December 29, 1967: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly released in US cinemas

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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is a 1966 epic Spaghetti Western film, an international co-production between Italy, Spain, West Germany and the United States.

The film is known for Leone’s use of long shots and close-up cinematography, as well as his distinctive use of violence, tension, and stylistic gunfights. The plot revolves around three gunslingers competing to find fortune in a buried cache of Confederate gold amid the violent chaos of the American Civil War (specifically the New Mexico Campaign in 1862), while participating in many battles and duels along the way. The film was the third collaboration between director Sergio Leone and Clint Eastwood, and the second with Lee Van Cleef.

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly was marketed as the third and final instalment in the Dollars Trilogy, following A Fistful of Dollars and For a Few Dollars More. The film was a financial success, grossing over $25 million at the box office, and is credited with catapulting Eastwood into stardom. Due to general disapproval of the Spaghetti Western genre at the time, critical reception of the film following its release was mixed, but it gained critical acclaim in later years. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is now seen as one of the greatest and most influential Western movies.

First…”A Fistful of Dollars” Then…”For a Few Dollars More”

THIS TIME THE JACKPOT’S A COOL $200,000

…Five of the West’s fastest guns say come and get it!

Three different men of three different tempers and tastes get involved in a long and full-of-adventure battle in order to find a fortune in gold. While the first man who is an ex-bounty hunter and a forgiving person knows the name of the cemetery which the gold is buried in, the second who is a fast-tempered greedy man knows the name on the grave. But the third person, a cruel cold-blooded murderer, knows none; so he has to reach the gold in his own way of finding something. [IMDb]

Notable cast & crew

  • Clint Eastwood, “Blondie” (aka The Man With No Name), The Good
  • Eli Wallach, “Tuco Benedicto Pacífico Juan María Ramírez” (aka “The Rat” according to Blondie), The Ugly
  • Lee Van Cleef, “Angel Eyes”, The Bad
  • Sergio Leone, director, co-writer
  • Ennio Morricone, music

Soundtrack

Originally released December 29, 1967, it was re-released onto CD October 25, 1990. The enhance and extended score provided below was released in 2004.

Find out more*

Source of information, pictures etc is Wikipedia* unless stated otherwise.

*Prof Nostalgia & the20thcentury.today are not responsible for external links

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December 19, 1969: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service released in UK & US cinemas

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On Her Majesty’s Secret Service is a British spy film and the sixth in the James Bond series produced byby Eon Productions. It is based on the 1963 novel of the same name by Ian Fleming. Following Sean Connery‘s decision to retire from the role after You Only Live Twice, Eon Productions selected an unknown actor and model, George Lazenby, to play the part of James Bond. During the making of the film, Lazenby announced that he would play the role of Bond only once.

In the film, Bond faces Blofeld (Telly Savalas), who is planning to hold the world ransom by the threat of sterilising the world’s food supply through a group of brainwashed “angels of death”. Along the way Bond meets, falls in love with, and eventually marries Contessa Teresa di Vicenzo (Diana Rigg).

It is the only Bond film to be directed by Peter R. Hunt, who had served as a film editor and second unit director on previous films in the series. Hunt, along with producers Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman, decided to produce a more realistic film that would follow the novel closely. It was shot in Switzerland, England, and Portugal from October 1968 to May 1969. Although its cinema release was not as lucrative as its predecessor You Only Live Twice, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service was still one of the top performing films of the year. Critical reviews upon release were mixed, but the film’s reputation has improved greatly over time.

FAR UP! FAR OUT! FAR MORE!

James Bond 007 is back!

Whilst on leave, British agent James Bond prevents a young woman, Tracy Draco, from committing suicide. Her father is the head of a powerful crime syndicate who is impressed by Bond and wants him to protect his daughter by marrying her. In exchange he offers Bond information which will lead 007 to his arch enemy Ernst Blofeld. At first Bond agrees to the deal purely to fulfil his objective to kill Blofeld but later he grows to love Tracy but when the British learn that Blofeld plans to destroy mankind with a deadly virus, 007 is torn between his loyalty to his county and his intent to marry Tracy. [IMDb.com]

Find out more*

Notable cast & crew

  • George Lazenby, “James Bond”
  • Diana Rigg, “Countess Tracy di Vicenzo”
  • Telly Savalas, “Ernst Stavro Blofeld”
  • Bernard Lee, “M”
  • Lois Maxwell, “Miss Moneypenny”
  • George Baker, “Sir Hilary Bray”
  • Bernard Horsfall, “Shaun Campbell”
  • Desmond Llewelyn, “Q”

Blofeld’s Angels of Death

  • Catherine Schell, “Nancy”
  • Joanna Lumley, “English girl”
  • Julie Ege, “Scandinavian Girl”
  • Jenny Hanley, “Irish girl”

Crew

  • Peter R Hunt, director
  • Harry Saltzman, co-producer
  • Albert R Broccoli, co-producer
  • John Barry, music
  • Eon Productions, production company
  • United Artists, distributor

Elvira: Mistress of the Dark (1988)

1988-Elviramistressofthedarkposter-WikipediaElvira, Mistress of the Dark is an American comedy horror film. Cassandra Peterson plays the role of horror hostess Elvira in the character’s feature film debut.

Elvira makes her Big Scream Debut in her Hot New Comedy.

