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Today in Movie History: May 4

We’re sticking with Marvel today because… well because the biggest superhero movie of all time opened today. 2012’s The Avengers turned an already successful franchise — three franchises technically — into something entirely new. Not since the Universal horror cycle in the 1940s had we seen anything quite like it, and Universal couldn’t dream of accomplishing something on the scale …

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Today in Movie History: February 15

Stagecoach is one of those movies whose influence kind of creeps up on you. Not only did it cement a number of Western conventions that later went on to become clichés (Monument Valley settings, cavalry arriving at the last minute, etc.), but it made a star out of John Wayne and turned director John Ford into Hollywood legend. It also featured …

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Today in Movie History: November 25

We’ll begin Black Friday with a winner for the holiday weekend: Planes, Trains and Automobiles, director John Hughes’ foray into “grown-up” comedy after cutting his teeth on the likes of Sixteen Candles and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. It’s a marvelous bit of slapstick, thanks mostly to the comic chemistry between Steve Martin and the late John Candy as a pair of businessmen trying …