This Date In Movie History: March 17th

March 17th. It’s one of those nondescript days of the year that you think will never really amount to much. It’s just an extra day before March 18th. But on the contrary, the 17th is pretty sweet.

Birthdays:

Gary Sinise was born on this date in 1955 and it don’t matter what else he ever does, he’s never outliving that whole Lieutenant Dan thing.

1927 saw the birth of Rudy Ray Moore. If you don’t mind the language, I’d put up Dolemite as the most quotable movie ever.

Kurt Russell was born in 1951. If he can ever team up with John Carpenter again, I swear it’ll solve the world’s economic problems. Is there a person alive that WOULDN’T pay to see that?

When Rob Lowe was born in 1964, it wouldn’t surprise me to hear that he was hitting on nurses in the hospital.

John B. Sebastian was born in 1944 and only gets a mention because he sang the theme to Welcome Back, Kotter. That was a great show.

There were a couple notable deaths: cinematographer/director Freddie Francis (2007) and the great Italian director Luchino Visconti (1976).

Marriages: It looks like Kurt Russell wasn’t happy with March 17th just being his birthday, it’s also the day he married Season Hubley in 1979. And way back in 1923, the original heartthrob Rudolph Valentino married Natacha Rambova.

The top three highest-grossing opening weekends to end on March 17th all occurred in 2002. In order: Ice Age, Resident Evil, and Showtime. Yeah, I also did a double take when I saw Showtime.

The Shirley Temple classic The Little Princess was released in 1939. In 1972 we got the Fred Williamson blaxploitation classic The Legend of Nigger Charley. I’m guessing it may have something to do with the title, but that one isn’t available from Netflix. Also in 1972, John Waters and Divine made their (skid)mark on the world with Pink Flamingos. And it was in 2000 that A Clockwork Orange was finally rereleased in the UK.

Now, just because it’s March 17th, most people don’t have a reason to fear the date. But in Malta, the only movie ever released on 3/17 was Mona Lisa Smile in 2003. In Macedonia it was The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema in 2007. Serbia’s only movie was Hitch in 2005. And Cyprus had to suffer Cheaper by the Dozen 2 in 2006. People in these countries, they fear going to the theater on March 17th.

I’ve only done a few of these ‘This Date’ posts, but by far my favorite part is browsing through the old movies and finding those with names that sound particularly dirty. Butt’s Manual, Saint John’s School (1904) and Mr. Jack is Caught in the Dressing Room (1904) both started production on March 17th. Released on this date were: An Aching Void (1911), His Double Treasure (1911), Love and Pain (1913), When a Woman Won’t (1913), Rough but Romantic (1915), A Pair of Skins (1916), Other Women’s Husbands (1926), Aching Youths (1928), Long Hose (1928), Business is a Pleasure (1934), and Dial ‘P’ for Pink (1965).

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