Arsenic and Old Films: Fargo Theatre Announces Classic Film Series

The oldies, but goodies, are back at the Fargo Theatre. On Monday afternoon, the Fargo Theatre announced the films that will be featured in their 2017 Classic Film Series.

The series runs from May through September, with five films being featured once a month at 7:30 p.m. at the Fargo Theatre. Tickets are only $5 a piece.

“The Room”
April 28

Although not officially a part of the Classic Film Series this year, the Fargo Theatre will open with the cult classic, “The Room” (2003).

Hailed as probably the worst film ever, Tommy Wiseau’s 2003 movie follows Johnny (Wiseau), a successful man who lives happily with his fiancée, Lisa (Juliette Danielle). One day, Lisa decides to try and seduce Johnny’s best friend, Mark (Greg Sestero).

Throw in a few oddities, including the neighbor Denny, and some choice one-liners (“You’re tearing me apart, Lisa!”), and it’s no wonder why “The Room” transformed into a weird, but enjoyable, classic film.

Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant star in the romantic film ‘Roman Holiday,’ which involves escaped princesses and heartthrob journalists.

“Roman Holiday”
May 11

Starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck, the Fargo Theatre’s second classic film has earned its spot in classic film for its lead actors alone.

The story follows Hepburn’s character, Princess Ann. While on official business to Italy, Ann becomes bored with the routine and drudgery of royal life. One night, Ann sneaks out of her palace, but immediately is thrown off by the bustling Rome streets.

Joe Bradley (Peck), a journalist, assists Ann without the knowledge of her being a princess. The two fall in love, while Ann decides whether she will return to her easy life or become just like everyone else.

“Roman Holiday” is a brilliant love story that has withstood the years. A little comedy and a little love have made this a timeless classic.

“Arsenic and Old Lace”
June 8

This 1944 comedic classic, starring Cary Grant and Priscilla Lane, was originally adapted from the play of the same name.

The plot follows Mortimer Brewster (Grant), a descendent of Mayflower immigrants, and his family. When Brewster marries Elaine Harper (Lane), he decides to visit his family, consisting of his aunts Abby and Martha and his brothers Teddy and Jonathan, in their old home to tell them of the news.

The cooky family has a very unusual secret: they’re all murderers. Brewster tries to take control of the situation as his wedding date approaches, trying to commit his brother Teddy, get his brother Jonathan arrested and assure the cops that the bodies in his basement are completely normal.

While the topic is grotesque, the original play and the movie adaptation remains a popular comedy.

Alfred Hitchcock’s psychological thriller comes to the Fargo Theatre on July 13. As John “Scottie” Ferguson (James Stewart) digs further into the past of Madeline, he discovers more secrets and mysteries.

Alfred Hitchcock’s “Vertigo”
July 13

For the past three years, the Fargo Theatre has been showing at least one Alfred Hitchcock film. This year is no different.

“Vertigo” is the story of retired policeman John “Scottie” Ferguson (James Stewart). Despite his retirement, Scottie’s friend Gavin Elster (Tom Helmore) asks him to follow his wife, Madeline (Kim Novak), who he fears is in danger.

After following Madeline on a strange route that includes going to florist, the Mission San Francisco de Asís, the grave of Carlotta Valdes and the Legion of Honor art museum, Scottie believes that Madeline is being possessed by the ghost of Valdes, a woman who committed suicide after her lover left her.

In true Hitchcock fashion, this odd beginning is just that: the beginning. As Scottie plunges deeper into the past of Valdes and Madeline, he discovers more that will ultimately lead him to a tragic end.

‘Casablanca’ is the timeless love story of Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, two lovers that, by circumstance and some political woes, can’t be together.

August 10

When speaking of classic films, “Casablanca” usually comes up.

Starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, “Casablanca” follows bitter club owner and expatriate Rick Blaine (Bogart). Blaine’s club is the meeting place for everyone from German officials to desperate refugees. Then, one day, Blaine’s ex-lover Ilsa Lund (Bergman) walks into the club, giving rise to the feelings Bogart had buried inside.

However, Lund and Blaine’s relationship gets complicated as Lund’s husband, the Czech Resistance leader Victor Laszlo (Paul Henreid) is being chased by German Major Strasser (Conrad Veidt). As Laszlo continues to try to escape from the police and the German major, he manipulates the love between Lund and Blaine to his own end.

It all comes down to a dramatic and heartbreaking end, but one that will be remembered “maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon and for the rest of your life.”

“Guys and Dolls”
September 14

The gambler musical extravaganza closes out the Classic Film Series on Sept. 14. Like “Arsenic and Old Lace,” “Guys and Dolls” was adapted from the Broadway musical of the same title. But trust me, this is a must-see.

Nathan Detroit (Frank Sinatra) is taking a beating. The police are closing in on his illegal crap games and his fiancée, the beautiful Miss Adelaide (Vivian Blaine) is giving him an ultimatum on their relationship. Enter Sky Masterson (Marlon Brando), a risky gambler. Detroit convinces Masterson to take the bet of his life, $1,000 if he can take Sergeant Sarah Brown (Jean Simmons) to dinner in Havana, Cuba. Seems simple, until you find out that Brown is a sister for the Save a Soul Mission that opposes gambling.

Masterson convinces Brown to go to dinner with him if he brings 12 sinners to the Mission. Desperate for more participation, Brown begrudgingly agrees. Meanwhile, Detroit is getting into deeper trouble with his fiancée, the police and Chicago mobster Big Jule.

Comedy comes from all angles in this film that infuses the charm of old-time crime with catchy musical numbers. “Guys and Dolls” is the perfect film to finish an already impressive set of classic films.

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