John F. Kennedy was President. Martin Luther King Jr. was firing up his nonviolent opposition to segregation. Two of TV's most popular shows were "The Virginian" and "Lassie."
And audiences were packing the movie theaters for a great lineup of cinematic fare.
50 Years Ago at the Movies is a matinee series on Saturdays in January and February, 2013, at 1:30 p.m. in the Stanley H. Durwood Film Vault at the Central Library, 14 W. 10th St.
These screenings are a time capsule of popular entertainment in 1963.
Admission is free. The film schedule:
January 12: Hud
Paul Newman plays the amoral, cynical, pink Cadillac-driving son of a rugged old-school rancher (Melvyn Douglas) in this gritty drama about family crisis and the end of a cattle-raising empire. Patricia Neal won a supporting actress Oscar for her turn as the clan's housekeeper. Rating: NR. 112 minutes.
January 19: Tom Jones
In 18th-century England, the adopted son (Albert Finney) of a country squire cavorts from bed to bed and narrowly avoids being hanged. An Oscar winner for best director (Tony Richardson) and best picture. Rating: NR 128 minutes.
January 26: Captain Newman M.D.
An Army Air Corps psychiatrist battles with dubious superiors, limited resources, and an arbitrary time frame (he's expected to "cure" patients in his neuropsychiatric ward in six weeks or less). Bobby Darin landed an Oscar nomination for his performance as a troubled airman. Rating: NR. 126 minutes.
February 2: Charade
After the violent death of her husband, a widow (Audrey Hepburn) is pursued through Paris by killers and befriended by a mysterious benefactor (Cary Grant). Stanley Donen directs. Rating: NR. 113 minutes.
February 9: Bye Bye Birdie
In this adaptation of a hit Broadway musical, the conscription of an Elvis-like rock star into the army creates upheaval in the lives of his manager (Dick Van Dyke) and a small-town teen (Ann-Margret). With Janet Leigh, Maureen Stapleton. Rating: NR. 112 minutes.
February 16: The Birds
Tippi Hedren and Rod Taylor's visit to a California coastal village turns out badly when birds for no reason begin attacking humans. Alfred Hitchcock directs. Rating: NR. 113 minutes.
February 23: The Great Escape
Based on a true event, this film depicts the efforts of Allied POWs to escape a German stalag. With James Garner, Steve McQueen, Richard Attenborough, Charles Bronson. Rating: NR. 172 minutes.
Free parking is available in the Library District parking garage at 10th & Baltimore.