June 26, 1980 in Doctor Who: Second Junior Doctor Who novel published

Junior_Doctor_Who_and_the_Brain_of_MorbiusJunior Doctor Who and the Brain of Morbius was a novelisation, by Terrance Dicks, based on the 1976 television serial The Brain of Morbius.

This the second of two “junior” novelisations written by Dicks. They were essentially rewrites of previously published novelisations — in this case, Dicks’ own Doctor Who and the Brain of Morbius — but aimed at younger readers. Only one other book of this type was attempted: Junior Doctor Who and the Giant Robot.

Find out more at tardis.wikia.com.

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June 26, 1980 in Doctor Who: The Armageddon Factor novelisation published

Some time ago, the White Guardian, one of the most powerful beings in the Cosmos, had set the Fourth Doctor an urgent task – to find and reassemble the six segments of the Key to Time.
The Doctor and Romana had successfully retrieved five of the segments and now they have reached the planet Atrios in the middle of an atomic war, to search for the last, most vital piece.
Sinister dangers await them in this final stage of their quest …
THE ARMAGEDDON FACTOR is a novel in the Key to Time Sequence. Also available THE RIBOS OPERATION, THE STONES OF BLOOD, THE ANDROIDS OF TARA and THE POWER OF KROLL.

Doctor_Who_and_the_Armageddon_FactorDoctor Who and the Armageddon Factor was a novelisation based on the 1979 television serial The Armageddon Factor.

Find out more at tardis.wikia.com.

June 26, 1999 on UK TV: Rear Window

“Witnessing the Perfect Crime made him the Perfect Target”

Rear_Window-1998Rear Window is a 1998 American made-for-television crime-drama thriller film directed by Jeff Bleckner. The teleplay by Larry Gross and Eric Overmyer is an updated adaptation of the classic 1954 film of the same name directed by Alfred Hitchcock which was based on the short story “It Had to Be Murder” by Cornell Woolrich. It was broadcast in the US by ABC on November 22, 1998. This stars Christopher Reeve (in one of his final screen appearances), Daryl Hannah, and Robert Forster.

Quadriplegic Jason Kemp (Reeves), a former architect who now uses a wheelchair, relieves the boredom of his daily existence by engaging in voyeurism, a pastime that allows him to spy on his neighbors from the rear window of his apartment. When he witnesses sculptor Julian Thorpe viciously beat his wife Ilene, he reports the incident to 911 and the police remove him from his home. Thorpe is released the following day, and that night Jason Kemp hears a blood-curdling scream from the courtyard. From thatTV-UK-06-26-1999 moment on, Ilene is missing from her apartment, apparently replaced by another woman. Jason, certain she was murdered by her husband, tries to convince his colleague Claudia (Hannah), nurse Antonio, and friend Charlie (Forster) that his suspicion is true. Thorpe slowly comes to the realization that Kemp is fully aware of his crime, and engages him in a deadly game of cat and mouse in an effort to silence him forever. [Wikipedia]

Watch the trailer on the Richard Fabianus YouTube Channel.

June 26, 1997 in Literature: Harry Potter & the Philosopher’s Stone

06-26-1997-Philosophers_Stone-1st_EdHarry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is the first novel in the Harry Potter series and J. K. Rowling’s debut novel, first published in 1997 by Bloomsbury. It was published in the United States as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by Scholastic Corporation in 1998. The plot follows Harry Potter, a young wizard who discovers his magical heritage as he makes close friends and a few enemies in his first year at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. With the help of his friends, Harry faces an attempted comeback by the dark wizard Lord Voldemort, who killed Harry’s parents, but failed to kill Harry when he was just 15 months old.

The novel won most of the British book awards that were judged by children and other awards in the US. The book reached the top of the New York Times list of best-selling fiction in August 1999 and stayed near the top of that list for much of 1999 and 2000. It has been translated into at least sixty-seven other languages and has been made into a feature-length film of the same name, as have all six of its sequels.

Most reviews were very favourable, commenting on Rowling’s imagination, humour, simple, direct style and clever plot construction, although a few complained that the final chapters seemed rushed. The writing has been compared to that of Jane Austen, one of Rowling’s favourite authors, Roald Dahl, whose works dominated children’s stories before the appearance of Harry Potter, and the Ancient Greek story-teller Homer. While some commentators thought the book looked backwards to Victorian and Edwardian boarding school stories, others thought it placed the genre firmly in the modern world by featuring contemporary ethical and social issues.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, along with the rest of the Harry Potter series, has been attacked by several religious groups and banned in some countries because of accusations that the novels promote witchcraft, but other religious commentators have written that the book exemplifies important viewpoints, including the power of self-sacrifice and the ways in which people’s decisions shape their personalities. The series has been used as a source of object lessons in educational techniques, sociological analysis and marketing. [Wikipedia]

June 26, 1951 in UK cinemas: The Lavender Hill Mob

“The men who broke the bank – and lost the cargo!”

