Today in Movie History: July 17

The premise was ridiculous. The specifics sounded dumber than a bag of rocks. And that title? What were they thinking?! So it looked thirty years ago right up until the moment Peter Weller’s cybernetic crime-stopper marched on screen to keep the streets of old Detriot safe. RoboCop delivered (among other things) a brilliant sci-fi actioner, a savage satire of 80s culture, a viable comic-book story in an era that gave us Superman IV and Howard the Duck, and on top of it all a poignant tale of a monster searching for his stolen soul. It some ways, it’s the perfect encapsulation of its age. In other ways, it hasn’t aged a day. Whatever it has, it’s got it in spades. the one and only RoboCop opened today in 1987.

Though not nearly as high on the pop-culture ladder, there’s something to be said about Arthur, the tale of a ridiculously wealthy man-child (Dudley Moore) looking for love in New York City. It works partly because Moore found the role of his life, and partly because of the yeoman work done by Liza Minnelli as the object of his affection. But the real selling point was John Gielgud, who scored a richly deserved Oscar as Moore’s diligent manservant. Arthur opened today in 1981.

Finally, there’s Trainwreck, a surprise hit from a few summers ago that landed Amy Schumer on the A-list and gave comedies featuring females a bigger piece of the pie. Schumer plays a hard-drinking writer with a psychotic fear of relationships who finds herself falling for Bill Hader’s nice-guy sports doctor. Equal parts raunchy and charming, we’re hoping it settles in for a good long haul as a go-to comedy. It opened today in 2015.




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