The first day of the last month of the year starts with one of the first big hits ever created in the medium. The Great Train Robbery, a 12-minute silent movie filmed for the princely sum of $150, opened people’s eyes to the medium’s narrative possibilities and potential for kinetic action. Even today, over a century later, it’s still a lot of fun. It opened today in 1903.
I’m not sure why nuns make a good fit for the movies, but they kind of do… both as heroes and villains. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Black Narcissus, the story of a quintet of nuns in the Himalayas struggling with the environment and each other. The story is a bit of a potboiler — albeit an intriguing one — but the real selling point is the gorgeous Technicolor cinematography from Jack Cardiff. The film opened today in 1947.