This Week In Film History 04-04-10

button-film-historyApril 10, 1915: The controversy over D.W. Griffith‘s portrayal of blacks in The Birth of a Nation rages on, as thousands protest the film.

April 7, 1927: Upon the centenary of the military leader’s death, director Abel Gance releases an epic achievement, the landmark Napoleon.

April 10, 1952: Gene Kelly eschews bumbershoot and poncho for his most famous dance number in Singin’ in the Rain.

April 4, 1958: Cheryl Crane, 14-year-old daughter of Lana Turner, fatally stabs her mother’s lover, tough guy gangster Johnny Stompanato, in self-defense.

April 4, 1960: William Wyler‘s epic religious drama, Ben-Hur, takes home a record 11 Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Actor (Charlton Heston).

April 7, 1960: Respected British director Michael Powell comes under fire for his latest, Peeping Tom, a psychological drama about a deranged killer.

April 4, 1962: Pope John XXIII issues a denouncement of the rumored illicit affair between Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton during production of Cleopatra.

April 10, 1962: Hungarian-born director Michael Curtiz, whose career spanned nearly 50 years and included many classic films, Casablanca among them, is dead at 74.

April 10, 1968: Scheduled for April 8, the Academy Awards ceremony is held two days later because of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. on the 4th.

April 7, 1970: John Wayne (Article) receives his first and only Academy Award for his role as feisty gunfighter Rooster Cogburn in True Grit.

April 8, 1975: Francis Ford Coppola‘s The Godfather, Part II is the first sequel to capture the Academy Award for Best Picture.

April 9, 1984: Linda Hunt becomes the first person to win an Oscar for playing a member of the opposite sex, in The Year of Living Dangerously.

April 10, 1992: Robert Altman receives his best reviews and box office results in years with the release of the Hollywood satire The Player.