Great train Robbery

Today in Movie History: February 2

Do you like Sean Connery kicking 40 kinds of ass? Of course you do. With a little help from writer-director Michael Crichton, he delivered one of his very best films, The Great Train Robbery, on this day in 1979. A heavily fictionalized version of a purportedly actual event, it follows Connery’s criminal mastermind as he plots — with the help …

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Today in Movie History: October 7

On the surface, Spartacus is second-tier Stanley Kubrick at best. The legendary director was brought in at the behest of co-producer/star Kirk Douglas after Anthony Mann was fired a week into shooting. Kubrick got the job done, but the film features few of his signature flourishes, and remains solid Hollywood product more than the work of a celebrated auteur. Its …

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Today in Movie History: May 27

These days, with every potential blockbuster hoping to suck up all the air in the room, you never open big films right on top of each other. But it used to happen all the time. And in this case, it was a grand fluke, since nobody expected Star Wars to do anything when it debuted on May 25, 1977. But …

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Today in Movie History: December 17

12 years ago today, Peter Jackson’s Return of the King arrived in theaters: eventually winning 11 Oscars, cementing our current franchise-heavy cinematic culture and finally validating fantasy movies as an undeniable art form. It’s actually an auspicious date for fantasy movies: Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal came out on the same day in 1982, moving the celebrated puppeteer beyond the …