Today in Movie History: April 20

Star Wars may have changed the face of movies in 1977, but the year’s other most notable film had plenty of staying power as well. Annie Hall, the pinnacle of Woody Allen’s nebbish shtick, ended up scooping Star Wars at the Oscars, and today remains one of the most beloved comedies ever made. Pity the director turned out to be such a creep…

Speaking of great comedies, Edgar Wright scored a monster hit with Shaun of the Dead, but for our money his follow up is even better. Hot Fuzz, a spot-on (and very British) send up of Michael Bay-style action films, is an instant cure for blockbuster fatigue and the best satire of the last decade. It opened today in 2007.

Wright and his star Simon Pegg both expressed a profound affection for George A. Romero, and Romero himself called Shaun of the Dead  the greatest Valentine to his work that he could hope for. It’s fitting, then, that one of the their films shares a release date with the original inimitable accept-no-substitutes zombie masterpiece Dawn of the Dead, which opened today in 1979.

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