Friday, December 18, 2009

Film Anniversaries for 2009

Most of this culled from Wikipedia. Wish the links worked, however, you can just do the usual and add the phrases you wish to search, remembering to separate each word (hyphenated words count as one word) with an underline character, as 1889 films 1899 films 1909 films  1919 films  1929 films  1939 films  1939 in film (major excerpts below)  1949 films  1959 films  1969 films  1979 films  1989 films  1999 films  2009 films

Strictly personal (=pretty much irresistible) picks follow: I'll be leaving out loads of big hits and critically exalted stuff, as well as highly significant births, deaths and film debuts (except super-year 1939):

1889: American inventor George Eastman's celluloid base roll photographic film becomes commercially available.

1919: February 5 - Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks and D.W. Griffith launch United Artists.

Oscar Micheaux releases The Homesteader, starring pioneering African-American actress Evelyn Preer, becoming the first African-American to produce and direct a motion picture.

Harold Lloyd begins holding test screenings of his films and modifying them based on audience feedback, a technique which is still used today.

Tri-Ergon sound-on-film technology is developed by three German inventors, Josef Engl, Hans Vogt, and Joseph Massole; however, the era of sound films is over 6 years away.

Broken Blossoms


January 20 - The movie In Old Arizona was released. The film was the first full-length talking film to be filmed outdoors.

May 16 - The first Academy Awards, or Oscars, are distributed.

July 13, The first all color talkie (in Technicolor), On with the Show is released by Warner. Bros. who led the way in a new color revolution just as they had ushered in that of the talkies.

Hallelujah!, first Hollywood film to contain an entire black cast.

Atlantic (1929 film) is the first sound on film movie made in Germany. It is also the first Titanic movie with sound.

The Broadway Melody is released by MGM and becomes the first major musical film of the sound era, sparking a host of imitators as well as a series of Broadway Melody films that would run until 1940.

The Canary Murder Case   Bulldog Drummond   The Cocoanuts   Disraeli   Gold Diggers of Broadway   Rio Rita   The Virginian

1939: Events

'Movie historians and film buffs often look back on 1939 as "the greatest year in film history". Hollywood was at the height of its Golden Age, and this particular year saw the release of an unusually large number of exceptional movies, many of which have been honored as all-time classics, when multitudes of other films of the era have been largely forgotten.'

Films released in 1939

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, starring Mickey Rooney and Rex Ingram as Jim

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, starring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce

Andy Hardy Gets Spring Fever, starring Lewis Stone, Mickey Rooney, Cecilia Parker and Fay Holden

Another Thin Man, starring William Powell and Myrna Loy

The Arsenal Stadium Mystery

Ask a Policeman, starring Will Hay, Graham Moffatt and Moore Marriott

At the Circus, starring Groucho Marx, Chico Marx and Harpo Marx

Babes in Arms, Starring Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland

Bachelor Mother, starring Ginger Rogers and David Niven

Barricade starring Alice Faye and Warner Baxter

Beau Geste, starring Gary Cooper and Ray Milland

Boys' Reformatory, starring Frankie Darro and Grant Withers

Confessions of a Nazi Spy, starring Edward G. Robinson, Francis Lederer, George Sanders and Paul Lukas

Dark Victory, starring Bette Davis (favorite role), George Brent, Humphrey Bogart, Geraldine Fitzgerald and Ronald Reagan (Academy Award Nominee)

Daughter of The Tong, starring Evelyn Brent and Grant Withers

Destry Rides Again, starring Marlene Dietrich and James Stewart

Dodge City, starring Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland

Drums Along the Mohawk, directed by John Ford, starring Henry Fonda and Claudette Colbert

Each Dawn I Die, starring James Cagney and George Raft

Everything Happens At Night, starring Sonja Henie and Ray Milland

The Four Feathers starring John Clements and Ralph Richardson

Five Came Back starring Lucille Ball and Chester Morris

Frontier Marshal, starring Randolph Scott, John Carradine and Lon Chaney, Jr.

Gone with the Wind, starring Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh (Academy Award for Best Picture)

Goodbye, Mr. Chips, starring Robert Donat and Greer Garson (Academy Award Nominee)

The Gorilla, starring Jimmy Ritz, Harry Ritz and Al Ritz

Gulliver's Travels starring Jessica Dragonette and Lanny Ross

Gunga Din, starring Cary Grant, Victor McLaglen, Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and Sam Jaffe

The Hardys Ride High, starring Lewis Stone, Mickey Rooney, Cecilia Parker and Fay Holden

Hollywood Cavalcade, starring Alice Faye, Don Ameche, J. Edward Bromberg and Alan Curtis

The Hound of the Baskervilles, starring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce

The Hunchback of Notre Dame, starring Charles Laughton and Maureen O'Hara

The Marines Fly High, starring Lucille Ball and Richard Dix

In Name Only, starring Cary Grant, Carole Lombard and Kay Francis

Idiot's Delight, starring Clark Gable and Norma Shearer

Intermezzo, starring Ingrid Bergman and Leslie Howard

Jamaica Inn, directed by Alfred Hitchcock, starring Charles Laughton and Horace Hodges

Jesse James, starring Tyrone Power, Henry Fonda, Nancy Kelly and Randolph Scott

Judge Hardy and Son starring Lewis Stone, Mickey Rooney, Cecilia Parker and Fay Holden

Le Jour se lève (Daybreak)

Let Us Live starring Maureen O'Sullivan and Henry Fonda

The Light that Failed, starring Ronald Colman

The Little Princess, starring Shirley Temple and Richard Greene

Love Affair, starring Irene Dunne and Charles Boyer (Academy Award Nominee)

