November 19, 1924: Mystery surrounds the death of director Thomas H. Ince. Rumors suggest he was shot aboard the yacht of William Randolph Hearst.
November 15, 1925: Lon Chaney outdoes his prior “grotesque” roles as the deformed Erik in the lavish Universal shocker The Phantom of the Opera.
November 18, 1928: Mickey Mouse whistles a happy tune in his first sound cartoon short, Walt Disney’s groundbreaking Steamboat Willie.
November 21, 1931: Nine months after scoring big with Dracula, Universal Pictures has another horror hit in Frankenstein, starring Boris Karloff as the scientist’s creation.
November 18, 1932: At the fifth Academy Awards banquet, Grand Hotel wins the Oscar for Best Picture–the only nomination it received.
November 17, 1933: “Hail Freedonia!” as Duck Soup, the Marx Brothers’ final film for Paramount and the last to feature youngest sibling Zeppo, opens.
November 15, 1935: Groucho, Harpo and Chico Marx’s first feature for MGM, A Night at the Opera, opens; it will break box office records across the country.
November 15, 1940: Popular stage and radio comics Bud Abbott and Lou Costello reach a new audience, making their screen debut in One Night in the Tropics.
November 16, 1945: A cartoon spirit named Casper first materializes onto movie screens in Paramount’s The Friendly Ghost.
November 15, 1956: The greatest film career for a rock star gets underway when Love Me Tender, Elvis Presley’s first film, opens in New York.
November 15, 1958: Following a swordfight with George Sanders during the filming of Solomon and Sheba, Tyrone Power has a fatal heart attack at age 44.
November 16, 1960: Less than two weeks after completion of The Misfits, Clark Gable, 59, dies of a heart attack; he will be buried next to wife Carole Lombard.
November 15, 1966: The no-budget, shot-in-El Paso chiller Manos: The Hands of Fate debuts. Three decades later, it will gain fame as one of the worst films of all time.
November 15, 1974: Universal Pictures’ Earthquake rattles the American movie-going public with the first use of Sensurround.
November 20, 1975: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, which producer Michael Douglas’ father Kirk had been trying to bring to the screen for years, opens.
November 21, 1976: Rocky, the low-budget tale of a Philadelphia boxer written by and starring an unknown Sylvester Stallone, debuts.
November 16, 1977: With the future of Columbia resting on its release, Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind debuts and becomes a critical and commercial success.
November 19, 1980: Director Michael Cimino’s $35 million western, Heaven’s Gate, becomes one of the biggest bombs in film history and sinks United Artists.
November 20, 1981: James Cagney returns to the big screen after a 20-year absence in director Milos Forman’s Ragtime.
November 19, 1985: Lincoln Perry, who gained fame in movies as stereotypical black servant Stepin Fetchit, passes away at 83.
November 15, 1989: Disney’s animated feature division is revitalized with the critical and box office success of The Little Mermaid.
November 16, 1990: John Hughes and Chris Columbus‘ Home Alone opens and will become the season’s biggest surprise and a starmaker for youngster Macaulay Culkin.
November 17, 1995: The name is Brosnan…Pierce Brosnan, who finally becomes the new James Bond in Goldeneye.
November 16, 2001: Author J.K. Rowling’s boy wizard comes to the big screen, as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone has a $90 million opening weekend.
November 17, 2006: Daniel Craig becomes the sixth big-screen James Bond with the release of the 21st entry in the spy film series, Casino Royale.
November 20, 2006: Acclaimed director Robert Altman (M*A*S*H, The Player) dies at 81 from leukemia.