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(PG, 1985, 117 min) 2:00 pm FREE! What would it be like to meet your parents in their youth? High schooler Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) is catapulted back to the '50s and accidentally changes the history of how Mom and Dad met. Filled with memorable effects and two wonderfully off-key, perfectly cast performances: Christopher Lloyd as the crazy scientist who turns a DeLorean into a time machine and Crispin Glover as Marty's geeky dad.


(1954, 115 min) 4:30 pm FREE! When professional photographer J.B. "Jeff " Jeffries (James Stewart) is confined to a wheelchair with a broken leg, he becomes obsessed with watching the private dramas of his neighbors play out across the courtyard. When he suspects a salesman may have murdered his nagging wife, Jeffries enlists the help of his glamorous socialite girlfriend (Grace Kelly) to investigate the highly suspicious chain of events‌ultimately leading to one of the most memorable and gripping endings in all of film history.

CLASSICS JANUARY 9 / MURDER CAN BE FUNNY Neil Simon’s MURDER BY DEATH (PG, 1976, 94 min) Hilarious beyond compare. Murder by Death is a comedy-thriller that spoofs everyone from Miss Marple to Sam Spade, Charlie Chan to The Thin Man, and everyone in between. Lionel Twain (Truman Capote) challenges his guests to solve a murder, and a reward of $1 million will be presented to the winner. Will the five most brilliant minds of our time be able to see through the elaborate set-up staged by a criminal mastermind? THE LAST OF SHEILA (PG, 1973, 119 min) An all-star cast headlines this witty mystery-thriller about a movie producer who invites six friends to a cruise aboard his yacht, the "Sheila," named after his late wife who died in an unsolved hit-and-run accident a year ago that day. As the ship sets sail, those aboard begin to realize that their host has more than innocent parlor games in mind as he pits each against the other, taunting them with the knowledge that his wife's killer is among them. Written by Stephen Sondheim and actor-writer Anthony Perkins.

FEBRUARY 6 / UNIVERSAL CLASSIC MONSTERS FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE WOLFMAN (1943, 74 min) Bela Lugosi as Frankenstein's Monster and Lon Chaney, Jr. as the cursed Wolf Man collide in one of the great classic horror films of the 1940s. Beginning as a moody chiller, director Roy William Neill sets the stage for an unforgettable clash. The resurrected Wolf Man, seeking a cure for his malady, enlists the aid of mad scientists Patric Knowles, who claims he will not only rid the Wolf Man of his nocturnal metamorphosis but will also revive the frozen body of Frankenstein's inhuman creation. THE MUMMY’S HAND (1940, 67 min) In this acclaimed follow-up to the popular original, an expedition of American archaeologists, headed by Steve Banning and Baby Jenson, travels to Egypt in search of the undiscovered tomb of the Princess Ananka. There they soon discover the clues that lead them to a 3000-year-old mummy, who is guarded by a sinister high priest. Reluctantly funded by a magician and his beautiful daughter, the expedition has its hands full battling the mummy, who goes on a killing rampage during each full moon, in this frightening chiller masterpiece.

MARCH 6 / HOUSES ON HAUNTED HILLS PSYCHO (1960, 109 min) Alfred Hitchcock's landmark masterpiece of the macabre stars Anthony Perkins as the troubled Norman Bates, whose old dark house and adjoining motel are not the place to spend a quiet evening. No one knows that better than Marion Crane (Janet Leigh), the ill-fated traveler whose journey leads to the world’s most notorious shower. THE LEGEND OF HELL HOUSE (R, 1973, 95 min) Similar to The Haunting, this is legendary screenwriter Richard Matheson’s tale about an aging millionaire who wants proof of the afterlife, so he hires a group of parapsychologists to investigate a haunted mansion. Once inside, however, the house begins to prey on the team’s individual weaknesses.


