Cinemark, Warner Bros. join in reprise of all-time great movies

If it isn’t already, you may want to make Wednesday your official movie night in June and July. Cinemark Theatres, in conjunction with Warner Bros., hosts a Summer Classics series Wednesday from June 6 to July 25, with shows at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

It’s a diverse batch of movies, all worth seeing, or re-seeing. Here’s a schedule:

June 6: The Exorcist (1973): In terms of shock, this highly influential horror favorite, based on William Peter Blatty’s novel, has long since been left in the dust by the ghastliness of contemporary scare films. But the acting, atmosphere and suspense, and the deft direction of William Friedkin, still hold up.

June 13: Citizen Kane (1941): This one’s always mentioned on lists of the greatest movies ever made, and not without reason. Directed, produced and co-written (with Herman Mankiewicz) by Orson Welles, this thinly-veiled, brilliantly-structured fictionalization of the life of William Randolph Hearst can suck you in like a great novel.

June 20: Cool Hand Luke (1967):”What we’ve got here…is failure to communicate.” So, famously, says Strother Martin of his difficulties with Paul Newman, as the intractable title character of this prison yarn. Directed by Stuart Rosenberg, this was one of Newman’s signature vehicles.

June 27: The Searchers (1956): After Stagecoach, this beautiful, complex western, about the search for a girl abducted by the Comanche, is probably the most famous of the collaborations between John Ford and John Wayne. Jeffery Hunter and Natalie Wood also star, and Henry Brandon is memorable as the Comanche Scar.

July 4: That’s Entertainment (1974): This compilation of excerpts from vintage MGM musicals is, indeed, solid entertainment. But you have to wonder—on the Fourth of July, shouldn’t Warner Bros. have shown Yankee Doodle Dandy?

July 11: A Clockwork Orange (1971): Stanley Kubrick’s “ultra-violent” exploration of the limits of free will, based on the futuristic novel by Anthony Burgess, isn’t for kids or the easily sickened. But both the filmmaking and Malcolm McDowell’s performance still pack a punch. Beethoven may never sound the same to you again.

July 18: North By Northwest (1959): One of the most fun of Alfred Hitchcock’s movies, this tongue-in-cheek thriller features Cary Grant as a sophisticated New Yorrk executive mistaken by murderous spies for their target. It’s most famous for the scene in which Grant is strafed by a cropduster, and for the final chase across the face of Mt. Rushmore.

July 25: Cabaret (1972): Bob Fosse re-invented the movie musical with his amazing adaptation of the Kander and Ebb Broadway hit. Liza Minelli and Michael York star, and Joel Grey is unforgettable as the spectral Master of Ceremonies.

The films will be shown locally at Cinemark 16 in Mesa. Go to for details.