Chris Hemsworth as James Hunt

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 18 February Enzo Ferrari born, 1898 On this day in 1898, Enzo Anselmo Ferrari was born. The man who would later be known as Il Commendatore, founder and leader of the Ferrari racing team (and car manufacturer) was taken to a racing track as a kid and realised immediately that he wanted to be a driver. By the early 1920s he was Alfa Romeo’s test driver, and when the company decided to outsource their racing unit, it was Ferrari that ran it. He went solo during the Second World War, during which time Alfa paid him not to compete, and by … Read more

The Queen

Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth II in The Queen

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 8 February Elizabeth II proclaimed queen of UK, 1952 On this day in 1952, Elizabeth II was proclaimed queen of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth. She had actually become queen two days earlier, on the death of her father, George VI, which she heard about while on a tour of Kenya. Proclamations were read out starting the next day. But according to time zone or geographical location, some parts of the new queen’s realm had not completed the formalities until the day after that. In keeping with protocol, the queen took different titles in different jurisdictions; in some she was … Read more


Frank Langella and Michael Sheen in Frost/Nixon

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 6 November Richard Nixon wins the presidency, 1968 On this day in 1968, it was announced that Richard Milhous Nixon had become President-elect of the USA, having beaten Democrat rival Hubert Humphrey by 43.4% of the popular vote to 42.7%. Coming a distant third was American Independent candidate George Wallace with 13.5%. It was Nixon’s second attempt at the presidency, having been beaten by John F Kennedy in 1960. It was the first time a Republican had won in 12 years and marked a watershed in American politics, the broad consensus of the New Deal Coalition forged by Franklin Roosevelt having … Read more


Niki Lauda and James Hunt in the pits

Is Rush – about the rivalry between 1970s Formula 1 drivers Niki Lauda and James Hunt – Ron Howard’s best film yet? After those terrible Da Vinci Code films recently, made for who knows what favour to the studio, this might not seem like much of a claim. But let’s not forget that Howard made Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind and Frost/Nixon. If there’s one thing uniting those three films and Rush it’s that they’re all based firmly on real events. And yes, to bolster the argument, it’s necessary to forget about boxing drama Cinderella Man, Russell Crowe’s Rocky, also based on the life of a real man, but only of value to archaeologists … Read more