This Week in Film History Banner 1st February

This Week in Film History: 1st – 7th February

We love to celebrate the history of cinema here at More Movies and we really enjoy delving in to the rich history of the film industry. Each week, we like to highlight some of the most interesting moments in the world of movies, 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 1st – 7th February.

Hungarian stage and film character actor S Z Sakall, famous for roles in Dolly Sisters and Casablanca, was born in Budapest Hungary
2nd February, 1883

Scottish actor and director Frank Lloyd, famous for his movies Mutiny on Bounty, Oliver Twist and Blood on the Sun, was born in Glasgow, Scotland
2nd February, 1886

Thomas Edison completes worlds first movie studio at West Orange, New Jersey
1st February, 1893

The first movie close-up (of a sneeze) was shot at Edison’s studio in West Orange, New Jersey
2nd February, 1893

American director John Ford, famous for his movies Stagecoach, The Searchers and The Grapes of Wrath, was born in Cape Elizabeth, Maine
1st February, 1895

British actor Nigel Bruce, famous for his roles in Rebecca, Suspicion and Sherlock Holmes, was born in Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico
4th February, 1895

American actor Clark Gable, known as ‘The King of Hollywood‘, and famous for his roles in Gone With the Wind and It Happened One Night, was born in Cadiz, Ohio
1st February, 1901

American actor John Carradine, famous for his roles in The Grapes of Wrath, Stagecoach and Howling, was born in Greenwich Village, New York
5th February, 1906

American actor Frank Albertson, famous for his roles in Psycho, It’s a Wonderful Life and Alice Adams, was born in Fergus Falls, Minnesota
2nd February, 1909

American actor Robert Earl Jones, famous for his roles in The Sting, Witness and Sleepaway Camp, was born in Senatobia, Mississippi
3rd February, 1910

American actor and future U.S. president Ronald Reagan, famous for roles in Bedtime for Bonzo and The Killers, was born in Tampico, Illinois
6th February, 1911

Charlie Chaplin debuts silent film character ‘The Tramp‘ in Kid Auto Races at Venice
7th February, 1914

English comedian and actor Norman Wisdom, famous for his films A Stitch in Time and Trouble in Store, was born in London, England
4th February, 1915

American actor Bruce Gordon, famous for his role in The Untouchables, was born in Fitchburg, Massachusetts
1st February, 1916

Hungarian-born American actress Zsa Zsa Gabor, famous for her role in Queen of Outer Space, was born in Budapest
6th February, 1917

The Hollywood film studio United Artists was founded by Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford and D. W. Griffith
5th February, 1919

American actor Tim Holt, famous for his role in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, was born in Beverly Hills, California
5th February, 1919

Silent film The Kid, starring Charlie Chaplin & Jackie Coogan, was released in the U.S.
6th February, 1921

British comedy actress Josephine “Hattie” Jacques, famous for her roles in the Carry On films, was born in Kent, England
7th February, 1922

Shanghai Express, directed by Josef von Sternberg and starring Marlene Dietrich, Clive Brook and Anna Mae Wong, premiered in Los Angeles
3rd February, 1932

Modern Times, silent film directed by, written by and starring Charlie Chaplin, was released in the U.S.
5th February, 1936

American actor Victor Buono, famous for his roles in Man from Atlantis and The Untouchables, was born in San Diego, California
3rd February, 1938

American-Canadian director George A. Romero, most famous for Night of the Living Dead, was born in The Bronx, New York
4th February, 1940

Walt Disney’s second feature length movie, Pinocchio, premiered in New York City
7th February, 1940

Welsh comedian and actor Terry Jones, most famous for his roles in the Monty Python movies, was born in Colwyn Bay, Denbighshire
1st February, 1942

Serial film Captain America premiered in the U.S. Starring Dick Purcell, this was the first appearance of a Marvel superhero outside of a comic book.
5th February, 1944

Walt Disney’s The Three Caballeros, framed as the studio’s goodwill message for Latin America, was released in the U.S.
3rd February, 1945

British actor Pete Postlethwaite, famous for his roles in In the Name of the Father, The Usual Suspects and The Boxer, was born in Warrington, England.
7th February, 1946

