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Today in Movie History: December 5

Eddie Murphy was already a face to watch after his dynamic presence on Saturday Night Live and a pair of films (48 HRS and Trading Places) that partnered him with more established stars. Then came Beverly Hills Cop, putting Murphy front and center in the spotlight for the first time and turning into a monster hit in the process. It’s absolute …

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Today in Movie History: December 4

Grumble… grumble… On Golden Pond… snarky comment… turgid Oscar bait… accolades it didn’t earn… dated more badly than bell bottoms…  FINE, I’LL LEAD WITH IT. It opened today in 1981. Frankly, I would have rather started with Young Sherlock Holmes, a handsome bit of 80s popcorn from Barry Levinson detailing the early adventures of the ubiquitous detective (well played by …

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Movies for the Resistance: 12 Monkeys

(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 the inexplicable, …

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Today in Movie History: November 27

Treasure Planet — and more specifically, the massive financial failure of Treasure Planet — has been widely cited as traditional animation’s death knell. That undeniable fact covers up the wonderful movie behind it, and while it has developed a cult following over the years, this amazing space-opera update of the Robert Louis Stevenson classic deserves a much wider audience. It opened …

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Today in Movie History: November 24

We’ve got a brief bevy of minor films of note for Black Friday, starting with King Solomon’s Mines, a fine adventure saga based on the 19th century novel of the same name. The film is notable for shooting in authentic African locations, and also for its surprisingly sensitive portrayal of the local Masai tribes, including renditions of their traditional dances …

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Today in Movie History: November 23

It was a quiet day in movie history, but we still had a few notable releases. Elvis Presley serenaded Juliet Prowse in one of his better offerings, G.I. Blues, opening this day in 1960. More recently, we learned WAY more about Arnold Schwarzenegger’s lady parts than we ever wanted to know (as well as being reminded yet again how awesome …

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Today in Movie History: November 22

It’s another big day for the movies, starting with a trio of modern classics from the Disney/Pixar brain trust. It’s tough to single out one from that field, but I’m going with Beauty and the Beast: hands-down one of the greatest animated features of all time. It opened today in 1991. Four years later, the boys at Pixar quietly started a revolution …