This Week in Film History Banner 18th January
This Week in Film History Banner 18th January

18th – 24th January: Discover This Fascinating Week in Film History

This week we cover the period between 18th – 24th January as we look back at the the fascinating past of the film industry. We love to celebrate the history of cinema here at More Movies and we really enjoy delving into and highlighting some of the most interesting moments in the world of movies, including milestone releases, infamous events, births and deaths of the industry’s most notable characters, along with other historic happenings.

18th – 24th January

1875 D.W. Griffith, controversial American filmmaker known for Birth of a Nation, and Intolerance was born in LaGrange, Kentucky
22nd January, 1875

Film legend Oliver Hardy was born in Harelm, Georgia. A pioneer of breaking the fourth wall in cinema.
18th January, 1892

Conrad Veidt, German actor known for Casablanca and The Cabinet of Dr Calgari was born in Potsdam, Brandenburg, Germany
22nd January, 1893

Randolph Scott, American actor known for Ride the High Country, The Last of the Mohicans and Western Union was born in Orange County, Virginia
23rd January, 1898

English born American actor Cary Grant, known for his roles in North By Northwest and To Catch a Thief, was born in Bristol, U.K.
18th January, 1904

Ernest Borgnine, American actor known for Ice Station Zebra, Marty and The Wild Bunch was born in Hamden, Connecticut
24th January, 1917

DeForest Kelley American actor, known for playing Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy in the Star Trek movies, was born in Atlanta, Georgia
20th January, 1920

Federico Fellini, legendary Italian filmmaker known for his films 8 1/2 and La Dolce Vita was born in Rimini, Italy
20th January, 1920

Paul Scofield, English actor known for A Man for All Seasons and The Train was born in Hurst, England
21st January, 1922

Aristotelis “Telly” Savalas, American actor, known for playing Kojak on TV, and his roles in the films On Her Majesty’s Secret Service and Kelly’s Heroes, was born in Garden City, New Jersey
21st Janaury, 1922

Alfred Hitchcock releases his first film as director: The Pleasure Garden
24th January, 1927

Peter Donat, Canadian-American actor known for Flamingo Road and Different Story, was born in Kentville, Canada
20th January, 1928

Jeanne Moreau, French actress known for Going Places and Jules & Jim, was born in Paris, France
23rd January, 1928

Nathalie “Tippi” Hedren, American actress, animal rights activist and former fashion model known for her roles in The Birds and Marnie, was born in New Ulm, Minnesota
19th January, 1930

American film director Richard Lester, known for A Hard Day’s Night, Help! and Petulia, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
19th January, 1932

English film director John Boorman known for Point Blank, Zardoz and Excalibur, was born in Shepperton, Surrey
18th January, 1933

Bill Bixby, American actor, director and producer famous for playing David Banner in TV’s The Incredible Hulk, was, born in San Francisco, California
22nd January, 1934

Seymour Cassel, American actor known for his roles in Faces, Plain Clothes, Valentino and Rushmore, was born in Detroit, Michigan
22nd January, 1935

George Méliès, pioneering French filmmaker known for A Trip to the Moon, died aged 76
21st January, 1938

Japanese actor & martial artist Sonny Chiba, known for his roles in The Street Fighter and Kill Bill was born in Fukuoka, Japan
23rd January, 1939

The Three Stooges film You Nazty Spy! is released with the disclaimer “Any resemblance between the characters in this picture and any persons, living or dead, is a miracle.”
19th January, 1940

John Hurt, English actor known for The Elephant Man, Alien and Midnight Express, was born in Chesterfield, U.K.
22nd January, 1940

The Grapes of Wrath, directed by John Ford and based on John Steinbeck’s novel of the same name, starring Henry Fonda and Jane Darwell, is released
24th January, 1940

Sharon Tate, American actress known for Valley of the Dolls and The Wrecking Crew, was born in Dallas, Texas
24th January, 1943

Rutger Hauer, Dutch actor known for his roles in Blade Runner, Ladyhawke and The Hitcher, was born in Breukelen, Netherlands
23rd January, 1944

David Lynch, American actor & director known for his films Eraserhead and Mulholland Drive, was born in Missoula, Montana
20th January, 1946

John Belushi, American comedian & actor known for his roles in Animal House and The Blues Brothers, was born in Chicago, Illinois
24th January, 1949

