Singin' in the Rain, the apex of movie musicals, premiered in New York on this date.
Only 19 when cast to play the film, Debbie Reynolds lived with her parents and commuted to the set. She had to wake up at 4:00 a.m. and ride three different buses to the studio; sometimes, to avoid the commute, she would just sleep on the set.
March 27, 1973 -
Marlon Brando declined the Academy Award for Best Actor for his career-reviving performance in The Godfather on this date. The Native American actress Sacheen Littlefeather attended the ceremony in Brando’s place, stating that the actor “very regretfully” could not accept the award, as he was protesting Hollywood’s portrayal of Native Americans in film.
Brando was the second actor to ever turn down the Oscar, the first being George C. Scott, who declined his Best Actor Oscar for his role in Patton.
Today in History:
March 27, 30 -
A small time official in a backwater province of the Roman empire gains immortality for practicing good hygiene.
Pontius Pilate washed his hands and sealed the fate of Jesus.
March 27, 1866 -
The patent for a urinal (US Patent No. #53,488) was granted to Dr. Andrew Rankin, on this date.
March 27, 1912 -
Washington DC is in the middle of it's annual celebration of National Cherry Blossom Festival (even though the recent cold snap threatened to kill of many of the blossoms,) commemorating the gift of Japanese cherry trees from Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo City to the city of Washington on this date.
The gift nearly set off an international incident when the first set of trees sent by the Japanese government, in 1910, were discovered to be infested with harmful insects and disease. All of the trees had to be destroyed. After much apologizing on both sides, the Japanese government sent the new gift of the current trees.
March 27, 1945 -
Don't cry for me Argentina.
March 27, 1958 -
Nikita Khrushchev assumed control of the Soviet Union when he took over as premier (Evil Bastard, new style) of the country, five years after the death of Joseph Stalin on this date. Unlike most of the early Soviet leaders, who were all members of the Russian middle class, Khrushchev actually came from the working class (a very polite way of saying, he was as poor as dirt). His father was a coal miner, and his grandfather had been a serf. Khrushchev worked his way up through the ranks of the party until he became a close ally of Joseph Stalin, and during the mass executions of 1930s, when Stalin purged the party of all his suspected political enemies, Khrushchev was one of only three provincial secretaries to survive.
The speech was never officially announced to the public( for fear of the mass suicides - think Monty Python's WWII 'funny' joke), and Khrushchev never admitted to having made it, but word of the speech immediately began to leak out to intellectual circles and the foreign press. It was a bombshell, and it helped bolster Khrushchev's power at home and abroad. He became the premier two years later, on this day in 1958.
March 27, 1963 -
It's the birthday of the noted filmmaker, crack addict and foot fetisher Quentin Tarantino, born in Knoxville, Tennessee on this date. He was diagnosed as hyperactive as a kid, and didn't get along with his classmates or his teachers. His parents had to tie a pork chop around his neck to get the dog to play with him. The only things that calmed him down were comic books, movies and continually swallowing wristwatches. From the time when he was a toddler, his mother let him watch whatever movies he wanted. He watched everything from kung fu movies to French art house films (perhaps a little too much kung fu movies, some might argue).
He started taking acting classes (obviously failing those courses), and in his spare time he rewrote screenplays of movies he'd already seen from memory. Instead of going to film school, he got a job at video rental store that had one of the largest video collections in Southern California. Several other aspiring filmmakers worked there, and they would watch movies all day at work, discussing camera angles and dialogue. He spent five years working at the video store, writing screenplays, but he wasn't getting anywhere in his career.
He finally got a break when he met an actor who knew another actor who knew Harvey Keitel, and Keitel agreed to look at one of Tarantino's scripts. Keitel was impressed enough to volunteer to help Tarantino produce the film, and to act in it himself. The result was Reservoir Dogs (1992), which made Tarantino internationally famous. His next film, Pulp Fiction, won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 1994, and it went on to win an Academy Award for best screenplay.
Beside having won another Academy Award for screenwriting in 2013, and toe sucking, these days, Tarantino organizes the semi-annual Quentin Tarantino Film Festival, which is devoted to B movies of various genres, including kung fu movies, horror movies, biker movies, cheerleader movies, and women-in-prison movies.
So by all means, please slap his mother or father if you come across them today and blame them for the state of today's cinema.
March 27, 1964 -
On Good Friday at 5:36 pm, Valdez, Alaska, in Prince William Sound was rocked by an 9.2 earthquake, the largest ever recorded in North America. It lasted 4 minutes and was followed by tsunamis and fires and 131 people were killed.
Much of Crescent City, Ca., was demolished and 12 people were killed by a resulting tsunami.
March 27, 1998 -
The US Food and Drug Administration approved the drug Viagra (Sildenafil citrate), made by Pfizer, saying it helped about two-thirds of impotent men improve their sexual function. Viagra’s effects were shown to last 8-12 hours (but remember if your erection last more than 4 hours, after calling your friends, please seek medical assistance.)
And speaking of Viagra - the housemaid's heart-throb
And so it goes.