This Week in Movie History: 2/29/16

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

March 1, 1919: The two-year marriage of actor Wallace Beery and actress Gloria Swanson ends in divorce.

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

March 6, 1921: Metro Pictures’ The Four Horseman of the Apocalypse, which becomes the first picture to earn $1 million and makes a star of Rudolph Valentino, opens.

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

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

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 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 29, 1940: With a host of extraordinary films on the Oscar ballot, Gone With the Wind takes home nine awards, including a historic Best Supporting Actress win for African-American performer Hattie McDaniel.

March 4, 1943: Winner of the Best Actress prize for Mrs. Miniver, Greer Garson delivers the longest acceptance speech–nearly five and a half minutes–in Oscar history.

March 3, 1950: Marx Brothers Groucho, Chico and Harpo make their final film appearance as a team in Love Happy, with a young Marilyn Monroe.

March 4, 1952: In a union that would take them from Hollywood to the White House, actor Ronald Reagan and actress Nancy Davis are wed.

March 5, 1954: The last of Universal’s classic film monsters, The Creature from the Black Lagoon, swims onto movie screens (originally in 3D).

March 3, 1959: Three days before his 53rd birthday, a heart attack claims chubby funnyman Lou Costello, half of the comedy duo Abbott and Costello.

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 2, 1965: “The hills are alive” as Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music comes to the screen, starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer.

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: The remains of Charlie Chaplin, who died the previous December, are stolen from his Swiss grave by two immigrants in an ill-fated ransom scheme.

March 5, 1978: Actor Martin Sheen suffers a heart attack during the shooting of Apocalypse Now. He’ll eventually return to finish the film.

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 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 mock rockumentary This Is Spinal Tap.

March 4, 1994: Hefty comic actor John Candy, 43, star of Planes, Trains and Automobiles and Uncle Buck, dies from a heart attack while filming Wagons East!

March 6, 1998: “The Dude abides,” as the Coen Brothers’ The Big Lebowski opens and goes on to amass a cult following.