December 15, 1939 -
It was the first movie premiere ceremony to be televised. The governor of Georgia proclaimed the day a state holiday in commemoration of the event and the holiday celebrations continued for three days.
The fact that Hattie McDaniel would be unable to attend the premiere in racially segregated Atlanta annoyed Clark Gable so much that he threatened to boycott the premiere unless she could attend. He later relented when she convinced him to go.
December 15, 1961 -
An underrated Billy Wilder film, One, Two Three, opened in the US on this date
James Cagney had such a negative experience making this picture that he retired from films for 20 years until his cameo in Ragtime.
December 15, 1967 -
The wonderfully trashy film Valley of the Dolls premiered in NYC on this date.
The character of Neely O'Hara was partially based on Judy Garland's own history (with pills, alcohol, and failed marriages). It was Garland's real-life pill addiction that contributed to her leaving this film.
December 15, 1974 -
Mel Brooks' send up of the Universal horror films, Young Frankenstein, opened on this date.
The shifting hump on Igor's back was an ad-libbed gag of Marty Feldman's. He had surreptitiously been shifting the hump back and forth for several days when cast members finally noticed. It was then added to the script.
December 15, 1978 -
Warner Bros. released the DC Comics super hero Superman The Movie, directed by Richard Donner and starring Christopher Reeve, Gene Hackman, Marlon Brando and Margot Kidder in a limited release in the U.S. on this date.
To obtain the musculature to convincingly play Superman, Christopher Reeve underwent a bodybuilding regime supervised by David Prowse, the man who played Darth Vader in the original Star Wars trilogy.
Today's Christmas Special - You don't choose your family (and that sucks) (part 1):
Today in History:
December 15, 1944 -
En route to Paris, "swing" big band leader and whore monger Glenn Miller vanishes over the English Channel. Miller, listed as Missing In Action, was serving as a Major in the Army Air Force Band when his plane went down.
Glenn had been a chain-smoker for much of his life and by late 1944 was suffering from severe weight loss and shortness of breath, leading to speculation that he was terminally ill, probably with lung cancer. This theory also holds that he landed safely, but died of his illnesses on December 16th. Both of these latter theories overlook the fact that Miller wasn't alone on the flight; there were two other officers aboard the aircraft when it disappeared. They also have never been found.
To paraphrase my favorite quote once again, perhaps they too got carried away at that orgy in Paris.
December 15, 1961 -
Nazi Adolf Eichmann, former Reichssicherheitshauptamt (that's a real word) bureaucrat, was sentenced to death by a Jerusalem court on this date.
Eichmann had been arrested in Argentina and smuggled to Israel the previous year.
December 15, 1966 -
Walt Disney, neo-nazi, commie hater, union-buster and child pornography lover died on this day.
Let us compare of two of the modern era's finest and most influential artists: Georges Seurat (December 2, 1859) and Walt Disney (December 5, 1901), both born in December.
Aman-Jean at the official Salon in 1883. The following year, the Salon rejected the panels from his painting Bathing at Asnieres, so he stormed off with some friends and formed the "Societe des Artistes Independentes" (Guys Who Got Rejected by the Salon.)
In 1886, after two years of labor, Seurat's Sunday Afternoon on the Island of the Grande Jatte was the centerpiece of the Societe's exhibition. It was hailed by critics, and he was recognized as the successor to the Impressionists.
In 1928, Disney conceived of a funny little mouse while on a train ride, and Steamboat Willie became the first sound Mickey Mouse cartoon on November 28, 1928, at the Colony Theater in New York. Mickey was an instant hit, and by 1930 he was already earning Disney significant merchandise deals.
Seurat and his followers were dubbed the "neo-impressionists." Only at the time of his premature death in 1891 did his friends and family learn that he had been living with and had even fathered a child with his mistress.
Disney built an entertainment and recreation empire from Mickey Mouse, but was not frozen in liquid nitrogen after his death in 1966. His followers are called the "imagineers."
(Seurat was not frozen, either. I believe he may have briefly dated Bernadette Peters.)
And so it goes.