This Week In Film History, 06.27.10

July 3, 1905: The long tradition of cinematic canine heroes begins in England with the debut of the seven-minute melodrama Rescued by Rover.

June 30, 1929: Alfred Hitchcock‘s Blackmail, which nearly saw completion as a silent film, was re-shot with sound, becoming Britain’s first “talkie.”

June 29, 1933: Unable to overcome the scandal that plagued him 12 years earlier, Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle, 46, dies penniless of a heart attack.

June 30, 1933: The Screen Actors Guild is founded in Hollywood, presided over by actor Ralph Morgan.

June 29, 1934: The Thin Man, starring William Powell and Myrna Loy, launches a series of six films MGM will make featuring Dashiell Hammett’s characters.

June 27, 1944: Esther Williams makes a splash in her first “all-singing, all-dancing, all-swimming” musical for MGM, Bathing Beauty.

July 3, 1947: Elia Kazan, Cheryl Crawford and Bob Lewis open the Actors Studio in New York to teach Konstantin Stanislavsky’s “Method” style of acting.

June 27, 1961: Bob Hope, Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour come home to rest with the release of the seventh and final “road” flick, The Road to Hong Kong.

June 28, 1961: The search is on for the perfect James Bond, after United Artists announces it will produce seven films based on Ian Fleming’s superspy.

June 27, 1964: Ernest Borgnine marries Ethel Merman (during a spell of “temporary insanity,” she’ll claim later). The union lasts less than some of her high notes: 32 days.

June 29, 1967: Screen sex kitten Jayne Mansfield, 44, is killed in a car accident on a Louisiana highway. The sight of her wig nearby will stir up “beheading” rumors.

June 27, 1973: The tuxedo is passed on, as Roger Moore plays superspy James Bond for the first time in Live and Let Die.

July 2, 1973: Betty Grable, the favorite actress and pin-up of many American G.I.s during World War II, dies of lung cancer at the age of 56.

June 30, 1983: Spanish-born director and master of cinematic surrealism Luis Buñuel dies in Mexico at 83.

June 30, 1989: Spike Lee‘s controversial look at race relations in a Brooklyn pizza parlor, Do the Right Thing, opens.

July 3, 1991: The most expensive movie up to its time, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, is released. Star Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s salary: a reported $15 million.

July 3, 1996: Debuting just in time for its namesake holiday, the sci-fi actioner Independence Day earns over $100 million in its opening week.

July 1, 1997: Robert Mitchum, sleepy-eyed tough guy and leading man from the ’40s through the ’90s, dies at age 79.

July 2, 1997: James Stewart, affable leading man and father figure from the ’30s through the ’90s, dies at age 89.