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Today in Movie History: December 10

There are good films, there are great films and then there are films that ennoble the medium by their very existence. Lawrence of Arabia is such a movie: a singular towering achievement that made full use of director David Lean’s incomparable sense of the epic. Peter O’Toole launched his career as the titular British soldier, whose campaign against the Turks …

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Today in Movie History: October 30

We’re pounding down the home stretch to Halloween, but the big opener today isn’t a horror movie. It’s The Lion in Winter, Anthony Harvey’s adaptation of the James Goldman play about Henry II’s (Peter O’Toole) vacillating choice for an heir. Katherine Hepburn won the third of her four Oscars as his scheming queen, and the sight of the two of them …

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Romeo And Juliet,  Olivia Hussey,  Leonard Whiting
Film and Television

Today in Movie History: October 8

  Shakespearean adaptations have their ups and downs. The great ones define the Bard for a generation, while the less-than-great ones tend to live on in high school classrooms if nowhere else. But few can deny the standing of Franco Zeffirelli’s Romeo and Juliet in their ranks: a timeless take on the age-old story that still feels as pertinent as …

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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: December 16

It’s another big day for movies and we’ll start with one of the very biggest: Lawrence of Arabia, David Lean’s breathtaking epic about the Englishman who rallied a nation to his side during World War I, then tried to give them their independence in exchange. You could call it the greatest movie ever made and not be immediately disputed. It …

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Today in Movie History: March 11

There’s nothing quite like a villain, and nobody could do them like William Shakespeare. I confess I prefer Ian McKellen’s take on his bloodiest king, Richard III, but Laurence Olivier had his own version of it, and it’s well worth a look. It opened today in 1956. And hey, if scheming kings are your thing, then you get a double dose today. Peter …