Cinematically, Halloween means one thing: horror! But there is nothing that says the buckets of blood can't be sprayed with gales of laughter, and the five films in the Heights' HA! HA! HALLOWEEN prove that the funniest comedies often come with genuine scares. Don't miss these classics, some of which haven't been seen on the big screen in decades!
Neil Simon wrote this insane parody of every type of murder mystery, from Agatha Christie to Charlie Chan to Dashiell Hammett, which featured an all-star cast which included Peter Sellers, Alec Guinness, Bride of Frankenstein's Elsa Lancaster, David Niven and even Truman Capote. There's poisonings, stabbings, snakes, scorpions and evildoers galore in this non-stop chucklefest, presented here in a rare 35mm print.
35mm Print courtesy Sony Pictures
Eager to capitalize on the huge success of TV's The Andy Griffith Show, Universal cast Don Knotts in this Mayberry-esque ghost story/murder mystery that charmed audiences even as it provided genuine thrills. Poor typesetter Luther Heggs (Knotts) wants to be a reporter, and agrees to spend the night in an abandoned mansion where, 20 years earlier, a series of brutal murders occurred. But when he reports about the mysterious goings-on, will the town believe him? Penned by some of the best Andy Griffith screenwriters, The Ghost and Mr. Chicken proved to be an enormous success that has inexplicably been somewhat forgotten in the ensuing years. Don't miss this rare 35mm screening!
35mm print courtesy Universal Pictures.
Usually, the third installment of a comedy series isn't the best, but Topper Returns may outdo even the original for gut-busting laughs. Joan Blondell is perfect as a sexy, wisecracking ghost who demands that poor Roland Young (reprising his role as Topper) investigate her murder in a haunted house with more trapdoors than, well, regular doors! Double-entendres, dopey cops, bodies tumbling through space and poor, baffled Topper make this rare 35mm screening a must-see!
35mm print courtesy The Library of Congress.
DIGITAL CINEMA PRESENTATION
Like Murder by Death before it, Clue (loosely based on the board game) is a spot-on parody of classic murder mysteries, with a star-studded cast of the 80s best comic actors, and featuring not one but three endings (each included at our screening!) Six strangers appear at an old mansion, are given pseudonyms (Col. Mustard, Mrs. White, etc., from the game), and soon, chaos and hilarity ensue! Tim Curry cements the whole thing as the crazed butler, while Martin Mull, Madeline Kahn, Leslie Ann Warren, Christopher Lloyd and even the Go-Go's Jane Wiedlin make appearances. A flop in its day, Clue has since gone on to be a hilarious cult classic!
DCP courtesy Paramount Pictures.
DIGITAL CINEMA PRESENTATION
This early Tim Burton classic unleashed a more-manic-than-usual Michael Keaton as the eponymous demon, and gave Winona Ryder her first major role. The story of a cute married couple (Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis) who are killed in a car accident and then try to haunt the awful couple who try and wreck their beloved home, Beetlejuice was a surprise hit, supremely silly and genuinely scary as only Burton films can be.
DCP courtesy Warner Brothers.