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Classic comedies for Friday Night Flix

Jun 29, 2019
John Candy and Steve Martin star in "Planes, Trains and Automobiles” (1987, USA).

BELFAST — July's Friday Night Flix series features films themed "Classic Comedies for Midsummer Nights.” The free screenings take place Fridays at 7 p.m. in the Abbott Room of Belfast Free Library, 106 High St.

Kicking off the month on July 5 is “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” (1987, USA). It’s the day before Thanksgiving in New York City, and all Neal Page wants to do is return home to Chicago in time for Thanksgiving. But the next 24 hours prove to be a nightmare. His plane is diverted, his train breaks down and his rental car catches on fire. As if that weren’t enough, Neal spends the entire trip with an obnoxious boor who just won’t shut up. Steve Martin and John Candy star as this unlikely odd couple who can’t seem to shake each other. The film runs 1 hr. 33 min. and is rated R.

On July 12, it’s “The Freshman” (1990, USA). Marlon Bando in a laugh out loud comedy? Not only that — he steals the show! Brando apes his Godfather character, Don Corleone, as he makes an offer to NYU freshman film school student Matthew Broderick — an offer he can’t refuse. All Broderick has to do is “run a few small errands” for a lot of money. Like they say, “If it sounds too good to be true…” Komodo dragons, the Mob, the FBI, lunatic girlfriends, Brando and even Bert Parks combine to create this one-of-a-kind, clever and campy farce. The film runs 1 hr. 42 min. and is rated PG.

On July 19, it’s the romantic comedy “When Harry Met Sally” (1989, USA). Is it possible for an eligible man and eligible woman to be just friends? Will the “benefits” ruin a great friendship? That’s the question Harry and Sally struggle with at different points in their lives. Like fine wine, some movies only get better with age. Watch this one again, if only for Meg Ryan’s scene at Katz’s Deli, prompting the famous movie quote, “I’ll have what she’s having.” Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan star in, arguably, the best romantic comedy of its generation. The film runs 1 hr. 35 min. and is rated R.

The series concludes on July 26 with “History of the World: Part I” (1981, USA). What would a month of comedy be without a Mel Brooks’ film? Here, Brooks takes us on a tour of the seminal moments of mankind – The Stone Age, The Old Testament, The Roman Empire, The Spanish Inquisition and The French Revolution. It’s history at its most hysterical – and features an all-star cast of Sid Caesar, Madeline Kahn, Dom Deluise, Gregory Hines, Cloris Leachman, Jackie Mason, Bea Arthur and Harvey Korman. And narrated by - who else? Orson Welles. The film runs 1 hr. 32 min. and is rated R.

The Arts & Entertainment deadline is Thursdays at 5 p.m. for events dated on/between the following two Thursdays. Please email press releases/photos to A&E Editor Christine Dunkle at

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