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Today in Movie History: December 20

It’s the season for Christmas movies and one of the move beloved of all time hit theaters today. It’s a Wonderful Life, Frank Capra’s surprisingly dark story about a town held together by one man, and what happens when that man starts to doubt himself, opened today in 1946: giving returning G.I.s and a nation weary of war a chance …

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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 —┬áhis magnificent, peerless, stunningly powerful samurai version of Macbeth — opened in Japan this day in 1957. The great Toshiro Mifune turned in one of numerous …

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Today in Movie History: November 19

Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai hit U.S. theaters in 1956, giving us a chance to see the master’s brilliant Eastern-Western mash-up that influenced everything from The Magnificent Seven to Star Wars to A Bug’s Life. For a more recent example of plucky underdogs facing an overwhelming task, the first part of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was released five years …