Film timeline

  • 1900

    Movies became a popular attraction in amusement arcades, music halls, traveling fairs, wax museums, and vaudeville houses in many countries. However, audiences had become bored with actualities and films of news events.
  • 1910

    Laemmle introduced the star system, causing the rise of the American movie star phenomenon, by hiring now-forgotten Florence Lawrence, one of Biograph's anonymous stars, and beginning a massive publicity campaign.
  • 1920

    Germany's silent landmark classic, director Robert Wiene's The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, was filmed in 1919 and released in the US in 1920 - it established the movement of German film expressionism. It told about a ghost-like hypnotist-therapist in a carnival named Dr. Caligari who called from a state of sleep his performing somnambulist-- a pale-skinned, lanky, black leotard-wearing Cesare.
  • 1931

    A few months after the release of Dracula (1931), Universal Studios had a second horror hit with its release of Frankenstein (1931) - starring Boris Karloff as the Monster, created by mad scientist Dr. Frankenstein.
  • 1943

    The precursor of Italian neo-realism was Luchino Visconti's gritty Ossessione (1943, It.), the Italian director's first film. Loosely adapted from James M. Cain's pulp novel The Postman Always Rings Twice,
  • 1950

    Japanese director Akira Kurosawa released Rashomon (1950, Jp.), a crime mystery about a man's murder and the rape of his wife. It was first Akira Kurosawa film to be nominated for an Oscar (Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Black-and-White).
  • 1962

    More than 700 foreign-language films were released in US theaters during 1962.
  • 1970's

    The success of blaxploitation films led to an onslaught of other black exploitation genres, with numerous remakes or lesser imitations ranging from westerns to martial arts kung fu films to horror and gangster films. Sample films included Hit Man (1972), Blacula (1972) and Blackenstein (1973), and Larry Cohen's Black Caesar (1973).
  • 1985

    The 6th highest-grossing (domestic) film at the box office in 1985 was director Ron Howard's science-fiction Cocoon (1985), at $76.1 million. It was the winner of two Oscar Academy Awards: Best Visual Effects, and Best Supporting Actor (Don Ameche). It wove together a story about elderly folks in the Sunny Shores retirement home and a group of peaceful aliens from the planet Antarea.
  • 1992

    In 1992, the standard for Hi-Def TV transmission in the US, with much-improved picture and sound quality, was established. It would have a screen aspect ratio of 16:9, in other words, it would be a wide-screen aspect ratio that would reduce the "picture in a box" feeling of the current television standard, and allow 35-millimeter movies to be viewed uncropped on TV screens.
  • 2000's

    Most of the films in the early part of the decade that were huge moneymakers were either comic-book related, serials, animated films, based on children's fantasy stories, or based on a theme-park ride.
  • 2013

    Hollywood celebrated over the year 2013 -- it was a record-setting year at the box office, with domestic revenues hitting close to $11 billion for the first time - the largest annual take ever. The actual number of tickets sold domestically in 2013 remained about the same as the previous year's 1.36 billion.