Legendary actress Audrey Hepburn plays a woman who has recently gone blind in the classic film “Wait Until Dark.” Some thugs, looking for heroin that they believe is hidden in her apartment, come in and a frightening night ensues. The movie, released in 1967, is often seen on lists of the scariest or best movies of all time.
“Wait Until Dark” was the classic movie that was shown at Pleasant Grove Library’s Classic Cinema Club in October. The Club is a new addition to the library’s lineup of hundreds of activities that involve community members.
Kelly Kloser, adult services librarian, had the idea to begin the club because of her personal love of classic film and her desire to share this love with others who already know about classics or are just discovering them for the first time.
Kloser, who has a masters’ degree in film with an emphasis on Classic Hollywood, presents a brief introduction to the films before they are shown to the audience each month. When the films conclude, discussions, including audience members’ thoughts and reactions, are welcome.
So, why do some movies become classics, loved for generations? Kloser said that they often have iconic actors, like Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn, who have stood the test of time so much that actors today even try to emulate them. They have quotable lines that have become pop culture references, such as “Here’s looking at you, kid,” from the film “Casablanca.” They often symbolize holidays, as in the case of “Holiday Inn” or “White Christmas.” Music is also a factor.
“When it is raining, you want to sing as with the film, ‘Singing in the Rain,’ ” Kloser said.
During this first year of the club, films with recognizable titles and actors were chosen, to help build an audience. The club kicked off in September with the film “Arsenic and Old Lace.” Kloser said she chose this one for the first film because of its familiar lead actor, Cary Grant, and familiar director, Frank Capra.
“It is based on a play that is popular for community theaters to put on,” she said. “So if someone wanted to try classic films for the first time, they might have heard of one of these three things and take a chance.”
A variety of genres from different decades are included in the lineup of films. Some, such as “Wait Until Dark” coincide with the season. It is a scary movie, perfect for Halloween. “Roman Holiday” will be shown in February, to go along with Valentine’s Day.
“I’m screening ‘Wizard of Oz’ in representation of the 80th anniversary of 1939, which is considered the greatest year in Hollywood history with how many standout films were released that year,” Kloser said.
The Classic Cinema Club is held once each month, with the next one, “Wizard of Oz,” scheduled for Thursday at 6:30 p.m. in the main floor programming room at Pleasant Grove’s library, 30 E. Center. The events are free and no registration is required. An adult must accompany anyone under the age of 12. Moviegoers are welcome to bring treats.
According to Sheri Britsch, library director, almost 23,000 people participated in the many programs that are offered by the library during the last fiscal year.
“We stay busy and we love trying new things,” she said.
For further information about the Classic Cinema Club and its movies, go to www.plgrove.org/library.