Thursday, June 8, 2017
June 8, 1912 – Carl Laemmle incorporates Universal Pictures.
As today is the birthday of Universal Studios, here are some landmark films in the studio's history:
1912 – The Dawn of Netta becomes the first Universal release.
1913 – Ivanhoe, the first big-budget Universal picture, is released.
1923 – The Hunchback of Notre Dame with Lon Chaney becomes the studio's first hit. It is the third highest-grossing film of the year.
1925 – The Phantom of the Opera with Lon Chaney becomes the studio's second huge hit.
1930 – All Quiet on the Western Front, one of the greatest war films ever made, is released. It won the Academy Award for Best Picture, and was the third highest-grossing film of the year.
1931 – Release of Dracula (seventh highest-grossing film of the year) in February, and Frankenstein (highest-grossing film of the year) in November. Horror films save the studio during the Great Depression.
1932 –The Mummy is released.
1933 –The Invisible Man is released.
1934 – Imitation of Life becomes Universal's second Best Picture nominee, and is the eighth highest-grossing film of the year.
1935 – Bride of Frankenstein is the third highest-grossing film of the year.
1936 – Release of the Flash Gordon serial, which becomes one of the highest-grossing serials of all time and one of the most influential science fiction films of all time.
1936 – Three Smart Girls, the first Deanna Durbin picture, is the third highest-grossing film of the year. Durbin is a Universal staple for the next decade.
1936 – My Man Godfrey, the classic comedy with William Powell and Carole Lombard. It is the eleventh highest-grossing film of the year.
1937 – One Hundred Men and a Girl, a Deanna Durbin film that is the studio's third Best Picture nominee. . It is the third highest-grossing film of the year.
1940 – The Bank Dick, W.C. Fields' most popular and acclaimed film, is released.
1941 – Buck Privates with Abbott and Costello is released. Although Keep 'Em Flying and In the Navy will be more financially successful, it is this film which puts the comedy duo on the map and keeps them there for the next 15 years.
1941- The Wolf Man is released.
1942 – Release of Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror, the first of the Basil Rathbone Sherlock Holmes films after 20th Century Fox dumped the series (which first screened in 1939) after two films.
1942 – Saboteur is the first Alfred Hitchcock film to be made with Universal. It is also the last, until 1956's The Man Who Knew Too Much remake. Hitchcock would make his final six films with Universal in the 1960s, beginning with The Birds.
1945 – Scarlet Street, Universal's first film noir.
1946 – The Killers, Universal's second great film noir.
1947 – Ronald Colman becomes the first actor or actress to win an Oscar for appearing in a Universal film. The film is A Double Life, for which he takes home the Best Actor award.
1948 – The Naked City, the third of Universal's great film noirs.
1949 – Ma and Pa Kettle, the first of the long-running hillbilly film series starring Wallace Beery and Marjorie Main. The big-budget The Egg and I (1947) was the first Kettle Universal film. But it is this low-budget version and its sequels that becomes famous.
1950 – Josephine Hull becomes the first actress to win an acting Oscar in a Universal film, for her performance in Harvey. She takes home the Best Supporting Actress award.
1953 – The Glass Web, a crime film with Edgar G. Robinson, becomes Universal's first 3D film.
1954 – A struggling Universal is saved by the 3D horror film The Creature from the Black Lagoon.
1955 – After the success of 1954's Godzilla and the money-making rerelease of 1933's King Kong, Universal makes Tarantula, ushering in the "giant monster" genre of low-budget American films that dominates the 1950s.
1956 – Dorothy Malone wins Best Supporting Actress for Universal's Written on the Wind.
1959 – Pillow Talk, the first Rock Hudson-Doris Day movie, and the fifth highest-grossing film of the year. Hudson-Day become a staple of Universal films over the next six years.
1960 – Spartacus becomes the first Universal film to be the number-one box office film of the year. Peter Ustinov wins the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.
1962 – Cape Fear, last of the Universal film noirs.
1962 – To Kill a Mockingbird becomes the seventh highest-grossing film of the year. It is nominated for Best Picture, and Gregory Peck wins the Oscar for Best Actor.
1969 – Anne of the Thousand Days is nominated for Best Picture.
1970 – Airport is nominated for Best Picture. Helen Hayes wins Best Supporting Actress.
1973 – American Graffiti, the first feature film by George Lucas, is nominated for Best Picture. It is the third highest-grossing film of the year.
1973 – The Sting is the highest-grossing film of the year, and becomes only the second Universal film to win Best Picture. George Roy Hill wins Best Director.
1975 – Jaws is released, ushering in the era of the blockbuster and launching Steven Spielberg's career. For decades, it is the highest-grossing film of all time.
1978 – The classic comedy Animal House ushers in a new era of comedy. It is the third highest-grossing film of the year.
1978 – The Deer Hunter becomes the third Universal film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture. Michael Cimino wins Best Director, and Christopher Walken wins Best Supporting actor.
1980 – Coal Miner's Daughter is nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture, and is the seventh highest-grossing film of the year. Sissy Spacek wins Best Actress.
1982 – E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture, and is the highest-grossing film of the year. Along with Jaws and Star Wars, it stands atop the highest-grossing films list for decades.
1984 – Sixteen Candles launches the directorial film career of John Hughes.
1985 – Back to the Future becomes the highest-grossing film of the year.
1989 – Born on the Fourth of July is nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. Oliver Stone wins Best Director.
1993 – Jurassic Park is the highest-grossing film of the year. It ushers in the era of CGI films.
1998 – Shakespeare In Love wins Best Picture. Gwyneth Paltrow wins Best Actress, and Judi Dench wins Best Supporting Actress.
2001 – The Fast and the Furious is released. The film spawns eight sequels, and makes more than $2.5 billion worldwide.
2010 – Despicable Me is the ninth highest-grossing film of the year, and Universal's first hit animated film.