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Today in Movie History: February 22

Do you want the awesome first, or just the freakishly pathetic? Right, awesome it is. The Incredible Shrinking Man opened today in 1957, marking a high point of 1950s science fiction. The effects were astonishing at the time and still hold up quite well, while the script by Richard Matheson (based on his own novel) manages to fit existential questioning …

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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: 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: July 1

There are two kinds of people in this world: those who adore Big Trouble in Little China, and deluded, misguided souls who make me sad. John Carpenter’s semi-satirical wuxia mash-up tanked upon its initial release, but found a new audience (as so many 80s films did) on home video. It is currently hailed as one of the cornerstones of Western civilization, thanks to a cunning …