From Ben-Hur to Brown v. Board of Ed, This Week’s Free Flicks Include…
Can’t get enough of the horses at Pimlico on this Preakness weekend?
Horse races don’t get much more epic than the chariot race from the MGM classic “Ben-Hur,” but did you know that Technicolor spectacle was a remake?
The original, silent edition of “Ben-Hur” from 1925 was one of the biggest budget motion pictures of its day. It’s getting a rare big-screen showing this weekend for free at the Smithsonian’s American Art Museum.
It’s part of a week’s worth of free movies that also includes films tied to the 60th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education decision, as well as the 46th anniversary of the Catonsville Nine Vietnam War protest on May 17th, 1968.
Also, a Paul Newman retrospective at DC’s National Theatre ends this week, new outdoor movie festivals begin in Woodbridge and Ellicott City, and you have three opportunities to take your kids to see Disney’s “Frozen” for free. Again.
There’s even a movie this week that comes with a free tea tasting.
Here’s the full list of free movies for the week beginning Saturday, May 17th:
- 10:30am: A Peter Sellers double feature at Baltimore’s Central Library: “Only Two Can Play” (1962) and “The Party” (1968). 400 Cathedral St., Baltimore, Md.
- 11am: “Winnie the Pooh” (2011). The silly old bear and his Hundred-Acre Wood friends search for a new tail for Eeyore. A family matinee at Alexandria’s Burke Library, 4701 Seminary Rd., Alexandria, Va.
- 1:30pm: “Captain Phillips” (2013). The true story of piracy aboard the Maersk Alabama. Playing at Southeast Anchor Library, 3601 Eastern Ave., Baltimore, Md.
- 2pm: “Finding Nemo” (2003). A nervous clown fish goes way out of his comfort zone to find his missing son. A family matinee at West Library, 1325 Annapolis Rd., Odenton, Md.
- 2pm: A collection of Polish shorts from the 1970s, as well as amateur Polish films from this century, will screen as part of the series “Artists, Amateurs, Alternative Spaces: Experimental Cinema in Eastern Europe, 1960–1990” at the National Gallery of Art’s East Building Auditorium, 4th St. and Constitution Ave., NW, Washington, D.C.
- 7pm: Cylon Happy Hour at the Black Cat. This week’s episode of “Battlestar Galactica:” “Home (Part 2),” from season 2. 1811 14th St., NW, Washington, D.C.
- 7pm: “Frozen” (2013). An awkward princess tries to rescue her village from an eternal winter unleashed by her cursed husband. You know the story; your kids won’t stop singing about it. They can sing along again at Cinema Del Ray at the Mount Vernon RECenter, 2017 Belle View Blvd., Alexandria, Va.
- 7:30pm: “Pan’s Labyrinth” (2006). The fantastical imaginary world of a Fascist army officer’s stepdaughter. Playing at the Library of Congress Packard Theater, 19053 Mount Pony Rd., Culpeper, Va.
- 8:30pm: “Annie Hall” (1977). A neurotic comedian falls in love with the ditzy title character. Playing at American City Diner, 5532 Connecticut Ave., NW, Washington, D.C.
- 1pm: “Hit and Stay” (2012). A documentary about the Catonsville Nine, Catholic activists who napalmed their draft cards to protest the Vietnam War, and inspired a number of demonstrations against draft boards across the country. Playing at Stony Run Friends Meeting Hall, 5116 N. Charles St., Baltimore, Md.
- 1pm: “Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ” (1925). The original, silent adaptation of Lew Wallace’s novel about a Jewish prince sold into Roman slavery. Playing at the McEvoy Auditorium between the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery and American Art Museum, 8th and F Sts., NW, Washington, D.C.
- 1pm: “Rikyu” (1989). A film about Japan’s legendary ancient tea maker. The film is preceded by a tasting of the same tea made in the film at the Freer Gallery’s Meyer Auditorium, 1050 Independence Ave., SE, Washington, D.C.
- 4pm: “Separate but Equal” (1991). Starring Sidney Poitier as Thurgood Marshall arguing Brown v. Board of Education before the Supreme Court. Director George Stevens, Jr., will introduce the screening at AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center, 8633 Colesville Rd., Silver Spring, Md.
- 4pm: “Pharoah (1966). An Academy Award-nominated tale of ancient Egypt. Part of the series “Martin Scorsese Presents: Masterpieces of Polish Cinema” at the National Gallery of Art’s East Building Auditorium, 4th St. and Constitution Ave., NW, Washington, D.C.
- 7pm: A Disney/Pixar automotive double feature: “Cars” (2006) and “Planes” (2013). The first films of Summer Movie Nights at Stonebridge, 14900 Potomac Town Pl., Woodbridge, Va.
