This Week in Film History, 5.4.14

 May 5, 1903: The film world first mines the riches of the literary world with Edwin S. Porter‘s version of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin

May 10, 1912: The screen’s earliest romantic pairing, Francis X. Bushman and Beverly Bayne, first gaze into each other’s eyes in The House of Pride.

May 4, 1934:  With a show-stopping performance of “Baby Take a Bow” in Fox’s Stand Up and Cheer, 4-year-old Shirley Temple is attracting a lot of attention.

May 5, 1934: The Three Stooges star in their first Columbia short, Woman Haters, billed behind Marjorie White. “Hey, what’s the big idea?!” 

May 10, 1948: Aviator, business mogul and part-time film producer Howard Hughes purchases RKO for a reported $8.8 million.

May 4, 1949: Re-teaming for the first time in a decade, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers have their last screen dance together in The Barkleys of Broadway.

May 5, 1968: Actor Albert Dekker, 62, is found hanged in his bathroom, bound, handcuffed, clad in lingerie, and with obscenities scrawled on his body in lipstick.

May 4, 1975: Moe Howard, sole survivor of the original Three Stooges, dies at the age of 78. 

May 10, 1977: Joan Crawford, star of Mildred Pierce and Johnny Guitar and famous Hollywood “mommie,” dies at the age of 73.

May 10, 1980: Teen-slayer Jason Voorhees, not yet wearing his trademark hockey mask, makes his screen debut in the original Friday the 13th

May 6, 1992: Marlene Dietrich, sultry and sensuous figure of German and American cinema, dies at age 90.

May 8, 1999: Rugged British actor Dirk Bogarde, star of The Servant and Darling, passes away at age 78. 

May 4, 2009: Actor, comedian, and Mel Brooks/Burt Reynolds pal Dom DeLuise dies at age 75.

May 8, 2009: “Boldly going” into reboot mode for the venerable sci-fi franchise, J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek beams up $75.2 million in its opening weekend.

May 4, 2012: It’s “Avengers Assemble!” at the box office, as Disney/Marvel’s The Avengers opens and goes on to take in a record $207.4 million in its debut weekend.