20 Important Moments in Film History: 1915-1950

Timeline created by jessicabaker26
In Film
  • Birth of a Nation is released

    Birth of a Nation is released
    Directed by D.W. Griffith, Birth of a Nation was the first blockbuster film. Revolutionary for its time, the movie featured innovative editing techniques and a continuous storyline.
  • Period: to

    Early Film History

  • Oscar Micheaux releases The Homesteader

    Oscar Micheaux releases The Homesteader
    Micheaux was the first successful African American film producer, writer, and director. Through his films, he worked to invalidate the racial stereotypes common during that era.
  • Hollywood's first scandal

    Hollywood's first scandal
    Famous comedian Roscoe Arbuckle was falsely accused of the murder of Virginia Rappe. Though untrue, the accusations were sensationalized by the media and ruined his career.
  • Robert Flaherty directs the first documentary

    Robert Flaherty directs the first documentary
    Nanook of the North, the first full length documentary, was released on June 11, 1922.
  • The film Gold Rush is released

    The film Gold Rush is released
    Charlie Chaplin became the first international film star through his role in various slapstick comedies, notably Gold Rush, in which he plays the famous character, the Tramp.
  • The Jazz Singer is released

    The Jazz Singer is released
    The Jazz Singer was the first "talkie," ushering in a new era of film.
  • Steamboat Willie is released

    Steamboat Willie is released
    Steamboat Willie, the cartoon that introduced Mickey Mouse to the public, was one of the first cartoons with synchronized sound.
  • The Golden Age of Hollywood begins

    The Golden Age of Hollywood begins
    Hollywood's Golden Age was the peak of film production in history, and gave rise to iconic stars, like Marilyn Monroe and Grace Kelly.
  • Flowers and Trees is released

    Flowers and Trees is released
    Flowers and Trees, a technicolor cartoon produced by Walt Disney, became the first animated short to win an Academy Award.
  • Shirley Temple rises to fame

    Shirley Temple rises to fame
    Shirley Temple became the first child star with the release of The Red Haired Alibi.
  • King Kong released

    King Kong released
    King Kong broke all previous box office records and saved RKO film studios from bankruptcy.
  • The Production Code Administration is established

    The Production Code Administration is established
    The PCA was established to monitor the content in films, and required that films receive a seal of approval before being released to the public.
  • Beggar's Wedding is released

    Beggar's Wedding is released
    Beggar's Wedding was the first 3-D talkie.
  • "The greatest year in film history" begins

    "The greatest year in film history" begins
    During 1939, 10 movies were nominated for the Academy Award. Some of the best movies ever made were released, such as The Wizard of Oz and Gone With the Wind.
  • Citizen Kane is released

    Citizen Kane is released
    Orson Welles' first film was innovative for its time, featuring nonlinear storytelling and inventive use of low angle shots.
  • The first Golden Globe Ceremony

    The first Golden Globe Ceremony
    The first Golden Globe award ceremony was held at the 20th Century Fox Studios.
  • The Miracle of Morgan's Creek

    The Miracle of Morgan's Creek
    The Miracle of Morgan's Creek was the first film advertised on television.
  • de Havilland decision

    de Havilland decision
    The de Havilland law was passed after Olivia de Havilland sued Warner Bros. for extending her seven year contract. This landmark decision loosened the grip of movie studios on their actors.
  • The HUAC investigates Hollywood

    The HUAC investigates Hollywood
    In 1947, the House Un-American Activities Committee began to target Hollywood, investigating for signs of Communist influence.
  • Movie theater attendance declines

    Movie theater attendance declines
    Due to the advent of television, less people went to movie theaters.