January 27, 1918: Edgar Rice Burroughs’ jungle lord debuts on screen in Tarzan of the Apes, starring former Arkansas peace officer Elmo Lincoln.
January 30, 1931: Bucking the trend toward “talkies,” filmmaker Charlie Chaplin releases his dialogue-free masterpiece, City Lights.
January 26, 1936: Filmmakers in Hollywood organize the Screen Directors Guild and name King Vidor as their president.
January 31, 1943: Italian director Luchino Visconti‘s gritty drama Ossessione adds the phrase “neo-realism” to the cinematic lexicon.
Late January, 1944: The first Golden Globe Awards are presented by the Hollywood Foreign press Association at the 20th Century-Fox studio. Winners include Paul Lukas, Jennifer Jones and The Song of Bernadette.
January 28, 1952: The Screen Actors Guild negotiates the first contract granting performers residuals for films sold to television.
January 29, 1964: Originally intended as a tense Cold War thriller before evolving into a satire, Stanley Kubrick‘s Dr. Strangelove, with Peter Sellers, opens today.
January 30, 1965: Actress Hedy Lamarr is arrested for shoplifting an $86 pair of slippers at May’s Department Store in Los Angeles.
January 25, 1970: Robert Altman‘s M*A*S*H marches into theaters, but showings of the irreverent comedy will be banned on U.S. military bases.
January 27, 1970: The MPAA adjusts its film rating system, changing the “M” (Mature) designation to “PG” (Parental Guidance).
January 25, 1972: The first X-rated animated feature, Ralph Bakshi’s Fritz the Cat, premieres. Cartoonist R. Crumb, Fritz’s creator, sues to have his name removed from the credits.
January 25, 1973: Tough guy Edward G. Robinson dies at the age of 79; two months later the Academy will honor him with a posthumous lifetime achievement award.
January 31, 1974: Legendary producer Sam Goldwyn, of The Best Years of Our Lives and Guys and Dolls fame, dies at the age of 74.
January 25, 1990: Screen siren Ava Gardner, an Oscar nominee for Mogambo and ex-wife of Mickey Rooney and Frank Sinatra, dies from pneumonia at 67.
January 30, 1999: Actor Huntz Hall, who went from being a Dead End Kid to an East Side Kid to a Bowery Boy, passes away in North Hollywood at 78.
January 25, 2010: James Cameron’s Avatar, with a $1.437 billion to date gross, takes over the all-time top box office spot from another Cameron film, Titanic.