Today in Movie History: November 7

Small confession: I was not fond of Jon Favreau’s Elf when it was first released, and while time has warmed me to its charms, my feelings remain mixed. But I’m definitely in the minority on this one, and in the last decade it has become a reliable holiday classic that makes lots of folks happy during the Christmas season. It opened today in 2003.

On a completely different note, there’s Sid and Nancy, Alex Cox’s ode to the First Couple of punk rock and their horrifically intense devotion to each other. Cox understands punk sensibilities as few before him, and his sympathetic examination of this train wreck of a romance makes us feel for Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious (Gary Oldman) and the love of his life Nancy Spungen (Chloe Webb)… whom he eventually murdered. As a snapshot of an era, it’s amazing, and that’s not even counting Oldman’s is-it-live-or-is-it-Memorex performance that may still be the best in his storied career. Sid and Nancy opened today in 1986.

We’ll close with something much gentler: The Little Prince, a lovely and slightly surreal adaptation of the beloved Antoine de Saint-Exupéry novella. The recent animated feature managed to fall flat on its face. This live-action one hits all the right notes, thanks in part to the pitch perfect casting involving the likes of Bob Fosse and Gene Wilder, who presumably understood exactly what the story was all about. The Little Prince opened today in 1974.

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