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This tag is associated with 31 posts

‘Dirty’ Harry Callahan found not guilty of shooting unarmed civilians


In a controversial ruling, no-nonsense cop ‘Dirty’ Harry Callahan walked free from a federal court yesterday after a jury acquitted him of the ‘targeted hits’ of lowlife, good-for-nothing punks. The hard-bitten San Francisco detective was charged after it emerged that some of his victims may have been unarmed when he blew them away. Among the … Continue reading

November 7 1980 Steve McQueen dies


On November 7th 1980, the actor Steve McQueen, one of Hollywood’s leading men of the 1960s and 1970s and the star of such action thrillers as Bullitt and The Towering Inferno, died at the age of 50 in Mexico, where he was undergoing an experimental treatment for cancer. In 1979, McQueen had been diagnosed with … Continue reading

November 3 1976 Carrie creeps out audiences


On November 3rd 1976, Carrie, a horror film starring Sissy Spacek and based on Stephen King’s 1974 best-selling first novel, opened in theatres around the United States. Directed by Brian De Palma, the film tells the story of high school outcast Carrie White, who uses her telekinetic powers to exact a violent revenge on her … Continue reading

October 20 1994 Burt Lancaster dies


On this day in 1994, Burt Lancaster, a former circus performer who rose to fame as a Hollywood leading man with some 70 movies to his credit, including From Here to Eternity and Atlantic City, in a career that spanned more than four decades, died of a heart attack at the age of 80 in … Continue reading

October 13 1950 Jimmy Stewart stars in Harvey


On October 13th 1950, the actor James Stewart starred in Harvey, a drama about an eccentric man whose best friend is a giant invisible rabbit. Directed by Henry Koster and based on a Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same name by Mary Chase, Harvey earned Stewart the fourth Best Actor Oscar nomination of his career. … Continue reading

October 10 2004 Superman star Christopher Reeve dies


On October 10th 2004, the actor Christopher Reeve, who became famous for his starring role in four Superman films, died from heart failure at the age of 52 at a hospital near his home in Westchester County, New York. Reeve, who was paralyzed in a 1995 horse-riding accident, was a leading advocate for spinal cord … Continue reading

October 7 1983 Sean Connery plays James Bond in Never Say Never Again


On October 7th 1983, Sean Connery starred in Never Say Never Again as the British secret service agent James Bond, a role he last played in 1971. The film’s title referenced the fact that the Scottish-born actor had previously remarked that he would never play Agent 007 again. Connery, who was born in Edinburgh on … Continue reading

September 30 1955 James Dean dies


On September 30th 1955, movie star James Dean died at age 24 in a car crash on a California highway. Dean was driving his Porsche 550 Spyder, nicknamed “Little Bastard,” headed to a car race in Salinas, California, with his mechanic Rolf Wuetherich, when they were involved in a head-on collision with a car driven … Continue reading

September 26 2008 Screen legend Paul Newman dies


On September 26th 2008, Paul Newman, one of the leading movie stars of the 20th century, died at the age of 83 from cancer at his home in Westport, Connecticut. In a career spanning more than five decades, Newman made over 65 movies, including the classics “Cool Hand Luke,” “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” … Continue reading

September 23 1994 The Shawshank Redemption debuts


On September 23rd 1994, The Shawshank Redemption, starring Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins, opened in theatres around the United States. Based on a short story titled “Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption,” by the best-selling author Stephen King, the movie followed the story of a man named Andy Dufresne (Robbins) who is sentenced to life … Continue reading

September 20 1946 First Cannes Film Festival


On September 20th 1946, the first annual Cannes Film Festival opened at the resort city of Cannes on the French Riviera. The festival had intended to make its debut in September 1939, but the outbreak of World War II forced the cancellation of the inaugural Cannes. The world’s first annual international film festival was inaugurated … Continue reading

September 14 1982 Hollywood star and real-life princess Grace Kelly dies


On this day in 1982, Princess Grace of Monaco, the American-born former film star Grace Kelly, whose movie credits include The Country Girl and Rear Window, died at the age of 52 from injuries suffered after her car plunged off a mountain road near Monte Carlo. During the height of her Hollywood career in the … Continue reading

September 13 1916 Children’s author Roald Dahl is born


On September 13th 1916, Roald Dahl, author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964) and James and the Giant Peach (1961), was born in South Wales. Dahl’s childhood was filled with tragedy. His father and sister died when Dahl was three, and he was later brutally abused at his boarding school. After high school, he … Continue reading

