This Week in Film History, 8.31.14

September 5, 1901: William McKinley, the first U.S. president to be captured on film, is shown at the Pan-American Expo in Buffalo, one day before his assassination.

September 1, 1902: A milestone in the evolution of the cinema is marked with the release of George Melies’ fantastic Voyage to the Moon.

September 5, 1916: In response to the outcry over The Birth of a Nation, D.W. Griffith releases Intolerance, a cinematic plea for understanding and goodwill.

September 1, 1919: The first United Artists film, His Majesty, the American with Douglas Fairbanks, opens in New York.

September 1, 1920: After co-starring with “Fatty” Arbuckle for three years, Buster Keaton makes his solo starring debut with the short One Week.

September 2, 1923: Under his most remarkable make-up to date, Lon Chaney brings Victor Hugo’s Quasimodo to life in the first filming of The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

September 6, 1925: Chaney returns in another chilling achievement as Erik, The Phantom of the Opera, which premieres in New York.

September 1, 1928: Animator Paul Terry’s Dinner Time, the first all-talking cartoon short, premieres in New York.

September 6, 1935: Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers dance “cheek to cheek” in Top Hat, a smashing box office success for the financially-troubled RKO Pictures.

August 31, 1939: An all-distaff cast drives the witty goings-on in director George Cukor’s filming of the hit Broadway play The Women.

September 3, 1939: Alfred Hitchcock reshoots the ending of Foreign Correspondent to incorporate the anticipated bombing of London by the Luftwaffe.

August 31, 1946: Warner Bros.’ cartoon…I say, cartoon rooster Foghorn Leghorn makes his debut in the short Walky Talky Hawky.

September 2, 1949: James Cagney makes a memorable return to the gangster genre, playing psychopathic Cody Jarrett in White Heat.

August 31, 1973: John Ford, the maverick director of Stagecoach and The Quiet Man, dies in Palm Desert, California, at the age of 78.

September 3, 1991: Screenwriter, director and celebrant of the common man Frank Capra passes away at the age of 94.

September 6, 1998: The king of Japanese cinema, Rashomon and The Seven Samurai director Akira Kurosawa, passes away from a stroke at 88.

September 3, 2001: Noted film critic/author Pauline Kael dies at age 82.

September 6, 2008: Silent film actress Anita Page, the last surviving attendee of the first Academy Awards dinner, dies at 98.