August 16, 1926: Up-and-coming starlet Clara Bow inks a deal with Paramount, but refuses to sign the customary “morality” clause.
August 14, 1940: Top screenwriter of Easy Living and If I Were King, Preston Sturges, makes his directorial debut with The Great McGinty.
August 14, 1951: A Place in the Sun opens. Paramount removes the name of actress Anne Revere, who had refused to cooperate with HUAC, from the publicity.
August 16, 1956: The screen’s most famous vampire, Bela Lugosi, dies at 73. In accordance with his wishes, he’s buried in his Dracula cape.
August 13, 1967: Arthur Penn’s biodrama Bonnie and Clyde, starring Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway, ushers in a wave of screen realism and violence.
August 11, 1976: Depicting, ironically, a famed gunslinger’s battle with cancer, John Wayne’s last film, The Shootist, opens.
August 16, 1977: Elvis Presley dies suddenly of a heart attack at the age of 42 in his Memphis home, Graceland.
August 15, 1979: After years of production and financial troubles, Apocalypse Now finally opens in American theaters, three months after its premiere at Cannes.
August 12, 1988: Director Martin Scorsese’s controversial The Last Temptation of Christ opens to protests from religious groups.
August 16, 1995: The film noir genre gets a ’90s updating with the acclaimed, plot-twisting whodunit The Usual Suspects.
August 13, 1997: American audiences are introduced to a British slang term, thanks to the unexpected comedy hit The Full Monty.