Movies in the River suggested lineup

Movies in the Park returns this week to Riverfront Park. (More on that later).

But should the flooding continue for many more weeks, perhaps they should consider changing the lineup for 2019 to a Movies in the River.

Here are some suggestions:

  • THE RIVER (1984) – Sissy Spacek and Mel Gibson play a Tennessee farm couple trying to save their farm from a flood.
  • A RIVER RUNS THROUGH IT. (1992) – Brad Pitt and Tom Skerritt fly fish in a river through dreamy gauzy cinematography.
  • MYSTIC RIVER (2003) – Mystery film which netted Oscars for Sean Penn and Tim Robbins.
  • FROZEN RIVER (2008) – Bleak Oscar nominated movie starring Melissa Leo
  • THE RIVER WILD (1994) – Meryl Streep’s entry into the action flick genre. Also her link to six degrees of Kevin Bacon
  • THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI (1957) – Alec Guinness, William Holden, Jack Hawkins and Sessue Hayakawa. Guinness at his most Guinness deservedly wins the Oscar while Holden spends part of the film shirtless.
  • RIVER’S EDGE (1986) – Keanu Reeves, Crispin Glover and Ione Skye. Is that a 1980s film cast or what?

 

A score-related mini-festival

  • WORKING GIRL (1988) – “Let the River Run”
  • THE MUSIC MAN (1962) – “Ya Got Trouble (Right Here in River City)”
  • SHOW BOAT (1936 or 1951) – “Old Man River”
  • BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY’S (1961) – “Moon River”

 

There could even be an entire John Wayne min-festival:

  • RED RIVER (1948) – John Wayne, Montgomery Clift, Walter Brennan, and Joann Dru. Produced and directed by Howard Hawks with gorgeous cinematography.
  • RIO GRANDE (1950) – John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara spar in a John Ford film. But this one is not set in Ireland.
  • RIO BRAVO (1959) – John Wayne, Dean Martin, Ricky Nelson, Angie Dickinson, Walter Brennan, Ward Bond and Claude Akins in a Howard Hawks film.
  • RIO LOBO (1970) – John Wayne’s first film after TRUE GRIT. Howard Hawks’ final film.
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The Eagle Has Landed (in Little Rock)

On March 16, 1822, Captain Morris piloted the steamboat The Eagle to Little Rock, seventeen days after departing New Orleans.  This became the first steamboat to reach Little Rock.  The boat reached Little Rock at an early hour in the morning and Captain Morris, in order to arouse the town, fired a salute of several guns.

It did not stay in Little Rock, but headed upriver toward the community of Dwight Mission, founded by Presbyterians in what is now Pope County at the mouth of the Illinois Creek.  Due to low waters, it was unable to make it to Dwight Mission.  On March 19, 1822, it returned to Little Rock.  It then headed back to New Orleans.

Though it would be the McClellan-Kerr navigation project before the Arkansas River would become a permanent home to commercial river traffic, boats up and down the Arkansas River helped establish Little Rock as an important trading post.

Sandwich in History today at the Clinton Presidential Bridge

The Arkansas Historic Preservation Program’s next “Sandwiching in History” tour will visit the Clinton Presidential Bridge in Little Rock at noon today, (March 1).

Originally built in 1899, the Clinton Presidential Park Bridge is the eastern-most of the six bridges that span the Arkansas River in Little Rock. Constructed by the Choctaw and Memphis Railroad, the Chicago Rock Island Pacific Railroad assumed control in 1904.  The bridge is 1,614 feet long with three straight truss spans and one vertical lift span. The latter was added in 1972 as part of the McClellan-Kerr project for the Arkansas River.

After the Rock Island Railroad closed in 1980, the bridge was neglected until the City of Little Rock gained control of it in 2001.  As the Clinton Presidential Park Bridge, it was dedicated as a pedestrian/bicycle bridge on September 30, 2011.

The “Sandwiching in History” tour series focuses on Pulaski County structures and sites. The noontime series includes a brief lecture and tour of the subject property. Participants are encouraged to bring their lunches with them. The American Institute of Architects offers one HSW continuing education learning unit credit for members who attend a “Sandwiching in History” tour.

The tour is free and open to the public. For information, call the AHPP at (501) 324-9880, write the agency at 323 Center St., Suite 1500, Little Rock, AR 72201, send an e-mail message to info@arkansaspreservation.org, or visitwww.arkansaspreservation.org.

The AHPP is the Department of Arkansas Heritage agency responsible for identifying, evaluating, registering and preserving the state’s cultural resources. Other agencies are the Arkansas Arts Council, Arkansas State Archives, the Delta Cultural Center in Helena, the Old State House Museum, the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission and the Historic Arkansas Museum.

