Looking for a last-minute Valentine’s Day gift or just need a good reason to look forward to the summer? Well, look no further, because today we are announcing the Opening Weekend lineup of the 2017 Paramount Summer Classic Film Series!
Appropriately enough on this annual day of romance, we are excited to reveal that the Opening Weekend will feature four films about “star-crossed lovers,” couples swept up in epic love affairs that are doomed to fail. Romance, intrigue, captivating drama – all the elements that keep us coming back to great films time and time again can be found in these four classics, three of which will reach noteworthy milestones this year.
First, on Thursday May 25, our annual summer opener CASABLANCA celebrates its 75th anniversary, and, if you joined us for the 75th birthday of GONE WITH THE WIND a few years ago, you’ll know what to expect from this very special evening. Of course, between the knockout cast of Bogart, Bergman, Rains, Greenstreet, Lorre (I could go on and on) and one of the very best screenplays ever written, we don’t really need an additional excuse to gather at the Paramount and enjoy this legendary film. But we’re decorating the theatre and providing photo opportunities galore anyway because this wonderful movie deserves a grand tribute. And all of our amazing Film Fan members will be invited to an exclusive Kickoff Party before the film, so be sure to join our Film Fan Club today and don’t miss this opportunity to celebrate a special year for a very special movie!
Then, on Friday May 26, we will once again board James Cameron’s epic TITANIC, which, believe it or not, first arrived in theaters 20 years ago. Thanksgiving 1997, to be exact, but if you seem to remember seeing it in the summer, you’re probably just remembering the tenth time you saw it. In most towns across the country, the movie ran and ran for months, eventually claiming the all-time box office crown. Far from just a money-maker, though, Cameron’s film brilliantly combined state-of-the-art cinematic technology with the once-in-a-generation romantic chemistry of budding movie stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. The resulting film became a pop culture landmark, helped along generously by Celine Dion’s inescapable radio hit. Grab your date and prepare to be King (or Queen!) of the World once again in a setting befitting of this modern classic – our 102-year-old movie palace, built just four years after the Titanic itself!
Finally, on Sunday May 28, we will present our first double feature of the summer, focusing on two pairs of outlaws who love crime as much as they love each other. First up is BONNIE AND CLYDE, Arthur Penn’s groundbreaking 1967 depiction of legendary lovers Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker. In crafting one of the most controversial films in Hollywood history up to that time, Penn and his leading man/first-time producer Warren Beatty ushered in the “New Hollywood” era with an astonishingly violent and frankly sexual movie that swatted away any remaining traces of Old Hollywood censorship. The result was a movie made by adults for adults, a landmark classic that spoke to a whole new generation of movie lovers and paved the way for the next wave of American filmmakers.
In fact, the second half of our double feature is the debut film of one of the very filmmakers who flourished in that new wave, Terrence Malick. Though BADLANDS is similar to BONNIE AND CLYDE narratively speaking (Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek play young lovers on a crime spree), Malick’s contemplative approach couldn’t be more different from Penn’s gangster-picture verve. In 95 exquisite minutes, Malick introduced the world to his inimitable style, defined by stream-of-consciousness voice-over narration and dream-like blending of classical music and unforgettable imagery. If you’ve been waiting for the right opportunity to make your way through Malick’s eight-film (soon to be nine) body of work, this is your chance to start at the beginning!
These are just four of the 100+ films to be featured in this year’s Paramount Summer Classic Film Series, so get excited and keep an eye out for the full lineup coming May 2017! See you at the movies!
-Stephen Jannise, Film Programmer
This post was written by Stephen Jannise