Showing posts with label 1953. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 1953. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

This Day in Pop Culture for April 10

"The Great Gatsby" was published on April 10, 1925.

'The Great Gatsby is Published - Became a Hit Later

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby was published on this day in 1925. Set in the fictional town of West Egg on Long Island in 1922, the story centers on the young millionaire, Jay Gatsby and his obsession with the former debutante, Daisy Buchanan. Themes included in the story dealt with a twisted version of the American Dream with decadence, idealism and social upheaval during the roaring twenties. Some have described the story as a cautionary tale. When it was first published, the book received mixed reviews and did not sell well – only 20,000 copies of the book were sold during the first year. Sadly, Fitzgerald died in 1940 feeling as if he were a failure but after World War II, the book experienced a revival and today is considered a literary classic that is often used with English studies in American high schools. Some consider The Great Gatsby to be a good example of the “Great American Novel.”

Monday, March 19, 2018

This Day in Pop Culture for March 19

March 19 is World Monopoly Day

World Monopoly Day

Though the complete history of who created the game Monopoly and when remain cloudy. Hasbro officially recognizes March 19, 1935 as the game’s anniversary and dubs it World Monopoly Day. Some say that early versions of the game appeared as early as 1903. Numerous editions of the game have been created over the years as well as spin-off games that feature much of the same themes of the original. The game is licensed in 13 countries and printed in 37 different languages. In 2017, it was announced that three new tokens (T-Rex, Penguin and Rubber Ducky) would be added to the game while three others (Wheelbarrow, Thimble and the Boot) would be taken away. Monopoly has also inspired other projects like the summer time TV game show produced by ABC and aired in 1990. Hollywood has been trying to make a feature film based on the game since 2008 and Broadway is currently working on a new musical show based on the game.

Monday, February 5, 2018

This Day in Pop Culture for February 5

Peter Pan was released in theaters on February 5, 1953

Peter Pan Flies Into Theaters

Based on the play by J.M. Barrie, Walt Disney’s version of Peter Pan was released for the first time on this day in 1953. It has the distinction of being the last film where all of Disney’s Nine Old Men worked together. It cost about $4 million to make Peter Pan and the picture took in $7 million. It was re-released in 1958, 1969, 1976, 1982 and 1989. The film has generally received positive reviews, but it has been criticized for its negative portrayal of Native American Indians. The character are referred to as “savages” and “redskins” and the Indians sing the song, “What Made the Red Man Red?” These stereotypes are also featured in the original play. Disney decided to give the film a sequel in 2002 titled, Return to Never Land, and all of the original characters are represented, but there is only a brief scene showing the Indian village, no actual Indians.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

This Day in Pop Culture for January 10

"The Greatest Show on Earth" Premiered on January 10, 1953.

‘The Greatest Show on Earth’ Comes to Theaters

Cecil B. DeMille’s film about the Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus, The Greatest Show on Earth, debuted in theaters all across the country on this day in 1953. The filmed starred Charlton Heston played the circus manager and Jimmy Stewart who played a clown who never took off his makeup. The movie also featured about 1,400 real circus performers from the Ringling Bros. and Barnum Bailey 1951 tour. It won nominated for five Oscars and won two for Best Picture and Best Story. The movie also won the Golden Globe for Best Cinematography, Best Director, and Best Motion Picture – Drama. Still, many movie critics have voiced their opinions that they didn’t think that the film deserved those awards.

Friday, November 10, 2017

This Day in Pop Culture for November 10

"Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom" opened in theaters on November 10, 1953

'Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom' Comes to Theaters

Walt Disney’s first cartoon to be released in Cinemascope was released on this day in 1953. Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom is an educational “Adventures in Music” animated short film that had a long life in public schools teaching children about music long after its initial theater viewing. The film begins with Professor Owl teaching his students about music. (In more recent years, this scene has been used for the opening of many of the Disney’s Sing-a-Long videos) The study of musical instruments included four core sounds: Toot (brass), Whistle (woodwind), Plunk (strings) and boom (percussion) with each presented as caveman character. The short won the 1954 Oscar for Best Short Subject.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

This Day in Pop Culture for October 21

Keith Green was born on October 21, 1953.

Keith Green is Born

Christian music pianist, singer and songwriter Keith Gordon Green was born on this day in 1953. Green began his musical career at age three playing the ukulele, the guitar at age five and the piano at age 12. By 1965, Green had already written 40 songs. He and his father, Harvey, signed a five-year contract with Decca Records. In February 1965, having written forty original songs already, Green and his father, Harvey, signed a five-year contract with Decca Records with plans to make Green a teen idol. At 11 years old, became the youngest person ever to sign with the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), but Decca’s plan failed as Donny Osmond rose to stardom. Green was raised in Christian Science, but was fascinated with eastern mysticism, drugs and “free love.” In the early 1970’s, Green and his new wife, Melody, became Christians became involved with the Vineyard Christian Fellowship in Southern California. In a sense, Green did become a star in Christian music, but his life was cut short at age 28 when he died in a plane crash in 1982.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

This Day in Pop Culture for September 16

The movie "The Robe" was released in theaters on September 16, 1953.

Release of “The Robe” Movie

Billed as the “First motion picture in CinemaScope – The modern miracle you see without glasses!” The Robe was released on this day in 1953. The movie was based on the novel of the same name written by Lloyd Douglas. Douglas said that the reason that he wrote the novel in the first place was to answer the question, “What happened to the Roman soldier who won Jesus’ robe through a dice game?” The epic starred Richard Burrton, Jean Simmons, Victor Mature and Michael Rennie. The film earned an estimated $17.5 million in North America, which warranted it for a sequel, Demetrius and the Gladiators which released the following year and to date is the only biblical epic with a sequel.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

This Day in Pop Culture for June 28

The movie "The King and I" premiered on June 28, 1956.

‘The King and I’ Dance on the Big Screen

The award-winning film The King and I opened in theaters on this day in 1956. Directed by Walter Lang for 20th Century Fox, the movie is based on the stage musical of the same name by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein which in turn was based on the novel, Anna and the King of Siam, by Margaret Landon which was based on the memoirs of the Anna Leonowens who became a school teacher to the children of King Mongkut of Siam back in the early 1860s. The King and I movie starred Deborah Kerr and Yul Brynner and was huge hit with fans and critics alike except for those in Thailand where the film was banned (and still is) due to the film’s representations of the king. The movie earned nine Academy Awards nominations and won five for Best Actor in a Leading Role, Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design, Best Music-Scoring of a Musical Picture and Sound Recording. The movie also won two Golden Globes for Best Motion Picture and Best Actress. An animated version of the movie by Warner Bros. was released in 1999 with a lot less fanfare.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

This Day in Pop Culture for June 13

Tim Allen was born on June 13, 1953.

Tim Allen is Born

Funny man Tim Allen was born on this day in 1953. He is best known for his two successful TV shows (Home Improvement and Last Man Standing), his portrayal as Santa in the Santa Clause movies and for being the voice of Buzz Lightyear. But Allen’s life hasn’t always gone so well. On October 2, 1978, Allen was arrested for possession of over 650 grams of cocaine. He was given a light sentence given that he worked with police to capture other dealers, but he still served two years and four months in prison. In 1997 he was arrested for a DUI in which he was sentenced to one year probation and time at a rehabilitation clinic. Imperfect like the rest of us, Allen now refers to himself as an intellectual Christian and credits God for getting through the hard times.