This Week In Film History, 01.06.13

January 10, 1914: With Mack Sennett‘s instruction to Charlie Chaplin to “get into a comedy make-up,” the legendary “Little Tramp” is born.

January 10, 1923: The “Hollywoodland” sign is dedicated. It was built on the Hollywood Hills to promote sales of homes in Beachwood Canyon.

January 10, 1924: Columbia Pictures Corporation, formerly CBC Film Sales, is founded by brothers Harry and Jack Cohn, and Joseph Brandt.

January 10, 1927: Set in the year 2000, Fritz Lang‘s sci-fi opus, Metropolis, opens. It’s among the first to use miniatures in place of enormous sets.

January 9, 1931: Diminutive actor Edward G. Robinson creates a chilling persona in ruthless gangster “Rico” Bandello in Warner Bros.’ Little Caesar.

January 10, 1949: Actor Robert Mitchum is sentenced to two months’ jail time after being convicted on marijuana charges.

January 8, 1954: Sydney Greenstreet, memorable screen heavy (in every sense of the term) of The Maltese Falcon and other films of the ’40s, dies at age 75.

January 12, 1957: Humphrey Bogart, quintessential movie tough guy from the ’30s through the ’50s, dies of cancer at age 57.

January 10, 1959: Former Cahiers critic Claude Chabrol releases Le Beau Serge, considered the first “New Wave” film, a movement ignited by young cinema enthusiasts.

January 10, 1990: The largest communications merger to date is accomplished when Warner Bros. and Time Inc. form Time/Warner. Cost: some $14 billion.

  • Blair Kramer

    I have always enjoyed Edward G. Robinson. He was the most unlikely movie tough guy who ever achieved silver screen stardom. His tough as nails screen image was entirely believable, but off screen, he was something else entirely. To be sure, he was actually one of the gentlest, kindest people who ever walked the Earth. Everyone in Hollywood loved him. Edward G. Robinson was a great man.

  • Wayne P.

    Speaking of Charlie Chaplin, I was amazed to just find out that it was Hitler who actually copied his signature moustache and not the other way around…supposedly because Der Fuehrer wanted to be more liked by the world as the great ‘Little Tramp” was at that time… in the early 1920s (but was that ever even possible having written his thoughts as to what his horrible plans for mankind were so early on in his book Mein Kampf?). I wonder if Charlie was flattered; much less even mildly amused…probably not due to the inevitable comparisons to such an evil man that were coming later!

  • Wayne P.

    Regarding Metropolis being set in the year 2000 and being made in 1927… that may be one of the biggest time gap pictorials of a quality classic in cinema history but how well did it hold up when the portrayed year finally arrived? How about comparing that one to 1984, which was filmed in 1956 and based on the George Orwell novel? Or, my all time fave 2001: A Space Odyssey (done in 1968)? Of course, would have to go with the last movie…as Kubrick came pretty close with his videophone booth at least!