This Week In Film History, 06.10.12

June 16, 1916: The merger of Famous Players and Jesse Lasky Feature Play Co. brings together Lasky, Adolph Zukor and Samuel Goldfish (Goldwyn).

June 11, 1922: The “father of the documentary film,” Robert Flaherty, releases his greatest achievement, Nanook of the North.

June 13, 1935: RKO’s Becky Sharp is released, becoming the first feature film to be shot entirely in three-color Technicolor.

June 13, 1936: Thirteen-year-old Edna Mae Durbin is signed to a contract by Universal. A month later her name will be changed to “Deanna.” 

June 16, 1943:  Over the objections of her playwright father, Eugene, 18-year-old Oona O’Neill weds 54-year-old Charlie Chaplin.

June 16, 1960: Unprecedented secrecy surrounds the opening of Alfred Hitchcock‘s Psycho, with the director stipulating no patron be admitted once the film starts.

June 10, 1966: Mike Nichols, former improvisational comedy partner of Elaine May, makes his film directorial debut with Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

June 10, 1967: Three weeks after completing his final film, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, co-starring Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, 67, dies of a heart attack.

June 11, 1975: Following an advance rave review from critic Pauline Kael, Robert Altman‘s Nashville premieres in New York.

June 11, 1979: American hero and veteran of nearly 200 films John Wayne dies in Los Angeles of cancer at the age of 72. 

June 12, 1981: Movie audiences are introduced to daredevil archeologist Indiana Jones, as Spielberg and LucasRaiders of the Lost Ark premieres.

June 12, 1981: Financially ailing United Artists is sold by its parent company, Transamerica, to MGM for $370 million.

June 11, 1982: Steven Spielberg‘s E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial opens and will go on to become the highest-grossing film up to this time.

June 15, 1988: The diamond-themed comedy Bull Durham, with Kevin Costner and Susan Sarandon, spurs a revival of interest in minor-league baseball.

June 10, 1994: Commuters across America are glad their bus isn’t being driven by Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock, as in the action hit Speed.

June 12, 1995: Batman Forever opens with Val Kilmer taking over the role of the Dark Knight. Its opening weekend box office gate will be a record $52 million. 

June 12, 1997: The Lost World: Jurassic Park shatters the opening weekend box office record with $72 million and will reach $100 million in just 5 days.

June 11, 1999: Mike MyersAustin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me has a $55 million weekend opening, more than the total box office of its predecessor.