September 2 1973 Lord of the Rings creator Tolkien dies


On September 2nd 1973, J.R.R. Tolkien, the author of the best-selling fantasy novels The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings–the source of the award-winning blockbuster movie trilogy directed, co-produced and co-written by Peter Jackson–dies at the age of 81 in Bournemouth, England. With legions of fans worldwide, The Lord of the Rings has had … Continue reading

August 26 1978 Grease movie soundtrack earns its second #1 hit


On August 29th 1978, the album Grease earned its second chart-topping hit when its third single, Frankie Valli’s “Grease”, reached the #1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100. The 1960s was the final decade in which the musical hits of Broadway were routinely and successfully adapted by Hollywood into big-budget screen versions. West Side Story … Continue reading

August 23 1926 Rudolph Valentino dies


On August 23rd 1926, the death of silent-screen idol Rudolph Valentino, at the age of 31, sent his fans into a hysterical state of mass mourning. In his brief film career, the Italian-born actor established a reputation as the archetypal screen lover. After his death from a ruptured ulcer was announced, dozens of suicide attempts … Continue reading

August 20 1918 Valley of the Dolls author Jacqueline Susann born


On August 20th 1918, Jacqueline Susann, the author of Valley of the Dolls, the 1966 mega-hit novel about the showbiz lives of three women (reportedly modelled in part after Judy Garland, Marilyn Monroe and Grace Kelly), was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Like her characters in Valley of the Dolls, Jacqueline Susann moved to New York … Continue reading

August 12 1939 The Wizard of Oz premieres in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin


On August 12th 1939, The Wizard of Oz, starring Judy Garland and featuring words and music by E.Y. “Yip” Harburg and Harold Arlen, received its world premiere in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. The beloved characters and familiar plot points were mostly all there in the original children’s book, from the Kansas farm girl in shiny slippers transported … Continue reading

July 18 2008 The Dark Knight opens with highest-grossing weekend


On July 18th 2008, The Dark Knight, the sixth film in the big-screen Batman series, opened in theatres around the United States, six months after the death of one of its stars, Heath Ledger, who played the Joker. The Dark Knight beat out the previous record-holder, 2007’s Spider-Man 3, to score the highest-grossing opening weekend of … Continue reading

July 15 1988 Die Hard debuts, makes Bruce Willis a star


On July 15th 1988, Die Hard, an action film starring Bruce Willis as wisecracking New York City cop John McClane, opened in theatres across the United States. A huge box-office hit, the film established Willis as a movie star and spawned three sequels. Die Hard also became Hollywood shorthand for describing the plot of other … Continue reading

May 22 2004 Controversial documentary Fahrenheit 9/11 wins Palme d’Or


On May 22nd 2004, Michael Moore’s documentary film Fahrenheit 9/11 beat out 18 other films to win the coveted Palme d’Or, the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival. It became the first documentary to triumph at Cannes since The Silent World, co-directed by Jacques Cousteau and Louis Malle, won the Palme d’Or in 1956. … Continue reading

May 18 2001 Shrek released


On May 18th 2001, the fledgling movie studio Dreamworks SKG, founded by Hollywood heavyweights Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen, released what would become its most successful film to date: the animated feature Shrek. Based on William Steig’s 1990 children’s book, Shrek was vividly re-imagined by Dreamworks animators as a subversive twist on the … Continue reading

May 8 1963 Sean Connery stars in his first Bond movie, Dr. No


On May 8th 1963, with the release of Dr. No, moviegoers get their first look–down the barrel of a gun–at the super-spy James Bond (codename: 007), the immortal character created by Ian Fleming in his now-famous series of novels and portrayed onscreen by the relatively unknown Scottish actor Sean Connery. Connery had acted in repertory … Continue reading

May 1 1941 Citizen Kane released


On May 1st 1941, Orson Welles’ landmark film Citizen Kane, which had generated such controversy that Radio City Music Hall refused to show it, finally debuted at at the smaller RKO Palace Theater. Citizen Kane is now revered as one of the greatest movies in history. George Orson Welles, an American actor, director, writer and … Continue reading

April 22 1937 Jack Nicholson born


On April 22nd 1937, John Joseph “Jack” Nicholson, famous for his roles in such movies as Easy Rider, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and As Good As it Gets, was born in Neptune, New Jersey. He would become known as one of the greatest actors of his generation. Nicholson’s father left his mother before … Continue reading

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