The_Lavender_Hill_Mob-1951The Lavender Hill Mob is a comedy film from Ealing Studios, written by T.E.B. Clarke, directed by Charles Crichton, starring Alec Guinness and Stanley Holloway and featuring Sid James and Alfie Bass. The title refers to Lavender Hill, a street in Battersea, a district of South London, in the postcode district SW11, near to Clapham Junction railway station. [Wikipedia]

Holland (Guinness), a shy retiring man, dreams of being rich and living the good life. Cinema-UK-06-26-1951Faithfully, for 20 years, he has worked as a bank transfer agent for the delivery of gold bullion. One day he befriends Pendlebury (Holloway), a maker of souvenirs. Holland remarks that, with Pendlebury’s smelting equipment, one could forge the gold into harmless-looking toy Eiffel Towers and smuggle the gold from England into France. Soon after, the two plant a story to gain the services of professional criminals Lackery (James) and Shorty (Bass). Together, the four plot their crime, leading to unexpected twists and turns. [IMDB]

Watch the trailer on the StudiocanalUK YouTube Channel.

June 26, 1981 in US cinemas: Dragonslayer

“In the Dark Ages, Magic was a weapon. Love was a mystery. Adventure was everywhere… And Dragons were real.”

Dragonslayer-1981Dragonslayer is an American fantasy film directed by Matthew Robbins, from a screenplay he co-wrote with Hal Barwood. It stars Peter MacNicol, Ralph Richardson, John Hallam and Caitlin Clarke. The story, set in a fictional medieval kingdom, follows a young wizard who experiences danger and opposition as he attempts to defeat a dragon.

A co-production between Paramount Pictures and Walt Disney Productions, Dragonslayer was more mature than most other Disney films of the period. Because of audience expectations for a more family-friendly film from Disney, the film’s violence, adult themes and brief nudity were somewhat controversial at the time, even though Disney did not hold US distribution rights, which were held by Paramount. The film was rated PG in the U.S.; TV showings after 1997 have carried a TV-14 rating. It’s possible that this film was responsible for Disney’s later creation Touchstone Pictures to produce more mature fare, starting with 1984’s Splash.

The special effects were created at Industrial Light and Magic, where Phil Tippett had co-developed an animation technique called go motion for The Empire Strikes Back (1980). Go motion is a variation on stop motion animation, and its use in Dragonslayer led to the film’s nomination for the Academy Award for Visual Effects; it lost to Raiders of the Lost Ark, the only other Visual Effects nominee that year, whose special effects were also provided by ILM. Including the hydraulic 40-foot (12 m) model, 16 dragon puppets were used for the role of Vermithrax, each one made for different movements; flying, crawling, fire breathing etc. Dragonslayer also marks the first time ILM’s services were used for a film other than a Lucasfilm Ltd production.

The film was nominated for the Academy Award for Original Music Score; Chariots of Fire took the award. It was also nominated for a Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, once again losing to Raiders of the Lost Ark. [Wikipedia]

A King has made a pact with a dragon where he sacrifices virgins to it, and the dragonCinema-US-06-26-1981 leaves his kingdom alone. An old wizard, and his keen young apprentice volunteer to kill the dragon and attempt to save the next virgin in line – the Kings own daughter. [IMDB]

Watch the trailer on the The Baltimore Movie Trailer Park YouTube Channel.

June 26, 1987 in UK cinemas: Evil Dead II

“THERE’S ONLY ONE MOVIE SCARIER THAN THE ‘EVIL DEAD’… KISS YOUR NERVES GOODBYE”

Evil_Dead_II-1987Evil Dead II (also known in publicity materials as Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn) is an American horror comedy film directed by Sam Raimi and a parody sequel to the 1981 horror film The Evil Dead. The film was written by Raimi and Scott Spiegel, produced by Robert Tapert, and stars Bruce Campbell as Ash Williams.

