Flashback
A look back at this day in film history
September 15
October 10, 1909
The First Times

When readers opened their Sunday New York Times to page 8 on 10 October 1909, they found a review of Pippa Passes, the new D. W. Griffith film loosely based on Robert Browning’s 1841 poem. The column began “Pippa Passes is being given in the nickelodeons and Browning is being presented to the average motion picture audience, which has received it with applause and is asking for more.” What made such a mundane observation memorable is that this was the Times first film review. Much like Griffith’s later epic, Intolerance, Pippa Passes is broken into four parts, each designating a time of the day with special lighting effects signaling dawn or dusk. A young Gertrude Robinson played the lead, beating out newcomer Mary Pickford, who at 16 Griffith considered too old.


More Flashbacks
Tommy Lee Jones September 15, 1946
Tommy Lee Jones born

In the upcoming feature The Company Men, Gene McClary is an aging senior manager of a large New England construction firm.

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Sep. 15, 1936
Irving Thalberg dies

When one talks about meteoric careers and tragically short lives, usually the subject is a rock star in the mold of Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix or Kurt Cobain, however Irving Thalberg – who died on this day in 1936 – falls into this category for very different reasons.

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Sept 15, 1894
Born an Artist

Pierre-Auguste Renoir may have been one of the 19th Century’s most beloved paintes––his son, Jean, proved to be one of the 20th century’s greatest filmmakers.

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