“American Graffiti” (1973) at the Cerrito on Thursday, May 19

600See a night in the life of American kids about to embark on adulthood in “American Graffiti,” at the Cerrito on Thursday, May 19, at 7 p.m.

Before George Lucas started making space epics, he made “American Graffiti,” about a group of American high school graduates having a last night out after summer vacation.

Curt (Richard Dreyfuss) and Steve (Ron Howard) are both about to go off to college, but each has reasons to want to stay. Steve and his girlfriend Laurie (Cindy Williams) try to figure out how to continue their relationship while heading in different directions. Curt encounters a beautiful woman (Suzanne Somers) in a T-Bird, and spends the rest of the night trying to find her again while being coerced into some bad behavior by a local gang whom he’s managed to tick off. Steve gives Terry his car for safekeeping while he’s off at college, and Terry uses the fancy wheels to impress a girl (Candy Clark) who’s out of his league (and gets himself in trouble along the way). John (Paul Le Mat), the local hot rod legend, wants to cruise the main but is saddled with looking after twelve-year-old Carol (Mackenzie Phillips) for the night, as Bob Falfa (Harrison Ford) looks for John to challenge him to a race.

“American Graffiti” has a soundtrack full of period hits, and features legendary DJ Wolfman Jack. The movie was nominated for Academy Awards for best picture, best supporting actress (Candy Clark), best director (George Lucas), best original screenplay, and best editing. In 1995 it was named to the National Film Registry as a “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant film.”

“American Graffiti” will play only once at the Cerrito, on Thursday, May 19, at 7:00 p.m. Moviegoers are strongly advised to buy advance tickets at the box office or online, as the movie may sell out. All seats are $9.50. Arriving early is a good idea, in order to choose your seat and order delicious food, wine, and beer.

Upcoming Classics

The Cerrito Classics series is going on hiatus in June and July. It will begin again in August with a fresh set of films.

Note

Rialto Cinemas Cerrito requires proof of vaccination for all attendees age 12 and up. Please read the details of the policy here, on the Rialto web site.

“Cat Ballou” (1965) at the Cerrito on Thursday, April 21, at 7:00

See how the West was fun, with Jane Fonda and Lee Marvin, in “Cat Ballou,” at the Cerrito on Thursday, April 21, at 7 p.m.

Cat (Catherine) Ballou,played by Jane Fonda, is a prim and proper schoolmarm who returns to her home in Wolf City, Wyoming, to learn that her father John Marley is in danger from greedy developers who are after his ranch.

When hired gun Tim Strawn (Lee Marvin) kills Harley, Cat (hilariously) morphs into a gun toting wildcat/sex kitten, set upon vengeance. Her main instrument turns out to be a drunken, washed-up gunslinger called Kid Shelleen (also played by Lee Marvin).

The mood of the movie strikes comedic notes, as we see and hear Nat King Cole and Stubby Kaye, playing minstrels, accompany the story, singing “The Ballad of Cat Ballou.”

It’s a quirky comedy Western, spoofing the Wild West while still retaining some respect for the era.

“Cat Ballou” was nominated for five Oscars, winning one: Lee Marvin for playing both contract killer Jack Strawn and his alcoholic brother Kid Shelleen. (It was the only time in film history that someone has won for playing a dual role.)

Don’t miss the fun!

“Cat Ballou” will play only once at the Cerrito, on Thursday, April 21, at 7:00 p.m. Moviegoers are strongly advised to buy advance tickets at the box office or online, as the movie may sell out. All seats are $9.50. Arriving early is a good idea, in order to choose your seat and also order delicious food and wine or beer.

Upcoming Classics

Cerrito Classics usually play at 7:00 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month. The price is $9.50 for all seats.

Coming soon

  • May 19 at 7:00, American Graffiti

Note

Rialto Cinemas Cerrito requires proof of vaccination for all attendees age 12 and up. Please read the details of the policy here, on the Rialto web site.

Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Conversation”

One week only! Opens March 25!

Rialto Cinemas Cerrito is showing Francis Ford Coppola’s newly-restored “The Conversation” beginning Friday, March 25. This film, released in 1974 (two years after “The Godfather”), was nominated for Academy Awards® for Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Sound. It’s set in San Francisco, and features location shots of The City from that bygone era.

Gene Hackman plays Harry Caul, a professional eavesdropper who, ironically, is protective of his own privacy to the point of paranoia. He’s hired to record a conversation between two people in the middle of busy Union Square. It’s a difficult job, in a public place with lots of ambient noise, but Caul is the best in the business. Using all his expertise, he succeeds in getting a usable recording, but he hears in it something that disturbs him. He finds himself in an ethical dilemma about his work, which ends up endangering several people’s lives and security, including his own.

The Guardian’s review of “The Conversation” calls it “an immaculate thriller, a study in paranoia and loneliness, long in gestation, partly inspired by Antonioni’s Blow-Up, and released as the Watergate scandal was unfolding,” and says “it features one of Gene Hackman’s greatest performances as Harry Caul, a San Francisco surveillance expert, a guilt-ridden, intensely private man devoted to anonymity and ethical neutrality.” Time Out’s review calls it a “devastatingly brilliant film.”

“The Conversation” will play for one week only, starting on Friday, March 25. You can buy tickets at the box office or online. Don’t miss seeing this materpiece on the big screen!