This Week in Film History, 10.20.13

October 25, 1925: France’s star of silent slapstick comedy Max Linder, 41,and his young wife are found dead in a Paris hotel, victims of an apparent suicide pact.

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

October 23, 1950: Al Jolson, legendary entertainer and star of the seminal talkie The Jazz Singer, dies in San Francisco at age 64.

October 24, 1955: The U.S. Supreme Court strikes down as overbroad the Kansas state censorship law used to ban The Moon Is Blue.

October 22, 1964: “The most loverly motion picture,” My Fair Lady, with Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison, opens, after Warners paid a record price for the film rights.

October 25, 1978: Low-budget shocker Halloween opens in select cities and will become one of the top independent films ever, taking in over $50 million.

October 21, 1984: Film theorist-turned-director Franois Truffaut, who spearheaded France’s “New Wave” school, dies at 52.

October 24, 1984: The beloved “mother figure” from John Waters‘ off-the-wall films, Edith “Edie the Egg Lady” Massey, dies at 66. 

October 26, 1984: Bodybuilder-turned-actor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s career takes off when he opts to play the villainous cyborg in James Cameron’s The Terminator.

October 23, 1992: Video store clerk-turned-filmmaker Quentin Tarantino scores a hit with his debut feature, the blood-soaked caper drama Reservoir Dogs.

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.