Saranac Lake Cabin Fever Classic Film March 5

SARANAC LAKE – The Saranac Lake Cabin Fever Classic Film Festival will return at 7 p.m. March 5 in its 13th year.

At 7 p.m., The Downhill Grill, 74 Main St. in Saranac Lake, will host the movie.

Sponsored by the Saranac Lake Arts Committee and the Arts Council for the Northern Adirondacks, the Cabin Fever Classic Film Festival showcases classic American comedies and dramas made between 1930 and 1980, accompanied by cartoons and comedy shorts from the same era.

This year’s festival honors the memory of Charlie Alexander, a founder of the festival. Alexander was an endless reel of movie knowledge and an evangelist of movie magic.

While the other volunteers – Tim Fortune, Bruce Young, Chris Brescia, Danny Ryan and Jason Brill – bring their peculiar expertises to this endeavor, it is Alexander’s spirit that has set this festival apart.

This season will be the host to “Charlie’s Favorites,” films that he cherished and introduced to many, many others.

The series kicks off on March 5 with “Some Like it Hot”, Billy Wilder’s 1959 madcap comedy about two Chicago musicians (Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon), who witness the St. Valentine’s Day massacre and decide they need to get out of town ASAP; with the help of thorough wardrobe change, they finagle a gig out with an all-girl band headed to Florida, fronted by the singer Sugar Kane Kowalczyk (Marilyn Monroe). While the boys are busy dodging mobsters, acting like ladies and pursuing Sugar Kane, she’s drawn the attention of a dim-witted millionaire played by Joe E. Ross. As one might expect from a film directed by a guy named Wilder, everything comes to a hilarious crescendo beneath the swaying palms of south Florida. Accompanying this will be the Looney Toons short “Ready, Set, Zoom!”

March 12 will bring “Born Yesterday”, Judy Holliday’s Oscar-winning reprise of the Broadway comedy. She plays Billie Dawn, the unhappy girlfriend of a loud-mouth junkyard tycoon Harry Brock (Broderick Crawford), who’s in Washington D.C. to buy himself a congressman or two. In an attempt to make Billie more presentable, he enlists the help of newspaper reporter Paul Verrall (William Holden) to help her learn the ropes of diplomatic society. Romance ensues, and soon Billie’s seeing Harry for the schnook that he is and falling hard for Paul. George Cukor directed this 1950 gem. Preceding this will be Bugs Bunny singing “My Bunny Lies Over the Sea.”

On March 19, W.C. Fields and Mae West arrive in “My Little Chickadee”, the 1940 masterpiece of Fieldian comic surrealism. Flower Belle Lee (West) is run out of Little Bend, and on the train she meets con man Cuthbert J. Twillie (Fields). To establish her respectability, she “marries” him, and the two arrive in up-and-coming Greasewood City, where he becomes the sheriff, she becomes the school m’arm and the West is never quite the same again! Joining our adventurous cut-throat lovebirds will be the Looney Tunes short “You Ought to Be in Pictures.”

Wrapping things up on March 26 will be “Arsenic and Old Lace,” Frank Capra’s funny 1944 farce where die-hard bachelor Mortimer Brewster (Cary Grant), finally succumbs to marriage. Custom obliges him to introduce his bride (Priscilla Lane) to his two maiden aunts, where he learns to his horror (and to our side-splitting delight) that the gals have a basement full of late old men that they’ve merrily poisoned. While sorting this mess out, Mortimer’s evil brother (Raymond Massey) arrives with another nefarious scheme and Teddy Roosevelt repeatedly charges up San Juan Hill. Movies come no funnier! The warm-up short will be “Hollywood Steps Out,” a Looney Tune ode to Tinsel Town.

This year’s sponsors include Belleville and Associates, Delphine and Duncan Winter, Dick and Cheryl Maid, Fran Yardley and Burdette Parks, Lynn and David Johnson, Maddens Garage, Newman and Holmes, Richard Hanpeter, Shamim Allen, Stephen DeHond, and Karen Lewis and Beth Glover sponsoring “Born Yesterday.”

There’s no charge for any of the films, but donations will be accepted. While the films begin at 7 p.m., everyone is encouraged to come by early for a great meal and a chance to chat with neighbors.

In addition to our sponsors, we also appreciate the logistical support of Compass Printing Plus of Saranac Lake and the Adirondack Green Circle.

For more information on the Cabin Fever Classic Film Festival, contact that His Royal Emeritus Tim Fortune at 891-1139.