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Today in Movie History: August 1

One of the brilliant things about directors like Alfred Hitchcock is how their work evolves over time… and in this case, how his work in England differs from his work in Hollywood. The 39 Steps makes an outstanding example of earlier efforts informing later triumphs. This one follows one of the master’s standard scenarios — the innocent man wrongly accused —  into a …

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Today in Movie History: December 14

It was a good day for epics, starting with Edward Zwick’s classic Civil War tale Glory, which (among other things) gave Denzel Washington his first Oscar. You like your epics big, loud and featuring Charlton Heston? December 14 also saw the release of Anthony Mann’s minor classic El Cid back in 1961. 1984 saw three notable science fiction movies released… well okay, two …

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Today in Movie History: November 18

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005) “I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing,” Walt Disney famously said. “That it was all started by a mouse.” His little buddy Mickey got his start in the motion picture business today in 1928 with the release of Steamboat Willie. 87 years later, the little guy shows no signs …

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Today in Movie History: October 5

You’d think they’d release a movie like The Ten Commandments closer to Passover, when it might be more pertinent. But back in the 1950s, release dates worked differently, and films often had months or even years to play in theaters before moving on (and frankly, with the exception of network television, there was nowhere else to move on to). Hence, …