This Week In Film History, 05.23.10

May 28, 1935: Twentieth Century Pictures and Fox Film Corporation unite to form 20th Century Fox, overseen by Joseph Schenck and Darryl F. Zanuck.

May 28, 1941: Animators and artists at the Walt Disney Studios launch an acrimonious two-month strike for pay raises and the right to unionize.

May 24, 1946: Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce have their final bow as Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson in Dressed to Kill.

May 26, 1952: The U.S. Supreme Court, declaring movies a form of free speech, strikes down a New York court’s ban on Roberto Rossellini‘s The Miracle.

May 25, 1957: In the wake of his break-up with partner Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis‘ first solo film, The Delicate Delinquent, is released.

May 25, 1977: A week after Time magazine called it “the best film of the summer,” Star Wars opens in wide release and eventually tops record-holder Jaws.

May 25, 1979: Alien, a sci-fi-horror opus, opens big to frightened crowds, as Newsweek critic Jack Kroll claims, “It’ll scare the peanuts out of your M&Ms.”

May 29, 1979: “America’s Sweetheart” and silent screen legend Mary Pickford dies at the age of 87 in Santa Monica, California.

May 29, 1987: Director John Landis is acquitted of manslaughter charges stemming from 1982’s Twilight Zone–The Movie helicopter accident.

May 24, 1991: Feminist road movie Thelma & Louise, starring Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis, opens to controversy, strong reviews and okay business.

May 23, 1993: The surreal, cyberpunk fantasy Wax, Or the Discovery of Television Among the Bees becomes the first film to be transmitted over the Internet.

May 23, 1994: Quentin Tarantino‘s violent drama Pulp Fiction wins the Palme d’Or at Cannes, and will go on to reignite the flagging career of co-star John Travolta.