APRIL 3 / ROMANTIC SUPERNATURAL FANTASIES THE GHOST AND MRS. MUIR (1947, 104 min) Determined to live her life the way she wants, newly widowed Lucy Muir (Gene Tierney) moves with her daughter (Natalie Wood) to the seaside into a cottage haunted by the handsome Captain Gregg (Rex Harrison). As they gradually get to know each other better, Lucy's spunk and stubborness gains first the captain's grudging respect, then his heart. But when another man woos Lucy, both must face that her future lies with the living, not in the spirit world. BELL, BOOK AND CANDLE (1958, 106 min) Gillian Holroyd (Kim Novak) is a modern-day witch, living in a New York apartment with her Siamese cat. But one day a handsome publisher, Shep Henderson (James Stewart) walks into her building and Gillian decides she wants him—especially as it turns out he's marrying an old poison penpal from Gillian's college days. So, Gillian casts a spell over Shep. But her powers are in danger of being exorcised by something stronger than the bell-book-and-candle routine: Love.

MAY 1 / THE DEVIL MADE HER DO IT William Friedkin’s THE EXORCIST (R, 1973, 132 min) Entertainment Weekly voted The Exorcist as the #1 scariest film of all time. Director William Friedkin’s adaptation of William Peter Blatty’s novel became a nationwide sensation, leading to religious boycotts, fainting, and a huge box office return. Roman Polanski’s ROSEMARY’S BABY (R, 1968, 136 min) Rosemary and Guy Woodhouse (Mia Farrow and John Cassavetes) move into a creepy old apartment in Manhattan and discover that their neighbors are a very friendly elderly couple named Roman and Minnie Castevet. Then Rosemary becomes pregnant and begins to suspect that her neighbors have special plans for her child.

JUNE 5 / CLASSIC FILM NOIR THE MALTESE FALCON (1941, 100 min) A gallery of high-living lowlifes will stop at nothing to get their sweaty hands on a jewel-encrusted falcon. Detective Sam Spade (Humphrey Bogart) wants to find out why—and who'll take the fall for his partner's murder. An all-star cast (including Sydney Greenstreet, Mary Astor, Peter Lorre and Elisha Cook Jr.) joins Bogart in this crackling mystery masterwork written for the screen (from Dashiell Hammett's novel) and directed by John Huston. OUT OF THE PAST (1947, 97 min) A tenacious detective (Robert Mitchum) spinning his wheels to make good. A drop-dead beauty (Jane Greer) up to no good, and moneyed mobster (Kirk Douglas) with a shark’s grin, plus double-crosses, fall guys, shadowy rooms and bleak souls. Mitchum plays Jeff Bailey, a one-time private investigator walking the straight and narrow of small-town life…. until an acquaintance from his past pulls him back into the troubles he’d left behind.

TREASURES JANUARY 16 / ON THE LAM WITH A KID IN TOW LEON: THE PROFESSIONAL (R, 1994, 132 min) Mathilda (Natalie Portman) is a 12-year-old girl living in New York City who discovers that most of her family have been killed in a raid by corrupt DEA agents, led by the psychotic Stansfield (Gary Oldman). Mathilda takes refuge in the apartment of her secretive neighbor, Leon (Jean Reno), who takes her in with a certain reluctance. She discovers that Leon is a professional assassin. An affection develops between Leon and Mathilda that changes his outlook on his life and career. John Cassavetes’ GLORIA (PG, 1980, 123 min) Gloria (Gena Rowlands), a self-involved woman in her forties who was once a mobster's mistress, is asked to look after the son of her Mafiaconnected Puerto Rican neighbors. This temporary set-up becomes permanent when the neighbors are killed in a mob hit. Where once she was content squirreling herself away in her lonely apartment, Gloria now must face a lifetime on the run.

