This Week In Film History, 06.24.12

button-film-historyJune 24, 1916: Mary Pickford signs Hollywood’s first “million-dollar contract,” guaranteeing her at least $10,000 a week over its two-year term.

June 30, 1929: Alfred Hitchcock‘s Blackmail, which nearly saw completion as a silent film, was re-shot with sound, becoming Britain’s first “talkie.”

June 29, 1933: Unable to overcome the scandal that plagued him 12 years earlier, Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle, 46, dies penniless of a heart attack.

June 30, 1933: The Screen Actors Guild is founded in Hollywood, presided over by actor Ralph Morgan.

June 29, 1934: The Thin Man, starring William Powell and Myrna Loy, launches a series of six films MGM will make featuring Dashiell Hammett’s characters.

June 27, 1944: Esther Williams makes a splash in her first “all-singing, all-dancing, all-swimming” musical for MGM, Bathing Beauty.

June 25, 1951: After 27 years at the helm of MGM, Louis B. Mayer resigns following a heated feud with his eventual successor, producer Dore Schary.

June 27, 1961: Bob Hope, Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour come home to rest with the release of the seventh and final “road” flick, The Road to Hong Kong.

June 28, 1961: The search is on for the perfect James Bond, after United Artists announces it will produce seven films based on Ian Fleming’s superspy.

June 27, 1964: Ernest Borgnine marries Ethel Merman (during a spell of “temporary insanity,” she’ll claim later). The union lasts less than some of her high notes: 32 days.

June 29, 1967: Screen sex kitten Jayne Mansfield, 44, is killed in a car accident on a Louisiana highway. The sight of her wig nearby will stir up “beheading” rumors.

June 25, 1969: Sam Peckinpah‘s blood-soaked western about aging gunfighters, The Wild Bunch, opens today and will go on to be his undisputed masterpiece.

June 27, 1973: The tuxedo is passed on, as Roger Moore plays superspy James Bond for the first time in Live and Let Die.

June 24, 1974: After being judged obscene in a Georgia court, the U.S. Supreme Court rules that Mike NicholsCarnal Knowledge is, in fact, not obscene.

June 30, 1983: Spanish-born director and master of cinematic surrealism Luis Bunuel dies in Mexico at 83.

June 30, 1989: Spike Lee‘s controversial look at race relations in a Brooklyn pizza parlor, Do the Right Thing, opens.

June 25, 1993: Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan reteam for Nora Ephron’s Sleepless in Seattle, which was inspired by 1939′s Love Affair

  • Vince Briani

    June 25, 1993: Nora Ephron’s “Sleepless in Seattle” was inspired by 1957′s “An Affair to Remember”….NOT “Love Affair”.

  • bunson

    “An Affair to Remember” was based on “Love Affair” 

  • Blair Kramer

    Ten thousand dollars a week to Mary Pickford nearly 100 years ago?!  Seems to me, that fact blasts the notion that women never earned as much as men all to Hell! Unless I’m mistaken,  I don’t think Charlie Chaplin was earning that much in 1916! Not only was Mary Pickford the wealthiest movie star in the world at that time,  she had to be one of the wealthiest people in the country!  At the very least, she certainly had to be one of the wealthiest women!

    • Wayne P.

      Good point…she was probably the only woman in the USA making that much since wives had a much harder time getting divorces from tycoons in those days!  Do wonder how much went into Pickfair or what the settlement was like with Douglas Fairbanks Sr., when they split up?