This Week In Film History, 07.15.12

July 15, 1932: The Disney Studio releases the first cartoon using the three-color Technicolor process, a Silly Symphony called Flowers and Trees.

July 17, 1935: Variety, in a story about Midwestern audiences’ preference for sophisticated films, declares in a headline “Sticks Nix Hick Pix.”

July 20, 1938: The major film studios are named to a governmental antitrust lawsuit over their dominance in both production and distribution of motion pictures.

July 20, 1950: Playing a wheelchair-bound WWII veteran, newcomer Marlon Brando wows audiences and critics in The Men.

July 20, 1951: After a 16-year run, the Time, Inc.-produced newsreel series The March of Time no longer marches on.

July 17, 1955: Walt Disney’s long-dreamt-of theme park, Disneyland, “the happiest place on Earth,” opens in Anaheim, California.

July 19, 1961: TWA becomes the first airline to offer in-flight movies on a regular basis. First up, Lana Turner as an unfaithful wife in By Love Possessed.

July 18, 1963: “Total Filmmaker” Jerry Lewis releases what many will consider his masterpiece, The Nutty Professor, a comedic take on the Jekyll-and-Hyde story.

July 20, 1973: Mystery surrounds the death of martial arts star Bruce Lee, 32, the cause of which will be attributed to a brain edema.

July 15, 1988: Bruce Willis shoots his way into the pantheon of Hollywood action heroes with the debut of Die Hard.

July 15, 1998: Cameron Diaz sports a unique hair-do in the year’s most unlikely hit, the “gross-out” comedy There’s Something About Mary.

July 16, 1999: Amid cries of “Is it real?,” the $60,000 pseudo-documentary The Blair Witch Project opens to packed houses and will become the top independent film of all time.