This Week in Movie History: 2/1/16

February 7, 1914:  The Keystone comedy short Kid Auto Races at Venice marks the screen debut of Charlie Chaplin and the first appearance of his “Little Tramp” outfit (which he devised for a later film, Mabel’s Strange Predicament).

February 5, 1919: Four of filmdom’s biggest talents–Mary Pickford, D.W. Griffith, Douglas Fairbanks and Charlie Chaplin–announce the formation of their own studio, United Artists Corporation.

February 2, 1922: Hollywood has a real whodunit on its hands when Paramount Pictures director William Desmond Taylor is found shot outside his L.A. bungalow. The case is never solved.

February 5, 1927Buster Keaton’s comedic masterwork The General, based on a true Civil War incident, is released.

February 1, 1929:  MGM’s The Broadway Melody premieres in Hollywood, becoming the first musical with an original score.

February 1, 1935: The first installment of the March of Time newsreel series debuts…“and time maches on.”

February 5, 1936: At the New York premiere of Chaplin’s Modern Times, riot police are called in to control the crowds trying to see the stars attending the festivities.

February 1, 1937: During Clark Gable‘s birthday party on the MGM lot, Judy Garland sings “You Made Me Love You,” a song she’ll perform in Broadway Melody of 1938.

February 7, 1940: Walt Disney’s second animated feature, Pinocchio, premieres…and that’s no lie.

February 5, 1943: Producer/ “director” Howard Hughes’ controversial frontier drama The Outlaw makes a star of his buxom discovery, Jane Russell.

February 6, 1943: A Los Angeles jury finds Errol Flynn not guilty of statutory rape charges made against him by two teenage girls.

February 5, 1956: “You’re next!,” warns Kevin McCarthy in the sci-fi classic Invasion of the Body Snatchers, which opens today.

February 5, 1960: Anita Ekberg and Marcello Mastroianni share a dip in Rome’s Trevi Fountain, as Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita opens in Italy.

February 1, 1961: John Huston’s drama The Misfits, which would prove to be the final film for stars Clark Gable and Marilyn Monroe, opens.

February 1, 1966: Stone-faced comic Buster Keaton, after a stage, film and TV career that spanned half over 60 years, dies of lung cancer at 70.

February 2, 1969: Horror film icon Boris Karloff, star of Frankenstein and The Mummy, leaves the realm of the living at 81.

February 4, 1970: George C. Scott, Karl Malden and General Omar Bradley attend the premiere of 20th Century-Fox’s Patton in New York.

February 1, 1973: A record $5.00 ticket price is being charged at New York’s Trans-Lux East Theatre for Last Tango in Paris.

February 7, 1974: Western movies are never quite the same after Mel Brooks’ spoof Blazing Saddles tickles audiences with its premiere in Los Angeles.

February 1, 1978: Just before he’s to be sentenced for the statutory rape of a teenage girl at Jack Nicholson‘s L.A. home, director Roman Polanski flees the U.S.

February 6, 1985: Just Jaeckin’s Emmanuelle finishes its record 10-year, 32-week-run at the Paris City Cinema, beating out previous record-holder West Side Story.

February 1, 1988: Child actress Heather O’Rourke, co-star of the Poltergeist films, dies of an intestinal ailment at age 12.

February 3, 1989: Maverick filmmaker John Cassavetes, whose work preceded the rise of independent cinema, dies of lung cancer at 59.

February 4, 1994: Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, the first of three hit comedies that year for the relatively unknown Jim Carrey, opens.

February 2, 1996: Dancer/actor Gene Kelly, star of Singin’ in the Rain, passes away at 83.

February 7, 2001: “Queen of the Cowgirls” Dale Evans, Roy Rogers’ co-star and widow, passes away at 88.

February 3, 2003: Actress Lana Clarkson (Barbarian Queen) is fatally shot in music producer Phil Spector’s California mansion. Spector is later convicted of second-degree murder.

February 2, 2014: Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, 46, is found dead in his Manhattan apartment from a drug overdose.