The HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival Celebrates Its 21st Year




May 29, 2013, 15:13 ET from HBO

NEW YORK, May 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Once again, Bryant Park will be a destination for film buffs on summer nights in New York City, with an incredible line up for the 21st year of the HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival presented by Bank of America with the Wall Street Journal and Magnum Ice Cream in association with Bryant Park Corporation

Continuing the popular tradition of presenting "stars under the stars," the free outdoor festival returns Monday evenings at sunset, beginning June 17 and running through August 19.  The season kicks off with the 1982 classic, TOOTSIE.

The festival's closing night film; E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL is expected to be a crowd pleaser. The sci-fi fantasy was a box office hit topping "Star Wars" as the highest-grossing film. Other highlights of this year's festival include Gene Wilder in, WILLY WONKA & THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, Katherine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart in THE AFRICAN QUEEN and Sally Field in NORMA RAE.

The films are projected in 35mm onto a screen 20 feet high by 40 feet wide. Bryant Park is located at 42nd Street and the Avenue of the Americas. Snacks, meals and refreshments are available at Bryant Park 'wichcraft kiosks, the Southwest Porch and the Bryant Park Grill and Cafe, plus a new curated selection of food options from the Hester Street Fair.  Each presentation starts on Monday evenings at sunset.  The lawn opens at 5pm.  Classic animation provided courtesy of Warner Bros.

For more information, call the HBO Bryant Park Summer Film Festival hotline at (212) 512-5700. For film series information, visit the festivals website at (will be live on June 6th)


JUNE 17-TOOTSIE (Sony/Columbia) After countless rejections, a "difficult," New York-based actor resorts to extreme measures to get work.  Auditioning for women's roles in a wig and heels, he/she finds soap opera success in a dress.  Dustin Hoffman is a knockout (not in a pretty way) in the title role.  He gets super support from Jessica Lange (an Oscar), Teri Garr (an Oscar nomination), Bill Murray and the director, Sydney Pollack, who plays a cynical agent.  The A.F.I. puts "Tootsie" #2 on the list "Funniest Films of All Time," just behind "Some Like It Hot." (1982) 116 Min. Panavision

JUNE 24-INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (Paramount) Gritty, low budget, sci-fi classic is a model of 1950's paranoia.  Visitors from outer space are taking over an ordinary California town, one unsuspecting citizen at a time.  Watch out for those nasty seedpods in the basement! They could turn into a reasonable facsimile of you or your neighbor overnight.  The material has been recycled several times, but Don Siegel's original is still the creepiest.  Those involved in the making have generally denied that any political allegory was intended. (1956) 80 Min. SuperScope

JULY 1-FRENZY (Universal) After working in the U.S. for years, Alfred Hitchcock returned to his U.K. roots to make this deliciously nasty thriller.  A serial killer stalks London's Covent Garden, strangling women with his neckties.  Though deadly serious, the director's characteristic dark humor bubbles up throughout, providing periodic relief from the murder most foul.  Composer Henry Mancini was fired from the project.  Evidently his proposed score sounded too much like that of Hitchcock regular Bernard Herrmann. Special thanks to the British Academy of Film and Television Arts New York
(BAFTA New York). (1972) 116 Min.

JULY 8-WILLY WONKA & THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY (Warner Bros.) Five lucky children who find the elusive Golden Tickets get to tour a mysterious candy factory in a psychedelic fantasyland.  Roald Dahl wrote the screenplay based on his book, but reportedly disowned the film due to changes made later.  Gene Wilder is the eccentric, none-too-sweet chocolatier Willy.  Music (Oscar nominated) is by Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse.  In 2003, Entertainment Weekly listed "Wonka" #25 among the "Top 50 Cult Movies" of all time. (1971) 100 Min.

JULY 15-HUSH... HUSH, SWEET CHARLOTTE (Fox) For his follow-up to "Baby Jane," director Robert Aldrich reteamed his volatile stars, Bette Davis and Joan Crawford.  Diva envy ensued and Miss Crawford, feigning illness, dropped out of the "Hush" project.  Olivia de Havilland was summoned to fill Joan's sizable pumps in the southern-set, psychological thriller.  Agnes Moorehead swiped acting honors from the stars by scoring an Oscar nomination and a Golden Globe.  Patti Page had a sizeable hit with the title song.  (1964) 133 Min.

JULY 22-THE AFRICAN QUEEN (Paramount) Katharine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart make a sterling pair of misfits in John Huston's rousing, WWI adventure.  The odd couple takes on the elements (rapids and leeches), as they travel downriver through perilous jungles (filmed in Ghana and Republic of Congo) to battle the Germans.  Bogart got his single career Oscar for this role and was one of the few members of the cast and crew who did not get violently ill.  He drank only the whiskey he brought along, never the water. (1951) 105 Min.

JULY 29-A FOREIGN AFFAIR (Universal) A bombed-out, postwar Berlin is the unlikely setting for Billy Wilder's romantic comedy.  The delightful Jean Arthur stars as an uptight Congresswoman on a fact-finding mission in Germany who stumbles onto love amidst the ruins.  Marlene Dietrich livens things up considerably as a sultry cabaret performer with a husky voice, songs of the black market in her repertoire and a Nazi in her past. The timely exterior filming was done mostly in the Soviet occupied zone of the divided city.  (1948) 116 Min.

AUGUST 5-NORMA RAE (Fox) Years before she was Mrs. Lincoln, Sally Field rocked the rafters as Norma Rae.  The character was based on a real-life heroine, a lowly, minimum-wage textile worker who took on the bosses at her North Carolina factory.  Ron Leibman plays the union organizer, a Yankee from New York, who inspires her.  Beau Bridges is her good-ole-boy husband.  The former Flying Nun and Gidget rocked the rafters again when she picked up her first Best Actress Oscar. (1979) 110 Min. Panavision

AUGUST 12-THE WOMEN (Warner Bros.) There's not a man in sight in this adaptation of Clare Boothe Luce's play.  Even the pets are female! Poor society wife Norma Shearer discovers lately what her catty friends already know.  Her hubby is fooling around with cheap hussy Joan Crawford.  L'amour, toujours l'amour.  Although he is not credited, it is rumored that F. Scott Fitzgerald had a hand in the witty script. The all-star cast sparkles and there is even a Technicolor segment featuring a fab fashion show with gowns by Adrian. (1939) 133 Min.

AUGUST 19-E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL (Universal) After his parent's divorce (according to Wikipedia), little Steven Spielberg invented an imaginary friend.  Later in the director's life, that friend became E.T.  Can the cute/ugly visitor from another planet ever find his way home?  Henry Thomas and Drew Barrymore are the earth kiddies bent on helping him.  The sci-fi fantasy was a box-office bonanza topping "Star Wars" as the highest-grossing film of all time.  That was an honor it maintained for 10 years, until Mr. Spielberg made "Jurassic Park." (1982) 115 Min. Panavision


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