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Today in Movie History: May 16

We start out the week on the highway…. to the danger zone! Top Gun, Tony’s Scott’s over-the-top ode to Reagan-era military worship and hunky guys with oily pecs exploded onto screens today in 1986. I still can’t quite take the movie seriously, and I’m not prepared to called it “good,” but we’ll never see anything like the extraordinary flight scenes …

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Today in Movie History: May 12

We’re looking at two extremes today. We’ll start with Man with a Movie Camera, the avant-garde masterpiece that follows workers and citizens through an average day in 1920s Soviet Russia. Director Dziga Vertov crammed in as many experimental techniques as he could in the film, and with no story and no professional actors, it remains as much brilliant abstract art …

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Today in Movie History: May 11

Dark and gloomy films rule the roost today, with one bright ray of sunshine from Robert Redford. We’ll start with the masterpiece: Fritz Lang’s M, a chilling study in crime, compulsion and human evil that made a star out of Peter Lorre… whose unsettling performance as a child killer captured and tried by the criminal underworld launched an entire career of playing …

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Today in Movie History: May 10

Two brilliant comedic troupes hit high points today. We’ll start with the boys in Britain who, with a successful TV show behind them and absolutely zero money to back them up, put together a comic take on the Knights of the Round Table that we’re pretty sure you’re familiar with. Monty Python and the Holy Grail opened today in 1975. …

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Today in Movie History: May 9

Alfred Hitchcock had his share of classics, and I confess that there are one or two I prefer to this one. But when talk comes around to the greatest movies of all time, Vertigo is usually a prime contender. Jimmy Stewart’s performance may stand as a career best, and Hitchcock’s incursion into forbidden and frankly terrifying corners of the human psyche …

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Today in Movie History: May 8

“Bond. James Bond.” From the dawn of civilization until the end of time, no human being will be one-tenth as cool as Sean Connery was at that moment. From three little words came the franchise to end all franchises, with no signs of slowing down. 007’s immortal debut, Dr. No, hit U.S. screens today in 1966. A few years later, another …

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Today in Movie History: May 4

We’re sticking with Marvel today because… well because the biggest superhero movie of all time opened today. 2012’s The Avengers turned an already successful franchise — three franchises technically — into something entirely new. Not since the Universal horror cycle in the 1940s had we seen anything quite like it, and Universal couldn’t dream of accomplishing something on the scale …

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Today in Movie History: May 3

It’s a quieter day than yesterday, but once again, it’s dominated by Marvel. Though Blade started the comic-book giant’s cinematic ascendance, and the first X-Men movie gave them their first taste of blockbuster-level success, it took Sam Raimi’s original Spider-Man to really kick it into high gear. Buoyed by Raimi’s lifelong love of the character, a great cast, and one of the most …

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Today in Movie History: May 2

We’ve got a big one today, and it’s hard to know where to start. In all honesty, though, there’s no getting around the pop culture gorilla in the room. Since The Mummy unofficially pushed the start of blockbuster season from Memorial Day to the start of May, this week on the calendar has been dominated by Marvel movies. In fact, the …