A look back at this day in film history
July 03
October 5, 1954
Carmen Redux

Otto Preminger’s Carmen Jones premiered on 5 October 1954, bringing Oscar Hammerstein II’s 1943 musical to the screen. Taking a cue from Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, Hammerstein turned Bizet’s classic opera of a lusty gypsy who seduces a hapless soldier into an African-American melodrama set in the modern South. Preminger cast the relatively unknown Dorothy Dandridge as his lead with Harry Belafonte as her GI beau. And while both Dandridge and Belafonte were accomplished singers, Marilyn Horne and Leverne Hutchinson were brought in to dub their voices to keep the sound more operatic. The film proved a commercial and critical success, with Dandridge becoming the first African-American nominated for a Best Actress Oscar. The film was a hit everywhere but France; a suit brought by Bizet’s estate against the film’s modernization of the score made it impossible to show Carmen Jones there until 1981.

More Flashbacks
Strangers on a Train July 3, 1951
Strangers on a Train opens

Ironically, Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train actually started on a train. Traveling back to Hollywood with his wife and the writer Whitfield Cook, Hitchcock devoured the galleys of a soon-to-be-published thriller by a brand new writer Patricia Highsmith.

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July 3, 1985
Back to the Future Opens

When Robert Zemeckis’ high school time travel film opened during the Fourth of July weekend, many executives at Universal Studios feared they had a flop on their hands. The film’s star Michael J. Fox, obligated to promote his TV show “Family Ties” in London for that week, was unavailable to promote the film.

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3 July 1985
The Future Today

The recent fire on the Universal Studio's backlot destroyed among other things a town square and bell tower that was made famous for the first time on this date 23 years ago.

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