This Week in Film History, 03.02.14

March 2, 1906: Biograph Studios wins appeal of kinetoscope inventor Edison’s patent claims, preventing (temporarily) a potential monopoly on the making of movies. 

March 5, 1919: Pioneering black producer/director Oscar Micheaux releases his first film, The Homesteader.

March 5, 1922: A “strange symphony of terror” is unleashed on screens across the world with the debut of Germany’s Nosferatu, a unauthorized adaptation of Dracula.

March 2, 1933: “The Eighth Wonder of the World,” King Kong, is unleashed on New York by RKO Pictures, during its hair-raising premiere.

March 5, 1936: Writer Dudley Nichols becomes the first person to refuse an Oscar (for Best Adapted Screenplay for The Informer) during a boycott of the Academy.

March 2, 1939: B-Western hero John Wayne is catapulted to stardom when he plays the Ringo Kid in John Ford’s hit frontier drama Stagecoach.

March 7, 1945: Barry Fitzgerald becomes the first actor to receive two Academy Award nominations for the same role, for Going My Way.

March 3, 1950: Marx Brothers Groucho, Chico and Harpo make their final film appearance as a team in Love Happy, with a young Marilyn Monroe.

March 5, 1960: After a two-year stint, rock ‘n’ roller and movie star Elvis Presley is released from the U.S. Army and will begin filming G.I. Blues.

March 5, 1962: George C. Scott becomes the first actor to refuse an Oscar nomination (for The Hustler), in protest of fellow actors’ practice of campaigning for awards.

March 5, 1982: Comedian and former Saturday Night Live star John Belushi, 33, is found dead from a drug overdose in a Los Angeles hotel.

March 2, 1984: Actor-turned-director Rob Reiner makes an auspicious debut with his acclaimed comedy This Is Spinal Tap.

March 7, 1988: The actor known as “the most beautiful woman in the world,” John Waters mainstay Divine, dies of a heart attack at 42.

March 7, 1999: Stanley Kubrick, 70, iconoclastic director of 2001: A Space Odyssey, dies four months before the opening of his final film, Eyes Wide Shut.

  • Blair Kramer

    Regarding John Wayne and “Stagecoach,” I think there is a silly viewpoint that should forever be laid to rest from now ’til the end of time. Thoughtless critics have accused John Wayne (and Clark Gable, for that matter) of only ever “playing himself” in the movies. That’s nothing but pure and utter hogwash! When an actor plays a character in a stage show or movie, he clearly is not PLAYING HIMSELF! He is plainly and obviously pretending to be SOMEONE ELSE! This was also true of Clark Gable and every other successful actor. If you had known Gable or Wayne in their private lives, I have no doubt that you would have found them to be entirely unlike anyone they ever portrayed on screen. It may well be that they tended to play similar characters in their films, but they certainly did not “play themselves!”

    • Ron