Quick Hits: June 11

  • On this day in 1982, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial was released. Made for just $10.5 million, E.T. was a massive success, holding the top spot at the box office for twelve consecutive weeks. By the end of its initial run, the film had earned more than $350 million (equivalent to almost $1 billion in today’s dollars) and won the hearts of everyone who saw it. It was nominated for nine Academy Awards and won four (yes, it should have won Best Picture, but the Academy can’t resist a boring historical drama).
  • Steven Soderbergh’s No Sudden Move will be released on July 1. I love everything about this trailer, but what I love most is the presence of Brendan Fraser, who looks to be experiencing a comeback after years of health problems, depression and backlash from a sexual assault allegation he made against Philip Berk of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. I am 100% here for a Brenaissance.
  • On this day in 2002, American Idol premiered on FOX. It was the surprise television hit of the summer. Eventual winner Kelly Clarkson would go on to become one of the biggest pop stars of the 21st century, and the show would run for another fourteen seasons on FOX (an ABC revival of the show began airing in 2018).
  • Gene Wilder was born on this day in 1933. A personal favorite of mine, particularly for his titular role in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory and his collaborations with Mel Brooks, Wilder was born Jerome Silberman in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. After some stage and television work, Wilder made his film debut in Bonnie and Clyde. He got his big break with his second movie, Brooks’ The Producers, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. His final acting job was a guest spot on Will & Grace, which earned Wilder an Emmy, after which he turned his attention to writing. After a private three year battle with Alzheimer’s, Wilder died in 2016.
  • On this day in 1966, The Rolling Stones’ “Paint It, Black” peaked at #1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. The first #1 song to feature the sitar (played by the staggeringly talented multi-instrumentalist Brian Jones), “Paint It, Black” is bleak as hell, telling the story of a man in the throes of grief and depression. A brilliant instrumental version of the song (arranged by Ramin Djawadi) was used in the first episode of Westworld.
  • The long-awaited film adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In The Heights has arrived! You can see it in theaters and on HBO Max. Watch the first eight minutes here:

4 thoughts on “Quick Hits: June 11

  1. So glad to see Blazing Saddles, I love that movie! Some of those scenes never get old, always speak to the 12 year old boy in all of us.

    And I had no idea how much I wanted to see In the Heights until just this minute, now I can’t wait to watch it!


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