January 1, 1900: French film pioneer Charles Pathé 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 26, 1913: Less than two years after the sinking of the Titanic, the disaster comes to the screen as the basis for the lavish Danish drama Atlantis.
December 29, 1913: Chapter One of the first true serial, a continuous storyline told in sequential chapters, The Adventures of Kathlyn, is released.
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 26, 1951: Akira Kurosawa‘s landmark drama Rashomon is released in the U.S. and will set off a wave of interest in Japanese cinema in the West.
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 François Truffaut plants the seed for his “auteur theory.”
December 26, 1973: The Exorcist opens on a limited basis around the country. The supernatural shocker causes a sensation, eventually grossing $165 million.
December 26, 1974: Stage, television and movie comic legend (and sometime violinist) Jack Benny dies in Beverly Hills at the age of 79.
December 26, 1977: Howard Hawks, whose directorial resumé ran the gamut from Bringing Up Baby to Red River, dies at the age of 81.
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.