August 28, 1912: “King of Comedy” Mack Sennett leaves Biograph and forms Keystone Film Company with two former bookies.
August 27, 1917: The first feature to be directed by John Ford, the Harry Carey-Hoot Gibson western Straight Shooting, opens
August 24, 1919: While holding what he believes to be a prop bomb for a publicity photo, silent comic Harold Lloyd loses a thumb and finger on his right hand when it explodes.
August 23, 1925: With its premiere at the Century Theater in New York, Fritz Lang‘s Siegfried introduces the synchronized, sound-on-film process.
August 23, 1926: Film fans react in shock to news of the death of beloved screen idol Rudolph Valentino, 31, struck down following surgery for a ruptured ulcer.
August 28, 1927: Though they had worked together as far back as 1917, With Love and Hisses marks the debut of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy as a comedy team.
August 26, 1930: The silent cinema loses one of its greatest stars when “man of a thousand faces” Lon Chaney succumbs to bronchial cancer at the age of 47.
August 24, 1937: “The Dead End Kids” (Huntz Hall, Billy Halop, Leo Gorcey, et. al.) reprise their stage roles in the film version of Dead End, co-starring Humphrey Bogart.
August 23, 1938: Filmmaker Frank Capra’s three-year-old son, John, dies while hospitalized for a tonsillectomy on the same day that the director’s latest film, You Can’t It with You, premieres.
August 24, 1938: MGM’s price for the loan of Clark Gable‘s services to Selznick for Gone With the Wind: the distribution rights and 50 percent of the profits.
August 23, 1943: Olivia de Havilland files her trailblazing lawsuit against Warner Brothers that ultimately breaks the studios’ practice of extending performer contracts indefinitely.
August 28, 1948: Alfred Hitchcock’s Rope, with all the action taking place over continuous ten-minute takes and seamless cuts to the next scene, opens.
August 27, 1953: Audrey Hepburn captivates audiences with her Hollywood debut as the runaway princess in Roman Holiday, for which she’ll win an Academy Award.
August 29, 1958: An insect-sized David Hedison screams “Help me!” in the molecule-mixing sci-fi classic The Fly, which opens today.
August 25, 1972: The horror genre and the “Blaxploitation” craze collide with the debut of William Marshall as Blacula.
August 26, 1980: Master of outlandish cartoon mayhem Frederick “Tex” Avery, who gave Bugs Bunny his “What’s up, Doc?” catchphrase, dies at 72.
August 29, 1982: On her 67th birthday, Casablanca co-star Ingrid Bergman dies in London.
August 28, 1987: Director/writer/actor John Huston, the man behind The Maltese Falcon and The African Queen, passes away at 81.