Rear Window – August 4, 1954Sixty-five years ago, “Rear Window,” written by John Michael Hayes and directed by Alfred Hitchcock, premiered to prominent members of the social and entertainment worlds at Rivoli Theater in New York City. It received four Academy Award nominations including Best Writing and ranked on AFI’s 100 Years … 100 Movies list, among others. The story went on to inspire screenplays for generations, including “What Lies Beneath,” “Panic Room,” “The Girl on the Train,” and “Disturbia.”
The Sixth Sense – August 6, 1999M. Night Shyamalan’s thriller “The Sixth Sense” solidified the filmmaker’s signature style for surprise endings. In a rare occurrence of events, the script for the film was greenlit without a single rewrite, selling for $3 million and eventually becoming one of the highest-grossing horror films of all time.
Unforgiven – August 7, 1992David Webb Peoples’ “Unforgiven” came to life on screen as directed by Clint Eastwood. The Writers Guild of America said the script for the film was one of the greatest ever written. It’s part of the United States National Film Registry and is named to AFI’s top 10 Westerns of all time.
Sunset Boulevard – August 10, 1950On this day in history in 1950, a screenwriter became the center of the storyline in “Sunset Boulevard,” written by Charles Brackett, Billy Wilder, and D.M. Marshman Jr. The story, about a struggling screenwriter and an aging actress attempting a comeback, won an Oscar for Best Screenplay in 1951. It’s currently being remade by Paramount, with Glenn Close set to star as Norma, a role she previously played for the Broadway adaptation.
Mario Moreno “Cantinflas” – August 12, 1911Considered one of the most successful Mexican comedians to have ever lived, Cantinflas (real name: Mario Moreno), would have been 108 years old today. The writer, actor, and producer became known for his word games, and Charlie Chaplin called him the best comedian alive. He starred in “Around the World in 80 Days,” for which he won an Academy Award. His puns and double entendres even inspired the word “cantinflear,” which means to speak in circles and puns to confuse someone. Happy birthday, Cantinflas!
Bonnie and Clyde – August 13, 1967In 1967, audiences watched as a waitress fell in love with an ex-con and started a crime spree that would live on in infamy. “Bonnie and Clyde,” written by David Newman and Robert Benton, was based on the true story and inspired later filmmakers to be more daring in their depictions of sex and violence. It’s now part of the 100 films in the U.S. National Film Registry.
Rashomon – August 23, 1951On this day in history in 1951, audiences watched as four different people recounted different versions of a man’s murder and the rape of his wife in “Rashomon.” Written by Akira Kurosawa and Shinodu Hashimoto, the film brought Japanese cinema into the international spotlight and inspired the term “Roshomon Effect,” used to describe the often fickle and unreliable accounts of eyewitnesses.
Pather Panchali – August 25, 1955On this day in history in 1955, “Pather Panchali” debuted to Indian audiences and became one of the first Indian films to receive widespread international acclaim. Satyajit Ray wrote and directed the movie, which is set in a rural, impoverished Indian village and centers around a young boy named Apu and the women in his family who shaped his growth while his father left home to seek a better life. It was nominated for best film at the 1958 BAFTAs and won “Best Human Document” at 1956 Cannes. The film is part of the Apu Trilogy, with “Aparajito” and “The World of Apu” coming later.
The Wizard of Oz – August 25, 193980 years ago today, we learned from Dorothy that there’s no place like home. “Wizard of Oz,” was adapted for the screen by Noel Langley, Florence Ryerson, and Edgar Allan Woolf. Library of Congress says it is the most-seen film in movie history.
The images in this blog were modified and originally appeared on Wikimedia Commons.