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Today in Movie History: June 16

Not a hugely full day today — a blessed break considering yesterday — but we’ll give Grease the nod for the pole position. It is the word after all, and while the film’s subtext remains troubling — basically saying that in order to get the man of your dreams, you have to change everything you are — it’s hard to stop the toes from tapping once those songs get going. And say what you will about John Travolta: the man knows how to dance. Grease opened today in 1978.

If that’s not your thing, there’s always Them! a better-than-average giant bug movie in which a colony of giant ants invades Los Angeles. The genre is, um, rather shabby, but if you’re in the mood, this one can be a lot of fun. It opened today in 1954.

Then there’s Batman Forever, a film regarded at the time as an effortless leap from Tim Burton’s vision to Joel Schumacher’s, but which stands today in only slightly higher regard than the maligned Batman and Robin. Overstuffed with too many characters, full of headache-inducing neon colors and eliciting the worst performance in Tommy Lee Jones’s career, it remains an embarrassing footnote in the long history of the character. It opened today — for better or worse — in 1995.

 

 

 

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