spent most of his career as an independent film
writer, producer, and director. He also appeared
in several films as an actor.
Llewelyn Wouk "D.W." Griffith
became an actor because he was unable to make a
living as a playwright. He became a motion
picture director because another director became
ill, and subsequently directed what is now
considered the first "blockbuster
movie," The Birth of a Nation.
Marie Georges Jean Méliès
was a magician by trade who considered the cinema
a perfect vehicle to escape for an
audience. To that end, he pioneered the use of
many special effects, including stop action,
double exposure, and split screen. He was also
the first filmmaker to use production boards and
began his career as a scriptwriter for television
westerns, including "Gunsmoke." His
television work got him his first job as a film
director, and he subsequently became known for
writing and directing one of the most graphically
violent Western films ever made (The Wild
was one of the first directors to shoot at night,
and the first to break from the typical
"documentary-style" film. In 1903, he
directed The Great Train Robbery, the
first movie to tell a story, as well as probably
the first in which actors actually followed a
has been an international superstar ever
since the 1975 release of Jaws. Although he has had his fair share of
less-than-successful films, his record of success
is virtually unmatched. In addition to his film
work, he has also been responsible for an
interesting array of television work, including
the animated series "Animaniacs," the
science-fantasy series "Amazing
Stories," and the World War II-based
miniseries "Band of Brothers."
first achieved nationwide recognition on
Halloween night in 1938, with the airing of
"The War of the Worlds" radio program.
His first film to be seen by the public was Citizen
Kane, which is now considered by the
American Film Institute as the best film ever
made, even though it was a box-office failure.
Highlights from 1930
Highlights from 1936
Highlights from 1947
The biggest box office and
artistic success of the year was The Best
Years of Our Lives, a story of postwar
readjustments in the lives of a group of Indiana
G.I.'s. Released on Christmas Day 1946, the movie
won a record nine Academy Awards.
Highlights from 1954
Highlights from 1956
Highlights from 1957
Around the World in Eighty Days,
produced by Michael Todd, won the Academy Award
for Best Picture.
Highlights from 1958
Domestic production in 1958 declined to an
all-time low of 216 films, while at the same time
major U.S. studios were distributing
foreign-language pictures, often dubbing them
into English. The Bridge on the River Kwai
was the top-grossing film of 1958.
Highlights from 1959
Auntie Mame was the top-grossing film of
1959. "AromaRama" made its debut in
1959 with the film Behind the GreatWall.
Ben-Hur topped the list of the longest
movies of the year, with a running time of 3
hours 39 minutes.
Highlights from 1960
Ben Hur, Charlton Hesston, and Simone
Signoret were among the winners at the Academy
Awards ceremony on April 4. The Screen Actors
Guild ended a month-long strike on April 8th.
Top-grossing films of the year included Spartacus,
Psycho, Exodus, and Swiss
News and Highlights
In a continuing effort to
compete with both television and foreign-made
films, American filmmakers became even more frank
in their treatment of sex and more daring in
costume and dialogue.
Highlights from 1967
The top grossing movie of 1967 was The
Graduate, starring Dustin Hoffman and Anne
Highlights from 1969
By 1969 movie theater
attendance in the United States had dropped from
a decade high of about 30 million cash customers
per week to a mere 15 million.
and Highlights from 1978
Highlights from 1979