A look back at this day in film history
August 04
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
Laura From Mars August 4, 1978
Eyes of Laura Mars opens

In the 70s, producer Jon Peters, then married to Barbara Streisand, was looking for a new vehicle for his wife after their successful remake of A Star is Born.

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August 4, 1954
Magnificient Obsession released

When the sudsy romance Magnificent Obsession premiered at the Loew's State Theater in New York City, critics greeted it with guarded praise. The New York Times wrote that the film "is unquestionably a handsome one.

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4 August 1950
Ready for its Premiere

On this date, Billy Wilder's Sunset Boulevard, the quintessential fable of Hollywood fame and fortune, opened. Critics and audiences loved it; much of Hollywood hated it.

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