This Week In Film History, 09.12.10

button-film-historySeptember 18, 1909: The first feature film to be produced in the U.S., Les Miserables, is released in four separate parts between now and Nov. 27.

September 14, 1919: Lon Chaney (horror movie Poll) portrays the first of his memorable “grotesque roles,” twisting his body to play a fake cripple healed by The Miracle Man.

September 18, 1932: Despite only one screen credit, Peg Entwhistle will attain legendary status after jumping to her death from the “H” in the “Hollywoodland” sign.

September 14, 1936: Producer Irving G. Thalberg, the “boy wonder” behind many of MGM’s film classics, dies of pneumonia in Santa Monica, Ca., at the age of 37.

September 16, 1953: To compete with the popularity of television, Fox launches the first successful widescreen process, CinemaScope, with The Robe.

September 18, 1968: Barbra Streisand makes her film debut in the musical bio of vaudevillian Fanny Brice, Funny Girl, a role she originated on Broadway.

September 18, 1981: “No more wire hangers!” becomes a catchphrase, as the Joan Crawford (article) biodrama Mommie Dearest becomes an unintentional comedy hit.

September 14, 1982: Monaco’s Princess Grace of Monaco, the former Grace Kelly of Philadelphia, dies at 52 from injuries sustained in an auto accident.

September 18, 1987: Spouses contemplating affairs learn about the dangers of infidelity with the opening of Fatal Attraction.

September 12, 1992: Anthony Perkins, (article) who immortalized the role of Norman Bates in Psycho, dies of AIDS at the age of 60.