June 10, 1895: What is considered the very first film comedy, Louis Lumière’s silent short The Tables Turned on the Gardener, is screened in France.
June 11, 1922: The “father of the documentary film,” Robert Flaherty, releases his greatest achievement, Nanook of the North.
June 9, 1934: Donald Duck debuts, as a minor character uttering only eight words, in Disney’s The Wise Little Hen.
June 13, 1935: RKO’s Becky Sharp is released, becoming the first feature film to be shot entirely in three-color Technicolor.
June 13, 1936: Thirteen-year-old Edna Mae Durbin is signed to a contract by Universal. A month later her name will be changed to “Deanna.”
June 7, 1937: Blonde bombshell Jean Harlow, who, during filming of Saratoga, was hospitalized for uremic poisoning, dies at the age of 26.
June 7, 1950: Director Anthony Mann’s Winchester ’73, with James Stewart, launches a cycle of more serious-themed Western movies.
June 7, 1962: 20th Century-Fox fires Marilyn Monroe from the set of her latest movie, Something’s Got to Give, for repeated absences.
June 10, 1966: Mike Nichols, former improvisational comedy partner of Elaine May, makes his film directorial debut with Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
June 11, 1969: John Wayne saddles up and dons an eyepatch to play lawman Rooster Cogburn in the western drama True Grit. The role will earn him a Best Actor Oscar.
June 11, 1969: Screen stars Paul Newman, Sidney Poitier and Barbra Streisand (later joined by Dustin Hoffman and Steve McQueen) form the short-lived First Artists production company.
June 11, 1975: Following an advance rave review from critic Pauline Kael, Robert Altman’s Nashville premieres in New York.
June 11, 1979: American icon and veteran of nearly 200 films John Wayne dies in Los Angeles of cancer at the age of 72.
June 12, 1981: Movie audiences are introduced to daredevil archeologist Indiana Jones, as Steven Spielberg and George Lucas’ Raiders of the Lost Ark premieres.
June 12, 1981: Financially ailing United Artists is sold by its parent company, Transamerica, to MGM for $370 million.
June 9, 1982: with a hefty payday coming thanks to his about-to-open E.T. (see below), Spielberg purchases one of the “Rosebud” sleds from Citizen Kane at auction for $60,500.
June 11, 1982: Spielberg’s E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial opens and will go on to become the highest-grossing film up to this time.
June 8, 1984: Bill Murray gets “slimed,” and moviegoers learn “who ya gonna call,” as the supernatural comedy Ghostbusters opens.
June 9, 1993: Madam-to-the-stars Heidi Fleiss is arrested in a sting by the L.A. and Beverly Hills police, charged with pandering, pimping and drug possession.
June 11, 1993: Dinosaurs come back to (on-screen) life in a big way, as Spielberg’s Jurassic Park debuts with an opening weekend take of over $47 million.
June 10, 1994: Commuters across America are glad their bus isn’t being driven by Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock, as in the debuting actioner Speed.
June 11, 1999: Mike Myers’ Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me has a $55 million weekend opening, more than the total box office of its predecessor.
June 12. 2003: Oscar-winner Gregory Peck, star of Gentleman’s Agreement and To Kill a Mockingbird, dies at age 87.