A look back at this day in film history
June 23
October 9, 1908
M. Hulot Arrives

Just eight years into the new century in the Paris suburb of Le Pecq, France, Jacques Tatischeff (which he later shortened to Tati), was born. According to his own story, Tati was a descendent of a Russian aristocratic family who emigrated to France when his father married his Dutch mother, Marcelle Claire Van Hoof. A natural athlete, Tati became a professional rugby player and then later a stage mime who would impersonate athletes. After the war (in which he fought for the free French Army), Tati returned to show business, making a few films and appearing in a number of others. But it wasn’t until 1953, when Tati directed and starred in Mr. Hulot's Holiday, that he found his true comic self. His silent, oblivious, pipe-smoking alter ego Mr. Hulot, bumbling about his life, revealed a world of comic possibilities. But Hulot wasn’t so much the center as the vehicle by which Tati realized his complicated, comic landscape, Rube Goldberg cinematic contraptions that highlighted the absurd, hilarious, often cruel, mostly mechanized modern world. M. Hulot would return in three more comedies: Mon Oncle (1958), Playtime (1967), Traffic (1971). While many came to look on Tati’s humor as a French throwback to golden age of silent-film slapstick (think Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton), others have championed his special touch. As Roger Ebert wrote of Mr. Hulot's Holiday, “It is not a comedy of hilarity but a comedy of memory, nostalgia, fondness and good cheer, [giving] us something rarer, an amused affection for human nature––so odd, so valuable, so particular.”

More Flashbacks
Class of '74 June 23, 1975
Supreme Court backs Nudity at Drive-Ins

On March 13, 1972, the police charged Richard Erznoznik, who was the manager of the University Drive-In Theatre in Jacksonville, FL, for showing the now-forgotten sex romp Class of ’74, a comedy whose tagline was “To them life is a ball after ball after ball.”

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June 23, 1989
Batman - the first of many

"Bam!" "Kapow!" "Splat!" For baby boomers, those words, rendered in brightly colored, zig-zag-y word balloons over freeze-framed action, defined the story of Batman — along with, of course, Adam West's campy seriousness as the caped crusader, and Burt Ward's off-the-wall exclamations ("Holy hole in a donut!") while playing the Boy Wonder, Robin.

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23 June 1927
All That Fosse

A cocked hip, turned head and outstretched arm — most director's names summon up a suggestion of style, an intimation of mood, or a recognition of theme and story, but say the name "Bob Fosse" and you immediately visualize a silhouette.

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