Bryant Park Movies: Timeless Classic Films Perfect for a Night Out

Wednesday, September 14 by sameerah blue

Enjoy a summer night in the city with these Bryant Park movies. The Bryant Park Summer Film Festival is held every summer at New York’s Bryant Park. It’s a community event that brings people together through the shared love of film. From June 20th to August 22nd, people from all over the city converge on Bryant Park to watch classic films and contemporary masterpieces outside in the grass.

“One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” (1975)-This Bryant Park movie is a brilliant adaptation of Ken Kasey’s 1968 novel of the same name. It’s a battle of wills between an anti-authoritarian named Randle Patrick Murphy–played brilliantly by a young Jack Nicholson–and the steely and cruel Nurse Ratched. Louise Fletcher is so awesome at playing the cruel, domineering nurse that even people who have never seen the film know what you mean if you call someone “Nurse Ratched.”

“The 39 Steps” (1935)-This Bryant Park movie is an early Hitchcock thriller that is a must see for fans on the master of suspense. A well meaning stranger in London finds himself accused of murder when the counterespionage agent he tried to help turns up dead. Now he’s on the run to prove his innocence and stop a dangerous spy ring.

“Easy Rider” (1969)- Starring Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper and Jack Nicholson, this Bryant Park movie is one of the most memorable movies of the 60s. It follows a pair of bikers on a ride from L.A. to New Orleans in search of the real America and their own version on the American dream.

“Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” (1953)-Best friends and singers Lorelei and Dorthy head to Paris to seek their fortunes only to be followed by a private detective hired by Lorelei’s boyfriend to keep the girls out of trouble. Being able to see Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell in their prime is what makes this Bryant Park move awesome.

“In the Heat of the Night” (1967)-Racism and murder are the name of the game in this Bryant Park movie. Virgil Tibbs–played by Sidney Poitier–is a detective who has been assigned to solve a murder in a tiny racist Southern town. If you were a fan on the 80s TV show that was spawned by this movie, seeing the film that started it all will be treat.

“The Lady Eve” (1941)-If you are a fan of romantic comedies, you will revel in seeing one of the first movies to use the romantic formulas that have become a staple in the genre. One his way home from abroad Charles meets the charming Jean on a ship. The pair quickly fall for one another, but a misunderstanding sends them on their separate ways. To extract her revenge on Charles, Jean reinvents herself as “The Lady Eve” bound and determined to tease Charles into distraction while hilarity ensues in this Bryant Park movie.

“Cool Hand Luke” (1967)-Paul Newman is the personification of bad ass in the Bryant Park movie. Newman plays Luke, a ruffneck arrested for vandalism who refuses to conform to the rules set by the work farm he’s sentenced to. It also has one of the hottest car wash scenes ever put on film.

Airplane” (1980)-Witness the slapstick genius of Leslie Neilson, Lloyd Bridges and Peter Graves in this Bryant Park movie. Perhaps one of the funniest films to come out the 80s, hilarity and hijinks ensue when a pilot with a drinking problem has to save the plane from certain doom when the crew gets sick.

“High Sierra” (1941)-There is no happy ending in this Bryant Park movie. After getting out of jail, Roy “Mad Dog” Earle gets talked into a robbery by his former gang. What starts out as a simple robbery goes horribly wrong when a man is killed. Now Roy has to head for the hills to avoid the cops.

- Sameerah Blue

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