This Week In Film History, 11.13.11

button-film-historyNovember 13, 1921: After gaining fame in The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, Italian-born leading man Rudolph Valentino mesmerizes female filmgoers as The Sheik.

November 19, 1924: Mystery surrounds the death of director Thomas H. Ince. Rumors suggest he was shot aboard the yacht of William Randolph Hearst.

November 18, 1928: Mickey Mouse whistles his way onto the screen in his first speaking performance, in Walt Disney’s Steamboat Willie.

November 15, 1935: The Marx Brothers’ first feature for MGM, A Night at the Opera, opens; it will prove to be their masterpiece and will break box office records across the country.

November 16, 1945: A cartoon spirit named Casper first materializes onto movie screens in Paramount’s The Friendly Ghost.

November 15, 1956: The greatest film career for a rock star gets underway when Love Me Tender, Elvis Presley‘s first film, opens in New York.

November 15, 1958: Following a swordfight with George Sanders during the filming of Solomon and Sheba, Tyrone Power has a fatal heart attack at age 44.

November 16, 1960: Less than two weeks after completion of The Misfits, Clark Gable, 59, dies of a heart attack; he will be buried next to Carole Lombard.

November 15, 1974: Universal Pictures’ Earthquake rattles the American movie-going public with the first use of Sensurround.

November 16, 1977: With the future of Columbia resting on its release, Close Encounters of the Third Kind debuts and becomes a critical and commercial success.

November 19, 1980: Director Michael Cimino‘s $35 million western, Heaven’s Gate, becomes one of the biggest bombs in film history and sinks United Artists.

November 15, 1989: Disney’s animated feature division is revitalized with the critical and box office success of The Little Mermaid.

November 16, 1990: John Hughes and Chris ColumbusHome Alone opens and will become the season’s biggest surprise and a starmaker for youngster Macaulay Culkin.

November 17, 1995: The name is Brosnan…Pierce Brosnan, who finally becomes the new James Bond in Goldeneye.

  • Jim

    With all due respect to Night at the Opera, which is unquestionably a great movie, the Marx Brothers’ real masterpiece is Duck Soup.

  • Blair Kramer.

    I believe Chuck Jones directed a cartoon about a so-called “friendly ghost” prior to the introduction of “Casper.” It even featured a group of prankster ghosts not unlike Casper’s familiar “Ghostly Trio.” I just don’t remember the title of the film.