Flashback
A look back at this day in film history
July 03
November 13, 1986
Color Me Mad

Director John Huston, 80 years old and suffering from severe emphysema, was wheeled out with oxygen tank on Thursday 13 November to give a press conference about a plan to colorize his 1941 classic The Maltese Falcon. “It would almost seem as though a conspiracy exists to degrade our national character,” complained the legendary Hollywood director. His voice joined many others (including Martin Scorsese and Woody Allen) who spoke out against the recent decision by Ted Turner and the Turner Broadcasting System to colorize 100 famous black & white films. Turner, who’d recently purchased the MGM library, was hoping to use colorizing video technology to bring new life to old entertainment, especially since market reports indicated that both video renters and television viewers appeared to be allergic black-and-white films. But for filmmakers, this commercial ploy was abuse of corporate ownership and infringement of artistic rights.


More Flashbacks
Strangers on a Train July 3, 1951
Strangers on a Train opens

Ironically, Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train actually started on a train. Traveling back to Hollywood with his wife and the writer Whitfield Cook, Hitchcock devoured the galleys of a soon-to-be-published thriller by a brand new writer Patricia Highsmith.

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July 3, 1985
Back to the Future Opens

When Robert Zemeckis’ high school time travel film opened during the Fourth of July weekend, many executives at Universal Studios feared they had a flop on their hands. The film’s star Michael J. Fox, obligated to promote his TV show “Family Ties” in London for that week, was unavailable to promote the film.

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3 July 1985
The Future Today

The recent fire on the Universal Studio's backlot destroyed among other things a town square and bell tower that was made famous for the first time on this date 23 years ago.

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