Adolf Hitler took his own life on 30 April 1945, dying in ignominy in an underground shelter at the Reich Chancellery two days after his fascist ally Benito Mussolini had been assassinated by partisans in the small northern Italian village of Giulino di Mezzegra.

With the Western Allies days away from retaking Europe, Poland in the hands of the advancing Red Army and Berlin under relentless siege, the Fuhrer was forced to concede his vision of founding a new empire to last a thousand years lay in tatters, his hope of global conquest for the greater glory of the Teutonic…


The sarin gas attack on the Tokyo Metro in Japan took place a quarter of a century ago this Friday, an act of domestic bioterrorism that shocked the world.

Members of the sinister Aum Shinrikyo (“Supreme Truth”) doomsday cult released the lethal nerve agent, originally developed by the Nazis, on 20 March 1995, targeting stations close to the Japanese parliament after they were tipped off to a planned police raid on their compound, plotting the atrocity as a hindrance to the authorities.

The coordinated release of the toxin across three subway lines at the height of rush hour left 13…


British soul singer Dusty Springfield died 20 years ago on 2 March 1999.

The use of her song “Son of a Preacher Man” in Quentin Tarantino’s ensemble crime film Pulp Fiction (1994) introduced her to a new generation, but the popularity of that one track has arguably overshadowed the rest of her output.

But there is a great deal more to discover from a star who came to define the Sixties arguably better than anyone.

Born Mary Isabel Catherine Bernadette O’Brien to an Irish Catholic family in West Hampstead, north London, on 16 April 1939, she was raised in High…


The Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) is an annual gathering of the American right that has become well-known for wild rhetoric from its speakers.

This year’s CPAC in Maryland has already gotten off to a flying start thanks to Sebastian Gorka, Donald Trump‘s former deputy assistant, who launched an extraordinary attack on popular congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her fellow Democrats.

“They want to take your pickup truck, they want to rebuild your home, they want to take away your hamburgers. This is what [Joseph] Stalin dreamt about but never achieved. …


“This idea of ‘I’m offended’. Well I’ve got news for you. I’m offended by a lot of things too. Where do I send my list? Life is offensive. You know what I mean? Just get in touch with your outer adult. And grow up. And move on. Reasonable people don’t write letters.”

Bill Hicks said this in conversation with Howard Stern on the latter’s WXRK radio show in October 1993, four months before his death from pancreatic cancer at the age of 32.

Repeated a quarter of a century on, the remark stands as a fine example of the contrarianism…


Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious was found dead in New York City on 2 February 1979, 40 years ago. It was less than four months after the death of his girlfriend, Nancy Spungen — and Vicious stood accused of murdering her in the bathroom of their suite at the Chelsea Hotel. But four decades on, what really happened in Room 100 still remains unclear.

The boy born John Simon Ritchie in Lewisham was only 21 when he died. He overdosed on heroin at a Greenwich Village party thrown to celebrate his release from the notorious Riker’s Island prison, a 55-day…


Gillian Anderson and Lily James are starring in a new production of All About Eve in London’s West End.

Anderson, most recently seen in the Netflix comedy Sex Education and soon to play Margaret Thatcher in The Crown, will appear as Margo Channing, an ageing Broadway actor who is gradually usurped by Eve Harrington (James), the scheming young ingenue she has befriended and taken on as a personal assistant.

Director Ivo van Hove’s version, featuring new music by PJ Harvey, previews at the Noel Coward Theatre on Saturday 2 February and adapts the Oscar-winning Joseph L Mankiewicz film from 1950…


The Favourite appears poised to take this year’s Oscars by storm after securing 10 nominations from Academy voters.

The Restoration black comedy from director Yorgos Lanthimos recounts a bitter rivalry in the court of Queen Anne. Its star, Olivia Colman, has received particular acclaim for her performance as the sickly monarch and a win for Best Actress would be no less than she deserves.

Colman has said she deliberately did not study the history of Anne’s reign prior to production, preferring to work solely from the screenplay, originally written by Deborah Davis in 1998 and entitled “Balance of Power” before…


Popeye the Sailor, America’s favourite two-fisted sea dog, turns 90 this week.

The archetypal old salt was created by Elzie Crisler Segar and made his first appearance in the cartoonist’s Thimble Theatre strip on 17 January 1929, syndicated in newspapers across the States by the King Features company, owned by all-powerful press baron William Randolph Hearst.

Segar, born in Chester, Illinois, in 1894, had started out working with his father as a handyman before playing drums on the vaudeville circuit and working as a silent film projectionist at his hometown opera house.

Befriending cartoonist Richard F Outcault in the state…


Tintin, the young reporter famed for his exotic adventures exposing skullduggery across the world, turns 90 this week.

The character was created by Belgian cartoonist Georges Remi, better known as Herge, and first appeared in strip form in the pages of Le Petit Vingtieme — a children’s supplement to the right-wing Catholic broadsheet Le Vingtieme Siecle — on 10 January 1929.

His exploits were an instant success and Tintin went on to appear in 24 graphic novels, all drawn by Herge is his distinctive “clear line” style, before the creator brought the series to a close in 1976.

Recognised the…

Joe Sommerlad

Journalist at The Independent. Cinema and pop culture nut. See also @JoeSommerlad on Twitter and FadedVideo.co.uk

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