Today in Movie History: April 16

We’re starting with the suddenly very problematic Kill Bill, Vol. 2 today. It remains one of the better efforts in Quentin Tarantino’s unique canon, and provided a career topping turn for Uma Thurman (as well as her amazing then-stunt double Zoe Bell, among others). But Thurman’s recent revelations regarding the director’s cavalier attitude towards her safety have given it a chilling undercurrent… and Harvey Weinstein’s prominent involvement makes it doubly troubling. The movie is terrific, but what’s come to light has tempered that more than a little. It opened today in 2004.

On a lighter note, there’s Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, about a kind soul (Gary Cooper) who inherits a lot of money and has to deal with all manner of hustlers and con artists in the process. It’s one of Cooper’s better films, and served as the source for the not-great-but-better-than-you’d-expect Adam Sandler version from a few years ago. It opened today in 1993.

We’ll close with a personal favorite: Benny & Joon, a lovely romance about an Autistic young woman (Mary Stuart Masterson) who falls for an acrobatic silent comic enthusiast (Johnny Depp, when he could still charm our socks off with a glance), and the consternation it causes her caregiver brother (Aidan Quinn). It’s marvelous, it has aged like find wine, and it celebrates love among the world’s oddballs and outsiders as few romances ever could. It opened 25 years ago today in 1993.


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