While the French and those who somehow love them celebrate yet another Bastille Day, July 14 has even more festive repercussions around Defamer HQ and Hollywood at large. To wit: Megaproducer/amateur publicist/career advisor Joel Silver was born on this day in 1952. The pride of South Orange, New Jersey, Silver made his first impact in 1970 as the co-creator of Ultimate Frisbee and never looked back. NYU Film School preceded his journey west, followed by an assistantship (and eventual partnership) with producer Lawrence Gordon and, before long, his own shingle — Silver Pictures, the epicenter of bullying, intimidation, projectile paperweights and bona fide blockbusters like Predator, Die Hard, Lethal Weapon and The Matrix. The flops came as well, including Hudson Hawk, Richie Rich and House of Wax — the latter of which is avenged in a little tribute video we cobbled together after the jump.
And while Silver might be hurting now, with his bomb Speed Racer flailing its way out of multiplexes at last, you can't keep a bombastic, Tang-suit-wearing, sport-inventing man down. That's why we scoured the Web for a bit of his wit, wisdom, contradictions and counsel on the occasion of the big 5-6. Joel, if we could be there with a cake, you know we would; we don't quite trust you around candles, however. Please let this suffice: Happy birthday, big guy! [Video by Molly McAleer]