AFI Night at the Movies Celebrates 13 Iconic Films With Star-Studded Event
Some of the most accomplished actors in Hollywood stepped out for the AFI Night at the Movies Wednesday at the ArcLight in Hollywood. The screening of classic films across all genres returned from it’s five-year hiatus, with stars including Cher, Kevin Spacey, Sally Field, Kathy Bates, Samuel L. Jackson and Mike Meyers saying a few words about the films that helped shape their careers.
“It’s amazing the response we get from talent at this level who want to share a live moment with an audience,” said AFI president and CEO Bob Gazzale. “It’s exciting for them to realize that something that they made and they created continues to echo across time.”
Fans were able to buy tickets to attend special screenings of 13 iconic movies, such as Moonstruck and Blade Runner that were presented by Cher and Harrison Ford, respectively. Sponsored by Target, the event featured films, from family movies to action thrillers, that spanned across decades, providing entertainment for everyone.
On the red carpet Ford played with Target’s trademark dog, Bullseye, while Peter Fonda called Kurt Russell "Snake Plissken" (from Russell’s role in Escape from L.A.) as they passed by each other. A reporter surprised Shirley MacLaine with a strawberry Sprinkles cupcake to celebrate her birthday, which also fell on the same day.
AFI founding vice chairman Sidney Poitier introduced his Academy Award-winning film In the Heat of the Night. Poitier, who has been with AFI since 1967, expressed how the film contributed to his improvement as an actor.
Poitier's long and accomplished career has included memorable roles in A Raisin in the Sun, Lillies of the Field, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, For Love of Ivy and To Sir, With Love.
While humbly speaking in front of the crowd ready to screen In the Heat of the Night on Wednesday, the actor made one reference to the 1967 drama in which he plays a black police detective who gets involved in a murder investigation in a small town in Mississippi.
"I promise you tonight a story well told, as sure as my name is Mr. Tibbs," he told the crowd, referencing the film's most famous line.