Thursday, December 22, 2011

The only people who grow old were born old to begin with.

I mentioned the other day that the film The Bishop's Wife premiered in NYC on December 9, 1947. If you have a moment or two or 109, why not check it out -

Alright, you can get back to it all.

December 22, 1937 -
The center tube of the Lincoln Tunnel was opened to traffic today, charging $0.50 per passenger car.

Some of those cars are still trying to get through the tunnel.

December 22, 1949 -
The film version of Maxwell Anderson's play (Joan of Lorraine,) Joan of Arc, starring Ingrid Bergman opened in Los Angeles on this date.

The film was not really a commercial success upon release, but only partly due to RKO's poor publicity campaign (which producer Walter Wanger blamed on then-RKO president Howard Hughes). Audiences stayed away from the film when Ingrid Bergman's affair with director Roberto Rossellini was revealed while the movie was in release, because they considered it blasphemous for an adulterous woman to be playing a saint.

December 22, 1959 -
Joseph L. Mankiewicz' film version of Tennesse Williams' strange one act play (about rape, incest, homosexuality, and cannibalism - I know that was probably a huge selling point,) Suddenly, Last Summer, premiered on this date.

Because of years of alcoholism and prescription drug abuse, Montgomery Clift was considered uninsurable due to chronic ill health. Ordinarily that would have meant he would have been fired and replaced, but his good friend Elizabeth Taylor saved his job by insisting she would not do the film without him.

December 22, 1975 -
A beautiful study of love and madness (and the razor's edge between them), L'histoire d'Adele H, opened in the US on this date.

Initially planned as a grand-scale spectacular drama with Jeanne Moreau to play the lead, then Catherine Deneuve (then having an affair with François Truffaut) was considered for the role. The film took 7 years to be made, and finally Truffaut decided on Isabelle Adjani whom he noticed on a TV broadcast of the Comédie Française.

Today in History:
December 22, 1869 -
Christmas has come and gone, and I—to speak selfishly—am glad of it. The season always gives me the blues in spite of myself, though I manage to get a good deal of pleasure from thinking of the multitudes of happy kids in various parts of the world.

Edwin Arlington Robinson, American poet, was born on this date.

December 22, 1879 -
It's Stalin's birthday (again)! Hey, when your a dictator, you get to celebrate your birthday on more than one day. Unfortunately, the proper way to celebrate - oppress, torture and murder millions of your fellow country men - is frowned upon.

So smack someone upside the head for no reason.

December 22, 1940 -
Strange death of the day - Author Nathanael West and his wife, Eileen McKenney, died in an auto accident on this date.

Distraught over hearing of his friend's F. Scott Fitzgerald's death (who passed away a few days earlier of a massive heart attack,) he crashed his car after ignoring a stop sign.

December 22, 1955 -
The corpse of Evita Peron is stolen by anti-Peronistas.

30 years later (to the day), Madonna's Like a Virgin single goes #1 for weeks.

Make of the coincidence what you will.

December 22, 1965 -
David Lean's Russian epic, Dr Zhivago, premieres in the US, on this date.

The film was not shown in Russia until 1994.

December 22, 1984 -
Bernhard Goetz shoots 4 teenage boys on the NYC subway after one of them asks him for money.

Again, this practice is frowned upon, so smack someone upside the head.

December 22, 2001 -
Richard Reid attempts to blow up an American Airlines transatlantic flight by igniting a plastic explosive concealed in his shoe. Other passengers beat the living daylights out of him.

They knew, they smacked him upside the head.

5 more days of Hanukkah, 3 more shopping days until Christmas. (1 more shopping days until Festivus. Please feel free to add me to your list of family grievances together - I miscounted the days until Festivus.)

And so it goes

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