Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Happy 70th Bugs.
July 27, 1940 -
Bugs Bunny made his debut in a cartoon called A Wild Hare, on this day. Warner Brothers' writers and animators set out to make a rabbit who would be the epitome of cool. They modeled bugs on Groucho Marx with a carrot instead of a cigar. Mel Blanc gave him a Brooklyn accent.
He was a nonchalant rabbit who chewed on his carrot in the face of all of his enemies and he was famous for the line, "What's up, doc?" which he used in that first cartoon when he met Elmer Fudd who was hunting rabbits.
I'd like to send out a great big birthday kiss to that wascally wabbit but interspecies relations are generally frowned upon.
July 27, 1949 -
Mighty Joe Young, an RKO Radio Picture made by the same creative team responsible for King Kong, premiered in New York City on this date.
This was the first feature film for which Ray Harryhausen used his newly created stop-motion technique.
(At age 55, Terry Moore, star of the film, who describes herself as a "devout Mormon" posed nude in the August 1984 issue of Playboy magazine.)
July 27, 1978 -
National Lampoon's Animal House, the grandfather of all gross-out comedies, premiered in New York City on this date. (Toga party, anyone?)
This was Kevin Bacon and Karen Allen's first movie. Donald Sutherland was so convinced of the movie's lack of potential, that, when offered a percent of the gross or a flat fee of $75,000 for his three days' work, he took the upfront payment. Had he taken the gross percentage he would have been worth an additional $3-4 million.
July 27, 1983 -
Hollywood's favorite little person's break out film, Risky Business, opened on this date. This film is not, as usually noted, an above average teenage sex comedy but the precursor to 'Greed is Good' mantra that sunk this country for years to come.
The dance scene where Joel dances to Old Time Rock N' Roll was completely improvised. In the script Tom Cruise was simply instructed to "dance to rock music".
I must embarrassingly admit that I still wear Ray-Ban Wayfayers sunglasses.
July 27, 1984 -
Prince burst out on an unsuspecting world in Purple Rain, premiering on this date. (Stop thinking of it as a movie - it's more like the longest MTV video ever shot.)
(I hope you're waving your arms in the arm!)
The film almost got an "X" rating because of the sex scene with Prince and Apollonia. However, after several seconds were cut out of it, the film came out with an "R" rating.
Today in History:
July 27, 1890 -
At the Chateau d'Auvers, Vincent van Gogh presses a revolver to his chest and pulls the trigger. Somehow the bullet misses the vital organs, and the painter manages to stumble over to a friend's house.
The following night, Van Gogh dies of an infection in the arms of his brother Theo.
July 27, 1953 -
The armistice that ended the Korean War was signed today. It was a war that began in June 1950 when North Korea invaded the south. Almost 35,000 Americans were killed in the conflict, more than 5,000 captured or went missing. A corporal in the 1st Marine Division named Anthony Ebron said, "Those last few days were pretty bloody. Each time we thought the war was over we'd go out and fight again. The day it ended we shot off so much artillery that the ground shook. Then, that night, the noise just stopped. We knew it was over."
Harry Truman said that if he had signed the same armistice, the Republicans would have drawn and quartered him, but Dwight D. Eisenhower had run for president on the platform that he would end the war, and when he was elected, that's what he did.
Unfortunately, someone forgot to inform the North Koreans that they, in fact, signed the armistice and are still technically at war with someone.
July 27, 1980 -
Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, the exiled Shah of Iran, dies of lymphatic cancer in Cairo.
Hey, everyone looks just a little more guilty standing next to Nixon.
July 27, 1996 -
During a celebration for the Atlanta Olympics, security guard Richard Jewell notices a suspicious green knapsack in Centennial Park. He immediately alerts police and helps to clear people from the area shortly before the pipe bomb explodes. For his trouble, Jewell becomes the FBI's preliminary suspect and news organizations run wild with the story.
Because he didn't do it, numerous media outlets end up paying him large undisclosed settlements. Eric Rudolph was later charged with the bombing. He was arrested May 31, 2003. Rudolph later pleaded guilty to the bombing.
And so it goes.