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Temperature today: high of 92 degrees (I’ve stopped looking at the heat index for fear of decapitating myself with a fan as a knee-jerk reaction) and, SCREEN ON THE GREEN officially returns to DC today (consider this an addendum to our FREE OUTDOOR MOVIES guide).

The location, it should be noted, is a little different and more to the west than in the past years (on the National Mall between 8th and 14th Streets NW!) the rules are still the same: show up early for a good picnic spot, movies kick off at dusk (my estimate for that would be around 8:30ish pm today) and the four movies chosen are all classics of their own genre.

See below for the full schedule:

  • July 25 – In the Heat of the Night – aka “the surprise Oscar winner of 1967 for Best Picture over “Bonnie and Clyde” and “The Graduate.”” Rod Steiger plays a bigoted Mississippi sheriff who is reluctant to accept help from a black, big city detective Sidney Poitier. Due to racial unrest in the South, filming necessarily took place in Illinois.
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQTvwkmwseU
  • August 1 – One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – Jack Nicholson (in arguably his finest form ever) leads a patient revolt at a mental facility. He urges the inmates to rebel against the nasty Nurse Ratched (Louise Fletcher, in a role that caused me numerous nightmares growing up) to heartbreaking and exhilarating results. Based on the best-selling Ken Kesey novel, it has been directed with force, humanity and a sly smile by Milos Forman. For further motivation, how is this for pedigree: It is the second film to score an Oscar Grand Slam, winning the five top prizes. The American Film Institute ranked “Cuckoo” as #33 Greatest Movie of All Time.
  • August 8 – Gentlemen Prefer Blondes – They may be just “two little girls from Little Rock,” but the blonde/brunette bombshell duo of Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell are on the trail of bigger stones, and features the classic “diamonds are a girl’s best friend.” sequence than inspired every drag queen AND Madonna.  Two gold digging showgirls head for Paris in this brightly colored musical comedy based on the Anita Loos story and a Broadway hit starring Carol Channing.
  • August 15 – Cool Hand Luke – “What we’ve got here is…failure to communicate.” So says a sadistic guard (Strother Martin) to Luke (Paul Newman) who is serving time on a Dixie chain gang. Luke has trouble with authority figures and will find countless ways to rebel against the system during his incarceration. Newman received his fourth Oscar nomination, but it was supporting actor George Kennedy, as a fellow inmate, who took home an acting prize.


and see you at the picnic spot