A look back at this day in film history
June 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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Gleason June 24, 1987
Jackie Gleason dies

One of television's iconic figures, Jackie Gleason, died on June 24, 1987. With a career spanning the Golden Age of Television in the '50s up through the '80s, Gleason was known for his loud, outsized working-class persona, his withering wisecracks, and, in his hit series, The Honeymooners, his sardonic take on married life. 

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June 24, 1971
McCabe and Mrs. Miller - The New Western

Voted last year one of the ten best Westerns of all time by the American Film Institute, even today, after a slew of revisionist takes on the genre, Robert Altman's McCabe and Mrs. Miller which opened on June 24, 1971, is a strikingly original, gorgeously unique take on the frontier movie.

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24 June 1969
The Folly Of It All

On June 24, 1969, the Supreme Court of Massachusetts handed down a verdict in the case Massachusetts v. Wiseman, sanctioning for the first time the censorship of a film for reasons others than obscenity, immorality or national security.

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