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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 …

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Today in Movie History: April 11

There’s good musicals, there’s great musicals… and then there’s Singin’ in the Rain. Stanley Donan’s ode to the Golden Age of Hollywood and the hilarity that ensues when a silent movie studio makes the transition to sound stands as a testament to everything the genre should be. Gene Kelly received co-director credit for choreographing the dance scenes — topped by the …

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Phantom Thread: Blu-Ray Review

Review by Robert Trate Starring: Daniel Day-Lewis, Vicky Krieps, Lesley Manville Written by: Paul Thomas Anderson Directed by: Paul Thomas Anderson Original Year of Release: 2017 Run Time: 130 minutes Rated: R From the director of There will be Blood comes the story of a 1950’s renowned dressmaker, Reynolds Woodcock (Daniel Day-Lewis). The film was an Oscar contender the second …

Excalibur

Today in Movie History: April 10

1981 was a banner year for science fiction, fantasy and horror movies… perhaps more than 1982, which is usually cited as the high water mark for genre cinema. Two of that year’s bumper crop were released today. First up, Excalibur: John Boorman’s ambitious attempt to cover the entire Arthur legend from conception to death. Its reach exceeds its grasp more than …

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Today in Movie History: April 6

In all honesty, we prefer John Carpenter’s version of The Thing, to the original Thing from Another World. It sticks more closely to the short story that inspired them both and finds an existential terror that the first film can’t match. (Seriously: best horror movie of all time.) That said, the original — directed by Christian Nyby with a clear assist (at the …