The Hope College Knickerbocker Theatre’s popular One Night Only Series returns with four upbeat films for the summer months.
Films featuring either Debbie Reynolds or Doris Day will run four consecutive Mondays beginning July 9. A mix of comedies and musicals, and musical comedies, the series will open with “Pillow Talk” on July 9 and continue with “The Tender Trap” on July 16, “The Thrill of It All” on July 23 and “Singin’ in the Rain” on July 30.
The first film in the series, the 1959 hit “Pillow Talk,” stars Doris Day and Rock Hudson. Day plays Jan Morrow, a successful interior director who lives on her own but has to share a telephone party line with Brad Allen (Hudson), a Broadway composer who is friendly with a lot of women. The two only meet on the phone and grow to dislike one another over their shared phone line. But when Allen sees Morrow in person, he likes her and takes on a Texan persona so she does not figure out that he is the object of her phone fury. Throw in a mutual friend, Jonathan Forbes (Tony Randall), who happens to be in love with Morrow, and the plot moves fast and funny. The Oscar-winning film, nominated for five Academy Awards and three Golden Globe Award, regularly appears on lists of all-time great comedies.
The series will continue on July 16 with Debbie Reynolds in the 1955 comedy “The Tender Trap.” Reynolds sees Frank Sinatra as the man of her dreams, or, at least, her well-planned life. Reynolds plays Julie Gillis, who wants to retire from singing and become a mother by the time she is 22. Sinatra plays Charlie Reader, a womanizing talent agent who Gillis decides will help her realize her plans. The only problem is that he is not willing to change his lifestyle. Mix in Charlie’s childhood friend questioning his own marriage and Charlie’s on-again, off-again girlfriend who is also looking for a commitment, and soon everyone is running one way or another.
Doris Day will return on July 23 with “The Thrill of It All,” a 1963 comedy with James Garner. Day is Beverly Boyer, a contented suburban housewife married to the successful obstetrician, Gerald Boyer, played by Garner. Their life is turned upside down when Beverly helps promote Happy Soap on television and suddenly turns into a celebrity. Her husband is not happy with her new-found fame and lack of attention to him and the children, so he pretends to take up drinking and other women in an effort to get her to give up this new direction in life.
The series will end on July 30 with one of the all-time greatest films when Debbie Reynolds co-stars with Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor in the 1952 hit “Singin’ in the Rain.” As films move from silent films to “talkies,” Don Lockwood (Kelly) is faced with the fact that his long-time co-star has a voice best not heard. In the meantime, he falls for Kathy Selden (Reynolds) and along with Cosmo Brown (O’Connor) they turn their first talkie into a musical. Filled with great songs and dancing, “Singin’ in the Rain” is a film people return to time and time again.
The Knickerbocker Theatre’s “One Night Series” features one actor or genre, with some of the past highlights being Audrey Hepburn, Cary Grant, Marlon Brando and Westerns.
Tickets for the individual films are $5, with admission free for Hope students, and will be sold at the door. The Knickerbocker Theatre is located in downtown Holland at 86 E. Eighth St., between College and Columbia avenues.