Flashback
A look back at this day in film history
October 19
October 3, 1960
The Entertainer opens in New York

The New York premiere of Tony Richardson’s The Entertainer gave Americans a taste of the “Angry Young Men” school of drama that was all the vogue in Britain. A few years earlier, Laurence Olivier, the great classical actor, had solicited playwright John Osborne (whose drama Look Back in Anger lead this movement) to write a vehicle for him. Staged in 1957, the play casts Olivier as Archie Rice, a washed-up song-and-dance man who holds on desperately to his stale routines, even as his personal life is falling apart around him. The dramatic metaphor of England as a dilapidated music hall, playing the same old tired music, was not missed by audiences or critics, who loudly debated the play’s significance. After much acclaim, Olivier took the play to Broadway, where he was nominated for a Tony in 1958. Shortly after, up-and-coming director Tony Richardson agreed to help bring the film to screen, with Osborne co-writing the screenplay and Olivier assuming the lead. Indeed Olivier supposedly turned down a handsome Hollywood movie deal to make this film on which his fee was deferred. While the film wasn’t a box office hit, it was a huge critical success, garnering Olivier the sixth of his ten Oscar nominations. But moreover it helped establish him as a actor versatile enough to embody Shakespeare’s grandeur and a sad sack’s squalor.


More Flashbacks
Funny Girl October 19, 1968
Funny Girl opens

In the fall of 1968, William Wyler’s film version of the musical Funny Girl presented American audiences with one of the most celebrated pairings of character and actor in film history: Barbra Streisand playing Fanny Brice.

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October 19, 1978
Gig Young's murder-suicide

Gig Young had only been married to Kim Schmidt, a 31-year-old script supervisor he’d met while making Game of Death, for three weeks before he shot her in the back of the head and then turned the gun on himself.

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October 19, 1977
Looking Again for Mister Goodbar

Diane Keaton played the teacher with a dual existence in this landmark movie of the 70s.

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