June 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 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 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 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 Nichols‘ Carnal 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.