July 28, 1928: Encouraged by the response to the few minutes of sound in The Jazz Singer, Warner Bros. releases Lights of New York, the first all-talking picture.
July 31, 1928: Audiences first hear MGM mascot Leo the Lion’s mighty roar with the studio’s first sound film, White Shadows in the South Seas.
August 3, 1929: Groucho, Chico, Harpo and Zeppo, the Marx Brothers, make their film debuts in Paramount’s The Cocoanuts.
July 28, 1948: Lon Chaney, Jr. and Bela Lugosi play the Wolf Man and Dracula, respectively, for the last time onscreen in Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein.
July 28, 1954: Seen by many as an answer to critics of his 1952 HUAC testimony, director Elia Kazan’s “informer” drama On the Waterfront opens.
July 29, 1957: James Whale, director of the horror staples Frankenstein and The Invisible Man, is found drowned in his swimming pool at age 67.
August 3, 1965: British actress Julie Christie’s star continues to rise with her performance as an ambitious, self-absorbed fashion Schlesinger in John Schlesinger‘s Darling.
July 30, 1966: With all of the “BIFF! POW! SOCK!” of the campy TV show, Batman, starring Adam West, makes his first film appearance since 1943.
August 1, 1973: American Graffiti, George Lucas’ nostalgic time capsule, opens. The cast of then-unknowns includes Richard Dreyfuss and Harrison Ford.
August 2, 1976: Fritz Lang, the Austrian-born helmer of Metropolis and The Big Heat, dies in Los Angeles at the age of 85.
July 28, 1978: National Lampoon’s Animal House, starring John Belushi, opens and quickly finds a huge youth audience.
July 31, 1987: Timothy Dalton takes over the role of secret agent James Bond with the 007 adventure The Living Daylights.
July 28, 1991: Paul Reubens, aka Pee-wee Herman, is arrested in Sarasota, Fla., for indecent behavior in an adult movie theater.
July 28, 1995: Star Kevin Costner’s aquatic sci-fi tale Waterworld, reportedly the first $200 million film, opens to less than a flood of ticketbuyers.