Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)
“I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing,” Walt Disney famously said. “That it was all started by a mouse.” His little buddy Mickey got his start in the motion picture business today in 1928 with the release of Steamboat Willie. 87 years later, the little guy shows no signs of slowing down and the company he started pretty much owns pop culture these days.
And his wasn’t the only notable animated film to hit screens today. Don Bluth’s The Land Before Time started a mini-franchise of its own in 1988, providing cute dinosaurs galore for a whole generation of pre-Jurassic Park kids.
On the non-animated front, William Wyler’s Biblical epic Ben-Hur delivered a race for the ages this day in 1959. (Stay in the chariot Chuck; we guarantee you’re gonna win the damn race.)
Exactly ten years earlier, Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn showed everyone how it was in with the release of Adam’s Rib.
More recently, Spike Lee’s incendiary Malcolm X delivered a biopic of the controversial civil rights leader in 1992, featuring perhaps the greatest performance Denzel Washington ever gave .
And if mediocre Star Trek movies are your thing, the Next Generation crew got off to a shaky start with 1994’s Generations. (Don’t worry. They got better.)