The El Paso Community Foundation’s Plaza Classic Film Festival will step back in time with two summer blockbusters that reflect fondly on more innocent times.
The Plaza Classic, which returns to downtown El Paso for its eighth year Aug. 6-16, will celebrate the 30th anniversary of Robert Zemeckis’ sci-fi comedy “Back to the Future,” which stars Michael J. Fox as a teenager who travels from 1985 to 1955 in a souped-up DeLorean (remember those?) to save eccentric inventor Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd).
PCFF also will show George Lucas’ 1973 comedy-drama “American Graffiti,” which chronicles a night in the lives of some recent high school graduates in Modesto, CA, in the early ‘60s. Its cast includes future superstars Ron Howard, Richard Dreyfuss, Cindy Williams and Harrison Ford.
They are among 10 Plaza Classic announced today. Also scheduled:
• “In the Heat of the Night” (1967) — Norman Jewison’s racially tense Southern murder mystery and five-time Oscar winner starring Sidney Poitier and Rod Steiger.
• “The Best Years of Our Lives” (1946) — William Wyler’s stirring drama about three soldiers’ struggles to adjust to civilian life won seven Academy Awards.
• “Midnight Cowboy” (1969) — The controversial Best Picture winner stars Jon Voight as a male prostitute and Dustin Hoffman as a con man who meet up on the streets of New York City.
• “Enter the Dragon” (1973) — Bruce Lee’s last movie is considered one of the best martial arts films ever made.
• “Rope” (1948) — James Stewart stars in this Alfred Hitchcock film noir about a pair of friends who try to get away with the “perfect murder.”
• “Red River” (1948) — John Wayne showed off his acting chops in this Howard Hawks Western about a rancher who feuds with his adopted son (Montgomery Clift) on the Chisholm Trail.
• “The Stranger” (1946) — We honor Orson Welles’ centenary with this film noir he directed and starred in as a Nazi fugitive hiding in New England.
• “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” (2002) — The boy wizard takes on a giant snake in the second installment of the series based on J.K. Rowling’s wildly popular books.
Previously announced titles include “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” “Help!,” ‘The King and I,” “Yankee Doodle Dandy,” “Shall We Dance,” “The Mark of Zorro” (1920 silent), “Hondo,” “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” “The Bicycle Thief,” “Y Tu Mama Tambien,” “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” “Ladies & Gentlemen, the Rolling Stones” and the Talking Heads’ “Stop Making Sense.”
Tickets go on sale in early July. Festival passes are $200 and include admission to all ticketed events, an express lane and more. Film Club passes, for teenagers 14 to 18, are $100. They are available at 915-533-4020 and plazaclassic.com.