said Bill Nelson, Chairman and CEO, HBO.
The films will be projected in 35mm onto a screen 20 feet high by 40 feet wide. Bryant Park is located at 42nd Street and the Avenue of the Americas. Snacks, meals and refreshments are available at Bryant Park food kiosks and restaurants. Each presentation will show on Monday evenings starting at sunset. The lawn opens at 5pm. Classic animation provided courtesy of Warner Bros.
For more information, call the HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival hotline at (212) 512-5700. For film series information, visit the festival's website at hbo.com/hbobryantparkfilmfestival (will be live by June 1st).
THE HBO BRYANT PARK SUMMER FILM FESTIVAL 2011
PRESENTED BY BANK OF AMERICA
JUNE 20 ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST (Saul Zaentz Co.)-Rebellious Jack Nicholson leads a patient revolt at a mental facility. He urges the inmates to rebel against the nasty Nurse Ratched (Louise Fletcher). Based on the Ken Kesey novel, it has been directed with force, humanity and a sly smile by Milos Forman. It is the second film (after "It Happened One Night") to score an Oscar Grand Slam, winning the five top prizes. Kirk Douglas owned the screen rights for years, but was too senior to play the lead when son Michael finally co-produced. The American Film Institute ranked "Cuckoo" as #33 Greatest Movie of All Time. (1975) 133 Min.
JUNE 27 THE 39 STEPS (MGM)-An innocent man goes on the run to prove he is not a murderer and that a spy ring exists in Scotland. The exuberant thriller is one of Alfred Hitchcock's early British masterpieces. Robert Donat is the "everyman" in trouble and Madeleine Carroll is the classy blonde who lends a helping hand. It has been remade several times for big screen, small screen, even radio, but never as successfully. It even turned up recently as a cleverly conceived show on Broadway and in London's West End. Watch out for a villain with a missing finger and a music hall performer named Mr. Memory. You won't forget him. Special thanks to the British Academy of Film and Television Arts New York (BAFTA New York) (1935) 86 Min.
JULY 4 EASY RIDER (Sony/Col) Stoners Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper (he also directed) hit the road on their customized motorcycles to find the "real" America. 1960's peace and love soon turn to fear and hate. The script was Oscar-nominated, though reportedly much was improvised between L.A. and New Orleans, as the low budget movie was being shot by Laszlo Kovacs. Rumor also has it that plenty of marijuana was smoked on this road trip, giving new meaning to the term "high"way. Steppenwolf, The Byrds, The Band, Jimi Hendrix and Little Eva are heard on the soundtrack. And yes, that is legendary record producer Phil Spector making a cameo appearance as a drug dealer. (1969) 94 Min.
JULY 11 GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES (TCF)-They may be just "two little girls from Little Rock," but Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell are on the trail of bigger stones. As we all know, "diamonds are a girl's best friend." Two gold digging showgirls head for Paris in this brightly colored musical comedy based on the Anita Loos story and a Broadway hit starring Carol Channing. Fox intended it as a movie showcase for their biggest star Betty Grable, but Marilyn came cheaper. The musical number "Anyone Here For Love?" featuring the statuesque Russell and a gaggle of disinterested chorus boys (as the U.S. Olympic team!) is a genuine camp classic. (1953) 91 Min.
JULY 18 IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT (MGM)-This taut murder mystery was the surprise Oscar winner for Best Picture over "Bonnie and Clyde" and "The Graduate." Ironically, that very award ceremony was postponed due to the assassination of Martin Luther King. Rod Steiger plays a bigoted Mississippi sheriff who is reluctant to accept help from a black, big city detective Sidney ("Call me Mister Tibbs") Poitier. Due to racial unrest in the South, filming necessarily took place in Illinois. The moody Quincy Jones score was Grammy nominated and Ray Charles made the title song an instant standard. (1967) 109 Min.
JULY 25 THE LADY EVE (Universal)-This sparkling romantic comedy is the work of a master, Preston Sturges. Barbara Stanwyck (at her most tempting) is a con artist/card shark out to dupe the clueless heir to a brewery fortune (Henry Fonda). He is an ophiologist by trade and knows more about snakes than girls. Just back from a year up the Amazon on a serpent hunt, he is an apple ripe for the plucking. The script is brimming with sophisticated banter (earning an Oscar nomination for Best Writing, Original Story), but Sturges is not above some well-placed slapstick and physical pratfalls. In 2002, the AFI placed it #26 on a list of Top 100 Greatest Love Stories in American cinema. (1941) 94 Min.