This Week In Film History, 07.20.14

 

July 22, 1934: After seeing MGM’s Manhattan Melodrama at Chicago’s Biograph Theater, gangster John Dillinger is gunned down outside by G-men.

 

July 20, 1938: The major film studios are named to a governmental antitrust lawsuit over their dominance in both production and distribution of motion pictures.

 

July 23, 1947: The subject of anti-Semitism is dramatized in RKO’s Crossfire and, in November, by 20th Century Fox’s Oscar-winning Gentleman’s Agreement.

 

July 23, 1948: Film pioneer D.W. Griffith, 73, who last directed in 1931, dies. Studios observe a three-minute moment of silence during his funeral five days later.

 

July 20, 1950: Playing a wheelchair-bound WWII veteran, newcomer Marlon Brando wows audiences and critics in The Men.

 

July 20, 1951: After a 16-year run, the Time, Inc.-produced newsreel series The March of Time no longer marches on.

 

July 25, 1952High Noon, the western that would garner Gary Cooper an Oscar for his performance as the retired sheriff faced with a fateful showdown, opens.

 

July 22, 1959Steve Reeves first flexes his pecs to American audiences in the Italian-made Hercules, beginning a flood of imported “sword-and-sandal” actioners.

 

July 26, 1960: Art director Cedric Gibbons, who took home the Oscar statuette (which he designed) 11 times, dies at the age of 67.

 

July 23, 1962: After a six-year stint producing independent films, former studio V.P. Darryl Zanuck is now at the helm of a financially-troubled 20th Century Fox.

 

July 23, 1966: After what one writer called “the world’s longest suicide,” troubled actor Montgomery Clift, 45, is found dead in his New York brownstone.

 

July 20, 1973: Mystery surrounds the death of martial arts star Bruce Lee, 32, the cause of which will be attributed to a brain edema.

July 24, 1980: British comic actor Peter Sellers, star of The Pink Panther and Being There, dies of a heart attack at 54.

 

July 23, 1982: A helicopter crash on the set of Twilight Zone-The Movie results in the deaths of Vic Morrow and two child actors.

 

July 22, 1983: With 89-year-old Abel Gance in attendance, the restored edition of his 1927 epic Napoleon has its “re-premiere” in Paris.

 

July 24, 1998: Director Steven Spielberg and star Tom Hanks acquaint a new generation with the drama and sacrifice of World War II in Saving Private Ryan.

 

  • Blair Kramer

    Actually, I believe D. W. Griffith had a hand in directing “One Million B. C.” in 1940.