May 19, 1934 -
The very truly perverse horror film from Universal, The Black Cat, premiered in NYC on this date.
This film was made just before the Hays code went into effect. It is chockablock filled with Satanism, black mass orgies, necrophilia, pedophilia, sadistic revenge, murder and incest. Oh, I forgot to mention Bela Lugosi slices off Boris Karloff's face.
Betcha want to see it now.
May 19, 1951 -
Shh! Be vewy, vewy quiet. We're hunting Elmers.
The first in the series of the transvestite Bugs Bunny, the ever clueless Daffy Duck and bestiality minded Elmer Fudd's "Hunting Trilogy", Rabbit Fire was released on this date.
May 19, 1958 -
The iconic B movie classic, Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, broke out on this date.
Yvette Vickers had a close call when filming her character's death scene. A large nail on one of the boards from the fallen debris stood dangerously close to her head.
May 19, 1999 -
The much-anticipated movie prequel, Star Wars: Episode One -- The Phantom Menace opened on this date.
Natalie Portman (Queen Amidala) missed the premiere party in New York because she had to go home to study for her high school final exams.
May 19, 2005 -
Mr. Lucas needed more money to electronically remake the previous five Star Wars movies, so he released Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith on this date.
George Lucas allowed his friend Steven Spielberg to help design some sequences during pre-production. This was partly because Spielberg wanted the experience of using the 'pre-visualisation' techniques pioneered by ILM as he was going to use them for War of the Worlds. It was also because Lucas felt that his roles as Writer, Director, Executive Producer and Financier were taking up too much of his time and he needed another director to bounce ideas off. Spielberg's main contribution was in the climactic lightsaber duel between Obi-Wan and Anakin.
Today in History:
May 19, 1536 -
In the first public execution of an English queen, Anne Boleyn was beheaded on this date. In her speech, Boleyn has nothing but good things to say about her husband, Henry VIII: "I pray God save the king and send him long to reign over you, for a gentler nor a more merciful prince was there never: and to me he was ever a good, a gentle and sovereign lord."
Except of course for this whole beheading thing.
May 19, 1890 -
Nguyen Tat Thanh was born in central Vietnam on this date. After World War I he devotes his life to the Communist cause, adopting a series of pseudonyms along the way. Finally he settles on "The Enlightener," that being the English translation of Ho Chi Minh.
As a birthday present, the US decides to bomb Hanoi in 1967 on this date. (There is the tiniest cognitive dissonance in the fact that we are supporting Viet Nam in their argument with China over islands in the South China Seas.)
May 19, 1935 -
Thomas Edward Lawrence died after an motorcycle accident on this date. Lawrence was a British officer who rose to prominence during the Arabian campaigns of the First World War. Clad in the magnificent white silk robes of an Arab prince ... he hoped to pass unnoticed through London.
Alas he was mistaken.
He can also be seen in The Lion in Winter, Becket, What New, Pussycat and My Favorite Year.
May 19, 1945 -
Peter Townshend, Rock Singer/guitarist/vocalist/composer, was born on this date .
After he was rated as the 50th greatest guitarist of all time by Rolling Stone, Mr. Townshend fell into a deep depression and was reduced to appearing with another old time rocker, Roger Daltrey at benefit concerts.
May 19, 1951 –
To me, punk is about being an individual and going against the grain and standing up and saying 'This is who I am'.
Joey Ramone, (Jeffrey Ross Hyman) punk rocker, songwriter and countercultural icon was born on this date.
May 19, 1952 (1948 - it's not for us to question a woman about her real age) -
I just go with the flow, I follow the yellow brick road. I don't know where it's going to lead me, but I follow it.
Grace Jones, singer, model, and actress was born on this date.
May 19, 1962 -
Democrats staged a fund-raiser in New York's Madison Square Garden that was billed as a birthday salute to President John F. Kennedy on this date.
JFK thanked Marilyn, saying, “I can now retire from politics after having had ‘Happy Birthday’ sung to me in such a sweet, wholesome way.” It takes a certain kind of balls to have your mistress, Marilyn Monroe performed a sultry rendition of Happy Birthday to You in front of your wife and the nation.
And so it goes