Richard teaching at NYU, 1969

Richard teaching at NYU, 1969

In October of 1969, MOVIES101 was launched with 14 students in Room 822 of the East Building. Initially it was Richard Brown lecturing on the movies he loved and the nature of the film going experience. The films which students saw were neither big budget, nor star-studded…they were short films in 16mm. But when one of the films was lost in the mail, Richard invited his neighbor, Mel Brooks, to come and join him for a class.

From that first serendipitous interview, the format of the class began to develop. Over the following weeks, first Shirley MacLaine, then Robert Redford, then Warren Beatty agreed to visit the classroom. The following semester, Richard persuaded 20th Century Fox to let his adult students preview a new film which the studio found “bewildering” and “difficult to sell”. The movie was Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.  Executives at FOX insist to this day that the New York success of this now classic masterpiece was due -- in no small measure -- to what he called his “opinion makers’ screening".



In the mid-1990s, when MOVIES101 was offered at the Loews State, Jerry Orbach (a frequent guest) surprised Prof. Brown with a short film he produced; it celebrated the quarter-century mark for MOVIES101.  Mr. Orbach managed to cover  highlights from 25 years in 60-seconds. 

The video features moments with
George Clooney, Richard Dreyfuss, Alan Arkin, Peter Bogdanovich, Lily Tomlin, Marcia Gay Harden, Steve Buscemi, John Ritter, Ben Stiller, Harvey Keitel, Jason Alexander, John Turturro, Michael York, Angela Bassett, Kevin Kline, Forrest Whitaker, Vincent D'Onofrio, Kim Cattrall, among others