July 22, 1934: After seeing MGM’s Manhattan Melodrama at Chicago’s Biograph Theater, gangster John Dillinger is gunned down outside by G-men.
July 23, 1947: The subject of anti-Semitism is dramatized in RKO’s Crossfire and, in November, by 20th Century Fox’s Oscar-winning Gentleman’s Agreement.
July 23, 1948: Film pioneer D.W. Griffith, 73, who last directed in 1931, dies. Studios observe a three-minute moment of silence during his funeral five days later.
July 27, 1950: George Pal‘s Destination Moon, one of the first films to offer a serious look at space exploration, opens.
July 25, 1952: High Noon, the western that would garner Gary Cooper an Oscar for his performance as the retired sheriff faced with a fateful showdown, opens.
July 22, 1959: Steve Reeves first flexes his pecs to American audiences in the Italian-made Hercules, beginning a flood of imported “sword-and-sandal” actioners.
July 26, 1960: Art director Cedric Gibbons, who took home the Oscar statuette (which he designed) 11 times, dies at the age of 67.
July 23, 1962: After a six-year stint producing independent films, former studio V.P. Darryl Zanuck is now at the helm of a financially-troubled 20th Century Fox.
July 23, 1966: After what one writer called “the world’s longest suicide,” troubled actor Montgomery Clift, 45, is found dead in his New York brownstone.
July 23, 1982: A helicopter crash on the set of Twilight Zone-The Movie results in the deaths of Vic Morrow and two child actors.
July 22, 1983: With 89-year-old Abel Gance in attendance, the restored edition of his 1927 epic Napoleon has its “re-premiere” in Paris.
July 27, 1983: Tom Cruise teaches audiences the fine art of dancing in one’s underwear in the hit comedy Risky Business.