This Week in Film History, 01.05.14

January 10, 1914: With Mack Sennett‘s instruction to Charlie Chaplin to “get into a comedy make-up,” the legendary “Little Tramp” is born.

January 10, 1923: The “Hollywoodland” sign is dedicated. It was built on the Hollywood Hills to promote sales of homes in Beachwood Canyon.

January 10, 1924:  Columbia Pictures Corporation, formerly CBC Film Sales, is founded by brothers Harry and Jack Cohn, and Joseph Brandt.

January 10, 1927: Set in the year 2000, Fritz Lang‘s sci-fi opus, Metropolis, opens. It’s among the first to use miniatures in place of enormous sets.

January 9, 1931: Diminutive actor Edward G. Robinson creates a chilling persona in ruthless gangster “Rico” Bandello in Warner Bros.’ Little Caesar.

January 10, 1949: Actor Robert Mitchum is sentenced to two months’ jail time after being convicted on marijuana charges.

January 8, 1954: Sydney Greenstreet, memorable screen heavy (in every sense of the term) of The Maltese Falcon and other films of the ’40s, dies at age 75.

January 10, 1959: Former Cahiers critic Claude Chabrol releases Le Beau Serge, considered the first “New Wave” film, a movement ignited by young cinema enthusiasts.

January 5, 1967: Charles Chaplin releases what will be his final directorial effort, The Countess from Hong Kong, starring Marlon Brando and Sophia Loren.

January 10, 1990: The largest communications merger to date is accomplished when Warner Bros. and Time Inc. form Time/Warner. Cost: some $14 billion.