Flashback
A look back at this day in film history
July 24
October 14, 1954
Dreaming of a White Christmas

On Thursday 14 October 1954, the stars and producers of the Michael Curtiz’s holiday musical White Christmas were awarded with heart-felt applause at its New York premiere. The film became that year’s top grossing film, and went onto to become a perennial holiday favorite, especially after it premiered on television a decade later. But the film’s success was being planned years before its premiere. In the winter of 1940, the Jewish Irving Berlin wrote the film’s anthem to a Christian winter wonderland sitting poolside at the Biltmore Resort in Phoenix, Arizona. Before crooning “White Christmas” as a duet with Marjorie Reynolds in the 1942 musical Holiday Inn (where it went on to win an Oscar for best song), Bing Crosby inaugurated the tune on Christmas night for his NBC radio show in 1941, just weeks after America had entered World War II. When released as a recording, the wistful ode to domestic peace quickly became a hit, especially for troops wishing to be home themselves. The song not only inspired the movie White Christmas, but remained the bestselling song of all time until 1998 when Elton John’s memorial to Princess Diana, "Candle in the Wind,” surpassed it.


More Flashbacks
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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