Released September 30, 1988 (US)

When a chauvinist millionaire buys the television network where the sexy Elvira is the horror hostess of a late show, she quits her job with the intention of producing her own show in Las Vegas. However, the producers demand $50,000 from her and Elvira does not have the money. Out of the blue, she receives a telegram informing that her great-aunt Morgana died and she has an inheritance to receive. Elvira drives to the uptight town of Fallwell, Massachusetts, where her convertible breaks down. While repairing her convertible, Elvira inherits an archaic mansion, a recipe book and a poodle. Her great-uncle Vincent Talbot proposes to buy her book, but the poodle hides it in the sofa. Meanwhile, the conservative council of Fallwell feels uncomfortable with Elvira’s clothes and behavior and does not let her find a job. But cinema owner Bob Redding and the local teenagers help Elvira. When she decides to cook a dinner to impress Bob, she uses Morgana’s recipe and finds that it is indeed a spell book that belonged to her mother Divana. Further, Morgana has protected her from the warlock Vincent that wants the book to take over the world and destroy Elvira, who is a powerful witch. When Elvira refuses to sell the spell book to Vincent, he convinces the council that she is a witch that must be burned at the stake. How will Elvira stop the evil warlock Vincent? [IMDb*]

Notable Cast

  • Cassandra Peterson, “Elvira” / “Aunt Morgana Talbot”
  • W. Morgan Sheppard, “Great-Uncle Vincent Talbot”
  • Edie McClurg , “Chastity Pariah”
  • Kurt Fuller, “Mr. Glotter”
  • Jeff Conaway, “Travis”
  • William Duell, “Lesley Meeker”
  • Frank Welker, voice of “Algonquin”

Sources: Wikipedia* (information, pictures etc), IMDb* (movie release dates), and YouTube* (videos) unless stated otherwise.

*Prof Nostalgia & the20thcentury.today are not responsible for external links

Room Service (1938)

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Room Service (1938), lobby card

Room Service is an RKO film comedy, based on the 1937 play of the same name. The film stars the Marx Brothers and also features Lucille Ball and Ann Miller.

This is the only Marx Bros. film that was not written especially for the team. Less frenetic and more physically contained than their other movies, the plot revolves around the shenanigans of getting a stage play produced and funded by mysterious backer Zachary Fisk, while evading paying a large hotel bill.

Better . . . Battier . . . Funnier Than Ever !

Released September 30, 1938 (US)

Notable Cast

  • Harpo Marx, “Faker Englund”
  • Groucho Marx, “Gordon Miller”
  • Chico Marx, “Harry Binelli”
  • Lucille Ball, “Christine Marlowe”
  • Ann Miller, “Hilda Manney”

Find out more at Wikipedia* and IMDb*.

Sources: Wikipedia* (information, pictures etc), IMDb* (movie release dates), and YouTube* (videos) unless stated otherwise.

*Prof Nostalgia & the20thcentury.today are not responsible for external links

There’s Something About Mary (1998) released in UK cinemas

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There’s Something About Mary (1998), theatrical poster

There’s Something About Mary is an American romantic comedy film starring Cameron Diaz as the titular character with Matt Dillon, Ben Stiller, Lee Evans and Chris Elliott all playing men who are in love with Mary and vying for her affections.

Warning: The guys who did ‘Dumb & Dumber’ and ‘Kingpin’ bring you a love story.

Released July 15, 1998 (US); September 25, 1998 (UK)

Sources: Wikipedia* (information, pictures etc), IMDb* (movie release dates), and YouTube* (videos) unless stated otherwise.

*Prof Nostalgia & the20thcentury.today are not responsible for external links

Will Smith

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Will Smith (1968-), pictured in 2016

Will Smith (born September 25, 1968) is an American actor, producer, comedian, rapper and songwriter. Smith has been nominated for five Golden Globe Awards and two Academy Awards, and has won four Grammy Awards.

In the late 1980s, Smith achieved modest fame as a rapper under the name The Fresh Prince. In 1990, his popularity increased dramatically when he starred in the NBC television series The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, which ran for six seasons until 1996. After the series ended, Smith transitioned from television to film, and has gone on to star in numerous blockbuster films. He is the only actor to have eight consecutive films gross over $100 million in the domestic box office, eleven consecutive films gross over $150 million internationally, and eight consecutive films in which he starred, open at the number one spot in the domestic box office tally.

20th Century Highlights

  • The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (TV, 1990-1996)
  • “Summertime” (1991), DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince, UK#8
  • “Boom! Shake the Room” (1993), DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince, UK#1
  • Six Degrees of Separation (1993), “Paul”
  • Bad Boys (1995), “Mike Lowrey”
  • Independence Day (1996), “Capt. Steven Hiller”
  • Men in Black (1997), “Agent J”
  • “Men in Black” (1997), UK #1
  • Big Willie Style (1997), UK #9
  • “Gettin’ Jiggy With It” (1997), UK #3
  • “Just The Two Of Us” (1998), UK #2
  • “Enemy of the State” (1998), “Robert Clayton Dean”
  • “Miami” (1998), UK #3
  • Wild Wild West (1999), “James West”
  • “Wild Wild West” (1999), UK #2
  • Will 2K (1999), UK #2
  • Willennium (1999), UK #10

Find out more at Wikipedia*, IMDb*, and his Official Website*. Follow Will on Facebook*, YouTube* and Instagram*.

Sources: Wikipedia* (information, pictures etc), IMDb* (movie release dates), and YouTube* (videos) unless stated otherwise.

*Prof Nostalgia & the20thcentury.today are not responsible for external links

September 24, 1969: The Blood of Fu Manchu flowed into US cinemas

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The Blood of Fu Manchu (1968)

The Blood of Fu Manchu, also known as Fu Manchu and the Kiss of Death, Kiss of Death, Kiss and Kill (US title) and Against All Odds (original US video title), is a British adventure crime film based on the fictional Asian villain Fu Manchu created by Sax Rohmer. It was the fourth film in a series.

LUSCIOUS LIPS – Lethal in their biting sting of death!