August would have marked the 100th birthday of Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990). This American composer, conductor, pianist, author and educator is one of the greatest figures in 20th century music. Although Bernstein embraced television with his Young People’s Concerts and charismatic lectures (especially during his lengthy tenure at the New York Philharmonic), his involvement in filmmaking represented only a small portion of his accomplishments. However, his contributions to movies were significant, and so we pay tribute to him with this three-film-salute.

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ON THE TOWN
SUNDAY, AUG. 12 • 4:15 & 6:45

The directorial debut for both Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen (they’d later co-direct Singin’ in the Rain), this delightful movie musical was a less joyful experience for Leonard Bernstein, who found some of his music (from the stage version) excised and replaced by studio composer Roger Edens. Still, it was an innovative production, with numbers actually staged on location in New York City. Three sailors—Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Jules Munshin—make the most of their 24-hour shore leave, painting the town red with Vera-Ellen, Betty Garrett and Ann Miller. Writers: Adolph Green, Betty Comden. Directors: Gene Kelly, Stanley Donen. (US 1949) 98 min.

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ON THE WATERFRONT
SUNDAY, AUG. 19 • 4:15 & 6:45

Leonard Bernstein earned an Academy Award nomination for his music for this American classic, the only score he wrote solely for the screen. Marlon Brando stars as longshoreman Terry Malloy, an ex-boxer determined to stand up to his corrupt union boss (Lee J. Cobb), with the help of a priest (Karl Malden) and a murdered worker’s sister (Eva Marie Saint), and against the advice of his brother (Rod Steiger), who is the boss’ right-hand man. Winner of eight Academy Awards. Camera: Boris Kaufman. Writer: Budd Schulberg. Director: Elia Kazan. (US 1954) 108 min.

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WEST SIDE STORY
SUNDAY, AUG. 26 • 4:15
THURSDAY, AUG. 30 • 7:00

Based on the hit Broadway musical (which in turn was inspired by Romeo and Juliet), this Academy Award-winning movie has stood the test of time, even with a few actors who didn’t sing their own roles. Richard Beymer is Tony, co-founder of the New York street gang the Jets, and Natalie Wood is Maria, sister of the leader of the Puerto Rican Sharks. Even with love at first sight, can they bridge the racial divide? Bernstein’s dynamic songs have lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, and the first-rate direction is a collaboration between choreographer Jerome Robbins and Hollywood veteran Robert Wise. With Rita Moreno, George Chakiris, Russ Tamblyn. (US 1961) 153 min. plus intermission.

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