Today in Movie History: February 25

We’re starting with the movie that doesn’t make my stomach turn: The Lady Eve, Preston Sturges’ delightful comedy about a slick con artist (Barbara Stanwyck) who falls for an earnest (and rich) snake expert (Henry Fonda) onboard an ocean cruise. It’s a high point for all involved, but it’s Stanwyck who dominates with a comedic performance for the ages. It opened today in 1941.

Now, about that stomach turning… the biggest Biblical epic of all time hit theaters today in 2004. Unfortunately, it was The Passion of the Christ, which ignited a firestorm of controversy during its release but clearly struck a chord among the Christian faithful, who turned out to see it in droves. Of course, that was before director Mel Gibson’s anti-Semitic meltdown, the seeds of which could be seen in the film itself (along with Gibson’s trademark sado-masochism and snuff-film levels of violence) and which made everyone basically want to forget the whole thing ever happened. But it did. Thanks Mel!



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