A look back at this day in film history
July 07
October 7, 1951
La Ronde shut down in New York

By the time Max Ophüls’ La Ronde came to America, it had played for over two years in Paris and for four months in London to almost entirely enthusiastic reviews. Based on a play by Arthur Schnitzler, La Ronde tells ten stories, each connected by a character who has an affair with a character from the previous story. It begins with a prostitute being picked up and ends with the last character picking up the same working girl. While the film was overtly sexual, most considered it a sophisticated comedy of manners. André Bazin commended it as “a spectacular and brilliant film, extremely nimble in its writing as well as in its filming — above all the movement of the camera; and it is also full of a rather Germanic eroticism.” The New York State Censor, however, seemed fixated on the latter quality, its “eroticism,” rather than on its nimble writing. On October 7, the NY Censor board refused to grant the film an exhibition license. None of the New York censors found the film unpleasant; indeed some commended it. Rather they felt its casual depiction of sexuality (out of wedlock and with prostitutes) “would tend to corrupt morals” by contradicting the “standards of normal family life.” The distributor took this case to the New York Appellate court, where they lost. They then took the case to the United States Supreme Court where after months of legal maneuvering they were granted the right to show the film. Yet despite this victory, the ruling was so narrow that it hardly seemed to open up the potential for cinematic expression overall. The film itself went on to be nominated for an Oscar for Best Writing and Best Art Direction.

More Flashbacks
Veronica Lake July 7, 1973
Veronica Lake dies

Perhaps no Hollywood star fell so far from the heights of movie stardom as did Veronica Lake. When she died of hepatitis in a Vermont hospital in 1973 at the age of 50, she was penniless and completely alone.

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July 07, 1964
Don Siegel's The Killers opens

Ernest Hemingway’s short story The Killers has had the relatively rare honor of being adapted three times for the screen. There was Robert Siodmark’s 1946 version, starring Burt Lancaster and Ava Gardner, and then there was the Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkvosky’s 1956 student short.

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7 July 1899
A Star's Director is Born

In 1899, just three days after the Fourth of July celebrations, George Cukor was born in New York City to Hungarian Jewish immigrants.

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