- 6:30pm: “Drill, Spill, Repeat?” (2014). A documentary marking the 4th anniversary of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. A joint screening by the Sierra Club and Oceana at Arlington’s Central Library, 1015 N. Quincy St.
- 8pm: “Fletch” (1985). Chevy Chase plays a master of disguise reporter who digs deeper into the background of a cancer patient who offers him $50,000 to kill him. Part of a month of Chevy Chase flicks at Tallula EatBar, 2761 Washington Blvd., Arlington, Va.
- 8:30pm: “The Getaway” (1972). Steve McQueen plays an ex-con who goes on the lam with his wife after a botched heist. Playing at American City Diner, 5532 Connecticut Ave., NW, Washington, D.C.
- 2pm: Marvelous Movie Monday at D.C.’s Chevy Chase Library, 5625 Connecticut Ave., NW. Film repeats at 6:30pm. Call (202) 282-0021 for details.
- 5pm: “Hanna” (2011) The story of a young girl trained to be the perfect assassin. Playing at Baltimore’s Pennsylvania Avenue Library, 1531 W. North Ave.
- 5pm: “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” (2013). Just when she thought she was safe from childhood duels to the death, Katniss Everdeen finds herself forced into battle with past winners of Panem’s cruel blood sport. Playing at Herring Run Library, 3801 Erdman Ave., Baltimore, Md.
- 6pm: “The Verdict” (1982). An ambulance-chasing attorney takes on a case that’s about more than just money. The final movie in the “Cool Hand Paul” series at the National Theatre’s Helen Hayes Gallery, 1321 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, D.C.
- 6pm: “Jurassic Park” (1993). A wealthy developer’s plan to build a theme park around dinosaurs cloned from ancient DNA goes just a bit awry. A fantasy flick at Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial Library, 901 G St., NW, Washington, DC.
- 8pm: “Dead End Drive-In” (1986). Drive-in diners are turned into concentration camps for juvenile delinquents! Hosted by the Washington Psychotronic Film Society at McFadden’s, 2401 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, D.C.
- 8:30pm: “The Longest Yard” (1974). An imprisoned former quarterback is forced to put together a team of inmates to take on the guards on the prison gridiron. Playing at American City Diner, 5532 Connecticut Ave., NW, Washington, D.C.
- 1:30pm: “Beijing Flickers” (2012). A man who’s lost everything searches for meaning in an aimless city. Part of the Global Lens film series at Palisades Library, 4901 V St., NW, Washington, D.C.
- 5pm: “Frozen” (2013). Screening again this week at Reisterstown Road Library, 6310 Reisterstown Rd., Baltimore, Md.
- 6pm: A Pop Movie at Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial Library, 901 G St., NW, Washington, DC. Call (202) 727-0321 for details.
- 6pm: “Thor: The Dark World” (2013). The God of Thunder’s earthling love is possessed by Dark Elves: ancient aliens bent on replacing the universe with one of their own. Playing at Shirlington Library, 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington, Va.
- 6:30pm: “Solomon Northrup’s Odyssey” (1984). The story made famous in the Oscar-winning film “12 Years a Slave,” this TV movie stars Avery Brooks and was shown as part of PBS’s “American Playhouse” series. Now it plays in a new 16mm print at the National Archives’ William G. McGowan Theater, 700 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, D.C.
- 7pm: “Paat” (2013). It’s a dog’s life in Tehran. Playing at Bloombars, 3222 11th St., NW, Washington, D.C. A $10 donation is suggested. RSVP here.
- 7pm: “Oral Histories from the Gold Coast and the Upper 16th Street Communities” (2013). A short documentary on D.C.’s elite African-American enclave. Producer Marvin Jones will attend the screening at D.C.’s Chevy Chase Library, 5625 Connecticut Ave., NW.
- 7pm: “The New Black” (2013). A documentary on how the African-American community is handling the gay rights movement. Playing at the Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital, 921 Pennsylvania Ave., SE, Washington, D.C.
- 8:30pm: “Sea of Love” (1989). Al Pacino plays a detective who falls for a woman who may be behind the murders he’s investigating. Playing at American City Diner, 5532 Connecticut Ave., NW, Washington, D.C.
- 2:30pm: “Frozen” (2013). A midweek middle school screening at Westover Library, 1644 N. McKinley Rd., Ste. 3, Arlington, Va.
- 4pm: “Warm Bodies” (2014). A love story between a teen girl and a zombie. Playing at Northwood Library, 4420 Loch Raven Blvd., Baltimore, Md.
- 5pm: “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” (2007). The boy wizard discovers an underground movement battling the Dark Lord Voldemort. Book to Movie Teen Book Club at Lamond-Riggs Library, 5401 South Dakota Ave., NE, Washington, D.C.
