May 5, 1903: The film world first mines the riches of the literary world with Edwin S. Porter‘s version of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin.
May 4, 1934: With a show-stopping performance of “Baby Take a Bow” in Fox’s Stand Up and Cheer, 4-year-old Shirley Temple is attracting a lot of attention.
May 5, 1934: The Three Stooges star in their first Columbia short, Woman Haters, billed behind Marjorie White. “Hey, what’s the big idea?!”
May 7, 1934: Universal’s reigning kings of horror, Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi, team for the first time in Edgar Ulmer’s The Black Cat.
May 3, 1938: A trade magazine ad taken out by independent film theatre owners dubs such under-performing stars as Fred Astaire, Joan Crawford, Greta Garbo, Katharine Hepburn and Mae West “Box Office Poison.”
May 6, 1950: One month before her movie Father of the Bride opens, Elizabeth Taylor weds for the first time, marrying hotel heir Conrad Hilton, Jr.
May 8, 1963: U.S. audiences are introduced to Sean Connery as Bond…James Bond, as Dr. No, after premiering in Europe the previous Fall, opens here.
May 5, 1968: Actor Albert Dekker, 62, is found hanged in his bathroom, bound, handcuffed, clad in lingerie, and with obscenities scrawled on his body in lipstick.
May 7, 1969: The Best Documentary Feature Academy Award given in April to Young Americans is revoked when it’s learned the film played theatrically in 1967 and was ineligible. Runner-up Journey Into Self is given the award the next day.
May 9, 1969: Death of a Gunfighter, the first film to be credited to pseudonymous director “Alan Smithee,” opens in New York.
May 4, 1975: Moe Howard, mop-haired sole survivor of the original Three Stooges, dies at the age of 78.
May 6, 1992: Marlene Dietrich, sultry and sensuous figure of German and American cinema, dies at age 90.
May 8, 1999: Rugged British actor Dirk Bogarde, star of The Servant and Darling, passes away at age 78.
May 3, 2002: Spider-Man, starring Tobey Maguire in the title role, swings into theaters and spins out a then-record $114.8 million opening weekend.
May 4, 2009: Actor, comedian, and Mel Brooks/Burt Reynolds pal Dom DeLuise dies at age 75.
May 8, 2009: “Boldly going” into reboot mode for the venerable sci-fi franchise, J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek beams up $75.2 million in its opening weekend.
May 4, 2012: It’s “Avengers Assemble!” at the box office, as Disney/Marvel’s The Avengers opens and goes on to take in a record $207.4 million in its debut weekend.