Chestnut Hill Film Group launches new season in new venue

Rick and Ilsa will always have Paris, and the Chestnut Hill Film Group will always have the Chestnut Hill branch of the Free Library – in their memories, that is.

Beginning next Tuesday, Oct. 9, the long-running repertory film program changes venues, moving a few blocks down the far side of the hill into new digs at the Woodmere Art Museum, 9201 Germantown Ave. The 39th season kicks off with a free screening of Casablanca, a little ditty about a hard-bitten ex-pat café owner, his old Scandinavian flame, and a world war. The CHFG’s Ralph Hirshorn promises to show trailers and shorts that ran with Casablanca when it premiered in November, 1942. Yes, that makes this the 70th anniversary of the Michael Curtiz-directed classic, one of the most beloved movies of all time. See Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Claud Raines et al walk through backlot Morocco, cuss those nasty Nazis, and pull close to hear Dooley Wilson croak “As Time Goes By” again.

The free screenings are weekly on Tuesday evenings – doors open at 6:30 p.m., films start at 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted – October through March. Upcoming in the next few weeks:

Our Man in Havana (1959), Carol Reed’s adaptation of Graham Greene’s novel about a vacuum cleaner salesman in pre-revolutionary Cuba who starts spying for British intelligence. It’s one of Alec Guinness’ most memorable screen roles.

Gambit (1966), with Michael Caine as a cockney named Harry (but not The Ipcress Files’ Harry Palmer) – he’s a burglar who teams with a showgirl (Shirley MacLaine)  to rob a Hong Kong millionaire of a priceless statuette. Herbert Lom, who passed away just a few days ago, is their mark. The Coen Brothers wrote up a remake that will open either later this year or early next, directed by Michael Hoffman, with Colin Firth and Cameron Diaz in the Caine/MacLaine roles.

8 Women (2002) A musical mystery starring a daunting lineup of French leading ladies: Fanny Ardant, Emanuelle Beart, Danielle Darrieux, Catherine Deneuve, Isabelle Huppert, Virginie Ledoyen, Firmine Richard and Ludivine Sagnier. From the prolific and provocative French writer/director, Francois Ozon.

For a complete schedule and information, go to: or call: 215-247-0476