A look back at this day in film history
September 16
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
The Most Dangerous Game September 16, 1932
The Most Dangerous Game released

Months before King Kong had its premiere in March 1933, RKO released another thriller, The Most Dangerous Game, which was shot alongside the big ape epic.

Read more »
Sep. 16, 1952
Mickey Rourke born

With his early roles in Body Heat, Diner, The Pope of Greenwich Village and Rumblefish, Mickey Rourke — born September 16, 1952 in Schenectady, New York — exploded on the Hollywood scene as a new kind of movie star.

Read more »
Sept 16, 1964
Drawing for Dollars

It took an Italian director with an operatic scope to reinvent the most American of genres––the Western.

Read more »