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Today in Movie History: November 27

Treasure Planet — and more specifically, the massive financial failure of Treasure Planet — has been widely cited as traditional animation’s death knell. That undeniable fact covers up the wonderful movie behind it, and while it has developed a cult following over the years, this amazing space-opera update of the Robert Louis Stevenson classic deserves a much wider audience. It opened …

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Today in Movie History: November 24

We’ve got a brief bevy of minor films of note for Black Friday, starting with King Solomon’s Mines, a fine adventure saga based on the 19th century novel of the same name. The film is notable for shooting in authentic African locations, and also for its surprisingly sensitive portrayal of the local Masai tribes, including renditions of their traditional dances …

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Today in Movie History: November 23

It was a quiet day in movie history, but we still had a few notable releases. Elvis Presley serenaded Juliet Prowse in one of his better offerings, G.I. Blues, opening this day in 1960. More recently, we learned WAY more about Arnold Schwarzenegger’s lady parts than we ever wanted to know (as well as being reminded yet again how awesome …

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Today in Movie History: November 22

It’s another big day for the movies, starting with a trio of modern classics from the Disney/Pixar brain trust. It’s tough to single out one from that field, but I’m going with Beauty and the Beast: hands-down one of the greatest animated features of all time. It opened today in 1991. Four years later, the boys at Pixar quietly started a revolution …

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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: November 8

It’s a big day in more ways than one, so let’s get to it. For 45 years, Shakespeare’s Henry V belonged firmly to Laurence Olivier, whose 1944 version was considered definitive. Intended to rally the British nation during World War II, it offered a fairy-tale atmosphere of inevitable victory and proved so potent that no one dared make another version of …

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Today in Movie History: April 3

Some movies tower so high that simply to mention them is to take the breath away. So it its with 2001: A Space Odyssey. Almost 50 years on — with countless screenings, analyses, critical evaluations, and drug-induced hallucinations in the interim — we’re still pondering the imponderables of Stanley Kubrick’s monumental achievement. An unanswerable mystery and an all-encompassing revelation; a warning …