FEBRUARY 13 / LAUGH YOUR ASS OFF Monty Python’s THE LIFE OF BRIAN (R, 1979, 93 min) Set in 33 A.D. Judea where the exasperated Romans try to impose order. At its center is Brian Cohen, born in Bethlehem who, by a series of absurd circumstances, is caught up in the new religion and reluctantly mistake for the promised messiah. Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones and Michael Palin shine in multiple roles as they question everyone and everything from ex-lepers, Pontius Pilate and haggling to revolutionaries, crazy prophets, religious fanaticism, Roman centurions and crucifixion, forever changing our biblical view. BEVERLY HILLS COP (R, 1984, 105 min) What's that wisecracking young black guy (Eddie Murphy) in that beat-up Chevy Nova doing in lily-white Beverly Hills? He's Axel Foley, a Detroit detective who's been sent on involuntary vacation because he refuses to drop his intention of avenging his friend's murder. Warned by Beverly Hills police chief to stay out of trouble, Foley nonetheless dogs the trail of the British crime czar who was responsible for the murder of Foley's friend.

MARCH 13 / CLASSIC HOLLYWOOD MUSICALS SINGIN IN THE RAIN (1952, 102 min) Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds and Donald O'Connor star in one of the greatest musicals ever filmed. Set during the advent of "talkies," Don Lockwood has risen to stardom during Hollywood's silent-movie era—paired with the beautiful, jealous and dumb Lina Lamont. But with the introduction of talking pictures, Lockwood finds his career in jeopardy after audiences laugh when they hear Lamont speak in her shrill voice for the first time...and the studio decides to use someone else to dub her voice. AN AMERICAN IN PARIS (1951, 115 min) Gene Kelly stars as an opportunistic American painter living in Paris' starving artists’ colony. He is discovered by wealthy Milo Roberts (Nina Foch), who becomes Jerry's patroness in more ways than one. Meanwhile, Jerry plays hookey on this setup by romancing waif-like Lise Bouvier (Leslie Caron) — who, unbeknownst to him, is the object of the affections of his close friend Henri (Georges Guetary), a popular nightclub performer.


APRIL 17 / A TOUCH OF WONDER THE GREAT MUPPET CAPER (G, 1981, 95 min) The crime of the century has occurred, and investigative reporters Kermit, Fozzie, and Gonzo are out to crack the case in this song-filled, starstudded extravaganza. Diana Rigg’s priceless diamond necklace has been stolen. But when Kermit mistakes lovely Miss Piggy for a rich aristocrat, it's love at first sight. Unfortunately, Charles Grodin is also wooing the sultry swine—-so he can frame her for another jewel heist! Now it's up to Kermit and his pals to clear Piggy's name and catch the real culprits. SPIES LIKE US (PG, 1985, 103 min) In this goofy comedy, a pair of dolts (Chevy Chase and Dan Ackroyd) are given a special assignment after they are caught cheating on their entrance exam for the Central Intelligence Agency. Believing that they made the cut and are being rewarded, the two are sent to the Middle East on a top-secret assignment. Neither realizes that they are actually expendable decoys.

MAY 8 / THEY’RE CALLED DIVAS, DARLING ALL ABOUT EVE (1950, 138 min) All About Eve is an elegantly bitchy backstage story revolving around aspiring actress Eve Harrington (Anne Baxter). Tattered and forlorn, Eve shows up in the dressing room of Broadway mega-star Margo Channing (Bette Davis), weaving a melancholy life story to Margo and her friends. Taking pity on the girl, Margo takes Eve as her personal assistant. Before long, it becomes apparent that naïve Eve is a Machiavellian conniver who cold-bloodedly uses Margo, her director Bill Sampson (Gary Merill), and Lloyd's wife Karen (Celeste Holm), to rise to the top of the theatrical heap. SUNSET BOULEVARD (1950, 111 min) The story, set in '50s Hollywood, focuses on Norma Desmond, a silentscreen goddess whose pathetic belief in her own indestructibility has turned her into a demented recluse. The crumbling mansion where she lives with only her butler, Max, who was once her director and husband has become her self-contained world. Norma dreams of a comeback to pictures and she begins a relationship with Joe Gillis, a small-time writer who becomes her lover, that will soon end with murder and total madness.

