March 31, 1914: The nascent serial genre has its first true star when Pearl White plays the hazard-plagued heroine of The Perils of Pauline.
March 28, 1920: Broadway legend John Barrymore moves to center stage of the film world with his portrayal of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
April 1, 1923: Moviegoers are thrilled and amused by the death-defying, high-rise antics of comedian Harold Lloyd in Safety Last.
March 28, 1935: Director Leni Riefenstahl’s propaganda documentary Triumph of the Will, chronicling a 1934 Nazi rally at Nuremberg, premieres in Berlin.
April 2, 1936: Selznick International Pictures releases their first production, an adaptation of Little Lord Fauntleroy starring Freddie Bartholomew.
March 28, 1941: The first movie adaptation of a comic book superhero appears with the first episode of Republic’s serial The Adventures of Captain Marvel.
April 3, 1943: German-born Conrad Veidt, whose villainous turn in Casablanca is still playing in theaters, dies on a Hollywood golf course from a heart attack at 50.
April 1, 1949: England’s Ealing studio releases the first of its acclaimed, whimsical comedies, Passport to Pimlico, starring Margaret Rutherford.
April 2, 1951: The premiere issue of the French film journal Cahiers du Cinema goes on sale; contributing writers will include Truffaut, Rohmer and Chabrol.
March 31, 1953: Stanley Kubrick‘s family-funded directorial debut, the war drama Fear and Desire, opens in New York.
April 2, 1953: Ed Wood’s feature directorial debut, the cross-dressing cult classic Glen or Glenda, opens. Wood also stars in the title role(s).
March 29, 1959: Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon don dresses and co-star with Marilyn Monroe in Billy Wilder’s gender-bending romp Some Like It Hot.
April 2, 1968: Kubrick’s senses-shattering sci-fi epic, 2001: A Space Odyssey, debuts. Though a stunning achievement, acclaim is not widespread.
March 31, 1973: Iconic director John Ford (Stagecoach) is the recipient of the American Film Institute’s first Lifetime Achievement Award.
April 2, 1974: A streaker interrupts David Niven at the Oscars, who quips, “the only laugh that man will probably get is for…showing off his shortcomings.”
March 29, 1976: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest becomes the first film since 1934’s It Happened One Night to take home all five major Oscars.
April 1, 1976: A failed Fox musical, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, gets a second life with its first midnight showing at Greenwich Village’s Waverly Theater.
March 29, 1977: Brit Peter Finch becomes the first posthumous acting Oscar winner, earning Best Actor for Network.
March 29, 1978: Annie Hall wins four Oscars, but writer/director/star Woody Allen skips the ceremony to play clarinet in a New York jazz club.
March 28, 1979: The China Syndrome, a drama about a nuclear disaster, gets a boost 12 days after it opens when a meltdown occurs at Pennsylvania’s Three Mile Island.
March 30, 1981: Obsessed with Taxi Driver star Jodie Foster, loner John Hinckley shoots President Ronald Reagan outside a Washington, D.C., hotel.
March 30, 1986: Vaudeville dancer-turned-perennial screen tough guy James Cagney, 86, dies of cardiac arrest on his New York farm.
March 29, 1989: In one of the stranger Oscar Night moments, Rob Lowe sings a duet of “Proud Mary” with Disney’s Snow White (actress Eileen Bowman). The Disney studio is not amused.
March 29, 1993: At the 65th Academy Awards, Marisa Tomei wins Best Supporting Actress for My Cousin Vinny…in spite of what conspiracy theorists think.
March 31, 1993: A prop-gun accident on the set of The Crow results in the death of star Brandon Lee (son of Bruce) at the age of 28.
March 31, 1999: Keanu Reeves learns to dodge bullets and audiences learn “What Is The Matrix?,” as the Wachowski Bothers’ sci-fi hit opens.