Flashback
A look back at this day in film history
July 07
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
Veronica Lake July 7, 1973
Veronica Lake dies

Perhaps no Hollywood star fell so far from the heights of movie stardom as did Veronica Lake. When she died of hepatitis in a Vermont hospital in 1973 at the age of 50, she was penniless and completely alone.

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July 07, 1964
Don Siegel's The Killers opens

Ernest Hemingway’s short story The Killers has had the relatively rare honor of being adapted three times for the screen. There was Robert Siodmark’s 1946 version, starring Burt Lancaster and Ava Gardner, and then there was the Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkvosky’s 1956 student short.

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7 July 1899
A Star's Director is Born

In 1899, just three days after the Fourth of July celebrations, George Cukor was born in New York City to Hungarian Jewish immigrants.

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