From Literary to Lighthearted The Lyric's free August films include adaptions of novels, old-fashioned musicals

Friday, August 12, 2011

For those who like their classic films on the literary side, The Lyric Theatre's August line-up in its 3rd Annual Summer of Free Movies has three such flicks on its roster.


There also are two old-fashioned musicals, which are sure to delight.


Guys and Dolls (1955)


3 p.m. Aug. 13; 5 p.m. Aug. 14


If Frank Sinatra and Marlon Brando switched roles, this would have been an undeniable classic Broadway adaptation. As is, it's still a stylized, highly entertaining — if a bit overlong — musical, capably directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz. Sinatra and Brando (who aren't bad as Nathan Detroit and Skye Masterson, just miscast) are ably assisted by Jean Simmons (possessing a fine, lilting singing voice), Stubby Kaye, Robert Keith, Sheldon Leonard and B.S. Pully (with a voice only a bullfrog could love!).


The Outsiders (1983)


7 p.m. Aug. 13; 2 p.m. Aug. 14


Francis Ford Coppola's adaptation of S.E. Hinton's novel features a roster of "stars on the rise" — the late Patrick Swayze, Matt Dillon, Tom Cruise and Rob Lowe. The movie, set in the 1960s, has a warm, glowing look, with the story being a 1980s version of the 1950s "Rebel Without a Cause."


 Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)


 4 p.m. Aug. 20; 5 p.m. Aug. 21


 A great way to escape the August heat. Halloween and Christmas are nicely depicted by director Vincente Minnelli in this Judy Garland classic about a family preparing to attend the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair, before an impending move to New York City. Garland's rendition of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" is right up there with her "Over the Rainbow" (from "The Wizard of Oz" of 1939) and "The Man That Got Away" (from "A Star is Born," circa 1954).


 The Old Man and the Sea (1958)


 7 p.m. Aug. 20; 2 p.m. Aug. 21


Spencer Tracy is marvelous as the unnamed Old Man in director John Sturges' adaptation of the Ernest Hemingway novel. Tracy also serves as narrator in this tale of a Cuban fisherman's attempt to bring a huge fish to land. The story holds up throughout, although some of the attempts by Sturges to meld process shots of an actual marlin catch at sea didn't quite work.


 Gone With the Wind (1939)


 2 p.m. Aug. 27; 2 p.m. Aug. 31


 The undeniable classic of all time. This Civil War epic — which takes place before, during and after in Georgia — is a must to be seen at least once on the big screen. Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh and Olivia de Havilland are excellent in their roles as Rhett Butler, Scarlett O'Hara and Melanie Wilkes. However, Leslie Howard, no matter how hard he tries, is just not convincing or youthful enough to be Scarlett's object of desire.


 Free tickets are limited to four per person and subject to availability. Tickets are available only at the box office. Call 772-286-7827.


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