A look back at this day in film history
November 30
Nov. 17, 1942
Martin Scorsese born

Hear the name "Martin Scorsese" and you'll most likely remember an iconic scene from one of his seminal modern classics, like the "You talkin' to me?" monologue from Taxi Driver or the gloriously long single-take Steadicam shot through a mob nightclub in Goodfellas. But Scorsese, who was born on November 17, 1942, has always been a two-track filmmaker, pursuing studio-based projects that mix auteurist smarts with audience appeal while pursuing smaller, personal documentary and producing projects. So, while we wait for his latest, the gothic thriller Shutter Island, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, the director remains perhaps even more active than normal. His Boardwalk Empire series is soon to premiere on HBO, he's finishing a documentary on George Harrison, and he heads not one but two organizations designed to the preservation of great works of cinema. One, the Film Foundation, recently restored Michael Powell's masterpiece, The Red Shoes, while the other, the World Cinema Foundation, oversaw a stunning restoration of the 1969 Egyptian film, The Mummy, directed by Shadi Abdel Salam. Scorsese is slated to receive the Cecile B. DeMille Award, given by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, at the Golden Globes next year.

More Flashbacks
Boy with Green Hair November 30, 1948
The Boy with Green Hair opens

The opening of the pacifist parable The Boy with Green Hair should be celebrated as the feature directorial debut of Joseph Losey.

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November 30, 1947
Ernst Lubitsch dies

On Sunday November 30, 1947, director Ernst Lubitsch was due at William Wyler’s home for an afternoon screening party.

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November 30, 1945
Noir Takes a Detour

In a time in which CGI and other advanced film technologies create worlds that are more lifelike than life itself, the grungy, low-rent charms of Edgar G. Ulmer’s Detour, which opened on November 20, 1945, should not be forgotten. Shot in less than one week on a few simple sets and using obvious rear-screen projection for all the driving scenes, the movie is, as Robert Ebert wrote, “so filled with imperfections that it would not earn the director a passing grade in film school.” But despite its many technical flaws, the film is a film noir classic. Its indigent aesthetic amplifies rather than detracts from its bleak tale of blackmail and remorselessness. And, as the femme fatale, Ann Savage created perhaps the perfect noir heroine. “There is not a single fleeting shred of tenderness or humanity in her performance,” Ebert wrote.

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