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« Months of Meryl: Before and After (1996) | Main | Soundtracking: "Muriel's Wedding" »
Wednesday
Jun062018

Showbiz History: Dreamgirls vs Nine, Damien The Omen, and More.

Today is my birthday! Wish me well. Or better yet, donate to the site (see right hand sidebar) to keep it healthy. That's my only birthday request since I have a roof over my head and food in the fridge and friends to  have weekend activities with and really that's the important stuff in the grand scheme of things so I'm hashtag blessed... without the icky religious connotations! My only church is the cinema.

Anyway,  here's what was happening in showbiz history on June 6th throughout the years!

1933 The first ever drive-in movie theater (location: Camden, New Jersey) opened starting a popular but now essentially lost tradition. 

1944 D-Day a World War II and inspiration for many filmmakers since.

1950 Director Chantal Akerman born in Belgium

1954 Multiple Tony winner and queer icon Harvey Fierstein is born in Brooklyn. I love that one of my heroes shares my special day. Credits include Torch Song Trilogy, La Cage Aux Folles, Hairspray, and more...

Most of his plays have been made into movies with the exception of Casa de Valentina which would make a good one, I think. Sadly I can't see it happening as it would likely be ripped to shreds in the media. It's a period drama about cross-dressing men but it's neither a trans nor a gay drama, really, which would totally confuse people. And we all know that people have a really hard time lately separating modern understanding of identity, sexuality, and gender from the historical context of period pieces. 

1955 Comedienne/actress/singer Sandra Bernhard born. She should've been Oscar nominated for terrorizing Jerry Lewis in King of Comedy (1983) and should be worshipped in perpetuity for her magnum opus one-woman show Without You I'm Nothing.

1962 Hirokazu Koreeda born in Tokyo. He just won the Palme d'Or for Shoplifters (2017). Past classics include Nobody Knows (2004) and Like Father Like Son (2013)

1963 Wonderful British actor Jason Isaacs is born.

1974 Herbie Rides Again speeds into theaters, the second film in Disney's franchise about a sentient Volkswagen Beetle (commonly referred to in the 70s as "lovebugs"). Remember when they tried to resurrect that franchise via Lindsay Lohan's brief teen stardom?

← 1978 Damien: Omen II supposedly arrived on June 6th in movie theaters though that was a Tuesday in '78 so I'm not sure that it's true! At any rate the world premiere was the day before in Chicago. For those who don't know Damien's birthday was June 6th, 1966 within the film series so this installment was about a 12 year-old Antichrist. Little Nathaniel will eventually watch this very movie on late night television in the 1980s and absolutely freak out because his birthday is also June 6th and he will have trouble sleeping for days afterwards. Yes, yes, today is my birthday. I've said. Don't make too much of a fuss.

1980 Urban Cowboy starring John Travolta and Debra Winger opens in theaters. Interesting trivia note that I didn't know until I was typing this post: the movie was choreographed by Patsy Swayze, Patrick's mother (!). Patrick had just made his own movie debut the year prior in Skatetown USA .

1982 The 36th annual Tony Awards are held at the Imperial Theater. Nine is named Best Musical and The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby wins Best play. Jennifer Holliday wins Best Actress in a Musical for Dreamgirls and Amanda Plummer Best Featured Actress in a Play for Agnes of God. Both of those roles will go on to be Oscar players via Jennifer Hudson and Meg Tilly in the eventual film versions. And Nine gets a film version, too, though it takes 27 years to happen and people don't really like it when it does.

2001 Swordfish hits theaters (semi-forgotton now in the Jackman and Berry filmographies) and audiences learn that Halle Berry was paid an extra half a million to expose her breasts! It was a HUGE year for Halle since Monster's Ball arrived on the coasts the day after Christmas and pretty soon she'd be locking lips with Adrien Brody while holding an Oscar.

2003 Whale Rider arrives in theaters in limited release. It's only June and people really like it but did anybody imagine right then that 13 year old Keisha Castle-Hughes would be Oscar nominated at year's end? I can't recall but I don't think so. 2003 was a very strange Best Actress journey!

2008 Happy 10th anniversary to Kung Fu Panda, released on this day, and the first sign that Dreamworks Animation could actually do fine and not wholly obnoxious work.

Okay that's all for today. Happy birthday to any of you who share this special day with Harvey, Jason, Sandra, and me! Here is a gif of Natalie Wood blowing out birthday candles just because!

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Reader Comments (25)

Happy birthday, Nat! Tou are my internet favorite person!

June 6, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterTheBoyFromBrazil

Happy birthday, Nathaniel!

Men who dress in women's clothing always has been a thing. I don't think we're so obtuse in our "wokeness" nowadays that we automatically conflate that with being transgender, especially considering how the concept of gender fluidity has infiltrated the collective consciousness.

I remember that the remake of the original Omen movie with Julia Stiles and Liev Schreiber opened on Tuesday, June 6, 2006 (6/6/06), so it's total possible that the first sequel to the original was released on a Tuesday.