Filming took place in Michigan and North Carolina in 1986, and the film was released in the United States on March 13, 1987. It was a minor box office success, achieving just under $6 million. It garnered positive reviews in which critics praised Raimi’s direction and Campbell’s performance. Like the original, Evil Dead II has accumulated a cult following. The film was followed by a third installment, Army of Darkness, in 1992. [Wikipedia]

Ashley Williams travels to a secluded cabin in the woods with his girlfriend Linda whereCinema-UK-06-26-1987they find a tape recording of a professor and a book of evil. This unleashes a bunch of evil spirits that constantly terrorize Ash. Meanwhile a journalist comes to the area to study the book of evil. Ash and her end up having to survive this swarm of evil until morning comes. [IMDB]

Watch the trailer on the The Baltimore Movie Trailer Park YouTube Channel.

June 26, 1976 in UK cinemas: Bugsy Malone

“EVERY YEAR BRINGS A GREAT MOVIE. EVERY DECADE A GREAT MOVIE MUSICAL!”

Bugsy_Malone-1976Bugsy Malone is a British musical gangster comedy film, directed by Alan Parker and featuring only child actors. Set in New York City, the film is loosely based on events in New York and Chicago from the early 1920s to 1931 during Prohibition, specifically the exploits of real-life gangsters like Al Capone and Bugs Moran, as dramatized in cinema. Parker lightened the subject matter considerably for the children’s market; in the U.S. the film received a G rating.

The film was Parker’s feature-length directorial debut, introduced actor Scott Baio, and featured a 13-year old Jodie Foster.

Cinema-UK-06-26-1976

Watch the trailer on the schmedia YouTube Channel.

June 26, 1947 in US cinemas: The Ghost and Mrs Muir

“TIERNEY with a taunting smile…HARRISON with a haunting kiss…doin’ what comes super-naturally!”

The_Ghost_and_Mrs_Muir-1947The Ghost and Mrs. Muir is a fantasy romantic comedy-drama film starring Gene Tierney and Rex Harrison. The director was Joseph L. Mankiewicz. It is based on a 1945 novel written by Josephine Leslie under the pseudonym of R. A. Dick. In 1945, 20th Century Fox bought the film rights to the novel, which had been published only in the United Kingdom at that time. It was shot entirely in California. [Wikipedia]

An independent widowed woman Mrs. Muir (Tierney) and her young daughter (Natalie Wood) in Victorian England, find a new life in a small English seaside town, and Gull Cottage. With this new lease of life comes a catch, an old sea dog named Capt. Daniel Gregg (Harrison) still resides there, but as a ghost, who won’t let go his home. Coming to an arrangement, they learn to get along, just. All is not well, eventually, her finances become low and to make end’s meet Lucy is forced to be ghostwriter to Captain Gregg’s autobiography. In the meantime being charmed by cad Miles Fairley (George Sanders) who’s only in it for the ride. With a beautiful score by Bernard Herrmann and cinematography by Charles Lang, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir is a tender love story of patience, fortitude and longing. [IMDB]Cinema-US-06-26-1947

Watch the trailer on the Mystic550 YouTube Channel.

June 26, 1981 in UK cinemas: For Your Eyes Only

“Bond for action in For Your Eyes Only”

For_Your_Eyes_Only-1981For Your Eyes Only is the twelfth spy film in the James Bond series, and the fifth to star Roger Moore as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. It marked the directorial debut of John Glen, who had worked as editor and second unit director in three other Bond films.

The screenplay by Richard Maibaum and Michael G. Wilson takes its characters and combines elements from the plots from two short stories from Ian Fleming‘s For Your Eyes Only collection: the title story and “Risico”. In the plot, Bond attempts to locate a missile command system while becoming tangled in a web of deception spun by rival Greek businessmen along with Melina Havelock, a woman seeking to avenge the murder of her parents. Some writing elements were inspired by the novels Live and Let Die, Goldfinger and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

After the science fiction-focused Moonraker, the producers wanted a conscious return to the style of the early Bond films and the works of 007 creator Fleming. For Your Eyes Only followed a grittier, more realistic approach and a narrative theme of revenge and its consequences. Filming locations included Greece, Italy and England, while underwater footage was shot in The Bahamas.

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For Your Eyes Only was released to a mixed critical reception; the film was a financial success, generating $195.3 million worldwide. This was the final Bond film to be distributed solely by United Artists; the studio merged with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer soon after this film’s release. [Wikipedia]

Watch the trailer on the Movieclips Trailer Vault YouTube Channel.