- 7pm: “The Jilting of Granny Weatherall” (1980). An elderly woman tries to get her affairs in order before she dies. A screening for Older Americans Month at West End Library, 1101 24th St., NW, Washington, D.C.
- 8:30pm: “Rain Man” (1988). A cocky yuppie takes his autistic older brother on a road trip after their father dies, leaving the older brother with most of the estate. Playing at American City Diner, 5532 Connecticut Ave., NW, Washington, D.C.
- 3pm: “His Girl Friday” (1940). Cary Grant stars as a man who tries to keep his ex-wife from remarrying in this screwball comedy from Hollywood’s Golden Age at Columbia Pike Library, 816 S. Walter Reed Dr., Arlington, Va.
- 5:30pm: “Ride Along” (2014) A fast-talking high school security guard wants to get married. First he has to get past his girlfriend’s cop brother. Playing at Orleans Street Library, 1303 Orleans St., Baltimore, Md.
- 6:30pm: “Mame” (1974). Lucille Ball stars as a wealthy eccentric whose life is upended when she becomes the guardian of her late brother’s only son. A Roaring 20s movie at Beatley Central Library, 5005 Duke St., Alexandria, Va.
- 7pm: “Oral Histories from the Gold Coast and the Upper 16th Street Communities” (2013). The short documentary screens again at Takoma Park Library, 416 Cedar St., NW, Washington, D.C.
- 7:30pm: “The Crowd Roars” (1932). Starring James Cagney as a champion racecar driver who tries to steer his younger brother away from his dangerous lifestyle. Playing at the Library of Congress Packard Theater, 19053 Mount Pony Rd., Culpeper, Va.
- 8pm: “Jellyfish Eyes (Mememe No Kurage)” (2013). Live action mixes with animation in this wild take on childhood fears. Director Takashi Murakami will introduce and answer questions about this, his first feature film, at the Hirshhorn Museum’s Ring Auditorium, 700 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, D.C.
- 8:30pm: “An Officer and a Gentleman” (1982). A hotshot Navy flier must complete his training with the help of a no-nonsense gunnery sergeant and a beautiful girlfriend. Playing at American City Diner, 5532 Connecticut Ave., NW, Washington, D.C.
- 10am: “The Princess and the Frog” (2009). A young woman in jazz age New Orleans has some big dreams that are put on hold when she kisses a frog, who turns out to be a carefree prince. A family movie morning at Deale Library, 5940 Deale-Churchton Rd., Deale, Md.
- 12pm: “Jazz: A Film by Ken Burns” Episode 3, “Our Language,” looks at the music’s rise through the Roaring 20s. Part of Jazz at the National Archives, 700 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, D.C.
- 1pm: “Mud” (2012). A couple of brothers agree to help a mysterious man evade bounty hunters on a deserted Mississippi island. Playing at Calvert County’s Southern Library, 13920 HG Trueman Rd., Solomons, Md.
- 2pm: A PBS POV documentary at Beatley Central Library, 5005 Duke St., Alexandria, Va. Call (703) 746-1751 for details
- 3pm: A family matinee at Duncan Library, 2501 Commonwealth Ave., Alexandria, Va. Call (703) 746-1705 for details.
- 4pm: A Friday film at Mount Pleasant Library, 3160 16th St., NW, Washington, DC. Call (202) 671-3121 for details.
- 7pm: “Hot Coffee” (2011). A documentary that explores America’s litigious side. Part of Meaningful Movies Olney at the Buffington Building Community Room, 3300 Olney Sandy Spring Rd., Olney, Md.
- 7pm: Dr. Who Happy Hour at the Black Cat. This week’s episode: “The Rings of Akhaten,” from the 7th series. 1811 14th St., NW, Washington, D.C.
- 7pm: “The Little Rascals” (1994). The full-length, full-color remake of those popular “Our Gang” shorts from the Depression era. Part of the Films in the Park series at Mosaic, 2910 District Ave., Fairfax, Va.
- 7:30pm: “National Treasure: Book of Secrets” (2007). Nicolas Cage’s adventurer follows clues in John Wilkes Booth’s diary to prove his ancestor’s innocence in the Lincoln assassination. Part of the Golden Cinema Series at Farragut Square in downtown Washington, D.C.
- 8:30pm: “Strangers on a Train” (1951). A psychotic socialite makes a chilling proposal to a tennis pro he just met. Playing at American City Diner, 5532 Connecticut Ave., NW, Washington, D.C.
- 9pm: “From Russia with Love” (1963). James Bond follows a beautiful woman into an assassination plot, so he can retreive a stolen Soviet spying device. Part of the Summer Movie Kickoff at The Wine Bin, 8390 Main St., Ellicott City, Md.