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Step back in time to see what area movie theaters were presenting in October 1981. Film titles are linked to the Internet Movie Database.
The Detroit Film Theatre visited Australia on October 16 with the 1978 film The Getting of Wisdom, directed by Bruce Beresford, also responsible for the recent 1980 hit Breaker Morant. Other prominent DFT films were the 1946 World War II documentary Let There Be Light (directed by John Huston); the latest from acclaimed Swedish director Ingmar Bergman, From the Life of the Marionettes (1980); and the 1976 documentary Edvard Munch, which returned to the DFT in November 2005.
Alfred Hitchcock continued his Sunday night series at the DFT with Blackmail (1929), Murder! (1930), Rich and Strange (1931) and The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934). The Afternoon Film Theatre of the Detroit Institute of Arts finished its film noir series with Kiss Me Deadly (1955), and began a tribute to French director René Clair with The Phantom of the Moulin Rouge (1925), The Imaginary Voyage (1926) and Under the Roofs of Paris (1930).
Long before the Screening Room added flexibility to the Michigan's film programming, the theater took a break from movies for the October 21-24, 1981 presentation of the play Harvey, by the Ann Arbor Civic Theatre. In an Ann Arbor News article, play director Ted Heusel said he remembered seeing Ethel Barrymore at the Michigan in 1938 in The Corn is Green.
On the Michigan big screen, highlights included a double feature of the cult classics Harold and Maude and King of Hearts. Also showing was a Marx Brothers twin bill of A Day at the Races and A Night at the Opera, which appeared again at the Michigan in the Summer Classic Film Series of 2005 and 2006. On the serious side, organist Dennis James accompanied a screening of the controversial classic The Birth of a Nation.
The Classic Film Theatre, which screened many of the Michigan films, started another film program in September 1981 at the Punch & Judy Theater in Grosse Pointe Farms, showing "a veritable garden of delights for people who take their movies seriously," wrote Detroit News film columnist Susan Stark on October 30, 1981. The CFT's November/December schedule included The Story of Adele H. (1975), The Grapes of Wrath (1940) and The Black Stallion (1979).
On October 2 and 3, the Redford presented "The Genuine Original" Tarzan the Ape Man (1932), with Johnny Weismuller and Maureen O'Sullivan. A week later, on October 10, theatre organist Lyn Larsen livened the air with his delightful melodies. Big Band music came to the Redford on October 16 and 17 when James Stewart and June Allyson starred in The Glenn Miller Story (1953). The month ended in dashing style on October 30 and 31 with Captain Blood (1935, Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland).
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Last updated March 22, 2015.
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