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(West Plains) – Missouri State University-West Plains is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, and this milestone will serve as the theme of the annual film series hosted by the University/Community Programs (U/CP) Department during the month of February.

This is the 14th year for this free, weekly event, with films will be shown at 6 PM Thursday evenings starting February 7 in the West Plains Civic Center theater. All of the films selected were released during 1963, the year Missouri State-West Plains offered its first classes to area residents.

The series begins Feb. 7 with the showing of “Bye Bye Birdie.”, staring Dick Van Dyke, Janet Leigh and Ann Margret in one of her first feature rolls. It tells the story of a rock-and-roll singer who travels to a small Ohio town to make his “farewell” television performance and kiss his biggest fan before he is drafted. This film, rated G, launched the career of Van Dyke, who was born in West Plains December 13, 1925.

The series continues February 14 with the award-winning “Lilies of the Field.” In addition to lead actor Sidney Poitier’s awards, the film won a Golden Globe for Best Film Promoting International Understanding. The film is unrated.

On February 21, “Charade” takes center stage. Stanley Donen directs this Hitchcockian-style story of international intrigue featuring Audrey Hepburn, Cary Grant and Walter Matthau. The film is unrated.

The series will conclude February 28 with the showing of “It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World”, a comedy adventure directed by Stanley Cramer and starring Spencer Tracy, Milton Berle and Ethel Merman. The film is rated G.

Each film showing will be followed with a discussion session facilitated by a Missouri State-West Plains faculty member or someone familiar with the film.

For more information about the annual film series, call the U/CP Department office at 417-255-7966.

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