On Tuesday, January 7 at 7 p.m., Movies at the Library will begin its 10th year with the age-appropriate comedy “10.” Directed by Blake Edwards from his own script, it pre-dates his “Panther” movies but shares some of their zaniness and sheer idiocy.
A middle-aged Hollywood songwriter, played with glee by Dudley Moore, is having a crisis of his age. He sees the delectable Bo Derek, the 10-ist female he’s ever encountered, and he goes after her with a vengeance. That she is newly wed to another man does not deter him. The film is great fun with a future star actor, Brian Dennehy, playing a bartender in his first screen role. Mrs. Edwards (otherwise known as Julie Andrews) also appears, as does Robert Webber.
If you’re organized, mark your 2014 calendars and add January 21. The film chosen to be winter’s second is a complete contrast. It is the Chinese “The King of Masks,” a beautifully realized true story set in 1930s Sechuan of an aging master of Sechuan Change Opera art. His wife left him years before, taking their infant son. Desperate to pass on his ancient tradition to an heir, he purchases a child on the black market. The film is simple, eloquent and will warm your heart on a chill January Tuesday. This one is in Mandarin, subtitled in English.
Really good westerns are in short supply and Movies at the Library has shown almost all of them. The 1970s’ “Monte Walsh” is a little-known but exquisite film directed by former cinematographer William Fraker. His eye is evident in every frame, so it is a feast for the moviegoer’s eyes, as well. Based on a novel by Jack Shaffer, who gave us “Shane,” it is a sensitive film of the dying West. It stars Lee Marvin and the great Jeanne Moreau. Jack Palance also stars in an unusually sympathetic role. The date is February 4.
February 18 will feature “Romancing the Stone,” a romp of a film that was not particularly well received by critics but the Movies at the Library Committee disagrees and thinks it is high adventure hokum for a February evening of smiles and laughter. Kathleen Turner is enormously appealing as a mousy writer of romantic fiction who finds herself up to her neck in trouble in Colombia, South America. She has only Michael Douglas as a feisty American sort of soldier of fortune as an ally. It is directed by Robert Zemeckis and also stars the delightful Danny DeVito.
“The More the Merrier” on March 4 is of the screwball comedy genre, providing more laughter to chase away winter’s blahs. Set in war-time Washington, DC, which is experiencing a housing shortage, Jean Arthur shares an apartment with Joel McCrea and Charles Coburn, who won a Supporting Oscar for his performance. Directed by George Stevens before he gave up comedy, it is wonderfully entertaining, with Ms. Arthur at her peerless best.
For March 18, the day after St. Patrick’s Day, the series will present “Hear My Song,” a U.S./ British production. It was written by first-time director and star Adrian Dunbar. A charmingly off-beat, old-fashioned film, it also stars Ned Beatty as an ex-pat Irish tenor and David McCallum as a wheeler-dealer nightclub owner determined to bring him back to perform. The unexpected, of course, ensues.
So mark next year’s calendar and we’ll look forward to seeing you at the movies! As usual, there will be munchies and bottled water and special introductions to each film in the library’s lower level Community Room.