A look back at this day in film history
September 16
Twilight Zone October 6, 1982
Twilight Zone helicopter death culprits fined

On this day in 1982, fines were handed out to John Landis’ Levitsky Prods and Western Helicopter Inc., the two companies implicated in the death of actor Vic Morrow and two child extras while filming Twilight Zone: The Movie. The film was a four-part compendium and it was while Landis was shooting his segment, “Time Out,’ that the tragic and gruesome deaths occurred. Morrow, a veteran actor, was the lead in Landis’ section, in which his bigoted character is forced to get a taste of the lives of the individuals he hates. In one scene, he experiences what it was like to be a Vietnamese father under attack from the U.S. during the Vietnam war. Landis had created a Vietnamese village in Valencia, CA, about 30 miles north of Los Angeles, and in the early hours of the morning on July 23, 1982, was filming a scene where Morrow waded across a river, carrying 6-year-old Renee Shin-Yi Chen and 7-year-old Myca Dinh Le, while there were helicopters overhead and numerous explosions around him. Tragedy occurred when debris from one of the explosions hit the tail rotor of one of the helicopters, causing it to crash on top of Morrow, who was decapitated, and the young actors. The accident prompted legal action that lasted until 1987, and resulted in much tighter regulations regarding stunts and the employment of child actors.

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.

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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.

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Sept 16, 1964
Drawing for Dollars

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

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