Flashback
A look back at this day in film history
July 24
November 14, 1969
Coppola's Dream Machine

Inspired by the filmmaking systems he had seen in Europe, this week in 1969 Francis Ford Coppola set up his own utopian film company, American Zoetrope. The company got its name from a zoetrope (a pre-cinematic projection device) which Coppola had been given by filmmaker Mogens Scott-Hansen, and was co-founded with George Lucas, who Coppola had met while he was filming Finian’s Rainbow on the Warner Brothers lot, where Lucas was an intern. The pair originally planned to base themselves in a mansion in the Bay Area’s Marin County, but temporarily housed the firm and their numerous pieces of equipment in a warehouse in San Francisco. The first American Zoetrope production was Lucas’ debut, THX 1138 (1971), and while the company still exists today, it is now located in San Francisco’s famous Sentinel Building and is owned by Coppola’s two filmmaking children, Sofia and Roman.


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Peter Sellers July 24, 1980
Peter Sellers dies

On July 24, 1980, the legendary comic actor Peter Sellers passed away at the age of just 54.

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July 24, 1974
Death Wish opens

A thriller grants New York its secret wish.

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24 July 1980
Au Revoir, Clouseau

The original cast members of the legendary Goon Show - Spike Milligan, Harry Secombe, and Peter Sellers — were due to meet up for a reunion dinner in London in the last week of July, 1980, but the dinner never took place.

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24 July 1952
Drugstore Director

Gus Van Sant, one of contemporary cinema's most fascinating and rewarding directors, was born on July 24, 1952.

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