Flashback
A look back at this day in film history
August 05
October 8, 1969
All Four One

On October 8, 1969, New York moviegoers were urged to “consider the possibilities” by buying a ticket to the debut feature of a young screenwriter-turned-director, Paul Mazursky. And, attracted by its promise of wife swapping and group sex amidst a suburban swirl of love beads, Nehru collars and group therapy sessions, audiences did. The film, Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice, was one of the year’s biggest hits, grossing $30 million off a production budget of only $2 million. Helped by the laid-back chemistry, good looks and improvisational ability of stars Natalie Wood, Robert Culp, Elliot Gould and Dyan Cannon, Mazursky’s comedy drama managed to both indulge audience’s fascination with ‘60s-era free love while satirizing it enough for mainstream viewers to keep it at a comfortable moral distance. Seen in today’s radically different cultural climate, the movie feels a bit like it’s tumbled out of a time capsule, but, writing at the time, critic Pauline Kael pinpointed what may be the film’s lasting legacy: a tonally tricky, humorously bitter comedic style that finds its echoes today in everything from Ben Stiller comedies to Larry David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm. She wrote, “You can feel something new in the comic spirit of this film –– in the way Mazursky gets laughs by the rhythm of clichés, defenses, and little verbal aggressions.”


More Flashbacks
Carmen Miranda August 5, 1955
Carmen Miranda dies

On this day in 1955, Carmen Miranda passed away of a heart attack at the age of just 46. An actress and singer whose onscreen image was vivacious and happy, the latter stages of her life were in stark contrast to what the public saw on the screen.

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August 5, 1962
Marilyn Monroe dies

On this day in 1962, Marilyn Monroe died, an event which was not only a tragic loss of one of the brightest and most promising stars in Hollywood, but would spark countless conspiracy theories.

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5 August 1962
Goodbye, Norma Jean

The movies lost perhaps its greatest sex symbol on August 5, 1962, when Marilyn Monroe was found dead in her California home.

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