Movies

Peter Pan

History of Peter Pan: the Story Behind the 71-Year-Old Disney Classic

By billpetro / February 5, 2024 /

HISTORY OF PETER PAN All of this has happened before, and it will all happen again.   So begins my favorite Walt Disney animated movie, Peter Pan, which debuted 71 years ago on February 5, 1953. The original movie poster said: “It will live in your heart forever” …and indeed it has. Why was this…

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History of Groundhog Day

By billpetro / February 2, 2024 /

HISTORY OF GROUNDHOG DAY Groundhog Day comes from Candlemas Day, observed for centuries in parts of Europe on February 2. The custom was to have the clergy bless candles – representing how long winter would be – and distribute them to the people.   A Pagan Holiday This seems to have derived from the pagan…

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die hard

Is Die Hard Really A Christmas Movie?

By billpetro / November 30, 2023 /

IS DIE HARD REALLY A CHRISTMAS MOVIE? Scholars and historians have debated for centuries the question “Is Die Hard a Christmas Movie?” Or at least during the last three decades since the movie was released. This is why readers have turned to me, your friendly neighborhood historian, to wrestle with this age-old question and help…

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Large Enterprise

History of Star Trek: 57 Years Ago and Now

By billpetro / September 7, 2023 /

HISTORY OF STAR TREK Star Trek premiered on NBC TV on September 8, 1966… 57 years ago. It is my favorite show; I was glued to the TV for the first episode and for every one after that. It significantly influenced my life and my choice of a career in technology.

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mission impossible – dead reckoning part one poster

Movie Review: Mission Impossible Dead Reckoning Part One

By billpetro / July 13, 2023 /

MOVIE REVIEW: MISSION IMPOSSIBLE DEAD RECKONING PART ONE [No spoilers] The seventh movie in the Mission: Impossible franchise is non-stop action, where the plot does not get in the way of the daredevil stunts. And this is only the first installment of “Dead Reckoning Part One.” Will there be a sequel? It’s a sure thing.…

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Star Wars

History of Star Wars: Premiered 46 Years Ago

By billpetro / May 25, 2023 /

HISTORY OF STAR WARS The original Star Wars movie premiered on May 25, 1977. Long ago, in a galaxy far, far away… when living in Berkeley, in November 1976, I picked up a new science fiction novel, “Star Wars: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker” by George Lucas. I did not know then that it…

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StarWarsDay

History of May the Fourth (Be With You): Star Wars Day

By billpetro / May 4, 2023 /

  HISTORY OF MAY THE FOURTH May 4th or May the Fourth is a geek holiday that has gained popularity in recent years due to a popular film franchise. But where did it begin?   History of May the Fourth “May the Fourth” is taken from the benediction “May the Force be with you” made famous…

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Jesus Revolution

Movie Review: Jesus Revolution

By billpetro / March 8, 2023 /

Movie Review: Jesus Revolution Growing up in California during the ’60s and ’70s allowed me to be both an observer of and a participant in the Jesus Revolution.   Historical Synopsis: The Jesus Revolution — alternately known as the Jesus Movement, Jesus People, or the somewhat pejorative Jesus Freaks — was a spiritual awakening with…

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Dr. No

History of James Bond: Dr. No – 60 Years Ago

By billpetro / October 5, 2022 /

HISTORY OF JAMES BOND: DR. NO – 60 YEARS AGO You’ve no doubt heard that it’s the 60th anniversary of James Bond. It was featured at this year’s Academy Award. But the actual 60th anniversary of the films is today: October 5, 1962, was the premiere of the first James Bond film, Dr. No. For…

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The Natural

History of The Natural: A Father Returns

By billpetro / June 18, 2022 /

HISTORY OF THE NATURAL: A Father Returns A classic movie with a timeless topic comes to mind in celebration of Father’s Day. The 1984 film The Natural asks the question: Can you return? If the movie Field of Dreams was epic, then The Natural was mythic, as I’ll explain below.   The Natural: The Story…

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Field of Dreams

History of Field of Dreams: A Father’s Day Treat

By billpetro / June 17, 2022 /

HISTORY OF FIELD OF DREAMS: A Father’s Day Treat One of my all-time favorite movies is not an action movie, a science fiction movie, a comic book blockbuster, or a fantasy film. It’s a baseball movie. Or is it? Is it a movie about Berkeley, Iowa, Fenway Park, or America? It’s all of them, and…

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The Godfather

History of The Godfather: 50 Years Ago

By billpetro / April 28, 2022 /

HISTORY OF THE GODFATHER: 50 YEARS AGO In March of 1972, fifty years ago, the Francis Ford Coppola film, The Godfather premiered. Based on a screenplay by Coppola and the author of the original novel, Mario Puzo (who together won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay), it had been optioned by Paramount executive Peter Bart when…

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