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Today in Movie History: January 20

Show of hands: who wants to watch a bracing 104 minutes of Soviet-era propaganda? I knew you would! Sergei Eisenstein’s October opened today in 1928: generally regarded as one of the masterpieces of Soviet cinema and granting its director license to expound upon numerous cinematic theories — like montage — that today have become standard practi- You in the back, quit falling …

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Today in Movie History: January 13

If you need some John Wayne in your life, today had it, with the release of Mark Rydell’s The Cowboys in 1972. As late-era Wayne goes, it’s hard to top… and Bruce Dern is still living down what his character did to the Duke in this movie. On a completely different note, visual effects maestro Stan Winston made a rare stint as …

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Today in Movie History: November 21

Hollywood loves its monsters and we’ve seen our share of great ones over the years. At the end of the day, however, they all fall in line behind one indisputable champion. The one and only Frankenstein opened today in 1931. I doubt the Hunger Games will expand beyond the three books and four films that have already been made. The …

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Today in Movie History: July 8

It’s a quiet Friday for film releases, topped only by  Lew Lander’s The Raven, which arose at the height of Universal’s horror cycle. It was the second pairing of Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi after 1934’s The Black Cat, and at the time was considered almost too gruesome for audiences. Lugosi plays a doctor fixated on Edgar Allan Poe, to the point of keeping …

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Today in Movie History: April 22

You know Hollywood’s delightful habit of periodically producing a Part 2 that equals or surpasses the original? James Whale officially perfected that today in 1935 with the release of The Bride of Frankenstein. Elsa Lanchester makes an entrance for the ages as Dr. Frankenstein’s second creation, with Colin Clive’s haunted doctor reflecting the alcoholism that eventually claimed the actor, and Boris …

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Today in Movie History: January 25

We’re looking at quite a few notable films with release dates today. We’ll start with a triumph from the Silver Age of Walt Disney pictures. 101 Dalmatians remains one of the Mouse’s biggest hits (#2 behind Snow White if you adjust for inflation) and — amid the studio’s bevvy of memorable villains — delivering one Cruella de Vil, who just might …

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Today in Movie History: December 22

As usual, there’s an eclectic mixture of titles that saw release today, starting with a classic Universal monster picture. Carl Freund’s The Mummy opened in today 1932, featuring Boris Karloff in his second brilliant role for Universal. Today also saw the release of The Mummy’s Curse in 1944: the third sequel of the remake of the original, featuring Lon Chaney, Jr. in …