September 29, 1948,
Laurence Olivier's powerful interpretation of Shakespeare's melancholy Dane, Hamlet premiered in New York Cuty on this day.
The first English sound film version of William Shakespeare's Hamlet. The film went on to be the first non-American film to win the Oscar for Best Picture and Laurence Olivier became the first person ever to direct themselves to a best actor or actress Oscar.
September 29, 1953 -
The family comedy Make Room for Daddy, starring Danny Thomas, premiered on ABC TV on this date. The title Make Room for Daddy actually grew out of an in-joke within Danny Thomas' family. Whenever Danny was away on a nightclub tour, his children more or less had the run of the house. When he returned from a tour, it was time to spread out and "make room for daddy", hence the show's title.
September 29, 1954 -
The movie musical A Star Is Born, (the third version of the film, fourth, if you count What Price Hollywood) starring Judy Garland and James Mason, had its world premiere at the Pantages Theater in Hollywood on this date.
The film was re-edited several times. Premiering at 181 minutes, the studio (Warner Bros.) cut the film by 30 minutes despite the objections of director George Cukor and producer Sidney Luft (Judy Garland's husband). In 1983, all but 5 minutes of the cut footage was found and re-instated, but some footage had to be reconstructed using production stills.
September 29, 1960 -
We were all welcomed into the Douglas household when My Three Sons, starring another of TV favorite alcoholic dads, Fred McMurray, premiered on ABC on this date.
At Fred MacMurray's insistence, all episodes were filmed out of sequence during the show's entire run using a technique now known as the MacMurray method. MacMurray would do all of his scenes in 65 nonconsecutive days.
Today in History -
September 29, 1399 -
... For God's sake, let us sit upon the ground and tell sad stories of the death of kings...
Richard II was deposed, on this date,which only served him right for having posed in the first place. He was succeeded by Henry IV Part I.
September 29, 1513 -
Spanish explorer Vasco Nunez de Balboa discovered the Pacific Ocean, on this date.
How something that covers roughly a third of the earth's surface could have been lost for so long is a question that stumps historians to this day.
It's Miguel de Cervantes' birthday. Born in 1547, Cervantes is best known as the author of Don Quixote, a cunning satire on mental illness. The work is an epic treatment of the perennial question, "wouldn't the world be better off if we were all crazy?"
The answer from the novel is a qualified yes: the story supports the premise, but its length and lucidity suggest that the author himself was not crazy, which contradicts the premise.
Ever since the publication of Don Quixote, the idea of improving through world through mental illness has taken root in the popular culture of the west. From the good soldier Svjek and Prince Myshkin to Chauncy Gardener, Elwood P. Dowd and Forrest Gump, western readers and filmgoers have a galaxy of benevolent lunatics to show them the way to a better, purer existence. Grand mal seizures, delirium tremens, and hallucinations are merely the price of admission to their wistful world of blissful ignorance.
The sane and hard-working do not come off nearly so well in film or literature. In fact, sane and hard-working people seldom even appear in film or literature. No one wants to read about them, or spend good money to watch them go about their plodding lives, because most of us are surrounded by sane and hard-working people already and know what they're like—they're just like us, only less so.
Early to bed and early to rise may make a man healthy, and wealthy, and wise, but it won't do a goddam thing for his Nielsens. In fact, if you're healthy, wealthy, wise, and well-rested, you're only going to piss the rest of us off. Lighten up, slack off, drink up, and spend plenty of quality time with imaginary friends.
That's the real road to happiness—or at least our acceptance, without which you have no right to be happy.
September 29, 1955 -
The only film Charles Laughton directed, The Night of the Hunter opened in New York City on this date.
The film received such poor reviews upon it's initial release that Charles Laughton could never be persuaded again to direct a film. He was scheduled to direct a version of The Naked and the Dead after finishing Night of the Hunter.
September 29, 1957 -
An explosion at the Chelyabinsk-40 complex, a Soviet nuclear fuel processing plant, irradiates the nearby city of Kyshtym with strontium-90, cesium-137, and plutonium.
This accident releases twice the radioactivity of the Chernobyl incident.
September 29, 1976 -
At his birthday party, musician Jerry Lee Lewis accidentally shoots his bass player Norman Owens twice in the chest, trying to open a soft drink bottle with a .357 magnum. Owens survives and files a lawsuit.
Now don't you wish you were at that party !!!
September 29, 1989 -
Zsa Zsa Gabor, a person famous for no apparent reason and with no visible means of support (It's too weird to think that Zsa Zsa was once Paris Hilton's step-grandmother), is convicted of slapping a Beverly Hills police officer.
Gabor later complains that she was denied a jury of her peers, saying "It was not my class of people, There was not a producer, a press agent, a director, an actor."
And so it goes.