Flashback
A look back at this day in film history
August 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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Pride of the Marines August 24, 1945
Pride of the Marines released

A little more than a week after the Japanese surrendered in World War II, Delmer Daves’ powerful war drama Pride of the Marines rolled into theaters.

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August 24, 1960
Takashi Miike born

It used to be that, in their heydays, great directors would crank out a film a year, or maybe even two. Now, whether because of economic pressures, creative ruts or just the long time it takes to develop and make a studio picture, filmmakers routinely go four, five, or even ten years between pictures.

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24 August 1960
The Movie Factory

While some filmmakers strain to make their next film, Takashi Miike struggles to keep from making even more.

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