The Only 366 Movies You Need to Get You Through the Year

aprilfoolsday

It’s time once again to pop in your copy of April Fool’s Day. Not the remake but the classic original horror movie that has a big laugh at our kill-craving expense. For 30 years now (the anniversary of its release was on Monday), it’s been the single feature mandated for viewing on April 1st. Maybe you also like to watch other twisty “gotcha” type movies on this day, but April Fool’s Day is the only one that has to be watched on April Fool’s Day.

There are others required on other dates. We have to watch Groundhog Day on Groundhog Day (February 2nd)  and Independence Day on Independence Day (July 4th) and Halloween on Halloween (October 31st). Thanks to director Garry Marshall, our calendars have been filling up lately. He’s already given us the obligatory eponymous movies for New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s Day, and in just over a month we’ll have our annual assignment for Mother’s Day.

There are still a whole lot of days in the year that aren’t filled in with a specific movie yet. Most of them because they’re not assigned to a holiday. Fortunately, Hollywood is starting to claim dates for their classics, as if to make sure we watch those titles at least once each year. Star Wars has May 4th. Last fall, October 21st was designated Back to the Future Day, but that might have only been a one-time event. This year, though, April 26th has been declared Alien Day, and it can now be that forever.

Alien Day seems rather forced with its date. It’s not based on day that sounds relevant to its movie — a la “May the Fourth (Be With You)” — or a significant time stamp from its plot. Fox chose April 26th because the fictional moon where the Xenomorphs originate from in Alien and Aliens is labeled LV-426. That means we make similar movie holidays out of any number noticed on screen. Sadly, February 37th is not a date, because that would be The Shining Day (fans can take February 17th for the occasion, though).

We’ve started a movie calendar below that will hopefully eventually give us 366 essential titles for every year, including leap years. Those highlighted are the ones already recognized by fans and marketers. The rest are proposed by us based on character birthdays and such. Of course, there are also plenty of holidays that don’t always fall on the same date, so that could create a conflict down the line. But we invite you to suggest movies to occupy the dates that aren’t filled in.

2001: A Space Odyssey

JANUARY

1: New Year’s Day (Henry Jaglom, 1989)
2: January 2nd (Matt Winn, 2006)
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6: Three Kings (David O. Russell, 1999) – it’s already Three Kings Day
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8: (500) Days of Summer (Marc Webb, 2009) – the day Tom met Summer
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12: 2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968) – HAL 9000 was born on 1/12/97
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16: The Night of January 16th (William Clemens, 1941)
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23: The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (Joseph Sargent, 1974) – 1-2-3
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Bill Murray in Groundhog Day

FEBRUARY

1:
2: Groundhog Day (Harold Ramis, 1993)
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4: The Social Network (David Fincher, 2010) – Facebook went live on 2/4/04
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14: Valentine’s Day (Garry Marshall, 2010)
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20: Gone With the Wind (Victor Fleming, 1939) – Scarlett saves the plantation Tara on 2/20/1866
21: Malcolm X (Spike Lee, 1992) – he was assassinated on 2/25/65
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29: Leap Day (Anand Tucker, 2010)
President’s Day: President’s Day (Chris LaMartina, 2010)
Ash Wednesday: Ash Wednesday (Edward Burns, 2002)

Big Lebowski

MARCH

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6: The Big Lebowski (Joel and Ethan Coen, 1998) – Day of the Dude, because of its original release date
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10: 3:10 to Yuma (Delmer Daves, 1957)
11: The Matrix (Lilly and Lana Wachowski, 1999) – Neo’s birthdate is 3/11/62
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15: The Ides of March (George Clooney, 2011)
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24: Singin’ in the Rain (Stanley Donen, 1952) – the day Don, Kathy and Cosmo figure out how to save The Dueling Cavelier
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Xenomorph in Alien

APRIL

1: April Fool’s Day (Fred Walton, 1986)
2:
3: The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford (Andrew Dominik, 2007) – the title event happened on 4/3/1882
4:
5: Star Trek: First Contact (Jonathan Frakes, 1996) – humans make first contact with aliens on 4/5/2063
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8: Empire Records (Allan Moyle, 1995) – “Rex Manning Day,” based on this being the date of Rex Manning’s appearance at Empire Records
9: April 9th (Roni Ezra, 2015)
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12: Titanic (James Cameron, 1997) – Jack meets Rose on Titanic on 4/12/12
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14: Apollo 13 (Ron Howard, 1995) – the mission reports to Houston that they have a problem
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22: Earth (Alastair Fothergill and Mark Linfeld, 2007) – Earth Day
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25: Miss Congeniality (Donald Petrie, 2000) – “the perfect date”
26: Alien (Ridley Scott, 1979) – “Alien Day” based on the alien moon LV-426
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29: The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972) – Don Corleone’s birthdate is 4/29/1892 (although in The Godfather Part II it’s said to be 12/7/1891)
30:
Good Friday: The Passion of the Christ (Mel Gibson, 2004) – day of the crucifixion
Easter: Easter Parade (Charles Walters, 1948)