JUNE 12 / HIT THE ROAD, JACK! PLANES, TRAINS AND AUTOMOBILES (1987, R, 93 min) This is every traveler's nightmare in John Hughes' comedy-come-true! Neal Page (Steve Martin) is an advertising executive who just wants to fly home to Chicago to spend Thanksgiving with his family. But all Neal gets is misery. Misery named Del Griffith (John Candy)—-a loud mouthed, but nevertheless loveable, salesman who leads Neal on a cross-country, wild goose chase that keeps Neal from tasting his turkey. Martin and Candy are absolutely wonderful as two guys with a knack for making the worst of a bad situation. VACATION (1983, R, 98 min) The Griswalds are going on vacation. In the driver's seat, of course, is Clark Griswald (Chevy Chase), an Everyman eager to share the open road and the wonders of family togetherness with his wife and kids. Everything is planned. Everything is packed. And everything is about to go hilariously wrong in this comedy classic written by John Hughes (Ferris Bueller's Day Off) and directed by Harold Ramis (Caddyshack, Groundhog Day). Myriad mishaps, crude kin, financial woes, Aunt Edna on the roof, one security guard, and 2,460 miles is a wonder the Griswalds are still together.

F A N TA S M A JANUARY 23 / FIRE AND ICE John Carpenter's THE THING (1982, R, 109 min) Man is the warmest place to hide. Carpenter's harrowing remake of the '50s classic centers on a snowbound research team in Antarctica (including Kurt Russell) who dig up the remains of a spacecraft that has long been frozen in the ice. But the alien life unthaws and infects the living. Cut off from the rest of the world, paranoia and mistrust begin to set in as the men realize any one of them could be the creature. FIRESTARTER (R, 1984, 115 min) Eight-year-old Drew Barrymore stars as the child who has the amazing ability to start fires with just a glance. Can her psychic power and the love of her father save her from the threatening government agency, "The Shop," that wants her destroyed? Filled with blazing special effects and featuring an all-star cast including Martin Sheen and Heather Locklear, Art Carney, Louise Fletcher and George C. Scott, Firestarter is a must-see film for any fan of the supernatural.

FEBRUARY 27 / RIP-ROARING WHAMMY-WHANGERS! BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA (PG-13, 1986, 99 min) San Francisco truck driver Jack Burton accompanies his Chinese friend Wang Chi to pick his bride-to-be Miao Pin up off a plane from Peking. But before they can do so, Miao Pin is snatched by elemental forces. Pursuing them, Jack and Wang enter the vast labyrinth beneath the streets of Chinatown where they encounter the sorcerer Lo Pan who is intending to end the curse that has doomed him to a 4000 year fleshless existence, something that only be undone by the sacrifice of a green-eyed girl, Miao Pin, to the gods. RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK (PG, 1981, 115 min) It’s said that the original is the greatest, and there can be no more vivid proof than Raiders of the Lost Ark, the first and indisputably best of the Indiana Jones movies. This entertaining film has non-stop action, exotic locations, grand spectacle, a hero for the ages, despicable villains, a beautiful love interest, humor, horror… not to mention lots of snakes. The Nazis, it seems, are searching for the Ark, which the mystical-minded Hitler hopes to use to make his stormtroopers invincible.

MARCH 20 / THEY’RE COMING TO EAT YOU! George Romero’s DAWN OF THE DEAD (127 min, 1978) In 1968, director George A. Romero brought us Night of the Living Dead. It became the definitive horror film of its time. In 1978, he would unleash the most shocking motion picture experience for all times. As modern society is consumed by zombie carnage, four desperate survivors barricade themselves inside a shopping mall to battle the flesh-eating hordes of the undead. This is the ferocious horror classic, featuring landmark gore effects by Tom Savini. When there’s no more room in Hell, the dead will walk the earth. SHOCK WAVES (PG, 1977, 87 min) In the dark days of World War II, the Nazi High Command ordered its scientists to create a top secret race of indestructible zombie storm troopers- undead, unfeeling, unstoppable monstrosities that killed with their bare hands. They were known as The Death Corps. No member of this horrific SS unit was ever captured by the Allied Forces and, somewhere off the coast of Florida, they have survived.


