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Silence of the Lambs, West Side Story and Other Classics Are Returning to the Big Screen

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Film aficionados can enjoy a yearlong journey spanning nine decades of cinema history, through a dozen of some of the movie industry’s greatest titles, as Fathom Events and Turner Classic Movies present the seventh annual TCM Big Screen Classics series. Featuring acclaimed films released from 1941 to 1996, and encompassing legendary dramas, iconic musicals, beloved comedies, a thrilling adventure, a stylish film noir, a stirring epic, a crackling mystery, and a suspenseful horror, the TCM Big Screen Classics series has something for everyone in 2021.

Each film is presented with pristine digital projection, movie-theater-quality sound, and in its original aspect ratio, as they were intended by the filmmakers. The TCM Big Screen Classics series is further enhanced with fascinating pre- and post-feature insights presented by popular TCM hosts, including TCM Primetime host Ben Mankiewicz.

2021 TCM Big Screen Classics series movies include:

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&• La Bamba

&• Fried Green Tomatoes 30th Anniversary

&• The Birdcage 25th Anniversary

&• The African Queen 70th Anniversary

&• Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory 50th Anniversary

&• Citizen Kane 80th Anniversary

&• Silence of the Lambs 30th Anniversary

&• West Side Story 60th Anniversary

&• On Golden Pond 40th Anniversary

Since its start in 2015, the TCM Big Screen Classics series has proved to be an annual fan favorite. Many events in the series achieved rave reviews and were top performers at the box office.

“This year has shown us that watching movies on the big screen is not an experience to take for granted, and 2021’s lineup of films has something for every movie lover,” said Genevieve McGillicuddy, vice president of enterprises and strategic partnerships, TCM. “We are prouder than ever to continue this partnership with Fathom Events to bring the TCM Big Screen Classics series to audiences around the country.”

  • La Bamba (1987)
  • DATE: Sun., April 18, Wed., April 21 & Thurs. April 22
  • CAST: Esai Morales, Rosanna DeSoto, Elizabeth Pe&ña, Joe Pantoliano and Lou Diamond Phillips.

The life of Mexican American rock & roll legend Richie Valens bursts across the screen in this celebrated, music-filled movie with star-making performances by Phillips as Richie and Morales as his half-brother, Bob. La Bamba, written and directed by Luis Valdez, depicts the 17-year-old’s rocket rise to fame, as he fights family problems and bigotry, to become a recording star with a string of hit singles and a date with destiny. Fueled by Valens’ hit songs performed by the Grammy-winning Los Lobos, as well as classic ’50s tunes, La Bamba recreates the thrilling early days of rock and pays homage to the enduring legacy of a remarkable talent whose music crossed all borders.

  • Fried Green Tomatoes (1991) 30th Anniversary
  • DATE: Sun., May 9 & Wed., May 12
  • CAST: Kathy Bates, Jessica Tandy, Mary Stuart Masterson, Mary-Louise Parker, and Cicely Tyson.
  • SCREENPLAY BY: Fannie Flagg (novel) and Carol Sobieski (screenplay)
  • DIRECTED BY: Jon Avnet
  • This inspiring drama was adapted from Fannie Flagg’s best-selling novel “Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe.” When an unhappy housewife befriends a lady in a nursing home, she hears a remarkable tale of laughter, devotion, and a special friendship that defies all obstacles in this heart-warming film from acclaimed director Jon Avnet.
    • The Birdcage (1996) 25th Anniversary
  • DATE: June
  • CAST: Robin Williams, Gene Hackman, Nathan Lane, and Dianne Wiest.
  • {bold|SCREENPLAY BY: Elaine May
  • DIRECTED BY: Mike Nichols

A hugely entertaining remake of the 1978 film La Cage aux Folles, The Birdcage follows the tale of a drag club owner and his partner as they deal with their son’s engagement to a conservative politician’s daughter.

