This Week In Film History 01-17-10

January 19, 1907: An Exciting Honeymoon and The Life of a Cowboy are the first films to be reviewed in the entertainment trade magazine Variety.

January 18, 1923: Drug addiction claims leading man Wallace Reid, whose morphine dependency followed an injury suffered in a train crash.

January 22, 1928: The John Ford melodrama Mother Machree features, as an unbilled extra, former prop man John Wayne in his first film appearance.

January 20, 1929: The release of In Old Arizona, directed by Irving Cummings and Raoul Walsh, marks the first time a sound film was shot on location.

January 23, 1932: Educational Films Corporation signs 3 ½-year-old Shirley Temple to appear in a series of film take-offs called Baby Burlesks.

January 20, 1933: Because of a memorable nude swimming scene, Austrian actress Hedy Kiesler (soon to be known as Hedy Lamarr) causes a sensation with the release of Ecstasy.

January 21, 1938: Pioneering French filmmaker and visual effects master Georges Méliès dies at the age of 76.

January 19, 1952: Jerome “Curly” Howard, most manic of the Three Stooges, shuffles off this mortal coil at age 49.

January 23, 1952: Precedent-setter James Stewart chooses to share in the profits of Universal’s Bend of the River rather than accept a fixed salary.

January 19, 1953: After months of campaigning, Frank Sinatra is signed by Columbia to play Maggio in From Here to Eternity at a cut-rate $8,000 a week.

January 20, 1964: A lethal combination of alcohol and depressants claims the life of ’40s tough guy Alan Ladd, 50, whose career had been in decline over the last decade.

January 19, 1966: Director Otto Preminger loses his battle in New York court to prevent Anatomy Of A Murder from being edited for television or broadcast without commercials.

January 17, 1984: The rights of VCR owners to tape programs off TV are upheld by the Supreme Court, which rules such use does not violate copyright laws.

January 18, 1985: Filmmaking siblings Joel and Ethan Coen put a modern spin on the film noir genre with their debut feature, Blood Simple.

January 20, 1990: Barbara Stanwyck, star of Stella Dallas and Double Indemnity, dies in Santa Monica of heart failure at the age of 82.