Matrix

Today in Movie History: March 31

In a year that promised to be dominated by the hotly anticipated Star Wars prequel, a couple of siblings named Larry and Andy Wachowski slipped in and stole George Lucas’s thunder. Their subsequent career has been, um, less than impressive, but for one shining moment, we believed we were witnessing an amazing new chapter in science fiction filmmaking. The original Matrix opened today in …

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Today in Movie History: March 30

It’s all about the 80s today with a trio of iconic films  from that era. No one expected a movie like Beetlejuice to do anything when it first opened. Indeed, the question remains how the darn thing got made in the first place: a second-time director with a truly strange point of view given free rein to pursue his vision, and a star …

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Today in Movie History: March 29

It sounds funny saying something like “the last word on guys wearing dresses,” but here we are. Billy Wilder’s Some Like It Hot, often cited as the greatest comedy ever made, opened today in 1959: securing stars Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis a spot in pop culture immortality, as well as giving Marilyn Monroe the best showcase she ever had. …

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Today in Movie History: March 28

It’s a day of mayhem in movie history, starting with Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds. After the triumph of Psycho, everyone asked how Hitch was going to top it. He responded by turning back to the writings of Daphne du Maurier, which had already seen him through the likes of Rebecca and Jamaica Inn. It became another masterpiece, porting du Maurier’s …

Thief

Today in Movie History: March 27

If gritty crime dramas are your game, Michael Mann is your director. And while I’d cite the likes of Heat, Manhunter and Collateral as unabashed masterpieces, they are preceded by Thief which set the pace for those triumphs to follow. James Caan plays a brilliant jewel thief trying to go straight, enticed into one last score that goes dreadfully wrong. Mann succeeds …

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Today in Movie History: March 24

There’s no question which film rules the roost today. The Godfather, Francis Ford Coppola’s epic tale of the rise and fall of the Corleone crime family, remains the final word on gangster movies, family dramas and the corrosive power of the American dream. However you approach it, its power cannot be denied, and though the medium continues to produce its masterpieces, nothing …

Once

Today in Movie History: March 23

One of the best romances of recent years had very humble beginnings: shot in 17 days, starring a pair of professional musicians with limited acting experience and intend as a showcase for lead Glen Hansard’s anecdotes about busking, it turned into a massive international success, and scored both Hansard and co-star Marketa Irglova an Academy Award for Best Original Song. …

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Movies for the Resistance: Les Miserables (2012)

(Welcome to Movies for the Resistance, a weekly column intended to showcase films with particular pertinence for 2017. One of the fundamental purposes of art in general, and movies in particular, is to serve as a spiritual armory: bringing hope, timely lessons and shared experiences when times are dark. They can move us to positive political action, lend insight to …