  • The African Queen (1951) 70th Anniversary
  • DATE: July
  • CAST: Humphrey Bogart, Katharine Hepburn, and Robert Morley.
  • SCREENPLAY BY: John Huston, James Agee, Peter Viertel, and John Collier
  • DIRECTED BY: John Huston

During World War I, the slovenly, drunkard captain of a steamer named The African Queen takes the prim sister of a British missionary to Africa aboard after invading Germans kill her brother. While she can’t tolerate the captain’s drinking and manner, and he can’t stand her judgmental attitude, inevitably, their mismatched relationship turns to one of affection as they traverse treacherous waters. Arguably one of the finest films ever made, The African Queen also features one of the most legendary star pairings with Humphrey Bogart, in the role that earned him his only Academy Award, and Katharine Hepburn in this timeless tale of opposites attracting.

  • Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971) 50th Anniversary
  • DATE: August
  • CAST: Gene Wilder, Jack Albertson, Peter Ostrum, Roy Kinnear, Julie Dawn Cole, Leonard Stone, Denise Nickerson, Dodo Denney, and Paris Themmen.
  • SCREENPLAY BY: Roald Dahl
  • DIRECTED BY: Mel Stuart

This treasured musical is a veritable OSHA “what not to do” lesson…. Based on Roald Dahl’s cherished book, on a whirlwind tour of Willy Wonka’s world of “Pure Imagination,” an incredible, edible realm of chocolate waterfalls, Oompa-Loompas, and industrial-sized confections, a boy named Charlie discovers the sweetest secret of all.

  • Citizen Kane (1941) 80th Anniversary
  • DATE: September
  • CAST: Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Dorothy Comingore, Everett Sloane, Ray Collins, George Coulouris, Agnes Moorehead, Paul Stewart, Ruth Warrick, Erskine Sanford, and William Alland.
  • SCREENPLAY BY: Herman J. Mankiewicz and Orson Welles
  • DIRECTED BY: Orson Welles

Orson Welles’s first feature film, the innovative and precedent-setting Citizen Kane is considered by many critics, filmmakers, and fans to be the greatest film ever made. The investigation of a publishing tycoon’s dying words reveals conflicting stories about his scandalous life. “Rosebud…”

  • The Silence of the Lambs (1991) 30th Anniversary
  • DATE: October
  • CAST: Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Scott Glenn, and Ted Levine.
  • SCREENPLAY BY: Ted Tally
  • DIRECTED BY: Jonathan Demme

Well, well, well… In The Silence of the Lambs a fledgling FBI agent, Clarice Starling, enlists the help of Dr. Hannibal Lecter, a brilliant psychiatrist and cannibalistic serial killer, in catching a serial killer named “Buffalo Bill.”

Released to great critical acclaim, The Silence of the Lambs became only the third film to win Academy Awards&® in the “Big Five” categories: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Adapted Screenplay.

  • West Side Story (1961) 60th Anniversary
  • DATE: November
  • CAST: Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, Rita Moreno, George Chakiris, and Russ Tamblyn.
  • SCREENPLAY BY: Ernest Lehman
  • DIRECTED BY: Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins

With music by Leonard Bernstein and lyrics from Stephen Sondheim, this exhilarating ten-time Academy Award-winning musical sets the timeless Romeo and Juliet tragedy in 1950. Two teenage street gangs, the white working-class Jets and the Puerto Rican Sharks, face off in the slums of New York.

  • On Golden Pond (1981) 40th Anniversary
  • DATE: December
  • CAST: Katharine Hepburn, Henry Fonda, Jane Fonda, Doug McKeon, Dabney Coleman, and William Lanteau.
  • SCREENPLAY BY: Ernest Thompson
  • DIRECTED BY: Mark Rydell

One of the 1980s most honored and cherished films, On Golden Pond, follows the story of a prickly retired professor who visits his Maine summer home with his loving wife, their daughter, her fianc&é, and his son. The cantankerous professor develops an unlikely bond with his grandson, providing the framework for an emotional summer. On Golden Pond is also one of the few movies to earn the nominations for the Big Five Academy Awards&® (Best Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, and Screenplay).

Get full details on these screenings nationwide at

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