This Week in Film History, 11.23.14

November 27, 1929: The U.S. Justice Department files anti-trust lawsuits against Fox Pictures and Warner Bros. 

November 29, 1939: The legendary rivalry between gossip queens Hedda Hopper and Louella Parsons begins when Parsons is scooped on the divorce of James Roosevelt.

November 25, 1940: Voiced by Mel Blanc, Woody Woodpecker laughs his way into cartoon fame in the Andy Panda short Knock Knock.

November 26, 1942: Taking advantage of Allied landings that put the North African city in the news, Warner Bros. opens Casablanca in New York.

November 28, 1944: Judy Garland has herself a merry little Christmas as the MGM musical Meet Me in St. Louis opens.

November 24, 1947: Ten writers and producers, later dubbed “The Hollywood Ten,” are cited for contempt of Congress and will go on to be found guilty and banished from the film community.

November 24, 1948: Italian director Vittorio De Sica impresses audiences and critics and brings ”neorealism” to the screen with his drama Bicycle Thieves.

November 23, 1951: Before playing the Man of Steel on TV, George Reeves flies onto the big screen in Superman and the Mole Men.

November 24, 1959: Charlton Heston and Stephen Boyd have a chariot race for the ages in MGM’s Oscar-winning remake of Ben-Hur, opening today.

November 26, 1965: Japanese audiences believe an oversized turtle can fly as Gamera the Giant Monster, the first film in a popular series, debuts.

November 29, 1981: Actress Natalie Wood, 43, drowns during a weekend boating trip near California’s Santa Catalina Island.

November 29, 1986: The epitome of Hollywood sophistication and suaveness, Cary Grant, dies at 82 while taking part in an Iowa film festival.

November 26, 1990: Japanese company Matsushita purchases MCA, parent company of Universal Pictures, for $6.13 billion.

November 23, 1991: German actor Klaus Kinski, known for his collaborations with director Werner Herzog, dies at 65 from a heart attack.

November 25, 1992: The Crying Game opens, and viewers try not to reveal the suspense thriller’s “secret” to their friends.

November 27, 1996: Disney debuts the first live-action remake of one of its animated features, 101 Dalmatians.

November 25, 2002: 108 days after their Hawaiian wedding, Nicolas Cage files for divorce from Lisa Marie Presley. The divorce proceedings will outlast the marriage.

November 28, 2010: Leslie Nielsen, who went from leading man (Forbidden Planet) to comedy star (Airplane!), dies at 84.

November 25, 2013: A statue of the Maltese Falcon, the only one known to been used in the 1941 film of the same name, sells for a record $4 million at auction.

November 27, 2013: Disney’s animated film Frozen, based on Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen, opens.  Millions of kids start singing “Let It Go” in carpools the next week.