Flashback
A look back at this day in film history
November 24
El Mariachi February 26, 1994
El Mariachi opens

"If Robert Rodriguez didn't exist, independent filmmakers would have to invent him," wrote Peter Broderick in Filmmaker magazine about the director's first feature, El Mariachi, which opened in theaters on February 26, 1994. The film was famously made by the 23-year-old filmmaker for a budget of $7,225, crewed by his brother and sister, and with funding Rodriguez raised from a series of medical testing procedures he enrolled himself in. A rare indie action film, El Mariachi was an early example of the "no-budget movie," a film made for a tiny fraction of a Hollywood film and which impresses viewers with the ingenuity of its filmmaking solutions. Said Rodriguez at the time, "The nice thing about making a movie by yourself is that you can take credit for any aspect of it anyone likes."


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Emir Kusturica November 24, 1954
Emir Kusturica born

Emir Kusturica, one of the most acclaimed figures in world cinema, was born on this day in 1954 in Sarajevo, the former Yugoslavian city which is now the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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November 24, 1948
The Bicycle Thief released

When Vittorio De Sica’s The Bicycle Thief opened in New York, many heralded it as the finest realization of the Italian Neo-Realist style.

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November 24, 1947
Making a Black List

On 24 November, 1947 –– just days before Thanksgiving –– the House of Representatives voted 346 to 17 to approve citations against the famed Hollywood Ten for contempt of Congress. A month before, the House Un–American Activities Committee (HUAC) had turned its attention to Hollywood, calling up 43 people whom they suspected of communist sympathies, eventually whittling that list down to 11. Of these, Bertolt Brecht agreed to answer questions and immediately left the country. The remaining ten – nine screenwriters and one director – stood pat in their belief that the Fifth Amendment provided a Constitutional right for them not to testify against themselves. The House of Representatives’ vote on 24 November, however, disagreed. The next day, Hollywood joined in, suspending pay for the Hollywood Ten and issuing a joint statement showing their solidarity to fight the red menace. The top studios publicly proclaimed that they would fire anyone who was or had been a communist, and would not hire anyone with communist sympathies (proved or otherwise). Within weeks, scores of studio employees were on the street, pounding the pavement for another job. And the Hollywood Blacklist had officially begun and was in full force.

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