This Week In Film History, 08.22.10

button-film-historyAugust 28, 1912: “King of Comedy” Mack Sennett leaves Biograph and forms Keystone Film Company with two former bookies.

August 27, 1917: The first feature to be directed by John Ford, the Harry CareyHoot Gibson western Straight Shooting, opens.

August 23, 1925: With its premiere at the Century Theater in New York, Fritz Lang‘s Siegfried introduces the synchronized, sound-on-film process.

August 23, 1926: Film fans react in shock to news of the death of beloved screen idol Rudolph Valentino, 31, struck down following surgery for a ruptured ulcer.

August 28, 1927: Though they had worked together as far back as 1917, With Love and Hisses marks the debut of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy as a comedy team.

August 26, 1930: The silent cinema loses one of its greatest stars when “man of a thousand faces” Lon Chaney succumbs to bronchial cancer at the age of 47.

August 24, 1937: “The Dead End Kids” (Huntz Hall, Billy Halop, Leo Gorcey, et. al.) reprise their stage roles in the film version of Dead End, co-starring Humphrey Bogart.

August 24, 1938: MGM’s price for the loan of Clark Gable‘s services to Selznick for Gone With the Wind: the distribution rights and one half the profits.

August 23, 1943: Olivia de Havilland files her trailblazing lawsuit against Warner Brothers that ultimately broke the studios’ practice of extending performer contracts indefinitely.

August 28, 1948: Alfred Hitchcock‘s Rope, with all the action taking place over continuous ten-minute takes and seamless cuts to the next scene, opens.

August 27, 1953: Audrey Hepburn captivates audiences with her Hollywood debut as the runaway princess in Roman Holiday, for which she’ll win an Academy Award.

August 26, 1980: Master of outlandish cartoon mayhem Frederick “Tex” Avery, who gave Bugs Bunny his “What’s up, Doc?” catchphrase, dies at 72.

August 28, 1987: Famed director John Huston passes away from emphysema at 81, days before the premiere of his final film, The Dead.