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Showbiz History: Swimming Pool, The Secret of Nimh, and Margot Robbie

8 random things to celebrate from this day (July 2nd) in showbiz history 

<--- 1953 Children's book author Roald Dahl (James and the Giant Peach, The Witches, etcetera) and future Best Actress Oscar winner Patricia Neal (Hud) are married in New York.

1971 The original Shaft, an influential film in the blaxploitation movement and one of its biggest hits, opens in movie theaters. The next Spring "Theme from Shaft" takes the Oscar for Best Original Song. 

1980 Airplane!, a spoof of the then fading "disaster" genre, premieres. It becomes a smash hit and the fourth biggest grosser of 1980...

1982 Don Bluth Production's The Secret of Nimh opened in theaters to strong reviews and solid box office. For a brief time period, with Disney animation in a weakened state, it looked like the Mouse House might get a real rival studio (formed of a group of ex Disney animators) via a project they turned down but Bluth's success as a genuine Disney rival didn't extend past the 1980s after a couple more significant hits (The Land Before Time and An American Tail) because Disney came roaring back to life in the late 1980s. A fascinating flux period in animation, it was. 

1999 The fourth of July box office weekend began with new releases Wild Wild West, South Park: Bigger Longer Uncut and Spike Lee's underrated joint Summer of Sam all new in movie theaters. 

2003 The new films come early, the wednesday before te 4th of July weekend with Terminator 3, Legally Blonde 2, Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas, in wide release and Swimming Pool in limited release. Swimming Pool a thriller starring Charlotte Rampling and Ludivine Sagnier, becomes François Ozon's biggest hit in the US, though globally his biggest hit remains 8 Women (2002) a musical starring a who's who of major French actresses of the 80s, 90s, and 00s.

2014 Melissa McCarthy is Tammy, the new comedy in theaters on this day in the hopes of ruling the fourth of July weekend and beyond. Though it becomes a modest hit, it's arguably the least loved of McCarthy's string of hits this decade.

2021 Sing 2, a sequel to the animated hit, due to open in movie theaters.

Today's Birthday Suit
Happy 29th birthday to Oscar nominee Margot Robbie

Leonardo DiCaprio and Margot Robbie in "Wolf of Wall Street"

More birthdays
Oscar winners: none?; Other Oscar nominees: Cinematographer George J Folsey (Meet Me in St Louis), Songwriter Johnny Colla (Back to the Future) and Screenwriter James Edward Grant (The Sheepman); Actors: Lindsay Lohan, Larry David, Elizabeth Reaser,  Saul Rubinek, Ron Silver, Moon So-Ri, Ken Curtis, Ashley Tisdale, Wendy Schaal, Yancy Butler, Julia Montgomery, Andrew Divoff, Polly Holliday, Kenneth McMillan, Brock Peters, Robert Ito, Fridtov Såheim, Ivan Dobronravov, Gloria Castillo, Deborah Unger, Wang Yu, and a happy 18th birthday to Abraham Attah (the child lead of Beasts of No NationOther Showbiz Peeps:  Olympian Johnny Weir, Celebrity Jerry Hall, Wrestler Bret Hart, Author Matthew Reilly, Musician Michelle Branch, Musician Vince Staples, Composer Fabio Frizzi, Celebrity Imelda Marcos, and film critic Mark Kermode.

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Reader Comments (7)

It's Lieutenant Hurwitz. Severe shell-shock. Thinks he's Ethel Merman.

July 2, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterken s.

I love The Secret of NIMH, one of the finest—and scariest—animated features ever. It's a shame Bluth & Co. never really had the kind of run that their adaptation of Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH seemed to portend as they're pretty terrific storytellers.

Summer of Sam is one of Lee's best. So-o-o not discussed enough.

July 2, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMareko

Am i the only one who really loves South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut?

1999 is my favorite year of Hollywood films, i can easily made a Top 10 just with films from USA released that year:

1. Magnolia
2. South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut
3. Election
4. Boys Don't Cry
5. Being John Malkovich
6. The Blair Witch Project
7. American Beauty
8. The Sixth Sense
9. Summer of Sam
10. Fight Club

July 2, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterCésar Gaytán

Airplane!, The Secret of NIMH, Swimming Pool. Ashley Tisdale, Wendy Schaal, Mrs. Rupert Murdoch. That’s quite a day.

July 2, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterScottC

Dahl and Neal have a fascinating (but rather terrible) story together: after she had a debilitating stroke, he basically bullied her into recovering, but then left for another woman.

July 2, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJames from Ames

"Swimming Pool" is a modern classic

July 2, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJaragon

César: I love South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut too! It's one of my favourite comedies, one of my favourite musicals and one of my favourite animated features. I'd have given it Best Picture over all of that year's nominees.

July 3, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterEdward L.

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