Little Rock Look Back: THE EAGLE has landed (LR’s first steamboat)

On March 16, 1822, Captain Morris piloted the steamboat The Eagle to Little Rock, seventeen days after departing New Orleans.  This became the first steamboat to reach Little Rock.  The boat reached Little Rock at an early hour in the morning and Captain Morris, in order to arouse the town, fired a salute of several guns.

It did not stay in Little Rock, but headed upriver toward the community of Dwight Mission, founded by Presbyterians in what is now Pope County at the mouth of the Illinois Creek.  Due to low waters, it was unable to make it to Dwight Mission.  On March 19, 1822, it returned to Little Rock.  It then headed back to New Orleans.

Though it would be the McClellan-Kerr navigation project before the Arkansas River would become a permanent home to commercial river traffic, boats up and down the Arkansas River helped establish Little Rock as an important trading post.

Heritage Month – La Petite Roche

IMG_4805Today’s Heritage Month “property” is the oldest in Little Rock.  It is, in fact, THE Little Rock.

On April 9, 1722, French explorer Jean-Baptiste Bénard de La Harpe rounded the bend of the Arkansas River and saw La Petite Roche and Le Rocher Français.

Though La Harpe and his expedition are the first Europeans documented to have seen La Petite Roche, the outcropping of rocks was well-known to the Quapaw Indians in the area.  The outcropping jutted out in the Arkansas River and created a natural harbor which provided a perfect place for boats to land.

The rock outcropping is the first one visible along the banks of the Arkansas River.  It marks the place where the Mississippi Delta meets the Ouachita Mountains.  Geologists now believe that the Little Rock is not the same type of rock as the Ouachita Mountains and more closely matches the composition and age of mountains in the western US.

In 1813, William Lewis became the first European settler to live near La Petite Roche but only stayed a few months.  Speculators and trappers continued to visit the area throughout the 1810s. During that time, the outcropping became known informally as the Little Rock.

La Petite Roche had become a well-known crossing when the Arkansas Territory was established in 1819. The permanent settlement of ‘The Rock’ began in the spring of 1820, and the first building has been described as a cabin, or shanty, and was built on the bank of the river near the ‘Rock.’ In March 1820, a Post Office was established at the ‘Rock’ with the name “Little Rock.”

Over the years, La Petite Roche was altered.  In 1872, Congress authorized the building of a railroad bridge. A pier for the bridge was built at the location of the La Petite Roche which caused the removal of several tons of rock.  The bridge was never built.  When the Junction Bridge was built in 1899, even more rock was removed in the process of erecting part of the bridge on top of the rock.  It was not viewed as being disrespectful of the City’s namesake at the time.  Indeed, it was viewed as a testament to the sturdiness of the rock.

In 2010, La Petite Roche plaza opened in Riverfront Park.  It celebrates the history of La Petite Roche and explores its importance to various aspects of Little Rock’s history and geography.

The Little Rock was added to the National Register of Historic Places in October 1970.

Little Rock Look Back: The Eagle Returns to Little Rock

eagleOn March 16, 1822, Captain Morris piloted the steamboat The Eagle to Little Rock, seventeen days after departing New Orleans.  This became the first steamboat to reach Little Rock.  The boat reached Little Rock at an early hour in the morning and Captain Morris, in order to arouse the town, fired a salute of several guns.

It did not stay in Little Rock, but headed upriver toward the community of Dwight Mission, founded by Presbyterians in what is now Pope County at the mouth of the Illinois Creek.  Due to low waters, it was unable to make it to Dwight Mission.  On March 19, 1822, it returned to Little Rock.  It then headed back to New Orleans.

Though it would be the McClellan-Kerr navigation project before the Arkansas River would become a permanent home to commercial river traffic, boats up and down the Arkansas River helped establish Little Rock as an important trading post.

Movies in the Park tonight: THE DARK KNIGHT RISES

Movies in the Park continues tonight.  As the night gets dark, this week’s feature will be 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises.  This follow up to the 2008 film was again directed by Christopher Nolan from a screenplay he wrote with his brother Jonathan.

Christian Bale resumes the tip-eared mantle and is ably assisted by Michael Caine as butler/father confessor Alfred.

Other leading roles are played by Gary Oldman, Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Anne Hathaway, Marion Cotillard, Morgan Freeman and Matthew Modine. (This may possibly be the largest number of Oscar winners and nominees ever in a superhero film.)

Movies in the Park is a free outdoor movie series in Little Rock’s River Market. They take place at the First Security Amphitheatre. The mission of Movies in the Park is help foster a sense of community and enjoyment in downtown Little Rock and throughout Central Arkansas by bringing people together to enjoy a movie in a unique setting along the scenic banks of the Arkansas River.

Movies start at dark. Visitors are welcome to bring picnics but please no glass containers and pick up afterwards. Those choosing not to bring their own picnic, the park does have concessions available for sale.

Bring bug spray, picnic and family and have a good time!

The Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau Technical Services department provides all the equipment for the movies.