This Week In Film History, 03.04.12

March 10, 1910: D.W. Griffith launches the Hollywood film industry with In Old California, the first film to be made in the new municipality. 

March 5, 1919: Pioneering black producer/director Oscar Micheaux releases his first film, The Homesteader.

March 5, 1922: A “strange symphony of terror” is unleashed on screens across the world with the debut of Germany’s Nosferatu, a unauthorized adaptation of Dracula.

March 10, 1922: Hollywood hires former postmaster general Will H. Hays to oversee “moral and artistic standards in motion picture production.”    

March 10, 1932: Paramount Pictures abandons the East Coast for Hollywood, shutting down its Astoria, Long Island studios.

March 5, 1936: Writer Dudley Nichols becomes the first person to refuse an Oscar (for Best Adapted Screenplay for The Informer) during a boycott of the Academy.

March 7, 1945: Barry Fitzgerald becomes the first actor to receive two Academy Award nominations for the same role, for Going My Way.

March 9, 1945: Filmed over a seven-month period during the Nazi occupation of France, Marcel Carne‘s masterpiece, Les Enfants du Paradis, premieres in Paris.

March 10, 1947: Ronald Reagan is elected president…of the Screen Actors Guild, and a month later will agree to notify the FBI of any communist activity in the union.

March 9, 1955: After bit parts on TV and in film, James Dean becomes an overnight sensation with his starring film debut in East of Eden, which premieres today.

March 5, 1960: After a two-year stint, rock ‘n’ roller and movie star Elvis Presley is released from the U.S. Army and will begin filming G.I. Blues.

March 5, 1962: George C. Scott becomes the first actor to refuse an Oscar nomination (for The Hustler), in protest of fellow actors’ practice of campaigning for awards.

March 9, 1977: Protesting Mohammad, Messenger of God, a group of Black Muslims takes hostages at Washington, D.C., theaters showing the epic.

March 5, 1982: Comedian and former Saturday Night Live star John Belushi, 33, is found dead from a drug overdose in a Los Angeles hotel.

March 7, 1988: The actor known as “the most beautiful woman in the world,” John Waters mainstay Divine, dies of a heart attack at 42.

March 9, 1996: A few weeks after celebrating his 100th birthday, cigar-loving comedian and Academy Award-winner George Burns passes away.

March 7, 1999: Stanley Kubrick, 70, iconoclastic director of 2001: A Space Odyssey, dies four months before the opening of his final film, Eyes Wide Shut.