This Week in Film History: 9/27/15

September 28, 1914: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz author L. Frank Baum’s movie company releases The Patchwork Girl of Oz, the first feature-length film based on his books.

September 29, 1926: MGM production head Irving Thalberg marries actress Norma Shearer, a union that would last until the “Boy Wonder’s” sudden death in 1936.

September 28, 1928: Sales for Al Jolson‘s record of Sonny Boy soar into the millions, the first hit song from a movie soundtrack (The Singing Fool).

September 28, 1929: Silent screen heartthrob John Gilbert’s performance in his first sound film, His Glorious Night, meets with cries of laughter from patrons.

September 29, 1932: The opening of John Barrymore’s drama A Bill of Divorcement is notable for the film debut of 24-year-old stage actress Katharine Hepburn.

October 2, 1937: Radio announcer-turned-actor Ronald Reagan makes his screen bow–as a radio announcer–in Love Is on the Air.

September 30, 1943: Army Air Force lieutenant Clark Gable is awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Medal after taking part in five combat missions.

September 29, 1949: My Friend Irma opens, giving moviegoers their first big-screen look at the comedy duo of Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis.

September 30, 1952: The big screen gets considerably bigger when the tri-projector spectacle This Is Cinerama premieres at New York’s Broadway Theatre.

September 29, 1954: Warner Bros.’ musical remake of A Star Is Born, with Judy Garland and James Mason, has its Holywood premiere.

September 30, 1955: An undying cult of personality will soon begin, as James Dean gets into a fatal auto accident on a California highway at age 24.

October 3, 1961: The Production Code, easing up on portrayals of “sexual aberration,” gives the Code of Approval to The Children’s Hour and Advise and Consent.

September 28, 1964: The silent, horn-honking member of the Four Marx Brothers, Arthur “Harpo” Marx, passes away at 75.

September 27, 1965: Silent screen sexpot and “It Girl” Clara Bow, whose career stalled with the advent of sound, dies in seclusion at 60.

October 1, 1968George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead, shot in black-and-white for $150,000, opens and sets a new, gorier tone for American horror films.

October 3, 1971: The opening in Hong Kong of The Big Boss (released in America a year later as Fists of Fury) revives the martial arts genre and makes Bruce Lee a star.

October 1, 1974: Bloodshed and power tools make for a terrifying mix as The Texas Chain Saw Massacre opens.

September 28, 1977: Eraserhead, director David Lynch’s bizarre debut feature, premieres in New York City.

October 2, 1979: Universal and Sony lose their case against Sony-Betamax when a  U.S district court rules VCR owners can record TV broadcasts for personal use.

September 30, 1983: Baby Boomers have a feast of late ’60s nostalgia with the release of Lawrence Kasdan’s ensemble-casted The Big Chill.

October 2, 1985: Less than three months after revealing to the world he has AIDS, actor Rock Hudson succumbs to the disease at 59.

September 30, 1993: Walt Disney Pictures announces its acquisition of arthouse powerhouse Miramax Films for a reported $64 million.

October 2, 1998: The last of the great screen cowpokes, warbling whitehat Gene Autry, rides into the sunset at age 91.

September 28, 2003: The controversial director of A Streetcar Named Desire and On the Waterfront, Elia Kazan, dies at 94.

October 3, 2004: Actress Janet Leigh, who took a legendary last shower in Psycho, dies at 77.

September 29, 2010: Leigh’s former spouse, The Defiant Ones and Some Like It Hot star Tony Curtis, dies at 85.