This Week in Film History: 3/15/15

March 18, 1910: An important entry in the nascent horror genre is the Edison Company’s Frankenstein, with stage veteran Charles Ogle as the monster.

March 15, 1915: Movie Mogul Carl Laemmle opens his new Universal City studios in Southern California’s San Fernando Valley and invites the public to take a five-cent tour, chicken lunch incuded.

March 20, 1928: The Klondike Gold Rush drama The Trail of ’98 opens. Performing as star Delores del Rio’s stunt double: Lou Costello in drag.

March 21, 1937: Financial problems, on-set disputes, and car crash injuries to co-star Merle Oberon lead producer Alexander Korda to shut down his planned film translation of I, Claudius with Charles Laughton in the title role.

March 15, 1940: Two titans of screen comedy–Mae West and W.C. Fields–team up for the first and only time in the Wild West romp My Little Chickadee.

March 20, 1943: “Hello, all you happy people.” Tex Avery’s poker-faced cartoon canine, Droopy, makes his debut in Dumb Hounded.

March 20, 1948: Vittorio DeSica‘s Shoeshine, nominated only for the Best Original Screenplay Oscar, is given a special award. The next year a Best Foreign Film category will be created.

March 15, 1950:  Audiences delight to the antics of Francis and sidekick Donald O’Connor in the first of seven films starring the talking mule.

March 20, 1952: Humphrey Bogart wins his first and only Academy Award as the irascible skipper of The African Queen.

March 19, 1953: Television audiences are invited to the Academy Awards ceremony for the first time. Bob Hope hosts in Hollywood, Conrad Nagel in New York.

March 20, 1955: Hollywood discovers a new sound–rock and roll–when “Rock Around the Rock” plays over the opening credits of Blackboard Jungle.

March 16, 1960: The French New Wave comes ashore with Jean-Luc Godard‘s Breathless, an unconventional gangster drama that pays homage to American “B” movies.

March 21, 1961: With one studio effort under his belt, actor/director John Cassavetes releases the independent Shadows, a jazz-infused drama set in New York.

March 15, 1964: Completing a romance that began on the Cleopatra set, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton are married.

March 18, 1968: One-time Your Show of Shows writer Mel Brooks makes his directorial debut with The Producers, starring Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder.

March 17, 1970: The Boys in the Band, a groundbreaking (albeit stereotypic) step in mainstream cinema’s depiction of homosexuals, opens.

March 20, 1971:  Producer Albert Ruddy announces all references to “the Mafia” will be eliminated from the script of The Godfather at the request of Italian-Americans.

March 15, 1972: Francis Ford Coppola‘s The Godfather debuts in theaters to unprecedented attention, breaking box office records across the country.

March 17, 1972: The University of Baltimore is the scene of the premiere of underground filmmaker John Waters’ infamous “exercise in poor taste,” Pink Flamingos.

March 19, 1975: Director Ken Russell’s filming of The Who’s rock opera Tommy opens.

March 20, 1992: The simple act of crossing and uncrossing her legs makes Sharon Stone a major star in the controversial suspense thriller Basic Instinct.

March 21, 1994: After being practically ignored by the Academy throughout his career, Steven Spielberg and Schindler’s List take home seven Oscars.

March 17, 2000: Horror movie fans are fated to go to theaters and watch The Final Destination.

March 16, 2005: After a three-month trial, Our Gang regular-turned-film/TV star Robert Blake (In Cold Blood) is found not guilty in the murder of wife Bonnie Lee Bakley.