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Today in Movie History: January 23

There are good movies, there are great movies, and then there are movies that have become an ingrained part of the culture. The greatest movie ever made? You could make the case very easily. The one and only Casablanca went wide today in 1943. A few years later, Robert Montgomery attempted a strange — and ultimately unsuccessful — cinematic experiment …

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Today in Movie History: January 20

Show of hands: who wants to watch a bracing 104 minutes of Soviet-era propaganda? I knew you would! Sergei Eisenstein’s October opened today in 1928: generally regarded as one of the masterpieces of Soviet cinema and granting its director license to expound upon numerous cinematic theories — like montage — that today have become standard practi- You in the back, quit falling …

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Today in Movie History: January 19

We start off today with Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy, who appeared in one of their very best collaborations, Woman of the Year on this date in 1942. Director George Stevens knew how to bring their incomparable comic chemistry to life, and though this was only their first movie together, it proved to be the spark that lit the flame. They …

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Today in Movie History: January 18

Once upon a time, a TV cowboy named Clint got handed a script for a low-budget Italian Western that he immediately recognized as a hastily redressed version of Yojimbo. He took the job, for a free trip to Italy he claims, and in the process helped reinvent an entire genre. A Fistful of Dollars opened today in the U.S. in …

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Today in Movie History: January 17

Children of the 80s doubtless remember the California Raisins, an advertising phenom created by the Claymation artists at Will Vinton studios. The same studio produced a rather marvelous animated feature shortly thereafter: The Adventures of Mark Twain, a fantastical collection of the celebrated author’s short stories loosely wrapped around the premise of Twain himself (along with his most beloved creations) …

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Today in Movie History: January 13

If you need some John Wayne in your life, today had it, with the release of Mark Rydell’s The Cowboys in 1972. As late-era Wayne goes, it’s hard to top… and Bruce Dern is still living down what his character did to the Duke in this movie. On a completely different note, visual effects maestro Stan Winston made a rare stint as …

ÒShadow of a Doubt,Ó the 1943 thriller starring Teresa Wright and Joseph Cotten, received an Academy Award¨ nomination for Writing Ð Original Motion Picture Story (Gordon McDonell).  The film is set in Santa Rosa, California, where small-town bliss is interrupted by an evil visitor.

Picture here: Joseph Cotten (left) and Teresa Wright in a scene from ÒShadow of a Doubt.Ó

Today in Movie History: January 12

We have some old-school classics to save us from the glut of January crappola today. It starts with one of the very best: Alfred Hitchcock’s Shadow of a Doubt, released today in 1943. Having made a splash in Citizen Kane and The Magnificent Ambersons, Joseph Cotton turned his talents to playing a villain: a killer who arrives in an idyllic …