Flashback
A look back at this day in film history
November 24
Adrienne Shelly November 1, 2006
Adrienne Shelly killed

Adrienne Shelly, one of independent film’s true stars of the 1990s and, with her features Sudden Manhattan, I’ll Take You There, and Waitress, a skilled director, died tragically November 1, 2006. Shelly burst onto the scene as Audry in Hal Hartley’s 1989 debut, The Unbelievable Truth. Her portrayal as an Armageddon-obsessed teenager made her something of a generational icon, and she went on to appear in Hartley’s follow-up, Trust, as well as films like Sleep with Me, Grind and Factotum. But with I’ll Take You There, Shelly purposefully moved behind the camera, bringing a deft comic tough and understanding of contemporary female characters to her films. In the fall of 2006 she submitted Waitress to Sundance and was working in a rented apartment she was using as a writer’s studio. When she went downstairs to complain about the noise a workman was causing, he killed her and attempted to stage the death as a suicide. Shelly left behind a young daughter and a husband, Andy Ostroy, who established The Adrienne Shelly Foundation to support young women in their directing careers.


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Emir Kusturica November 24, 1954
Emir Kusturica born

Emir Kusturica, one of the most acclaimed figures in world cinema, was born on this day in 1954 in Sarajevo, the former Yugoslavian city which is now the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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November 24, 1948
The Bicycle Thief released

When Vittorio De Sica’s The Bicycle Thief opened in New York, many heralded it as the finest realization of the Italian Neo-Realist style.

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November 24, 1947
Making a Black List

On 24 November, 1947 –– just days before Thanksgiving –– the House of Representatives voted 346 to 17 to approve citations against the famed Hollywood Ten for contempt of Congress. A month before, the House Un–American Activities Committee (HUAC) had turned its attention to Hollywood, calling up 43 people whom they suspected of communist sympathies, eventually whittling that list down to 11. Of these, Bertolt Brecht agreed to answer questions and immediately left the country. The remaining ten – nine screenwriters and one director – stood pat in their belief that the Fifth Amendment provided a Constitutional right for them not to testify against themselves. The House of Representatives’ vote on 24 November, however, disagreed. The next day, Hollywood joined in, suspending pay for the Hollywood Ten and issuing a joint statement showing their solidarity to fight the red menace. The top studios publicly proclaimed that they would fire anyone who was or had been a communist, and would not hire anyone with communist sympathies (proved or otherwise). Within weeks, scores of studio employees were on the street, pounding the pavement for another job. And the Hollywood Blacklist had officially begun and was in full force.

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