American actor Charley Grapewin, famous for his role as Uncle Henry in The Wizard of Oz, died aged 86
2nd February, 1956

La Dolce Vita, directed by Federico Fellini and starring Marcello Mastroianni and Anita Ekberg, premiered in Italy
3rd February, 1960

British actor and comedian Eddie Izzard, famous for roles in Ocean’s Twelve, Victoria & Abdul and Cars 2, was born in Aden, Yemen
7th February, 1962

American actress Laura Linney, famous for her roles in The Truman Show and Mystic River, was born in Manhattan, New York
5th February, 1964

American actor & comedian Buster Keaton, famous for his films The Navigator, Steamboat Bill Jr and The General, died aged 70
1st February, 1966

English actor Boris Karloff, famous for his roles in The Mummy and Frankenstein, died of pneumonia aged 81
2nd February, 1969

Patton, directed by Franklin J. Schaffner and starring George C. Scott, premiered in New York
4th February, 1970

American actor Michael C. Hall, famous for his roles in Game Night, Cold in July and Gamer, was born in Raleigh, North Carolina
1st February, 1971

Mel Brooks’ film Blazing Saddles, starring Cleavon Little and Gene Wilder, opens in movie theaters in the U.S.
7th February, 1974

British actor Richard Wattis, famous for his roles in Hobson’s Choice, Prince & Showgirl and The Man Who Knew Too Much, died from a heart attack aged 62
1st February, 1975

Australian actress Isla Fisher, famous for her roles in Wedding Crashers and The Great Gatsby, was born in Muscat, Oman
3rd February, 1976

American actress Pauline Starke, famous for her roles in Dante’s Inferno, The Viking and Sun Up, died aged 76
3rd February, 1977

Director Roman Polanski skips bail & fled to France after pleading guilty to charges of engaging in sex with a 13-year-old girl
1st February, 1978

American actor Ashton Kutcher, famous for his roles in Jobs, Not Strigngs Attached and The Butterfly Effect, was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
7th February, 1978

American child actress Heather O’Rourke, famous for her role in Poltergeist, dies of intestinal ailment aged just 12
1st February, 1988

Greek-American actor, film director, and screenwriter John Cassavetes, famous for directing Faces, A Women under the Influence and Gloria, died aged 59
3rd February, 1989

American silent screen actress Jane Novak, famous for Ghost Town and Wagon Tracks died of stroke aged 94
6th February, 1990

American actor Dick Winslow, famous for his roles in Tom Sawyer and Mutiny on the Bounty, died aged 75
7th February, 1991

British actor Donald Pleasence, famous for his roles in the Halloween franchise, Escape from New York, and You Only Live Twice, died from heart failure aged 75
2nd February, 1995

American actor Gene Kelly, famous for his roles in An American in Paris, Going My Way and Singin’ in the Rain, died of a stroke aged 83
2nd February, 1996

Canadian actor John Vernon, famous for his roles in Animal House, Chained Heat and Dirty Harry, died aged 72
1st February, 2005

American actor James Whitmore, famous for his roles in The Shawshank Redemption and Give ’em Hell Harry, died of lung cancer aged 87
6th February, 2009

American actor Sam Coppola, famous for his role in Saturday Night Fever, died aged 79
5th February, 2012

Swiss-Austrian actor Maximilian Schell, famous for his roles in Judgment at Nuremberg and The Pedestrian, died aged 83
1st February, 2014

American actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, famous for his roles in Capote, The Master and Moneyball, died of a suspected drug overdose aged 46
2nd February, 2014

English actor Albert Finney, famous for his roles in Erin Brockovich, Tom Jones and Skyfall, died aged 82
7th February, 2019

American actor Kirk Douglas, famous for his roles in Spartacus and Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, died aged 103
5th February, 2020

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.

If you fancy checking out some more articles, you can take a look here. Do come and say hello on Facebook and Twitter.

If you enjoy our content, please consider supporting us here.

David Roberts
Dave is a digital content creator, web and software developer and keen filmmaker. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram @drobertsdigital.