This Week in Film History: 5/24/15

May 26, 1929: Fox Movietone Follies of 1929, the studio’s first featured shot in the experimental 70-millimeter Fox Grandeur format, is released. 

May 25, 1932: Under his original name of Dippy Dawg, Goofy debuts in the Disney cartoon short Mickey’s Revue.

May 27, 1933: Moviegoers sing “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?,” as the Disney Silly Symphony The Three Little Pigs opens.

May 28, 1935: Twentieth Century Pictures and Fox Film Corporation unite to form 20th Century Fox, overseen by Joseph Schenck and Darryl F. Zanuck.

May 28, 1941:  Animators and artists at the Walt Disney Studios launch an acrimonious two-month strike for pay raises and the right to unionize.

May 29, 1942: Star of Grand Hotel and Hollywood’s “Great Profile,” John Barrymore, dies at 60 from pneumonia, kidney failure and cirrhosis of the liver.

May 24, 1946Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce have their final bow as Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson in Universal’s Dressed to Kill.

May 26, 1952: The U.S. Supreme Court, declaring movies a form of free speech, strikes down a New York court’s ban on Roberto Rossellini‘s The Miracle.

May 25, 1957: In the wake of his break-up with partner Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis’ first solo film, The Delicate Delinquent, is released.

May 29, 1957James Whale, 67, British-born director of such seminal horror films as Frankenstein and The Invisible Man, is found dead in his California swimming pool.

May 25, 1969: The only “X”-rated film to win a Best Picture Oscar, Midnight Cowboy, opens in New York.

May 25, 1977: A week after Time magazine called it “the best film of the summer,” Star Wars opens in wide release and eventually tops record-holder Jaws.

May 25, 1979Alien, a sci-fi-horror opus, opens big to frightened crowds, as Newsweek critic Jack Kroll claims, “It’ll scare the peanuts out of your M&Ms.”

May 29, 1979: “America’s Sweetheart” and silent screen legend Mary Pickford dies at the age of 87 in Santa Monica, California.

May 29, 1981: John Waters’ experiment in “scratch n’ sniff” olfactory cinema, Polyester, opens.

May 24, 1986: Renowned Hollywood stuntman Yakima Canutt, whose career lasted over 60 years, passes away at 90.

May 29, 1987: Director John Landis is acquitted of manslaughter charges stemming from 1982’s Twilight Zone–The Movie helicopter accident.

May 27, 1995: An equestrian accident leaves Superman star Christopher Reeve paralyzed from the neck down. The actor will be confined to a wheelchair until his death in 2004.

May 27, 2003: Angelina Jolie and Billy Bob Thornton’s three-year marriage ends in divorce.

May 26, 2008: Filmmaker Sydney Pollack, who won a Best Director Oscar for 1985’s Out of Africa, dies at age 73.

May 29, 2010: Actor/director Dennis Hopper (Easy RiderHoosiers) dies from prostate cancer two weeks after turning 74.