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Today in Movie History: December 17

It’s hard to underestimate the influence of Peter Jackson’s Return of the King. It was clear form the two films that preceded it that something extraordinary was afoot. But its staggering critical and box office success helped cement our current franchise-heavy cinematic culture (along with the Harry Potter films), as well as finally validating the fantasy genre as an art form. …

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Today in Movie History: June 25

It’s another banner day, and we’re going to start with one of those wild 80s weekends where multiple future classics opened on the same day. Nobody knew that back in 1982 when Ridley Scott released Blade Runner unto the world. It suffered from a troubled production which saw Scott battling with both the studio and star Harrison Ford (to say nothing …

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Today in Movie History: December 28

It was a fairly quiet date as far as releases go, owing to our perennial post-Christmas malaise. Alfred Hitchcock’s Spellbound hit theaters in 1945, a second-tier effort from the master, but still notable thanks mostly to Salvador Dali’s haunting dream sequences. (On the more gossip-y end of things, the production involved a secret tryst between stars Gregory Peck and Ingrid …

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Today in Movie History: December 25

Surprisingly enough, Christmas Day has become a big day to go to the movies… and this year marks a notable anniversary for many of them. The date itself has served as a convenient launching pad for potential Oscar contenders, and there were some good ones among the pretenders: To Kill a Mockingbird was released 45 years ago today in 1962 and My Fair …