Silent

Today in Movie History: March 10

For those of you afraid that the Earth will soon become a blasted hellscape and want to take steps to preserve all plant life for future generations, Douglas Trumbull made a really good guidebook for you. It was called Silent Running and it opened today in 1972. There is something about sticking an outlaw on a train, and while 3:10 …

4 Weddings

Today in Movie History: March 9

We’ll start with the bomb: one of the most undeserved financial disasters in recent years. Created by an indifferent marketing campaign that didn’t know what the hell to do with it and undone by a budget that needed the right kind of promotion to recoup, John Carter initially sank like a stone at the box office but has since undergone a …

the-birdcage

Today in Movie History: March 8

It was easy to overlook The Birdcage when it was released twenty years ago today . Based on the French film La Cage aux Folles, it did well at the box office, but felt at the time like more Robin Williams slapstick: soaking up Hollywood’s newfound tolerance for homosexuals and repeating trite observations about tolerance and understanding. In retrospect, however, it looks like a …

Gaston

Movies for the Resistance: Beauty and the Beast (1991)

(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 …

10613highlander-title-large

Today in Movie History: March 7

Forget the horrible sequels and worse television spin-offs. The original Highlander earned its spurs as a batshit crazy, wildly original genre exercise that created a significant cult following, and remains one of the more unique products of 1980s cinema. It opened today in 1986.. In an attempt to update classic film noir tropes for the 1970s, Robert Altman created one …

big-lebowski-joint

Today in Movie History: March 6

There are good movies, there are great movies, and then there are movies that have become indispensable parts of the pop culture language. We didn’t think The Big Lebowski would join them, at least initially. It felt like a goofy one-off from the Coen Brothers: blowing off steam after the triumph of Fargo. Turns out, their shaggy-dog take on Raymond Chandler mysteries …

FLash

Today in Movie History: March 3

We’ve got a pair of interesting genre films from the 1940s today. We’ll start with Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe, the 1940 serial that stands as the high water mark in Buster Crabbe’s run on the character, and for those familiar with Flash only through Sam Jones and Queen, this effort makes for delightfully retro fun. Five years later on the same …

Kong

Today in Movie History: March 2

You want big movies? They don’t get any bigger than the original King Kong which set a giant stop-motion monkey loose in the jungles of our imagination and hasn’t left since. A pair of “meh” remakes — one helmed by Peter Jackson, no less — aptly demonstrates that some things just can’t be duplicated. It opened at Radio City Music …