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Cinema Under the Stars: Heroes and Legends
Fridays in August at Reynolda House Museum of American Art

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (June 20, 2012) Cinema Under the Stars will return for a seventh season to Reynolda House Museum of American Art on Friday evenings in August.

 This summer’s popular outdoor film series will take viewers from Sherwood Forest with “Robin Hood” and his band of merry men to the halls of Congress and the desperate appeal of “Mr. Smith,” and all over the world with Indiana Jones as he searches for the Ark of the Covenant. We learn through film that heroes and legends come in all sizes and persuasions, some positively outrageous, as in “The Princess Bride,” and others quietly dogged in pursuit of justice, as in “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

The gates open at 8 p.m. and the films will be screened at 9 p.m. Visitors are encouraged to come early and bring a picnic. Wine and beer will be available for purchase only. In case of rain, the screening will move to the Babcock Auditorium. Admission is $5 per person, cash only. For more information, please call 336.758.5150 or visit The first film in the series will be preceded by a talk at 8 p.m. in the Babcock Auditorium; both the talk and the film are included in the price of admission.

Cinema Under the Stars is co-presented by Reynolda House and the School of Filmmaking at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

The selection of films featuring heroes and legends heralds the fall exhibition at Reynolda House, “Romare Bearden: A Black Odyssey,” on view from Oct. 13 through Jan. 13, 2013. Like the heroes in each film, the Odyssey is the story of a hero who takes on villains of all types, dislocated from his home and family, and searching for a way back. In many ways it represents the artist’s own life, born and raised in Charlotte but like many African Americans from the South, he and his family relocated to Harlem. Somehow he often found his way back to North Carolina and his roots.

In a talk before the first film of the series titled “Buried Treasure: Howard Pyle and the Silver Screen,” art historian and Wake Forest University Professor David Lubin considers the influence of the great 19th-century book illustrator Howard Pyle on the golden age of cinema.  Illustrating his talk with clips from adventure films such as “The Black Pirate,” “Captain Blood,” “The Adventures of Robin Hood,” and, more recently, “Pirates of the Caribbean,” Lubin shows how Hollywood directors, screenwriters, set and costume designers, and composers have drawn on Pyle’s imaginative recreations of the past to enliven their own.

Cinema Under the Stars Schedule:

Friday, August 3
“The Adventures of Robin Hood”
(1938), 102 min.
Admission includes pre-screening talk.
Directed by Michael Curtiz and William Keighley
Errol Flynn defines “swashbuckling” as the legendary hero Robin Hood in this Oscar-winning classic. In this version, the selfish Prince John (Claude Rains) usurps the British throne while his brother King Richard fights in the Crusades. John imposes cruel taxes on the peasantry, causing Robin to mount an insurrection with his band of Merry Men, while simultaneously wooing Maid Marian (Olivia de Havilland) and selectively redistributing the wealth of the realm. Basil Rathbone co-stars as his suave arch-nemesis Guy of Gisbourne.

Friday, August 10
“Raiders of the Lost Ark”
(1981), 115 min.
Directed by Steven Spielberg
Three uber-villains, five continents, Ten Commandments, innumerable snakes, and one battered but undaunted hero: the archeologist Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford). The year is 1936, and the Nazis are expanding their territories and plundering treasures along the way. Their sights are set on the Ark of the Covenant. Can Indiana beat them to it?

Friday, August 17
“To Kill a Mockingbird”
(1962), 129 min.
Directed by Robert Mulligan
Gregory Peck embodies the “hero of conscience” in his performance as Atticus Finch, the defense attorney for Tom Robinson (Brock Peters), a young African American man wrongly accused of rape. Just as Atticus bravely counters the suspicions and prejudices of his racist community, his daughter Scout (Mary Badham) faces her fear of Boo Radley (Robert Duvall) and the other eccentrics in her small Alabama town. As Atticus tells her, "You never know someone until you step inside their skin and walk around a little." This year marks the film’s 50th anniversary.

Friday, August 24
“Mr. Smith Goes to Washington”
(1939), 129 min.
Directed by Frank Capra
A politically naive Jefferson Smith (James Steward) is hand-picked for the Senate but proves surprisingly independent of the Washington “machine.” Director Frank Capra intended his main character to represent an updated version of Abraham Lincoln, with “the rail-splitter's simplicity, compassion, ideals, humor, and unswerving moral courage under pressure.” The superb cast includes Jean Arthur, Claude Rains, and Harey Carey.

Friday, August 31
“The Princess Bride”
(1987), 98 min.
Directed by Rob Reiner
This romantic legend includes everything you’d expect in a heroic film: outlaws, sword-play, a wicked prince, a captive princess, Rodents of Unusual Size, and a six-fingered man. Farm hand-turned-pirate Westley (Cary Elwes) overcomes enemies and obstacles to liberate his beloved Buttercup (Robin Wright). The memorable supporting cast includes Mandy Patinkin, Andre the Giant, Wallace Shawn, and Billy Crystal (“Have fun storming the castle!”) Selected as the final film in the series by Reynolda House followers on Facebook.

About Reynolda House
Reynolda House Museum of American Art is one of the nation’s premier American art museums, with masterpieces by Mary Cassatt, Frederic Church, Jacob Lawrence, Georgia O’Keeffe and Gilbert Stuart among its permanent collection.  Affiliated with Wake Forest University, Reynolda House features changing exhibitions, concerts, lectures, classes, film screenings and other events.  The museum is located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina in the historic 1917 estate of Katharine Smith Reynolds and her husband, Richard Joshua Reynolds, founder of the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company. Reynolda House and adjacent Reynolda Gardens and Reynolda Village feature a spectacular public garden, dining, shopping and walking trails. For more information, please visit or call 336.758.5150.

As America’s first state-supported arts school, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts is a unique stand-alone public university of arts conservatories. With a high school component, UNCSA is a degree-granting institution that trains young people of talent in music, dance, drama, filmmaking, and design and production. Established by the N. C. General Assembly in 1963, the School of the Arts opened in Winston-Salem (“The City of Arts and Innovation”) in 1965 and became part of the University of North Carolina system in 1972. For more information, visit