Flashback
A look back at this day in film history
June 30
Unfaithfully Yours November 5, 1948
Unfaithfully Yours released

Beginning in 1940, writer-director Preston Sturges, with seven back-to-back critical & commercial hits, had one of the most successful runs of any director in Hollywood history. On November 5, 1948, with the release of Unfaithfully Yours, that streak ended. On opening night, Fox studio head Darryl F. Zanuck wrote, “The opening day’s business…was almost the worst in the entire history of the house, certainly the lowest we have had in many years.” Sturges’ sudden plummet was certainly not from reviews. The New York Daily News praised the film as “an adroit, literate light piece that builds from a familiar base to highbrow farce comedy.” And the New York Times’s Bosley Crowther begin his review: “It is too bad that Preston Sturges is not compelled by law to turn out at least one movie—maybe two—a year. For nobody makes films as he does, even when he makes them less well, which means that his public grows impatient and resentful when he tarries too long.” The film, which was originally conceived of in 1932 (and pitched to Ernest Lubitsch at one time), had its own opening day delayed due to a potential scandal. The story about a symphony conductor, Alfred de Carter (Rex Harrison), who, while performing three different musical numbers, fantasizes about murdering his unfaithful wife, rang a little too close to home when Carole Landis, the woman with whom Harrison was having an affair, was found dead by the actor on July 4, 1948. The ensuing scandal pushed 20th Century Fox president Spyros Skouras to suggest adding subtitles to indicate that the murder on screen was pure fantasy. But by the time of the film’s release, the story had all but disappeared from newspaper headlines. Unfortunately, the film also quickly disappeared from theaters, and proved the beginning of the end for Sturges’ career.


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Apollo 13 June 30, 1995
Apollo 13 released

Winner of nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Ron Howard’s Apollo 13 opened in theaters June 30, 1995.

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June 30, 1989
Do The Right Thing opens

The summer of 1989 was a hot one, and what about that Spike Lee? All summer long we had been hearing about his third film, Do the Right Thing — a button-pushing look at urban racial relations that takes place on the hottest day of the year.

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30 June 1951
Let a Thousand Films Close

On this day, China's Cultural Revolution focused its furious reforming spirit on a filmmaker and his film. Sun Yu, a director who gained a reputation for his left-leaning, humanist stories during the 30s, decided for his first film after World War II to adapt the true life story of a 19th century educator.

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30 June 1989
The Right Riot

A storm of controversy surrounded the release of Spike Lee's Do the Right Thing, released this week in 1989.

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