This Week In Film History, 11-16-09

button-film-historyNovember 19, 1924: Mystery surrounds the death of director Thomas H. Ince. Rumors suggest he was shot aboard the yacht of William Randolph Hearst.

November 18, 1928: Mickey Mouse whistles his way onto the screen in his first speaking performance, in Walt Disney’s Steamboat Willie.

November 21, 1931: Released only months after Dracula, Universal Pictures has another horror hit in Frankenstein, starring Boris Karloff as the scientist’s creation.

November 16, 1945: A cartoon spirit named Casper first materializes onto movie screens in Paramount’s The Friendly Ghost.

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 Carole Lombard.

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, debuts.

November 21, 1976: Rocky, the low-budget tale of a Philadelphia boxer written by and starring the 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 22, 1980: Queen of screen innuendo and double entendre Mae West, 87, dies from complications from a stroke.

November 20, 1981: James Cagney returns to the big screen after a 20-year absence in director Milos Forman‘s Ragtime.

November 20, 1986: The epitome of Hollywood sophistication and suaveness, Cary Grant, dies at 82 while taking part in an Iowa film festival.

November 16, 1990: John Hughes and Chris ColumbusHome 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 22, 1995: The first feature-length computer-animated film, Toy Story, is released by Disney and Pixar Animation Studios.