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Today in Movie History: April 15

When Alfred Hitchcock released Stage Fright in 1950, he was roundly criticized for presenting an unreliable narrator and delivering flashbacks to events that never happened. 45 years later, he looked positively prescient as Bryan Singer’s The Usual Suspects attempted the same trick and was hailed as a masterpiece. Hitchcock, of course, aged far better than his critics, and Stage Fright …

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Today in Movie History: April 1

For April Fool’s Day, the releases today haven’t been very funny… Euthanasia Day notwithstanding. Speaking of which, we begin with Death Race 2000, Paul Bartel’s beautifully loopy dystopian car chase movie that became a cult classic. If you’re only familiar with this story through the guilty-pleasure of a Jason Statham remake, you owe it to yourself to take a look. …

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The Manchurian Candidate: The Criterion Collection Blu-ray Review

Review by: Robert Trate Starring: Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey, Janet Leigh, Angela Lansbury, Henry Silva, James Gregory, Leslie Parrish, John McGiver Directed by: John Frankenheimer Written by: Richard Condon (based upon a novel by), George Axelrod (screenplay) Original Year of Release: 1962 Run Time: 126 Minutes Rated: Approved Spine# 803

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Today in Movie History: March 18

Funniest movie of all time or high point of western civilization? We’ll leave that debate for the ages, but one thing is clear: if you want comedy, you can’t do better than Mel Brooks’ The Producers, which opened today in 1968. If you prefer kick-ass cowboys to dancing Hitlers, there’s Howard Hawks’ Rio Bravo, starring John Wayne, Ricky Nelson and Dean …

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Today in Movie History: March 11

There’s nothing quite like a villain, and nobody could do them like William Shakespeare. I confess I prefer Ian McKellen’s take on his bloodiest king, Richard III, but Laurence Olivier had his own version of it, and it’s well worth a look. It opened today in 1956. And hey, if scheming kings are your thing, then you get a double dose today. Peter …

Nosferatu

Today in Movie History: March 4

Before Gary Oldman, before Christopher Lee, before even Bela Lugosi, there was Max Schreck, whose repellant rat-like appearance in the original Nosferatu turned a barely disguised rip-off of Bram Stoker’s most famous creation into the stuff of cinematic legend. Stoker’s widow successfully sued the producers for plagiarism — and let’s be honest, she had a case — and killed the …

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The Graduate: The Criterion Collection Blu-ray Review

Review by: Robert Trate Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Anne Bancroft, Katharine Ross Directed by: Mike Nichols Written by: Buck Henry (screenplay), Charles Webb (novel) Original Year of Release: 1967 Run Time: 106 minutes Rated: PG Spine #800 Mike Nichols’ The Graduate (1967) is a film we all discover at some point in our lives. You don’t necessarily have to have seen it in the …