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Today in Movie History: January 19

We start off today with Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy, who appeared in one of their very best collaborations, Woman of the Year on this date in 1942. Director George Stevens knew how to bring their incomparable comic chemistry to life, and though this was only their first movie together, it proved to be the spark that lit the flame. They …

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Today in Movie History: January 18

Once upon a time, a TV cowboy named Clint got handed a script for a low-budget Italian Western that he immediately recognized as a hastily redressed version of Yojimbo. He took the job, for a free trip to Italy (or so he claims), and in the process helped reinvent an entire genre. A Fistful of Dollars opened today in the …

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Today in Movie History: January 17

Children of the 80s doubtless remember the California Raisins, an advertising phenom created by the Claymation artists at Will Vinton studios. The same studio produced a rather marvelous animated feature shortly thereafter: The Adventures of Mark Twain, a fantastical collection of the celebrated author’s short stories loosely wrapped around the premise of Twain himself (along with his most beloved creations) …

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Today in Movie History: January 16

January movies usually consist of either Christmas hits playing out their run, Oscar contenders going wide, or embarrassing monster movies the studios are hoping to quietly dump. Every now and then, however, one of those last types steps up and surprises you. Case in point: Fallen, a nifty little supernatural thriller that sends Denzel Washington’s cop on the trail of a killer with …

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Today in Movie History: January 15

Riddle me this, Caped Crusader: how do you produce the greatest Shakespeare adaptation of all time without using a single line of Shakespeare? You give it to Akira Kurosawa, that’s how. Throne of Blood — his magnificent, peerless, stunningly powerful samurai version of Macbeth — opened in Japan this day in 1957. The great Toshiro Mifune turned in one of numerous …

ÒShadow of a Doubt,Ó the 1943 thriller starring Teresa Wright and Joseph Cotten, received an Academy Award¨ nomination for Writing Ð Original Motion Picture Story (Gordon McDonell).  The film is set in Santa Rosa, California, where small-town bliss is interrupted by an evil visitor.

Picture here: Joseph Cotten (left) and Teresa Wright in a scene from ÒShadow of a Doubt.Ó

Today in Movie History: January 12

We have some old-school classics to save us from the glut of January crappola today. It starts with one of the very best: Alfred Hitchcock’s Shadow of a Doubt, released today in 1943. Having made a splash in Citizen Kane and The Magnificent Ambersons, Joseph Cotton turned his talents to playing a villain: a killer who arrives in an idyllic …