APRIL 24 / KILL OR BE KILT HIGHLANDER: Director's Cut (R, 1986, 116 min) There can be only one. Christopher Lambert and Sean Connery star in the epic tale that launched one of the most beloved action-adventure series in film and TV history. After Scottish clansman Connor MacLeod discovers his true identity as a member of a legion of immortals, he embarks on a legendary journey spanning continents and centuries, eventually landing in modern-day New York City. MANIAC COP (R, 1988, 87 min) Innocent people are brutally killed on the streets of New York by a uniformed police officer. A young cop, Jack Forrest (Bruce Campbell) finds himself marked as the chief suspect after his wife is murdered. As Lieutenant Frank McCrae (Tom Atkins) investigates, the death toll rises and he suspects a mysterious police coverup. This “maniac” cop must be stopped, but it might not be so easy. He seems inhuman, and ready to take on the entire police force!

MAY 15 / LOOK! UP IN THE SKY! James Cameron’s ALIENS (R, 1986, 137 min) In this action-packed sequel to Alien, Sigourney Weaver returns as Ripley, the only survivor from mankind's first encounter with the monstrous Alien. Her account of the Alien and the fate of her crew are received with skepticism until the mysterious disappearance of colonists on LV-426 leads her to join a team of high-tech colonial marines sent in to investigate. KILLER KLOWNS FROM OUTER SPACE (R, 88 min, 1988) Finally the truth about clowns is out! A spaceship disguised as a circus tent lands in a field near a small town, signaling the attack of deviant, red-nosed, balloontwisting psychos from another world who plan to annihilate mankind by turning people into cotton candy!

JUNE 19 / LET’S GO TO SUMMER CAMP! FRIDAY THE 13th (R, 1980, 95 min) Hell yes, it’s time for strip Monopoly! Friday the 13th set the standard for countless other camp killer pictures by trapping a group of likeable teenage counselors with a murdering psycho in the woods at Camp Crystal Lake. Teens caught doing drugs or fooling around on the job are killed off by gruesome methods before the killer is stopped by the last surviving female—or "final girl"—as she would later come to be called. Sequels followed. And the rest is history. THE BURNING (R, 1981, 91 min) After a cruel joke goes awry, severely burning him and subjecting him to five years of intensive, unsuccessful skin graft treatments, Cropsy (Lou David) is back at camp...and ready to wreak havoc on those who scarred him! With his hedge clippers in hand, he terrorizes the camp and systematically mutilates each victim. Can a few courageous campers save themselves and destroy this demented madman before he kills them all?

AMORE What is RetroAmore?

Who knew that love stories and romances were so popular? Since 1998, I’ve mostly programmed Retro as a series dedicated to classic genre films. In 2014, I experimented a bit by adding movies like Dirty Dancing, Annie Hall and Moonstruck. They sold. In fact, they sold better than sure things like The Howling and An American Werewolf in London. Does this mean Retro is going all gooey? Not at all. For those who like their films with heart (rather than an amputated heart), here’s the film series I’ve been promising you. I tried to be as broad as possible in the selections this first edition. So whether you enjoy old-fashioned three-hanky weepies like An Affair to Remember or prefer Tom Cruise in his underwear in Risky Business, hopefully there’s something here for you to enjoy.