Mexicali Rose, starring Gene Autry

Midnight, starring Claudette Colbert and Don Ameche

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, starring James Stewart, Jean Arthur and Claude Rains (Academy Award Nominee)

Mr. Wong in Chinatown, starring Boris Karloff

The Mystery of Mr. Wong, starring Boris Karloff

The Oklahoma Kid, starring James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart and Donald Crisp

Of Mice and Men, starring Burgess Meredith, Betty Field and Lon Chaney Jr. (Academy Award Nominee)

The Old Maid, starring Bette Davis and Miriam Hopkins

On Dress Parade, starring The Dead End Kids

Only Angels Have Wings, starring Cary Grant and Jean Arthur

On Your Toes, screenplay by the playwright Lawrence Riley et al. (film mentioned in article)

Ninotchka, starring Greta Garbo, Melvyn Douglas, Ina Claire and Bela Lugosi (Academy Award Nominee)

The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex, starring Bette Davis and Errol Flynn

Q Planes, starring Ralph Richardson and Laurence Olivier

Range War, a Hopalong Cassidy western starring William Boyd

The Roaring Twenties, starring James Cagney, Priscilla Lane and Humphrey Bogart

The Rules of the Game (La règle du jeu), by Jean Renoir

Seven Little Australians directed by Arthur Greville Collins

Son of Frankenstein, starring Basil Rathbone, Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi

The Spy in Black, starring Conrad Veidt and Valerie Hobson

They Shall have Music, starring Jascha Heifetz, Joel McCrea, Andrea Leeds and Walter Brennan

Stagecoach, directed by John Ford, starring John Wayne, Claire Trevor, Berton Churchill and John Carradine (Academy Award Nominee)

Stanley and Livingstone, starring Spencer Tracy and Sir Cedric Hardwicke

The Story of the Last Chrysanthemums, a Japanese film directed by Kenji Mizoguchi

The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle, starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers

Susannah of the Mounties, starring Shirley Temple and Randolph Scott

The Three Musketeers, starring Don Ameche and The Ritz Brothers

Three Texas Steers, starring John Wayne, directed by George Sherman

Tower of London, starring Basil Rathbone, Boris Karloff and Vincent Price

The Wizard of Oz, starring Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Ray Bolger, Bert Lahr and Jack Haley (Academy Award Nominee)

The Women, starring Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford and Rosalind Russell

Union Pacific, starring Barbara Stanwyck, Joel McCrea and directed by Cecil B. DeMille

Wuthering Heights, starring Merle Oberon, Laurence Olivier, David Niven and Flora Robson (Academy Award Nominee)

Wyoming Outlaw, starring John Wayne, directed by George Sherman

Young Mr. Lincoln, directed by John Ford, starring Henry Fonda and Alice Brady


January 10 - Sal Mineo, actor (+ 1976)

February 3 - Michael Cimino, director

February 6 - Mike Farrell, American actor

February 9 - Janet Suzman, actress

March 5 - Samantha Eggar, actress

April 7 - Francis Ford Coppola, director, producer, writer

April 12 - Alan Ayckbourn, writer

April 13 - Paul Sorvino, actor

May 13 - Harvey Keitel, actor

May 19 - Nancy Kwan, actress

May 25 - Ian McKellen, actor

May 30 - Michael J. Pollard, actor

July 30 - Peter Bogdanovich, director

July 31 - France Nuyen, actress

August 2 - Wes Craven, director, producer, writer

August 12 - George Hamilton, actor

August 25 - John Badham, director

August 29 - Joel Schumacher, director

August 30 - Elizabeth Ashley, actress

September 1 - Lily Tomlin, actress

September 18 - Frankie Avalon, actor, singer

September 29 - Larry Linville, American actor (d. April 10, 2000)

October 8 - Paul Hogan, actor

October 22 - Tony Roberts, actor

October 24 - F. Murray Abraham, actor

October 27 - John Cleese, actor

October 28 - Jane Alexander, actress

November 22 - Allen Garfield, actor

Film Debuts

Greer Garson

Maureen O'Hara

William Holden

Veronica Lake

Anne Gwynne


June 9 - Owen Moore, actor

August 23 - Sidney Howard, writer

September 24 - Carl Laemmle, producer

October 23 - Zane Grey, writer

October 28 - Alice Brady, actress

December 12 - Douglas Fairbanks, actor

1949: Pinky   She Wore a Yellow Ribbon   They Live by Night   White Heat

1959: Anatomy of a Murder   Ben-Hur   Black Orpheus   Donald in Mathmagic Land   Journey to the Center of the Earth   North by Northwest   The Nun's Story   Plan 9 from Outer Space   Porgy and Bess   Rio Bravo   Sleeping Beauty   Some Like It Hot

1969: Anne of the Thousand Days   The April Fools   The Assassination Bureau   Ring of Bright Water They Shoot Horses, Don't They?   True Grit   The Undefeated   Z

1979: Alien   Apocalypse Now   Being There   The Black Stallion   Breaking Away   The Muppet Movie Murder by Decree   Norma Rae   The Onion Field   The Rose

1989: Born on the Fourth of July   The 'Burbs   Casualties of War  Driving Miss Daisy   The Experts Farewell to the King   Field of Dreams   Fletch Lives   Glory   Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade Sea of Love   Steel Magnolias

1999: The 13th Warrior   American Beauty   Magnolia   Three Kings

I thought Halloween & H20 were '79 & '99, respectively, but, no, they were '78 & '98. Oh.
P.S., R.I.P. Jennifer Jones, heroic and tragic life.  Her unique achievement in being fully adult, yet entirely believable as a child in The Portrait of Jenny and after Duel in the Sun remains astonishing; miraculous.

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