A look back at this day in film history
August 04
October 25, 1965
Alphaville released in NY

"Science fiction without special effects" is how critic Andrew Sarris described Jean-Luc Godard's Alphaville, which opened in New York on October 25, 1965. Made during Godard's wildly creative early-to-mid-'60s period, after A Married Woman and before Pierrot le Fou, Alphaville is a sci-fi/detective movie mash-up, set on another planet that looks quite a bit like 1960s Paris. In a story about both depersonalization and mythmaking, Godard sent his detective Lemmy Caution (Eddie Constantine) though an urban landscape that was both beautifully hip and also inflected with the seeds of alienation that the International Style of modern architecture would come to represent. But, most of all, Alphaville is one of Godard's most enjoyable philosophical goofs. Wrote Sarris, "There is much talk of societies in other galaxies, but their only manifestation is the Ford Galaxy that Eddie Constantine's Lemmy Caution (a low-rent French version of Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe) moves about in. Most of Alphaville is nocturnal or claustrophobically indoors. Yet there is an exhilarating release in many of the images and camera movements because of Godard's uncanny ability to evoke privileged moments from many movies of the past."

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Laura From Mars August 4, 1978
Eyes of Laura Mars opens

In the 70s, producer Jon Peters, then married to Barbara Streisand, was looking for a new vehicle for his wife after their successful remake of A Star is Born.

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August 4, 1954
Magnificient Obsession released

When the sudsy romance Magnificent Obsession premiered at the Loew's State Theater in New York City, critics greeted it with guarded praise. The New York Times wrote that the film "is unquestionably a handsome one.

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4 August 1950
Ready for its Premiere

On this date, Billy Wilder's Sunset Boulevard, the quintessential fable of Hollywood fame and fortune, opened. Critics and audiences loved it; much of Hollywood hated it.

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