Quick Hits: October 6-7

  • HBO has dropped the trailer for Mama’s Boy, based on Dustin Lance Black’s 2019 memoir. Black, who is gay and was raised in the Mormon church, won the Best Original Screenplay Oscar for 2008’s Milk and subsequently became an advocate for LGBTQ+ rights. This will be a must-see.
In case you don’t remember Black’s moving Oscar acceptance speech, here’s a reminder
  • The Jazz Singer was released on October 6, 1927, effectively ending the silent film era.
“You ain’t heard nothin’ yet!”
  • Spartacus, Stanley Kubrick’s fifth feature film, held its premiere at the DeMille Theatre in Manhattan on October 6, 1960. Starring Kirk Douglas in the title role, Spartacus was a critical success and a box office smash, earning $60 million (adjusted for inflation, that’s $600 million today). Spartacus received six nominations at the 33rd Academy Awards; it took home four Oscars (Best Supporting Actor for Peter Ustinov, Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, and Best Costume Design). The film also won the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture – Drama.
  • Barbra Streisand guest-starred on The Judy Garland Show on October 6, 1963. Streisand was just 21 years old at the time.
  • Midnight Express, directed by Alan Parker and written by Oliver Stone, held its US premiere on October 6, 1978. Brad Davis stars as Billy Hayes, an American student imprisoned by the Turkish government for attempting to smuggle hashish (the title, based on Hayes’s memoir of the same name, is a reference to his late-night prison escape attempt). At the 51st Academy Awards, Midnight Express garnered six nominations and won two awards: Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Original Score (Giorgio Moroder, in his first outing as a film composer, beat John Williams, Ennio Morricone, Dave Grusin, and Jerry Goldsmith).
  • John Mellencamp was born on October 7, 1951, in Seymour, Indiana. Mellencamp has sold more than 60 million albums worldwide and has twenty-two top 40 hits, including 1982’s “Jack and Diane”, which spent four weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Mellencamp, who co-founded Farm Aid in 1985 with Willie Nelson and Neil Young, has been inducted into the Rock and Roll and Songwriters Halls of Fame.
  • The French Connection, starring Gene Hackman as NYPD detective Popeye Doyle, opened in the US on October 7, 1971. Directed by William Friedkin, The French Connection is best known for its infamous chase sequence, in which Doyle (driving a 1971 Pontiac LeMans) chases an elevated train through the streets of Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. The French Connection received eight nominations at the 44th Academy Awards, taking home Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Film Editing (it was also nominated for Best Supporting Actor for Roy Scheider, Best Cinematography, and Best Sound).

One thought on “Quick Hits: October 6-7

  1. French Connection is one of movies that never gets old for me. And Gene Hackman is one of my favorite actors, especially in a gritty role like this.


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