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, 1946: Basil 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, 1957: James 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, 1979: Alien, 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 Rider, Hoosiers) dies from prostate cancer two weeks after turning 74.