On this day: the release of Bombardier

Bombardier_movieThe American film Bombardier was released on the 14th of May, 1943. Concerning the training of United States Army Air Forces bombardiers, the movie was unpopular with cri

The American film Bombardier was released on the 14th of May, 1943. Concerning the training of United States Army Air Forces’ bombardiers, the movie was unpopular with critics, but a success with viewers.

The film was actually conceived in 1940, more than a year before the United States entered the Second World War. The storyline evolved after America was drawn into the conflict at the halfway point, and the script was changed to include Japanese bombing scenes after the attack on Pearl Harbor.

On this day: April Fool was released

The film April Fool was released in the United States on the 21st of November, 1920. The image below of Northern Irish actress Thelma Percy (younger sister of Eileen Percy), one of the stars, appeared in the Exhibitors Herald the day before.

Only a fragment of the film – a gag featuring a wallet – is known to have survived.

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April_Fool_(1920)_-_1Still from the American comedy short film April Fool (1920) with Thelma Percy held up by two unidentified actresses, on page 36 of the November 20, 1920 Exhibitors H

On this day…

People magazine cover from the 1st of April, 1985. Featured are English actress Jacqueline Bisset and her then partner Alexander Godunov. Godunov was a Soviet ballet star who defected in the late 1970s, becoming a featured actor in Hollywood until his shock death a decade after this picture was taken.

Alexander Godunov People 21st April 1985 Cover

On this day: the premiere of an anti-Nazi film

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You Nazty Spy!, the first Hollywood film made with an anti-Nazi sentiment, premiered on the 19th of January, 1940.

Featuring The Three Stooges, it satirised Nazi Germany at a time when Americans had still not entered the Second World War, and the country remained neutral.

Some American politicians, such as Burton Wheeler and Gerald Nye, were offended by the anti-Nazi sentiment in the production, seeing it as war propaganda.

Of course, their attitudes changed completely twenty-three months later, with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

On this day: the premiere of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

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On the 21st of December, 1937, Disney’s first feature-length film premiered at the Carthay Circle Theatre in Los Angeles.

Guests at the premiere included Charlie Chaplin, Shirley Temple, Marlene Dietrich, Ginger Rogers and Cary Grant.

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Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs went on to receive Oscar and Grammy nominations, and won an award at the Venice Film Festival.

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The film’s general release came in February the following year.

On this day: the Star Wars Holiday Special

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Notorious for its terrible reviews and reception, and one of the first spinoffs of the Star Wars franchise, The Star Wars Holiday Special premiered on the 17th of November, 1978.

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In the special, Chewbacca and Han Solo visit Chewbacca’s home world, Kashyyyk, to celebrate Life Day.

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Perhaps because of the negative reception, the Holiday Special has never again been rebroadcast, and was not made available on video.

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Today it is only available as a bootleg copy, and its IMDB rating sits at 2.4 stars out of ten.

On this day: the premiere of Little Women

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The 1933 adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s classic book Little Women premiered at Radio City Music Hall in New York on the 16th of November. Starring Katharine Hepburn as Jo, Frances Dee as Meg, Jean Parker as Beth, and Joan Bennett as Amy, all of the girls’ characters were played by women significantly older. Spring Byington played Marmee.

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In its initial run, the film broke attendance records, and it went on to be nominated for a number of Academy Awards. Husband-and-wife scriptwriting team Victor Heerman and Sarah Y. Mason won for their screenplay.

 

 

On this day: the premiere of Days of Our Lives

American soap opera Days of Our Lives had its premiere on the 8th of November, 1965.

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The Horton family cast in 1966. X

Famous for its outlandish storylines, including characters being possessed by the devil, and people coming back from the dead multiple times, it is one of the longest-running scripted shows in history.

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The 2010 logo.

Due to Days’ popularity, episodes were expanded from half-hour to one hour length in April 1975.