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2021 Film Anniversary Retrospectives: January



In the year of 2021, I will be honoring the history of film by posting a monthly Reel Anarchy article detailing up to four films from the past that are celebrating an anniversary. I will try to pick films that are at least 10 years old, but the emphasis is on films that are at least 20 years old. You might see some high-profile classics show up, but you might also see some more obscure picks as well.


In the history of film for the month of January . . .


The Kid (1921)

This silent film celebrates its centennial anniversary this year. It was the first film directed by Charlie Chaplin, who was also the writer and star of the film. The IMDb synopsis reads: “The Tramp cares for an abandoned child, but events put that relationship in jeopardy.” Fun fact: in 1971, Chaplin re-scored and re-edited a different version of the film. Not only was it the second-highest grossing film of the year, but ten years ago it was chosen to be preserved by the U.S. National Film Registry by the Library of Congress for being “culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant.”


Batman (1966)

The very first Batman film, which debuted 55 years ago, was released after the first season of the iconic television series. Adam West and Burt Ward starred alongside the majority of the series’ cast, which were directed by Leslie H. Martinson with Lorenzo Semple Jr. credited with writing the screenplay. The film received fairly good reviews and while it did not break any box office records, it was mildly successful financially. It has since become a staple film to accompany the series’ legacy.


The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

This psychological horror film, celebrating 30 years of existence, is generally revered as one of the best films of all-time. It is one of only three films to win an Academy Award in each of the five major categories. The movie was directed by Jonathan Demme, written by Ted Tally (adapted from the 1988 novel by Thomas Harris), musical score composed by Howard Shore, and starred Jodie Foster, Ted Levine, and Anthony Hopkins. The movie ended the year as the fifth-highest grossing film. It was also given the preservation treatment for the National Film Registry in 2011.


From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)

The original From Dusk Till Dawn film that inspired sequels and video game adaptations celebrates its 25th anniversary this year. The violent action horror flick was directed by Robert Rodriguez, written by Quentin Tarantino, and starred Harvey Keitel, George Clooney, Juliette Lewis, and Quentin Tarantino – with Salma Hayek, Kelly Preston, John Saxon, and Danny Trejo making notable appearances in the film as well. The official synopsis reads: “Two criminals and their hostages unknowingly seek temporary refuge in a truck stop populated by vampires, with chaotic results.” Despite receiving mixed reviews, the movie was a success at the box office and led to it becoming a film franchise.


Have you seen any of these films? Are there any that you thought should have been on my list instead? Make sure to let us know! Thanks!