In September, Friday Night Flicks, the Belfast Free Library’s free film series, will take a look at four of the greatest classics of world cinema. All the films will be presented, without charge, Fridays at 7 p.m. in the Abbott Room of the library, 106 High Street.

The series begins on Sept. 9 with Jean Renoir’s “Grand Illusion.” Set in a German prisoner of war camp during the first world war, “Grand Illusion” takes a look at the realities of war, class and nationality, all within a great adventure story. Jean Gabin, perhaps France’s greatest movie star, and Erich Von Stroheim star in a film often listed as among the greatest ever made.

On Sept. 16, the feature will be “M,” the first film ever made about a serial killer and is, in many ways, the very first film noir. Peter Lorre became an international star after his performance as the killer in a film that presaged the coming of a new order in Germany, in which one could no longer tell the criminals and the authorities apart.

Just four years after its release, Sight and Sound Magazine proclaimed “The Bicycle Thief” the greatest movie of all time. Shot on the streets of Rome, this tale of a man and his search for a lost bicycle has remained a favorite of audiences world wide. “The Bicycle Thief” will be shown on Sept. 20.

A crime is committed; what really happened? In “Rashomon,” showing on Sept. 30, we see how the event is seen by each of the four main characters. This enormously influential film introduced the world to Japanese cinema; to Akira Kurosawa, its greatest director; and to Toshiro Mifune, its biggest star.

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by email to