On this day in showbiz history...
Here are a few cinematic things to think about today March 19th. Which will you feel most festive about?
1859 Charles Gounod's Opera Faust premieres in Paris. There are multiple Faust operas just as there are multiple film versions of the
1897 Betty Compson (The Barker, 1928), the only Best Actress nominee born in Beaver, Utah (I mean, she'd have to be, right?) enters the world.
1915 Happy 102nd birthday today to 40s star Patricia Morrison (Dressed to Kill, Song of the Thin Man). Yes, she's still alive!
1947 Glenn Close is born in Connecticutt. 70 years later she still hasn't won her Oscar! She's back on Broadway in Sunset Blvd at the moment...
1951 Herman Wouk's Pulitzer Prize winning novel The Caine Mutiny is published. Just three years later the film adaptation is a major awards player with 7 Oscar nominations. (I once did a study of 1954 and having seen a lot of films from that year, let's just say that Oscar's fascination with this one is confounding. The year has many riches)
1952 Shaper of many future Oscar races, Harvey Weinstein, is born in Queens
1953 For Oscar's 25th anniversary, the very first televised ceremony! The Greatest Show on Earth wins Best Picture of 1952 and Shirley Booth trips on the steps. She won't be the last actress winner to do that.
1955 Bruce Willis, future classic action star, is born in Germany
1957 Elvis Presley purchased his new home Graceland for just over $100,000. It's been a tourist destination for years and has factored into several movies as well including This is Spinal Tap
1962 Bob Dylan releases his very first album, titled "Bob Dylan." Later in his career he'll win a Nobel, a Golden Globe, an Oscar, and 12 Grammy Awards. Todd Haynes, who will later make the abstract Bob Dylan biopic I'm Not There, is only 14 months old when it comes out so his fandom must have come significantly later.
1964 Sean Connery has his first day shooting the James Bond classic Goldfinger, which we loved writing about. Just under six months later it premieres in London. Post-production times were shorter back then, apparently.
1975 The movie musical Tommy premieres. It goes on to two Oscar nominations: Actress for Ann-Margret and Best Song Score for Pete Townshend
1982 Eduardo Saverin is born. Meets Mark Zuckerberg in college and the rest is The Social Network history. Andrew Garfield receives a Golden Globe nomination playing him.
...on this same day two controversial movies open: the raunchy teen sex comedy Porkys (which became a huge hit) and the stage to screen mystery Deathtrap which featured a kiss [GASP!] between two major male stars (Christopher Reeve and Michael Caine). It opened just two weeks after another gay mainstream film Making Love with two famous male leads (Harry Hamlin & Michael Ontkean). It makes you wonder what might have happened to gay representation in cinema if the AIDS crisis hadn't hit so forcefully so quickly thereafter. Gay love on the big screen was basically relegated to indies thereafter until Philadelphia and Birdcage in the 90s both of which were timid about romantic affection between men.
1984 Kate & Allie premieres on CBS, remember that one? Jane Curtin wins two Emmys for the series which runs for six seasons.
1985 Spin magazine began publishing. Their first cover (dated May) went to Madonna. The music magazine ran in print until 2012
1993 Bridget Fonda does her best Anne Parillaud and starts assassinating people in the American remake of the French Point of No Return
1999 The ridiculously contrived romantic comedy Forces of Nature with Sandra Bullock and Ben Affleck opens
2002 Oscar winner Ben Kingsley becomes "Sir Ben Kingsley," knighted by the Queen on this day. The actor, who never seems to stop working, has 4 movies coming this year. What's your favorite of his performances? I'm partial to Sexy Beast but I also think he's amazing in the underappreciated Penélope Cruz drama Elegy in 2008
2010 "ch-ch-ch-cherry bomb!" The Runaways opens in movie theaters, arguably the first film that predicted the current Kristen Stewart rather than the Twilight Kristen Stewart. Underappreciated movie as Dakota Fanning and Michael Shannon and some tech elements are also noteworthy in it