This Week In Film History, 04.08.12

button-film-historyApril 12, 1911: Cartoonist Winsor McCay brings his popular Little Nemo in Slumberland characters to animated life in Little Nemo and the Princess

April 10, 1915: The controversy over D.W. Griffith‘s portrayal of blacks in The Birth of a Nation rages on, as thousands protest the film.

April 12, 1932: The first “all-star” (John Barrymore, Wallace Beery, Joan Crawford, Greta Garbo, et al.) movie, MGM’s Grand Hotel, opens. 

April 11, 1938: The first step towards industry child labor reform is taken when The Kid star Jackie Coogan sues his mother and stepfather to recover his earnings.

April 10, 1952: Gene Kelly eschews bumbershoot and poncho for his most famous dance number in Singin’ in the Rain.

April 11, 1955: Marty, the first film made from a TV teleplay, opens and will go on to win the Academy Award for Best Picture.

April 10, 1962: Hungarian-born director Michael Curtiz, whose career spanned nearly 50 years and included many classic films, Casablanca among them, is dead at 74.

April 13, 1964: Sidney Poitier becomes the first African-American to win the Best Actor Academy Award for Lilies of the Field

April 10, 1968: Scheduled for April 8, the Academy Awards ceremony is held two days later because of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. on the 4th. 

April 8, 1975: Francis Ford Coppola‘s The Godfather, Part II is the first sequel to capture the Academy Award for Best Picture.

April 9, 1984: Linda Hunt becomes the first person to win an Oscar for playing a member of the opposite sex, in The Year of Living Dangerously

April 11, 1988: The Last Emperor wins all nine Academy Awards for which it was nominated, the first film to do so since 1958’s Gigi.

April 10, 1992: Robert Altman receives his best reviews and box office results in years with the release of the Hollywood satire The Player.