This Day in Movie History: December 25

It’s a very special day in our collective history, blog readers, as we celebrate the holiday season today and get to spend time with our loved ones and count our blessings.

Today – December 25 – in Movie History gives us the 20th anniversary of Grumpy Old Men, which turned into an unexpected comedy hit for Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau, a full 25 years following their landmark laugher The Odd Couple. It earned $70 million domestically following its Christmas 1993 debut.

23 years ago in 1990 brought the long gestating sequel The Godfather Part III, Francis Ford Coppola’s third and final chapter of the series. Released 16 years after part II, Part III had its share of negative critical reaction, especially for the performance of Sofia Coppola as Michael Corleone’s (Al Pacino) daughter. It still managed to nab a Best Picture nomination and gross a strong $66 million domestically. And Sofia moved onto an acclaimed career as a director, with quality material like The Virgin Suicides and Lost in Translation to her credit.

And five years ago today was Marley & Me, the tearjerker dog flick with Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston that set the Christmas Day opening record at the time on its way to a terrific $143 million domestic tally. Based on the bestselling memoir by John Grogan, Marley touched a nerve with pet lovers all across the country and was the breakout hit of that year’s holiday time frame.

As for celebrity birthdays, one of the most iconic actors of all time Humphrey Bogart would be 114 years old today. His contribution to cinema is immeasurable with classics such as Casablanca, The Maltese Falcon, The African Queen, and The Treasure of Sierra Madre, to name just some.

And its Sissy Spacek’s 64th birthday today. She’s had one of the most impressive filmographies of any actress, from playing the title character in 1976’s Carrie, to an Oscar win as Loretta Lynn in 1980’s Coal Miner’s Daughter, and Oscar nominated turns in Missing (1982), The River (1984), Crimes of the Heart (1986), and In the Bedroom (2001). Recently she’s been seen in Get Low and The Help.

As for Six Degrees of Separation between the two performers:

Humphrey Bogart was in The African Queen with Katherine Hepburn

Katherine Hepburn was in Love Affair with Annette Bening

Annette Bening was in The Great Outdoors with John Candy

John Candy was in JFK with Sissy Spacek

And there you have Christmas in Movie History! Once again, I wish you all a very Merry Christmas.

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