June 6, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterTroy H.

OMG, I now remember seeing the remake of The Omen and promptly forgetting all about it.

On a happier note, happiest of, Nat! Joyeux anniversaire.

June 6, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMareko

I saw Sandra Bernhard in concert last fall and she was EVERYTHING! She randomly sang "My Love is Your Love" which is my favorite song ever. I bought a copy of Without You I'm Nothing for a friend and have yet to see it for myself.

June 6, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterjakey

Happy birthday, Nat! I love you even though I don't know you!

I know it is rude to beg you for something on your birthday, but can we please have a yes/no/maybe so on the A Star Is Born trailer? I so want to chuckle at all the naysayers!

June 6, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterSuzanne

Happy Birthday, Beautiful!

June 6, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterforever1267

The long fight between Harvey Fierstein and Anne Bancroft at the end of Torch Song Trilogy is memorable. Almost works as a condensed version of 'night, Mother.

Happy birthday, Nathaniel! As a birthday gift, please complete this for US

Sandra Bernhard, The King of Comedy
Cher, Silkwood
Michelle Pfeiffer, Scarface

June 6, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

Happy Birthday Nathaniel!

June 6, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterJaragon

Happy birthday, Nathaniel! Have a great day, and thank you as ever for the amazing site.

June 6, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterEdward L.

Happy birthday!

June 6, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterthefilmjunkie

Happy birthday!

June 6, 2018 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

Happy Birthday Nathaniel! Just recently found your website and love its vibe. SO into films, which described me to a "T".

Wanted to comment on Nine. I've given up trying to understand why some movies I love never make it. Just wanted to say, I thought this film had so many wonderful performance, chiefly in the musical numbers. Kate Hudson was fabulous in hers, it's the first time I've ever really liked her. Marion Cotillard was phenomenal both her musical numbers, especially "My Husband Makes Movies". I've watched her on YouTube hundreds of time.

Nathaniel, thanks so much for your contribution of this website. It's terrific!

June 6, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterrrrich7

Happy Birthday Nat!

Many Happy Returns *Rachel Weisz voice*

June 6, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterTiago

Happy happy birthday!

June 6, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterCarl Papa

May Julianne and Michelle smile on you today. Enjoy the birthday!

June 6, 2018 | Unregistered Commentercatbaskets

Happy Birthday Nathaniel!!! Mine is a week from today fellow Gemini.

Even if its a truncated version of the play I love the film of Torch Song Trilogy. Everyone is so good in it and Harvey is inimitable.

Those Herbie movies are so silly but charming in that 60/70's Disney way.

Jason Isaacs is such a versatile actor. He reminds me of Richard Widmark in many ways, he's a deeply disturbing villain conveying a real sense of ominous danger in his performances but then can turn right around and be a total sweetheart with an open, ready and engaging smile. He's successful but should have a bigger career.

June 6, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterjoel6

peggy sue... complete my supporting actress list for 83?

Sandra Bernhard, The King of Comedy
Cher, Silkwood
Michelle Pfeiffer, Scarface


i'm not sure I could complete it beyond that without watching a bunch of movies again to jog my memory.

but maybe

alfre woodard cross creek
jamie lee curtis - trading places?


but i'd want to rewatch or watch for the first time before deciding...

linda hunt -year of...
diane lane - outsiders/rumble fish
pam grier / diane ladd - something wicked this way comes
tess harper - tender mercies
amy irving - yentl
dianne wiest - independence day

happy to take suggestions!

June 6, 2018 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, NATHANIEL.

June 7, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterAdam Lewis

I have to rewatch the same movies! I'll come to your house. Wine is one me.

June 7, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

Also interesting that that Berry story is/was news. A way to distract from the fact that she was paid 1/10 of her male co-stars (who didn’t have to do nudity?). Typical!

June 7, 2018 | Unregistered Commentercatbaskets

Happy birthday!

June 7, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterDJDeeJay

Nat for 1983 may i recommend these supporting actress performances

Veronica Cartwright for The Right Stuff
Kelly McGillis for Reuben Reuben
Eileen Atkins for The Dresser
Ellen Barkin for Diner
Brooke Adams for The Dead Zone
Meg Tilly for Psycho II

June 7, 2018 | Unregistered Commentermarkgordonuk

Best Supporting Actress 1983 suggestions:

Meg Tilly - The Big Chill
Diana Scarwid - Silkwood
Shelley Hack - The King of Comedy
Tess Harper - Tender Mercies
Barbara Carrera - Never Say Never Again

June 7, 2018 | Unregistered Commenterken s.

For your birthday, the A Star Is Born (2018) trailer dropped: youtu.be/nSbzyEJ8X9E. What timing.

June 7, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMareko

Nathaniel, happy happy birthday!!!! A couple of things. I zaw Audra McDonald for the first time last night when she performed with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. Oh. My. God. So great! Secondly, what are your thoughts on the A Star is Born trailer?

June 7, 2018 | Unregistered CommenterMichael R

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