Flashback
A look back at this day in film history
July 24
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.


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Peter Sellers July 24, 1980
Peter Sellers dies

On July 24, 1980, the legendary comic actor Peter Sellers passed away at the age of just 54.

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July 24, 1974
Death Wish opens

A thriller grants New York its secret wish.

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24 July 1980
Au Revoir, Clouseau

The original cast members of the legendary Goon Show - Spike Milligan, Harry Secombe, and Peter Sellers — were due to meet up for a reunion dinner in London in the last week of July, 1980, but the dinner never took place.

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24 July 1952
Drugstore Director

Gus Van Sant, one of contemporary cinema's most fascinating and rewarding directors, was born on July 24, 1952.

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