This Week In Film History, 04.14.13

April 20, 1903: A judgment on appeal in Edison v. Lubin allows a film to be copyrighted in its entirety, rather than each individual frame. 

April 20, 1909: Broadway star Mary Pickford signs to appear in films for director D.W. Griffith; her first, The Violin Maker of Cremona, opens a few weeks later.

April 17, 1919: Charlie Chaplin, D.W. Griffith, Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks unite to form United Artists Corporation.

April 17, 1924: The merger of Metro Pictures, Goldwyn Pictures and the independent Louis B. Mayer Company is announced.

April 17, 1937: A manic “darn-fool duck” named Daffy makes his debut in the Warner Bros. cartoon Porky’s Duck Hunt, directed by Tex Avery. 

April 18, 1937: British composer Sir Arthur Bliss’ score for Things to Come becomes the first soundtrack to be issued on records to the public in its entirety.

April 20, 1938: Roy Rogers‘ first starring western, Under Western Skies, is released by Republic Pictures. 

April 15, 1942: Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy team up for the first time in MGM’s Woman of the Year.

April 18, 1956: Hollywood and European royalty merge when Academy Award-winner Grace Kelly weds Prince Rainier of Monaco.

April 16, 1958: B-movie impresario William Castle launches his “gimmick” films by insuring each viewer of Macabre against death by fright with Lloyd’s of London. 

April 17, 1960: Jane Fonda, daughter of Henry, makes her film debut in Joshua Logan‘s comedy Tall Story, starring alongside Anthony Perkins.

April 13, 1964: Sidney Poitier becomes the first African-American to win the Best Actor Academy Award for Lilies of the Field

April 20, 1965: Sidney Lumet‘s The Pawnbroker, starring Rod Steiger, takes its place in Hollywood history as the first mainstream film to include female frontal nudity.

April 15, 1990: Alone at last: iconic leading lady of silent and sound cinema and latter-day recluse Greta Garbo passes away at age 84.

April 16, 1991: David Lean, director of such epics as The Bridge on the River Kwai and Lawrence of Arabia, passes away at the age of 83.