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Today in Movie History: March 8

It was easy to overlook The Birdcage when it was released twenty years ago today . Based on the French film La Cage aux Folles, it did well at the box office, but felt at the time like more Robin Williams slapstick: soaking up Hollywood’s newfound tolerance for homosexuals and repeating trite observations about tolerance and understanding. In retrospect, however, it looks like a …

bill and ted

Today in Movie History: February 17

There are times when you want to revel in the artistry of cinema as an art form, when the possibilities of the medium greet you in an overwhelming rush, when the combination of a brilliant director, a perfect script and a talented team of hard-working artists creates a masterpiece for the ages. Then there’s times when you just want George Carlin …

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Today in Movie History: January 20

Show of hands: who wants to watch a bracing 104 minutes of Soviet-era propaganda? I knew you would! Sergei Eisenstein’s October opened today in 1928: generally regarded as one of the masterpieces of Soviet cinema and granting its director license to expound upon numerous cinematic theories — like montage — that today have become standard practi- You in the back, quit falling …

ÒShadow of a Doubt,Ó the 1943 thriller starring Teresa Wright and Joseph Cotten, received an Academy Award¨ nomination for Writing Ð Original Motion Picture Story (Gordon McDonell).  The film is set in Santa Rosa, California, where small-town bliss is interrupted by an evil visitor.

Picture here: Joseph Cotten (left) and Teresa Wright in a scene from ÒShadow of a Doubt.Ó

Today in Movie History: January 12

We have some old-school classics to save us from the glut of January crappola today. It starts with one of the very best: Alfred Hitchcock’s Shadow of a Doubt, released today in 1943. Having made a splash in Citizen Kane and The Magnificent Ambersons, Joseph Cotton turned his talents to playing a villain: a killer who arrives in an idyllic …

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Today in Movie History: January 25

We’re looking at quite a few notable films with release dates today. We’ll start with a triumph from the Silver Age of Walt Disney pictures. 101 Dalmatians remains one of the Mouse’s biggest hits (#2 behind Snow White if you adjust for inflation) and — amid the studio’s bevvy of memorable villains — delivering one Cruella de Vil, who just might …