On This Day In Movie History, 10.14.12

October 20, 1945: Two years after being let go by MGM due to waning popularity, Joan Crawford wins renewed acclaim (and an eventual Oscar) as Mildred Pierce.

October 15, 1915: The Supreme Court finds Edison’s Motion Picture Patents Company guilty of restraint of trade against the independents, spelling the trust’s doom.

October 17, 1916: Swimming star-turned-actress Annette Kellerman causes a sensation when she appears in the nude in Daughter of the Gods.

October 18, 1931: “The Wizard of Menlo Park” and film pioneer Thomas Alva Edison passes away at the age of 84 in West Orange, N.J.

October 19, 1936: A British court declares that Bette Davis, who wishes to make films in England, must honor her Warners contract and work exclusively for the studio.

October 19, 1938: Buddy Ebsen, cast as the Tin Woodman in The Wizard of Oz, is hospitalized by an allergic reaction to his makeup; Jack Haley will step in.

October 15, 1940: “Chaplin Speaks” as Adenoid Hynkel, ruler of Tomania, in his satire on Hitler’s rise to power, The Great Dictator.

October 18, 1941: John Huston‘s directorial debut, The Maltese Falcon, wins acclaim for both him and its star, former screen heavy Humphrey Bogart.

October 17, 1942: Founded by Bette Davis, John Garfield and others, the Hollywood Canteen nightclub opens its doors, with top stars entertaining U.S. servicemen.

October 20, 1947: The House Un-American Activities Committee opens its hearings into Communist activities in the entertainment industry.

October 17, 1956: Producer Mike Todd’s all-star casting coups on Around the World in 80 Days, which opened today, give rise to the phrase “cameo role.”

October 14, 1959: Errol Flynn, roguish star of Warner Bros. action classics through the ’30s and ’40s, dies of a heart attack at age 50.

October 19, 1961: After dazzling audiences for four years on Broadway, Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story continues to do so for moviegoers with its film translation.

October 17, 1966: A month after the Production Code is revised, Georgy Girl is the first film released with the label “suggested for mature audiences only.”

October 19, 1966: The first instance of a Hollywood studio being swallowed up by a corporate conglomerate occurs when Paramount Pictures is acquired by Gulf + Western.

October 14, 1972: Director Bernardo Bertolucci‘s steamy Last Tango in Paris premieres at the New York Film Festival amid great controversy.

October 20, 1994: Oscar-winning actor Burt Lancaster, who began his show business career as a circus acrobat, passes away from a heart attack at 80.