This Week in Film History 21st December
This Week in Film History 21st December

This Week in Film History: 21st December – 27th December

We love to celebrate the history of cinema here at More Movies and we really enjoy delving in to the rich history of film. Each week, we like to highlight some of the most interesting moments in the movie world, including milestone releases, births and deaths of the industry’s most notable characters, along with other historic happenings. This week we cover the period between 21st December – 27th December.

British actor Sydney Greenstreet, best known for his roles in Casablanca and The Maltese Falcon, was born in Sandwich, Kent, England
27th December, 1879

American actor Humphrey Bogart, best known for his roles in Casablanca and The Maltese Falcon, was born in New York City
25th December, 1899

American reclusive billionaire, filmmaker and aviator Howard Hughes, famous for his films Hell’s AngelsThe Outlaw and Scarface, was born in Humble, Texas
24th December, 1905

British actress Patricia Hayes, known for her role in A Fish Called Wanda, was born in Wandsworth, London.
22nd December, 1909

First feature-length silent film comedy Tillie’s Punctured Romance, starring Marie Dressler, Mabel Normand and Charlie Chaplin, was released.
21st December, 1914

American actress Nora Dunfee, famous for her roles in Forrest Gump and Lorenzo’s Oil, was born in Belmont, Ohio.
25th December, 1915

Indian character actor Kumar Pallana, known for his roles in Bottle Rocket and Rushmore, was born in Indore, India.
23rd December, 1918

American actress Ava Gardner, famous for her roles in On the Beach and Night of the Iguana, was born in Grabtown, North Carolina.
24th December, 1922

Judy Garland, aged 2½, billed as Baby Frances, made her show business debut.
26th December, 1924

Battleship Potemkin, a Soviet silent film directed by Sergei Eisenstein, starring Aleksandr Antonov, Vladimir Barksy and Grigori Aleksandrov, premiered in Moscow.
21st December, 1925

Bette Davis arrives in Hollywood under contract to Universal Studios.
23rd December, 1930

Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers first joint movie Flying Down to Rio, directed by Thornton Freeland, premiered in New York City.
22nd December, 1932

The Mummy, the first Mummy horror film, directed by Karl Freund and starring Boris Karloff, is released in the United States.
22nd December, 1932

Fox Films signs Shirley Temple aged 5, to a studio contract.
21st December, 1933

French film Zou-Zou, starring Josephine Baker, the first black woman to star in a major motion picture, premiered in Paris.
21st December, 1934

American film director John G. Avildsen, famous for Rocky and The Karate Kid, was born in Oak Park, Illinois.
21st December, 1935

American actor Hector Elizondo, famous for his roles in American Gigolo and Pretty Woman, was born in New York City.
22nd December, 1936

The first full-length animated feature film and the earliest in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, premiered at the Carthay Circle Theatre.
21st December, 1937

American actress Jane Fonda, known for her roles in Barbarella, Klute and 9 to 5, was born in New York City.
21st December, 1937

Margaret Hamilton’s costume catches fire while filming The Wizard of Oz.
23rd December, 1938

George Cukor announces Vivien Leigh will play Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind.
25th December, 1938

American actor John Amos, known for his roles in Die Hard 2 and Coming to America, was born in Newark, New Jersey.
27th December, 1939

The Philadelphia Story, directed by George Cukor and starring Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn and James Stewart, was released.
26th December, 1940

American actor Samuel L. Jackson, famous for his roles in the Star Wars and Marvel Franchises and Pulp Fiction, was born in Washington, D.C.
21st December, 1948

American Actress Sissy Spacek, famous for her roles in Carrie, Badlands and Coal Miner’s Daughter, was born in Quitman, Texas.
25th December, 1949

Charles Pathé, French pioneer of film and record industries (Pathé Brothers, 1896), died at 93.
26th December, 1957

British actor H. B. Warner, famous for his roles in Sunset Boulevard and The King of Kings, died aged 83.
21st December, 1958

American actress Joan Severance, famous for her role in See No Evil, Hear No Evil, was born in Houston, Texas.
23rd December, 1958

