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Alec Guinness Festival at Michigan
(September 1981)

September Looking Back: 1920 1931 1932 1945 1953 1956 1957 1964 1981 1982

Look What's Coming!

Communist Poland and the Ten Commandments are explored in The Decalogue at the DFT starting October 1.
A mysterious writer is documented in Author: The JT LeRoy Story at the Michigan starting September 30.

The Three Stooges Halloween Festival scares up some laughs at the Redford on October 7 and 8.

 

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Looking Back

December 1981

Step back in time to see what area movie theaters were presenting in December 1981. Film titles are linked to the Internet Movie Database.

For more information about these theaters, see Cinema Treasures or Water Winter Wonderland.


The Detroit Film Theatre closed out its fall season on December 18-20 with the 1981 documentary From Mao to Mozart: Isaac Stern in China. Also this month at the DFT was the French language Messidor (1979), the first film by director Alain Tanner since his acclaimed 1976 film Jonah Who Will be 25 in the Year 2000. The DFT also presented the Fifteenth International Tournee of Animation.

Older films at the DFT included Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in Top Hat (1935), and a W. C. Fields double feature of Tillie and Gus (1933) and It's a Gift (1934). The Sunday night tribute to Alfred Hitchcock moved into the 1940s with Rebecca (1940). The Afternoon Film Theatre of the Detroit Institute of Arts paid tribute to Mary Pickford with Little Annie Rooney (1925) and Sparrows (1926).

"As usual, the Classic Film Theatre at the Michigan Theatre has stacked Christmas week with as winning a movie schedule as you're likely to find anywhere," wrote Ann Arbor News Art Editor Rich Quackenbush on December 20, 1981.

Just before Christmas, the Michigan screened a double bill of The Grapes of Wrath (1940) and East of Eden (1955); a twin bill of Gigi (1958) and Meet Me in St. Louis (1944); and the Christmas classic It's a Wonderful Life (1946). Right after Christmas, the Michigan presented Gone With the Wind (1939) and The Wizard of Oz (1939). On New Year's Eve, Humphrey Bogart appeared in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948) and The Maltese Falcon (1941).

The Redford held its annual Christmas show on December 5. Organist Tom Gnaster appeared, along with the Fairlane Ballet Company, which performed excerpts from the Nutcracker Ballet. On the big screen, the Redford closed out 1981 with laughter. On December 11-12, Spencer Tracy and Elizabeth Taylor starred in the 1950 comedy Father of the Bride. Two weeks later (on December 26-27) Rosalind Russell gave an energetic performance as Auntie Mame (1958).

First-run holiday films included Reds (Warren Beatty and Diane Keaton); Absence of Malice (Sally Field and Paul Newman); Sharkey's Machine (Burt Reynolds); Neighbors (John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd); and Buddy Buddy (Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon). Popular movies at the Maple included Gallipoli, Heartland, and The Stunt Man.


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This website is not affiliated with the Detroit Film Theatre, the Michigan Theater, or the Redford Theatre.

Website copyright © 2016 by Robert Hollberg Smith, Jr.

Launched November 25, 2005.

Last updated September 27, 2016.

Graphics courtesy of Christmas Graphics Plus, Free GIFs and Animation, and 123GIFS.

Videos courtesy of YouTube and Turner Classic Movies.