A Brief Film History Timeline – The 1930’s

Part 2 – The 1930’s 

This is the second of a four-part film history timeline highlighting some selective moments from the 1920’s through the 1950’s.

The 1930’s film decade presented us with the expansion of “talking pictures,” the development of film genre’s, the growth of the major film studios, and the beginning of what is known as “The Golden Age of Hollywood.

Color film production became the rage, new stars were created, and some of the old stars faded from the industry.

1930 – The Immortal Garbo Talks – Greta Garbo, having been one of the major silent screen stars, successfully made the transition to “talking pictures.”

MGM marketed the popular actress in her first speaking role with the catchphrase “Garbo Talks.” The film was Anna Christie and Garbo received an Academy Award nomination for her role and became the Queen of MGM.

1931 – “M” Thrills Audiences – Director Fritz Lang’s first sound film “M,” a suspense thriller starring Peter Lorre, sent chills down the spines of movie goers.

Reportedly based on the case of a real-life serial killer, “M” would go on to become a classic and the film Lang considered to be his finest work.

Bela Lugosi Immortalizes “Dracula” – Famed horror director Tod Browning brings Bram Stoker’s Dracula to life on the screen. The death of actor Lon Chaney along with the financial troubles faced by Universal Studio opened the door for Bela Lugosi to assume the title role.

Lugosi had experience with the role on Broadway and would work cheap. The resulting production is a timeless horror classic and the role in which Bela Lugosi would always be identified.

1932 – Three-Strip Technicolor – Walt Disney Productions released “Flowers and Trees,” the first commercially released film using the full-color three-strip Technicolor process.

The new process was developed by Herbert Kalmus who was the co-founder and president of The Technicolor Corporation. “Flowers and Trees” proved to be commercial and critical success winning the first Academy Award for Animated Short Subjects.

1933 – Fred & Ginger Put Their Feet Together – The RKO musical film “Flying Down to Rio” marked the first time that legendary stars Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers were paired together on screen.

Although the duo were not the stars of the film, the two relative unknowns generated such a tremendous response from fans and critics that Astaire and Rogers would appear in ten films together. The rest, as they say, is history.

1935 – MOMA Is Founded – The Museum of Modern Art in New York City has added, what will be known as, the Film Library.

This new department of film will focus on the art and history of the film medium and will incorporate all genres and periods of film. The library will house the strongest international film collection in the United States.

1937Location, Location, Location, – Paramount Pictures releases “The Trail of the Lonesome Pine.” This motion picture became the first Technicolor film to be shot entirely on location.

Permission from the Technicolor Corporation was required to use their process to shoot the film outdoors with most of the footage shot at Big Bear Lake in southern california.

The First Full-Length Animation – Walt Disney Studios has created the first full-length cel-animated feature in motion picture history.

“Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” makes film history as the first full-color, fully-animated Walt Disney Production, as well as the first animated feature film produced in America.

 1939The Best of the Best – