Today in Movie History: March 7

Forget the horrible sequels and worse television spin-offs. The original Highlander earned its spurs as a batshit crazy, wildly original genre exercise that created a significant cult following, and remains one of the more unique products of 1980s cinema. It opened today in 1986.

In an attempt to update classic film noir tropes for the 1970s, Robert Altman created one of its strangest and most enduring updates with The Long Goodbye, which opened today in 1973. Elliott Gould plays a Philip Marlowe out of his time and place, wandering through a Los Angeles that has left him behind in search of a mystery that not even he can quite articulate. Among its other pleasures — including Altman’s inimitable improvisational style and a fine turn from Gould — it features a very young Arnold Schwarzenegger in one of his first onscreen roles.

Any Roger Corman Edgar Allan Poe adaptation is welcome here, and we’ve got one of the better ones for you: The Premature Burial, the tale of a man obsessed with being buried alive, and the general consternation that results. It’s interesting in part because it’s the only Corman Poe adaptation that doesn’t star Vincent Price. (Corman wanted him, but behind-the-scenes machinations prevented it from happening.) It opened today in 1962.

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