Sydney Greenstreet, British actor known for his roles in Casablanca and The Maltese Falcon, died aged 74
18th January, 1954

American actor and director Kevin Costner, known for his roles in Dances With Wolves and Waterworld, was born in Lynwood, California
18th January, 1955

Geena Davis, American actress known for Beetlejuice and The Fly, born in Wareham, Massachusettes
21st January, 1956

Cecil B. DeMille, American filmmaker known for The Ten Commandments and Samson and Delilah, died aged 77
21st January, 1959

English actor Mark Rylance known for his roles in Bridge of Spies, and The Trial of the Chicago 7, was born in Ashford, U.K.
18th January, 1960

In the United States, the Supreme Court rules cities & states have right to censor films
23rd January, 1961

Nastassja Kinski, German actress known for Tess and Cat People, was born in Berlin, Germany
24th January, 1961

Jules et Jim, based on the novel by Henri-Pierre Roché, directed by François Truffau and starring Jeanne Moreau is released
23rd January, 1962

Diane Lane, American actress known for The Perfect Storm, Lady Beware and Lonesome Dove, was born in NYC, New York
22nd January, 1965

Rainn Wilson, American actor known for his roles in Juno and The Hangover, was born in Seattle, Washington
20th January, 1966

Actress Sharon Tate weds actor and director Roman Polanski in Chelsea, London
20th January, 1968

Skeet Ulrich, American actor known for his roles in Scream and The Craft, was born in Lynchburg, Virginia
20th January, 1970

Ewen Bremner, Scottish actor known for his roles in Trainspotting and Black Hawk Down was born in Portobello, U.K.
23rd January, 1972

Balthazar Getty, American actor known for his roles in Young Guns 2 and Lord of the Flies, was born in Los Angeles, California
22nd January, 1976

Columbia Pictures pays $9.5 million for movie rights to Annie
20th January, 1978

Shaolin Temple, a martial arts film is released. This was the first Hong Kong feature filmed in China, directed by Chang Hsin Yen, starring Jet Li in his debut role
21st January, 1982

Johnny Weissmuller, American actor known for playing Tarzan and winning 5 Olympic Gold Medals for swimming, died aged 79
20th January, 1984

Barbara Stanwyck, actress Known for her roles in Ball of Fire and Double Indemnity, died aged 82
20th January, 1990

Audrey Hepburn, British actress and screen legend known for Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Roman Holiday, died aged 63
20th January, 1993

British comedy Four Weddings and a Funeral written by Richard Curtis, starring Hugh Grant and Andie McDowell premieres at the Sundance Film Festival
20th January, 1994

Telly Savalas died aged at 72
22nd January, 1994

Hedy Lamarr, Austrian-American actress known for her roles in Ecstasy and Samson & Delilah as well as inventing a radio guidance system for Allied torpedoes, died aged 86
19th January, 2000

Cult film Donnie Darko, written and directed by Richard Kelly and starring Jake Gyllenhaal, premieres at the Sundance Film Festival
19th January, 2001

Chris Penn, American actor known for his roles in Footloose and Reservoir Dogs, died aged 40
24th January, 2006

The United Nations announce George Clooney as a UN messenger of peace
18th January, 2008

Heath Ledger, Australian Actor known for Brokeback Mountain and The Dark Knight, died aged 28
22nd January, 2008

Kathleen Byron, British actress known for Black Narcissus and Saving Private Ryan, died aged 88
18th January, 2009

Jean Simmons, British actress known for her roles in Spartacus and Guys & Dolls, died aged 80
22nd January, 2010

Michael Winner, English film director and producer responsible for the Death Wish movies, died aged 77
21st January, 2013

Miguel Ferrer, American actor known for his roles in Robocop and Hot Shots Part Deux, died aged 61
19th January, 2017

Netflix becomes the largest digital media and entertainment company in the world worth, $100 billion
22nd January, 2018

Terry Jones, Welsh comedian, actor and director (Monty Python), died aged 77
21st January, 2020

Well there we have our picks for this week in film history between 18th – 24th January.

Be sure to check back next week for some more fun film facts and tidbits. If you think we missed something important, be sure to let us know in the comments.

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Greg Fisher
Greg is a digital content creator, photographer, filmmaker and writer. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram @theflyingartist