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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 …

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Today in Movie History: January 6

The big opener today took place in 1948, with the release of John Huston’s Treasure of the Sierra Madre. Besides adding another classic to Humphrey Bogart’s resume, it earned a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for Huston’s father Walter. (Huston also directed his daughter Anjelica to an Oscar, the only director to have pulled off such a feat.) Other notable releases today …