This Week In Film History, 12.30.12

January 1, 1900: French film pioneer Charles Pathe releases the historical re-enactment Episodes of the Transvaal War in Paris.

December 31, 1903: Capital Execution is the first feature from what will be a thriving Danish film industry, until its decline during World War I.

December 31, 1941: Following the lukewarm reception to her comedy Two-Faced Woman, Greta Garbo announces her retirement from acting.

January 1, 1951: 300 Chicago households take part in the first TV pay-per-view movie system. For $1, they can watch 1948’s April Showers, with Jack Carson.

December 30, 1953: Marlon Brando creates a new screen archetype-the leather-clad, motorcycle-riding delinquent-when he stars as The Wild One.

January 1, 1954: In his essay “A Certain Tendency in French Cinema” in Cahiers du Cinema, 21-year-old critic Francois Truffaut plants the seed for his “auteur theory.”

January 4, 1954: The U.S. Supreme Court upholds the right of film distributors to confine first-run engagements to downtown theaters.

January 5, 1967: Charles Chaplin releases what will be his final directorial effort, The Countess from Hong Kong, starring Marlon Brando and Sophia Loren.

January 2, 1974: Tex Ritter, beloved singing cowpoke star of dozens of “B” oaters from the ’30s and ’40s, dies of a heart attack in Nashville at age 68.

January 1, 1980: A long-established glass ceiling gives way when Sherry Lansing is made president of 20th Century Fox, and becomes the first woman to head a studio.

  • Wayne P.

    About the Supreme Court saying that theaters could only be downtown in 1954 as to first run engagements…hadnt the suburbs been invented by then? Amazing example of City government control in those days…how the worm has turned…now, the sports teams fat-cat owners, for example, say jump and the Cities say how high, when it comes to using taxpayer dollars to finance over-priced arenas and stadiums!