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Today in Movie History: April 26

It’s a fairly quiet day in terms of notable releases, marked only by one wonderfully strange little horror-comedy. Dellamorte Dellamore, also known as Cemetery Man, opened today in 1996: featuring Rupert Everett as a hard-boiled cemetery caretaker (yes, apparently those exist) whose charges have a distressing habit of rising from their graves. If you’re looking for something off the beaten path, you’d …

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Today in Movie History: April 25

We’re going to start with one of our favorite romances of all time: Amelie, Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s masterpiece of dreamlike whimsy that reminded us to embrace love with the same gusto with which we embrace life. It opened in its native France today in 2001. For a grande romance a little closer to home, there’s Woody Allen’s Manhattan. Though drenched in the creepy overtones …

Existenz

Today in Movie History: April 23

Two films released on the same day mark a quiet April 23. We’ll start with Existenz, David Cronenberg’s exploration of virtual reality, mass culture, and the ability to form a functioning firearm out of dinner leftovers. It stands as one of the director’s stranger efforts — and that’s saying something — but also eerily prescient in its exploration of online media …

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Today in Movie History: April 20

Star Wars may have changed the face of movies in 1977, but the year’s other most notable film had plenty of staying power as well. Annie Hall, the pinnacle of Woody Allen’s nebbish shtick, ended up scooping Star Wars at the Oscars, and today remains one of the most beloved comedies ever made. Pity the director turned out to be such a creep… Speaking of …

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Today in Movie History: April 19

Two big films and three smaller-but-notable ones today. We start with La Dolce Vita, Frederico Fellini’s ode to Rome, the jet set, and sexy girls splashing around in fountains. It took the world by storm when it was initially released, and for my money remains Fellini’s best film. It was released in the United States today in 1961. For a …

Tim Curry as the Lord of Darkness in Legend

Today in Movie History: April 18

Legend is one of those movies that the Hollywood machine just chewed up and spat out. The initial release was a disaster, critically and commercially, and the film was written off for years. But the release of Ridley Scott’s director’s cut — including the return of the original Jerry Goldsmith score — saw its fortunes improve immensely. These days, it enjoys well-deserved status …

Kill Bill

Today in Movie History: April 16

We’re starting with the suddenly very problematic Kill Bill, Vol. 2 today. It remains one of the better efforts in Quentin Tarantino’s unique canon, and provided a career topping turn for Uma Thurman (as well as her amazing then-stunt double Zoe Bell, among others). But Thurman’s recent revelations regarding the director’s cavalier attitude towards her safety have given it a …

12 angry men

Today in Movie History: April 13

Despite a career spanning decades and a list of films that any director would envy, Sidney Lumet never quite got the respect he deserved. His very first movie still ranks among his best: a near-perfect adaptation of the celebrated stage play 12 Angry Men. Henry Fonda stars as an unnamed juror standing alone against a seemingly guaranteed guilty verdict… and his slow, …

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Today in Movie History: April 12

On the list of great directors whom the Academy shafted, Alfred Hitchcock is pretty high. The only film of his that won Best Picture was Rebecca, a solid though hardly groundbreaking slice of Gothic based on the novel by Daphne du Maurier. Hitch didn’t even win Best Director that year — it went to John Ford for The Grapes of Wrath — and he …