January 12, 1915: Actress Theda Bara brings the seductive screen figure of “the Vamp” to life in her second film, A Fool There Was.
January 14, 1927: Made in 1925 but not shown in the U.K. until now, director Alfred Hitchcock’s first feature, The Pleasure Garden, is released.
January 11, 1933: Frank Capra’s The Bitter Tea of General Yen, starring Barbara Stanwyck, is the first film to play at New York City’s new Radio City Music Hall.
January 13, 1939: Hollywood’s most-ballyhooed casting search to date (or since) ends when British-born Vivien Leigh signs to play Southern belle Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind.
January 16, 1942: While on a promotional tour for War Bonds, actress Carole Lombard, 33, is killed in a plane crash near Las Vegas.
January 12, 1944: Hitchcock’s close-quarters suspenser Lifeboat, set almost entirely in the title vessel, premieres.
January 14, 1954: Screen sex symbol Marilyn Monroe elopes with baseball icon Joe DiMaggio at San Francisco City Hall. They would divorce in the fall of 1955.
January 14, 1957: Humphrey Bogart, quintessential movie tough guy from the ’30s through the ’50s, dies of esophageal cancer at age 57.
January 13, 1959: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences abandons the practice of excluding blacklisted artists from Oscar consideration.
January 13, 1972: An Albany, Georgia theater owner is arrested by local police on obscenity charges for showing the film Carnal Knowledge. His conviction would later be overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court.
January 17, 1984: The rights of VCR owners to tape programs off TV are upheld by the Supreme Court, which rules such use does not violate copyright laws.
January 15, 1988: Ray Bolger, the Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz and the 1939 film’s last surviving main cast member, dies at 83.
January 11, 1998: L.A. Confidential wins Best Film at the inaugural Online Film Critics Awards.