Indian producer and actor Anil Kapoor, famous for his roles in Slumdog Millionaire and Taal, was born in Bombay, India.
24th December, 1959

New Zealand actor Temuera Morrison, famous for his role as Jango Fett in the Star Wars movies, was born in Rotorua, New Zealand.
26th December, 1960

English actor Ralph Fiennes, famous for his roles in Schindler’s List, the Harry Potter franchise and The English Patient, was born in Ipswich, Suffolk.
22nd December, 1962

To Kill a Mockingbird, a film adaptation of the novel by Harper Lee, directed by Robert Mulligan and starring Gregory Peck, was released.
25th December, 1962

Walt Disney’s The Sword in the Stone is released in the US.
25th December, 1963

Doctor Zhivago, based on the novel by Boris Pasternak, directed by David Lean and starring Omar Sharif and Julie Christie, premiered in New York City.
22nd December, 1965

Canadian actor Kiefer Sutherland, famous for his roles in The Lost Boys and Young Guns, was born in London, England.
21st December, 1966

American actor Robert Keith, famous for his roles in Guys and Dolls and The Wild One, died aged 68.
23rd December, 1966

The Graduate, directed by Mike Nichols, starring Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft, was released.
22nd December, 1967

Walt Disney’s Aristocats is released.
24th December, 1970

The Sting, directed by George Roy Hill and starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford, premiered in Los Angeles and New York.
25th December, 1973

Horror film The Exorcist, based on book and screenplay by William Peter Blatty, starring Linda Blair, premiered. It becomes the first horror film to be nominated for Best Picture.
26th December, 1973

American actress Heather O’Rourke, famous for her role in Poltergeist, was born in San Diego, California.
27th December, 1975

British actor and comedian Charlie Chaplin, the most famous actor of the silent screen, known for his films Modern TimesThe Great Dictator and The Kid, died in Switzerland aged 88.

Check out our Top 5 Charlie Chaplin films here.
25th December, 1977

American director and producer Howard Hawks, famous for his films Rio BravoScarface and Bringing Up Baby, died aged 81.
26th December, 1977

American screenwriter, director and actor Jack Webb, famous for Dragnet and Sunset Boulevard, died of a heart attack aged 62.
23rd December, 1982

The Godfather Part III, directed by Francis Ford Coppola and starring Al Pacino, Diane Keaton and Andy Garcia premiered in the US.
25th December, 1990

American actress Butterfly McQueen, famous for roles in Gone With the Wind and Flame of Barbary Coast, died in a fire aged 84.
22nd December, 1995

American singer, comedian and actor Dean Martin, famous for his roles in Rio Bravo and Ocean’s 11, died of throat cancer aged 78.
25th December, 1995

As Good as It Gets, directed by James L. Brooks, starring Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt, is released in the US.
23rd December, 1997

Japanese writer and actor Toshiro Mifune, famous for Rashomon, Seven Samurai and Shogun, died aged 77.
24th December, 1997

Chicago, based on the musical, directed by Rob Marshall and starring Renée Zellweger, Richard Gere, and Catherine Zeta-Jones, was released in the US.
27th December, 2002

American actor Myron Healey, famous for roles in The Lone Ranger and Wyatt Earp, died of ill health aged 82.
21st December, 2005

American actor Harry Carey Jr, famous for roles in Back to the Future Part III and Gremlins, died from natural causes aged 91.
27th December, 2012

The Wolf of Wall Street, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill, was released in the US.
25th December, 2013

Indian sports drama film Dangal, directed by Nitesh Tiwari and starring Aamir Khan, Fatima Sana Shaikh and Sanya Malhotra premieres in India. It becomes the first Indian film to earn $300 million worldwide.
21st December, 2016

American actress Carrie Fisher, famous for her role as Princess Leia in Star Wars, died aged 60.
27th December, 2016

Well there we have our picks for this week in film history. 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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David Roberts
Dave is a digital content creator, web and software developer and keen filmmaker. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram @drobertsdigital.