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Today in Movie History: December 29

It was a good day for bad men at the movies, starting with Sergio’s Leone’s legendary The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, released in the U.S. on December 29, 1967. Leone wrapped a strange anti-war message into her farewell to The Man with No Name, as well as providing the great Eli Wallach with his finest role. Sam Peckinpah had …

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Today in Movie History: December 28

It was a fairly quiet date as far as releases go, owing to our perennial post-Christmas malaise. Alfred Hitchcock’s Spellbound hit theaters in 1945, a second-tier effort from the master, but still notable thanks mostly to Salvador Dali’s haunting dream sequences. (On the more gossip-y end of things, the production involved a secret tryst between stars Gregory Peck and Ingrid …

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Today in Movie History: December 27

Releases during the last week of the year tend to have Oscar on their mind: a limited run in a theater or two to qualify, followed by a bigger roll-out in January. That’s borne out by the three films on our list today, all of which scored Oscar nominations or wins. The first (and best) is easily the strangest: 12 …

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Today in Movie History: December 26

Dealing with relatives during the holidays can make you feel possessed… that might be why Warners scored one of its biggest successes of all with with The Exorcist, a film I suspect you all are familiar with. It opened today in 1973, keeping the Christmas spirit alive for one and all. It shares the release date with one of the great romantic …

Dirty Harry

Today in Movie History: December 23

  Nothing says Christmas more than Clint Eastwood blowing holes in child-abducting psychopaths. The original Dirty Harry hit theaters today in 1971, bringing holiday cheer and police brutality in equal measures. (Star Trek fans take note: the mad killer in this film was played by Andrew Robinson, who went on to play Garak — one of the coolest Trek characters ever …

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Today in Movie History: December 21

There’s no question which movie tops our charts today: Walt Disney premiered Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs on this date in 1937, and transformed the entire animation field as a result. 78 years later, it’s still the greatest cartoon of all time: a stunning triumph in every sense of the word, cementing Disney’s fortunes and single-handedly creating the animated feature …

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Today in Movie History: December 20

It’s the season for Christmas movies and one of the move beloved of all time hit theaters today. It’s a Wonderful Life, Frank Capra’s surprisingly dark story about a town held together by one man, and what happens when that man starts to doubt himself, opened today in 1946: giving returning G.I.s and a nation weary of war a chance …

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Today in Movie History: December 19

It’s another big day for notable movies: December gets very crowded with event films in an effort to either rake in the box office while the kids are on break or make a play for an Oscar nod or two. One notable movie managed to do both. The Lord of the Rings: the Fellowship of the Ring was Peter Jackson’s opening …

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Today in Movie History: December 16

It’s another big day for movies and we’ll start with one of the very biggest: Lawrence of Arabia, David Lean’s breathtaking epic about the Englishman who rallied a nation to his side during World War I, then tried to give them their independence in exchange. You could call it the greatest movie ever made and not be immediately disputed. It …