Your Guide to Classic Movie Theater Filmgoing!
Step back in time to see what area movie theaters were presenting in September 1981. Film titles are linked to the Internet Movie Database.
The Detroit Film Theatre rode the coattails of the second Montreaux/Detroit Jazz Festival in 1981 with the September 4 showing of Detroit Jazz Artists on Film (by David Chertok). Another musical treat was the re-cut version of Martin Scorsese's 1977 film New York, New York, which Detroit News critic Michael McWilliams praised: "Martin Scorsese has made the most personal, the most mature, the best movie of his life."
Foreign language films at the DFT this month included the 1980 French Canadian movie Les Bons Débarras; Jacques (Ponette) Doillon's 1979 film La Drôlesse; and Jean Renoir's 1935 movie, The Crime of Monsieur Lange. A tribute to Alfred Hitchcock (who died on April 29, 1980) began with The Pleasure Garden (1925) and The Lodger (1927). The Afternoon Film Theatre of the DIA continued its film noir series with The Asphalt Jungle (1950), The Big Heat (1953) and Kiss Me Deadly (1955).
The Redford presented two very different musicals. On September 4 and 5, Lee Marvin, Clint Eastwood and Jean Seberg appeared in the western musical comedy Paint Your Wagon (1969). The tone was much more serious on September 18 and 19, with the dramatic and elegant ballet film The Red Shoes (1948).
The Redford was mentioned in a September 11, 1981 Detroit News article by Michael McWilliams about area repertory film programs. Also discussed were the Cass City Cinema (Detroit), Merrie Melodie (Rochester), Dearborn Cinema Society (Henry Ford Centennial Library), Detroit Film Society (Detroit Public Library), Encore Cinema Club (Cranbrook) and Royal Oak Public Library. Ann Arbor film groups included Cinema II, Cinema Guild and the Ann Arbor Film Co-op.
Also mentioned in the News article was the Classic Film Theatre, which was programming films at both the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor and the Punch and Judy Theater in Grosse Pointe Farms. The Punch and Judy specialized in midnight showings of recent rock and roll films, like Yessongs.
The Ladykillers (1955), which helped open the re-modeled Michigan in 1956, made another appearance at the Michigan as part of a CFT series of Alec Guinness films that also included The Horse's Mouth (1958), The Man in the White Suit (1951), The Lavender Hill Mob (1951) and Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949). On September 25-27, the Michigan presented the Second Annual World's Worst Film Festival, which included The Terror of Tiny Town (1938) and Attack of the Killer Tomatoes! (1978).
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