A look back at this day in film history
October 02
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
Coogan's Bluff October 2, 1968
Coogan's Bluff opens

When it was released, Coogan’s Bluff, which united actor Clint Eastwood and director Don Siegel for the first time, was not applauded as a momentous event in cinematic history.

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October 2, 1957
The Bridge on the River Kwai released

Many classic movies, it seems, have a backstory detailing the struggles of its makers to get it into production, and The Bridge on the River Kwai – which came out in the UK on October 2, 1958 – is no different.

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October 2, 1979
The Case for Video

On Tuesday 2 October, the Supreme Court handed down a decision that would determine the future of media.

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