Jim Carl Senior Director MARCH 27 / IT WAS AMAZING TO BE AN 80S TEEN SIXTEEN CANDLES (PG, 1984, 93 min) Samantha Baker (Molly Ringwald) is ready to make the most of her Sweet Sixteen birthday…if only someone would remember it. She’s your average teen, enduring creepy freshmen, spoiled siblings, confused parents and the “Big Blonde on Campus” who stands between her and the boy of her dreams. From writer/ director John Hughes (The Breakfast Club, Weird Science), Sixteen Candles is a warm-hearted coming of age comedy that helped define a generation. RISKY BUSINESS (R, 1983, 99 min) Risky Business is the film in which 19-year-old Tom Cruise dances around his living room in his underwear. He does this to celebrate the fact that his parents have left him alone while they go on vacation. Somewhere along the line, hooker Rebecca De Mornay, fleeing her vicious pimp, hides out in the Cruise mansion. Things go from bad to worse to as Cruise inadvertently drives his father's Porsche into Lake Michigan and nearly scuttles his college recruitment interview.

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MAY 22 / LOVE MEANS NEVER HAVING TO SAY YOU’RE SORRY AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER (1957, 119 min) Nickie Ferrante (Cary Grant) is a playboy who always had the problem of generating a monogamous relationship. Terry McKay (Deborah Kerr) is a nightclub singer who is in a serious relationship. Both try to avoid each other, but it doesn't last for long. They make a pact: after six months, if they are still in love, they will meet at the top of the Empire State Building. Nickie shows up, but while waiting, something happens to Terry on the streets below…and the reunion never happens. Will their love truly bring them together again? Michael Powell’s A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH (1946, 104 min) After a deceptively dreamy prologue, we are thrown into the conversation between an airman (David Niven) whose torched plane is about to crash in the English Channel, and an American military radio operator (Kim Hunter) operating the radio on the ground. Their touching exchange, made urgent by his imminent death, is breathtakingly visualized. What follows is glorious: Niven's death has been missed by an otherworldly collector (Marius Goring) and so he gets to argue his case for life before a heavenly tribunal.

JUNE 26 / STAR-CROSSED LOVERS SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE (PG, 1993, 105 min) Writer-director Nora Ephron’s tour de force romantic comedy stars Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan as a pair of star-crossed meant-to-be lovers who don’t meet until the film’s last reel. Along the way the film gifts us with tart commentary on the state of modern love particularly as experienced by those of us whose very idea of romance has been all-too influenced by what we’ve seen in the movies. ARTHUR (PG, 1981, 98 min) When you get caught between the moon and New York City, chances are you'll find yourself watching Oscar-nominated Dudley Moore as the charmingly witty, perpetually drunken millionaire Arthur Bach. Arthur falls in love with a waitress (Liza Minnelli) who doesn't care about his money, but unfortunately Arthur's stern father wants him to marry a Waspy prima donna. The young lush turns to his wise and loyal butler (Oscar-winner John Gielgud) for assistance and advice.

JANUARY 30 Dario Argento's SUSPIRIA (R, 1977, 98 min) Suzy Banyon is a young American ballet dancer who arrives at a prestigious European dance academy. But when a series of bizarre incidents and horrific crimes (including what Entertainment Weekly calls "the most vicious murder scene ever filmed") turn the school into a waking nightmare of the damned, Suzy must escape the academy's unspeakable secret of supernatural evil. CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST (1980, 96 min) Banned and heavily censored the world over, here is a film that surpasses its reputation as a shot-gun blast to the senses. Cannibal Holocaust presents the "found footage" of a group of four documentary filmmakers who experience brutal death at the hands of a savage South American tribe of flesh-eaters. This footage is so intense, so graphic and so unflinching in its realism that the director and producer were arrested upon its original release and the film seized. Nothing you have seen before will prepare you for this uncompromising masterpiece of cinematic nihilism.

309 W Morgan St, Durham, NC 27701 919.560.3030 /

Retro Film Series | Jan-Jun 2015  

Retro Film Series guide for January through June 2015 and the Carolina Theatre of Durham.

Retro Film Series | Jan-Jun 2015  

Retro Film Series guide for January through June 2015 and the Carolina Theatre of Durham.