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 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.