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Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

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Monsieur Hire

Patrice Leconte's "Monsieur Hire" is a tragedy about loneliness and erotomania, told about two solitary people who have nothing else in common. It involves a…

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Outdoor film festival salutes Mickey Mouse, Brando, Grant

The hugely popular Chicago Outdoor Film Festival, held Tuesday evenings in Grant Park, will salute major stars in its 5th annual season.

Among the tributes are films by Cary Grant, who would have been 100 this year; Marlon Brando, who will be 80, and Mickey Mouse, who is 75. Films will also salute the recently deceased Katharine Hepburn and Gregory Peck.

The festival, which is free, draws enormous crowds who bring along blankets, cushions and box lunches, and cover the vast field at Lake Shore Drive and Monroe, in Grant Park. It's presented by ComEd, the Mayor's Office of Special Events, and the Chicago Park District.

Every film this year will be preceded by a Mickey Mouse cartoon, says Cindy Gatziolis, festival coordinator.

This year's opening night, July 13, will be introduced at 8:15 by Richard Roeper and me, before the screening of Howard Hawks' screwball comedy "His Girl Friday" (1940), based on Hecht and MacArthur's classic Chicago newspaper play, "The Front Page." Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell star.

The rest of the schedule, timed for sundown:

July 20, 8:53 p.m.; Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds," starring Rod Taylor and Tippi Hedren.

July 27, 8:46 p.m.; Frank Capra's "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," with Jimmy Stewart, Claude Rains and Jean Arthur.

Aug. 3, 8:38 p.m.; Stanley Kramer's "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner," starring Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy and Sidney Poitier.

Aug. 10, 8:28 p.m.; Don Siegel's "Invasion of the Body Snatchers," with Kevin McCarthy and Dana Wynter.

Aug. 17, 8:18 p.m.; William Wyler's "Roman Holiday," with Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn.

Aug. 24, 8:07 p.m.; Joseph L. Mankiewicz's "Guys and Dolls," with Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra and Jean Simmons.

Moviegoers who bike to the festival can use free bike valet parking at Lake Shore Drive and Monroe.

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