On This Day In Movie History, 12.09.12

This week in movie history Clark Gable and Myrna Loy are crowned “King and Queen of Hollywood,” the Vietnam era epic The Deer Hunter opens, & Lon Chaney, Jr takes over the role of The Wolf Man

December 11, 1930: A protest of All Quiet on the Western Front by members of the Nazi Party in Berlin will lead to the banning of the film from Germany.

December 9, 1937: In a poll conducted by gossip columnist Ed Sullivan, Clark Gable and Myrna Loy are crowned “King and Queen of Hollywood.”

December 12, 1939: Douglas Fairbanks, dashing and athletic leading man of the silent era and co-founder of United Artists, dies of a heart attack at age 56.

December 14, 1939: Seventy-five years after General Sherman set it ablaze, the city of Atlanta is lit up again– for the world premiere of Gone with the Wind.

December 12, 1941: . follows in his father’s frightening footsteps, playing the title role in The Wolf Man and reviving Universal’s horror genre.

December 10, 1962: A relatively-unknown Peter O’Toole stars in David Lean‘s highly-anticipated, 70mm epic Lawrence of Arabia, which makes its debut in London today.

December 11, 1963: The Cardinal, the first film released in Panavision 70, a process which enlarges 35mm film to 70mm and is then projected onto a wide screen, debuts.

December 15, 1966: The most famous name in family entertainment, Walt Disney–animator, producer and multi-Oscar-winner–dies of a heart attack at age 65.

December 15, 1967: The film version of Jacqueline Susann’s potboiler Valley of the Dolls, starring Patty Duke and Sharon Tate, opens and becomes an instant camp classic.

December 15, 1968: Brian de Palma‘s Greetings, starring Robert De Niro, opens with an X-rating, the first film to do so under the MPAA’s new rating system.

December 12, 1972: Audiences flip for The Poseidon Adventure. Its success will lead to a rash of disaster films, many made by Poseidon producer Irwin Allen.

December 10, 1978: Ed Wood, Jr., auteur of such classic turkeys as Plan 9 from Outer Space and Glen or Glenda, dies in Hollywood at the age of 54.

December 15, 1978: The Deer Hunter, Michael Cimino‘s Vietnam epic, opens, stunning audiences and eliciting controversy for its “Russian roulette” sequences.

December 11, 1991: Despite success with Dances with Wolves and The Silence of the Lambs, Orion Pictures files for bankruptcy protection in federal court.