July 28, 1928: Encouraged by the response to the few minutes of sound in The Jazz Singer, Warner Bros. releases Lights of New York, the first all-talking picture.
July 31, 1928: Audiences first hear MGM mascot Leo the Lion’s mighty roar with the studio’s first sound film, White Shadows in the South Seas.
July 28, 1948: Lon Chaney, Jr. and Bela Lugosi play the Wolf Man and Dracula, respectively, for the last time onscreen in Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein.
July 27, 1950: George Pal‘s Destination Moon, one of the first films to offer a serious look at space exploration, opens.
July 25, 1952: High Noon, the western that would garner Gary Cooper an Oscar for his performance as the retired sheriff faced with a fateful showdown, opens.
July 28, 1954: Seen by many as an answer to critics of his 1952 HUAC testimony, director Elia Kazan‘s “informer” drama On the Waterfront opens.
July 29, 1957: James Whale, director of the horror staples Frankenstein and The Invisible Man, is found drowned in his swimming pool at age 67.
July 26, 1960: Art director Cedric Gibbons, who took home the Oscar statuette (which he designed) 11 times, dies at the age of 67.
July 30, 1966: With all of the “BIFF! POW! SOCK!” of the campy TV show, Batman, starring Adam West, makes his first film appearance since 1943.
July 28, 1978: National Lampoon’s Animal House, starring John Belushi, opens and quickly finds a huge youth audience.
July 27, 1983: Tom Cruise teaches audiences the fine art of dancing in one’s underwear in the hit comedy Risky Business.
July 31, 1987: Timothy Dalton takes over the role of secret agent James Bond with the 007 adventure The Living Daylights.
July 28, 1991: Paul Reubens, aka Pee-wee Herman, is arrested in Sarasota, Fla., for indecent behavior in an adult movie theater.
July 28, 1995: Star Kevin Costner‘s aquatic sci-fi tale Waterworld, reportedly the first $200 million film, opens to less than a flood of ticketbuyers.