A look back at this day in film history
August 19
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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Nanni Moretti August 19, 1953
Nanni Moretti born

In 1953, Nanni Moretti was born to a professor of Greek Epigraphy and a school teacher while they were on vacation in the mountain resort of Brunico.

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August 19, 1977
Groucho Marx dies

On June 22, 1977, Groucho Marx was taken to Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles for pneumonia. He would stay there for the next few weeks as he struggled to recover, but on August 19, 1977, he died at the age of 86.

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19 August 1973
The Dragon Released

For Bruce Lee, Enter The Dragon would vindicate his talent both as martial arts champion and movie actor. And it would have, if he had died.

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