This Week In Film History, 02.26.12

March 1, 1984: William Powell, consummate urbane leading man of the ’20s through the ’40s, dies at age 91.

February 27, 1932: Elizabeth Taylor, one of the greatest actresses of Hollywood’s Golden Age was born on this day in 1932. Taylor was recognized for her acting ability, beauty and distinctive violet eyes.

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

February 27, 1920: German expressionist painting and design are captured to great effect in Robert Wiene‘s The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari.

March 1, 1924:  The first of Walt Disney’s Alice short subjects, mixing live-action and animation, Alice’s Day at Sea, is released.

March 1, 1926: Young British director Alfred Hitchcock releases his first finished, credited work, The Pleasure Garden.

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

February 27, 1934: A lawsuit against MGM’s Rasputin and the Empress results in the now-familiar “The events and characters in this film are fictional…” disclaimer.

February 27, 1935: It Happened One Night makes Academy Award history by taking Best Picture, Actor, Actress and Director.

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.

February 27, 1940: With a host of extraordinary films on the ballot, the Oscars are nearly swept by Selznick’s Gone With the Wind, which takes home nine.

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 1, 1973: A New York court rules the adult movie Deep Throat to be obscene. A fine double the film’s box office receipts is imposed.

March 1, 1978: Charlie Chaplin‘s body is stolen from his grave in Vevey, Switzerland, and held for ransom. Police will recover it on May 18th.

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