Flashback
A look back at this day in film history
October 31
October 3, 1958
Poland's New Wave

In Warsaw, audiences gathered to see Ashes and Diamonds, the final film of Andrzej Wajda war trilogy –– the other two being the Polish ghetto tragedy A Generation (1955) and Kanal (1956), a brutal drama about the Warsaw uprising. Ashes and Diamonds, adapted from Jerzy Andrzejewski's celebrated novel, follows a resistance fighter (played by the "Polish James Dean" Zbigniew Cybulski) who must kill a communist official on the last day of the war. Wajda's ironic, existentialist vision captured the complex mood of rising Polish cinema and of a people dealing with Soviet occupation.


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Louis Malle October 31, 1932
Louis Malle born

The great French director Louis Malle was born October 30, 1932. Coming of movie-making age alongside the New Wave directors, Malle was never formally associated with that movement and, perhaps, was never treated as a boundary-breaking director.

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October 31, 1993
River Phoenix dies

During his successful and all-too-short career, actor River Phoenix was the James Dean of his generation.

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October 31, 1993
River's End

In a macabre twist, the 23-year-old actor River Phoenix died early on Halloween 1993 at 1:51 a.m. from a drug overdose at Los Angeles’ Viper Club.

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