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The Popcorn Champ of 1960: Spartacus


sewhite2000
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Once in a blue moon, you stumble across an article dedicated to classic film on the AV Club website. A contributor named Tom Breihan has started a series of articles under the heading The Popcorn Champs. He proposes to deliver a detailed essay about the highest-grossing film of each year, beginning with 1960. I don't know when he started, but so far, he's only gotten through 1963. I'm having to adjust to the fact that I'm now at an age where current pop-culture media commentary is almost always going to be provided by people younger than myself. Part of that is having to accept that exposure to older material that I'm long familiar with is going to be brand new to most of these writers. For example, Breihan expresses early on this essay grudging surprise that virtually every big hit movie of the 60s is at least three hours long, something he apparently had no idea of until he began this project! But otherwise I found the essay pretty insightful and thought I would share

https://film.avclub.com/our-new-column-on-hollywood-hits-launches-with-stanley-1834012710

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I wouldn't say "virtually every " big hit movie in the '60's were that long (GUESS WHO'S COMING TO DINNER. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, TRUE GRIT, et al) but too, it DID seem like every movie that WAS that long also became "big hits".  

Now, the MOVIES! channel does have a Saturday feature called "Popcorn movies" but I haven't noticed a specific movie type as being more featured than any others.  I'll have to take a closer look.  ;)

Sepiatone

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2 hours ago, Sepiatone said:

I wouldn't say "virtually every " big hit movie in the '60's were that long (GUESS WHO'S COMING TO DINNER. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, TRUE GRIT, et al) but too, it DID seem like every movie that WAS that long also became "big hits".  

Good distinction!

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Although I continue to campaign for retiring the use of the phrase "It's a popcorn movie!" after "Battlefield: Earth" strategically stank the phrase up nineteen years ago.

It didn't fool us then, and anybody who still naively uses it today is only fooling themselves.

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20 hours ago, hamradio said:

Spartacus was the first widescreen movie ever saw on TV. :)

Been hooked ever since.

???  Was it the first widescreen movie YOU ever saw on TV, or did you mean to say, "the first widescreen movie ever SEEN on TV"?   

They did show Cinemascope movies on TV before Spartacus  hit the television circuit, and they were shown in what was called "pan and scan" in many TCM fillers over the years.  I remember seeing many movies on TV in which at the end, to be able to include ALL the closing credits, they'd compress the widescreen image so much everybody and everything looked like an EL GRECO painting!  :D 

To be honest, the first widescreen movie I saw on TV that was presented in "letterbox" was BEN-HUR sometime in the '90's. And they(whichever channel that I forgot it was on) only did the "letterbox" thing during the chariot race.  ;)  :D 

Sepiatone

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