This Day in Pop Culture for March 21

1940: Hitchcok’s First American Film

Based on Daphne du Maurier’s novel of the same name, Rebecca premiered in Miami, Florida on this day in 1940 before it was theatrically released on April 12. This psychological romantic thriller was Alfred Hitchcock’s first American project. Laurence Olivier played Maxim de Winter, a lonely widower still obsessed about his former wife who drowned in the sea. Joan Fontaine played Maxim, his second wife despite his utter devotion to the first Mrs. de Winter. The movie also starred George Sanders and Gladys Cooper. It received eleven Oscar nominations but only won two: Best Picture and Best Cinematography. Still, not too shabby. (Image: Wikipedia)

1980: Who Shot J.R.?

It was the shot heard around the world: J. R. Ewing, the lead character of the CBS evening soap opera Dallas was shot on this day in 1980 leaving viewers to wrestle their thoughts on who the culprit might be for eight months when the show returned in November. The phrase “Who Shot J. R.” became a popular slogan for t-shirts and the like. (If you were a fan of the show, you know that it was Kristin Shepherd, J. R.’s mistress, who did the deed.) Dallas ran for twelve and a half seasons in its original run and returned to TV with some of the original cast in 2012. Unfortunately, Larry Hagman, the actor who played the iconic role died that same year. (Image: Wikipedia/Time)

2014: God’s Not Dead’ Movie is Released

It was on this day in 2014 that a “little” faith-based film by Pure Flix Entertainment came arrived in theaters and surprised many by becoming a huge hit. Based on the book God’s Not Dead: Evidence for God in an Age of Uncertainty by Rice Brooks, God’s Not Dead was directed by Harold Cronk and starred Kevin Sorbo, Shane Harper, David A. R. White and Dean Cain. The film had a $2 million budget but raked in over $62 million. Though many critics gave the film unfavorable reviews, the film proved to resonate with many others. The film won a GMA Dove Award for “Inspirational Film of the Year.” The sequel, God’s Not Dead 2 was released on April 1, 2016 followed by God’s Not Dead: A Light in Darkness on March 30, 2018. (Image: Pure Flix)

1999: World Poetry Day

The World Poetry Day was created by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization “”with the aim of supporting linguistic diversity through poetic expression and increasing the opportunity for endangered languages to be heard”. The goal of this special day is to help promote reading, writing, publishing and the teaching of poetry throughout the world. (Image: Pixabay)

Movies Released

  • Divergent (2014)
  • Drillbit Taylor (2008)
  • God’s Not Dead (2014)
  • Liar Liar (1997)
  • Muppets Most Wanted (2014)
  • Rebecca (1940)
  • Selena (1997)
  • The African Queen (1952)
  • The Boss (2016)
  • Trafficked (2017)

TV Series Debuts

  • Bear Grylls: Face the Wild (2018)
  • Deadwood (2004)
  • Duck Dynasty (2012)
  • Krypton (2018)
  • Mildred Pierce (2011)
  • Selling Sunset (2019)
  • The Real Housewives of Orange County (2006)

Famous Birthdays

  • 1946: Timothy Dalton (actor)
  • 1949: Eddie Money (singer)
  • 1958: Brad Hall (comedian)
  • 1958: Gary Oldman (actor)
  • 1962: Matthew Broderick (actor)
  • 1962: Rosie O’Donnell (actress)
  • 1986: Scott Eastwood (actor)

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