This Week In Film History, 02.24.13

KongFebruary 25, 1906: Future Universal Pictures president Carl Laemmle enters the moving pictures business with Chicago’s first nickelodeon, the White Front Theater.

March 2, 1906: Biograph Studios wins appeal of kinetoscope inventor Edison’s patent claims, preventing (temporarily) a potential monopoly on the making of movies. 

February 27, 1920: German expressionist painting and design are captured to great effect in Robert Wiene‘s The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.

March 1, 1924:  The first of Walt Disney’s Alice short subjects, mixing live-action and animation, Alice’s Day at Sea, is released.

March 1, 1926: Young British director Alfred Hitchcock releases his first finished, credited work, The Pleasure Garden.

March 2, 1933: “The Eighth Wonder of the World,” King Kong, is unleashed on New York by RKO Pictures, during its hair-raising premiere.

February 27, 1934: A lawsuit against MGM’s Rasputin and the Empress results in the now-familiar “The events and characters in this film are fictional…” disclaimer.

February 27, 1935: It Happened One Night makes Academy Award history by taking Best Picture, Actor, Actress and Director.

March 2, 1939: B-Western hero John Wayne is catapulted to stardom when he plays the Ringo Kid in John Ford‘s hit frontier drama Stagecoach.

February 27, 1940: With a host of extraordinary films on the ballot, the Oscars are nearly swept by Selznick’s Gone With the Wind, which takes home nine.

March 1, 1973: A New York court rules the adult movie Deep Throat to be obscene. A fine double the film’s box office receipts is imposed.

March 1, 1978: Charlie Chaplin‘s body is stolen from his grave in Vevey, Switzerland, and held for ransom. Police will recover it on May 18th.

March 1, 1984: William Powell, consummate urbane leading man of the ’20s through the ’40s, dies at age 91.

March 2, 1984: Actor-turned-director Rob Reiner makes an auspicious debut with his acclaimed comedy This Is Spinal Tap.