This Week in Film History, 11.2.14

November 7, 1902: French inventor/film executive Leon Gaumont demonstrates his Chronophone system of showing films with synchronized phonograph cylinders.

November 4, 1907: The Chicago City Council Ordinance forbids the showing of “obscene and immoral pictures” and grants police permission to ban a movie’s release.

November 2, 1924: The first film from the newly-formed Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studio, He Who Gets Slapped with Lon Chaney, is released.

November 3, 1939: “Garbo Laughs!,” and so do audiences, as Ernst Lubitsch’s wry comedy Ninotchka opens.

November 4, 1948:  The treatment of the mentally ill is graphically depicted in The Snake Pit, starring Olivia de Havilland.

November 3, 1954: The biggest leading man in Japanese film history rises out of the Pacific, as the original Gojira opens.

November 3, 1956: The Wizard of Oz makes its network broadcast debut (in black and white) on CBS; “Cowardly Lion” Bert Lahr and a 10-year-old Liza Minnelli are the hosts.

November 6, 1958: A young Steve McQueen defends Phoenixville, Pa. from that man-eating goo from outer space, The Blob, in his first starring film role.

November 8, 1966: Two years after retiring from the screen in The Killers (his first villainous role), Ronald Reagan is elected governor of California.

November 8, 1972: Cable TV takes a giant step when Home Box Office debuts in 350 homes in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. The first movie shown is Sometimes a Great Notion.

November 2, 1975: The disfigured body of Italian director Pier Paolo Pasolini, 51, is found on a beach in Italy, the victim of an apparent homicide.

November 3, 1976: Brian De Palma’s shock tale Carrie, starring Sissy Spacek, debuts. It’s the first film based on the writings of author Stephen King.

November 4, 1980: America puts its first professional actor in the White House, as Ronald Reagan is elected the 40th President of the United States.

November 2, 1990: Pioneering silent comedy producer Hal Roach, who created Our Gang and teamed Laurel and Hardy, passes away at the age of 100.

November 6, 1991: The sultry title star of Laura, actress Gene Tierney, passes way from emphysema at 70.

November 4, 1994: After winning acclaim at the Sundance Film Festival, Kevin Smith’s $30,000 convenience-store comedy Clerks goes into general release.

November 5, 2010: Oscar-nominated actress Jill Clayburgh, star of An Unmarried Woman, dies at 66.