Star Wars

MAY

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4: Star Wars (George Lucas, 1977) – “Star Wars Day” based on the phrase “May the Fourth (Be With You)”
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22: Milk (Gus Van Sant, 2008) – Harvey Milk Day in California
23: Cloverfield (Matt Reeves, 2008) – the monster attacks on 5/23/08
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25: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Garth Jennings, 2005) – International Towel Day
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28: Dazed and Confused (Richard Linklater, 1993) – last day of school
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Mother’s Day: Mother’s Day (Garry Marshall, 2016)
Memorial Day: Memorial Day (Samuel Fischer, 2011)

ferristrio

JUNE

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5: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (John Hughes, 1986) – fans believe the day off took place on this date
6: Forrest Gump (Robert Zemeckis, 1994) – Forrest’s birthday
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13: Friday the 13th (Sean S. Cunningham, 1980) – Jason Voorhees’s birthday
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19: Maximum Overdrive (Stephen King, 1986) – Earth passes enters the tail of Rhea-M, causing machines to kill
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23: The Silence of the Lambs (Jonathan Demme, 1991) – Clarice Starling meets Hannibal Lecter
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Father’s Day: Father’s Day (Ivan Reitman, 1997)

Independence Day White House

JULY

1: Raiders of the Lost Ark (Steven Spielberg, 1981) – Indiana Jones’s birthday is 7/1/1899
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4: Independence Day (Roland Emmerich, 1996)
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8: Jaws (Steven Spielberg, 1975) – the shark is finally defeated
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14: July 14 (Rene Clair, 1933)
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24: Life in a Day (Loressa Clisby and Andrew Macdonald, 2011) – filmed around the world on 7/24/10
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31: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Chris Columbus, 2001) – Harry Potter’s birthdate is 7/31/80

Terminator 2

AUGUST

1:
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4: The Terminator (James Cameron, 1984) – Skynet went live on 8/4/97
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8: August. Eighth (Dzhanik Fayzlev, 2012)
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18: Avatar (James Cameron, 2009) – Jake Sully and the Na’vi battle the Earth army on 8/18/2154
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22: Dog Day Afternoon (Sidney Lumet, 1975) – the real robbery occurred on 8/22/72
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27: The Town (Ben Affleck, 2010) – date of the robbery is 8/27/10
28: Everybody Wants Some!! (Richard Linklater, 2016) – the first day of the end of summer break
29: Terminator 2: Judgment Day (James Cameron, 1991) – Judgment Day was 8/29/97
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31: Oslo, August 31st (Joachim Trier, 2011)

howardduck

SEPTEMBER

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5: Back to the Future Part III (Robert Zemeckis, 1990) – Hill Valley was founded 9/5/1865
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8: Howard the Duck (Willard Huyck, 1986) – Howard arrives on Earth
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11: September 11 (Youssef Chahine, Amos Gitai, Shôhei Imamura, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Claude Lelouch, Ken Loach, Samira Makhmalbaf, Mira Nair, Idrissa Ouedraogo, Sean Penn, Danis Tanovic, 2002)
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25: Demolition Man (Marco Brambilla, 1993) – the last murder in Los Angeles happened 9/25/10
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Labor Day: Labor Day (Jason Reitman, 2013)

Halloween_MichaelMyers

OCTOBER

1: Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (Mel Stuart, 1971) – Willy Wonka Day because that’s the day of the factory tour
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3: Mean Girls Day (Mark Waters, 2004) – “On October 3rd, he asked me what day it was.”
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11: The Parent Trap (Nancy Meyers, 1998) – the twins’ birthday
12: The Time Machine (George Pal, 1960) – H.G. Wells meets the Eloi and Morlocks on 10/12/802701
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18: The Dark Knight (Christopher Nolan, 2008) – the day The Joker starts trouble in Gotham City with a bank robbery
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21: Back to the Future Part II (Robert Zemeckis, 1989)
22: October 22 (Richard Schenkman, 1998)
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24: E.T. the Extra Terrestrial (Steven Spielberg, 1982) – E.T. is left behind on Earth
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31: Halloween (John Carpenter, 1978)
Columbus Day: Columbus Day (Charles Burmeister, 2008)

vforvendetta

NOVEMBER

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5: V for Vendetta (James McTeigue, 2005) – Guy Fawkes Day, “Remember, remember, the fifth of November!”
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12: Back to the Future (Robert Zemeckis, 1985)
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14: 11:14 (Greg Marcks, 2003)
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Thanksgiving: Planes, Trains and Automobiles (John Hughes, 1987)

christmas-story

DECEMBER

1:
2: Casablanca (Michael Curtiz, 1942) – the day, of all the gin joins in all the towns in all the world, Ilsa walked into Rick’s on this day
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6: Aliens (James Cameron, 1986) – the colonists of LV-426 are wiped out after investigating the alien ship on the date 12/6/2079
7: Pearl Harbor (Michael Bay, 2001)
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12: Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960) – Marion is killed at the Bates Motel
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16: Man on Fire (Tony Scott, 2004) – the day Creasy dies
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20: American Psycho (Mary Harron, 2000)
21: 2012 (Roland Emmerich, 2009) – the world ends on 12/21/12
22: Just Friends (Roger Kumble, 2005) – the story begins on this day
23: Home Alone (John Hughes, 1990) – Kevin is left home alone
24: The Night Before (Jonathan Levine, 2015)
25: A Christmas Story (Bob Clark, 1983)
26: Buffalo ’66 (Vincent Gallo, 1998) – Billy Brown’s birthday
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30: Strange Days (Kathryn Bigelow, 1995) – the story begins on this day
31: New Year’s Eve (Garry Marshall, 2011)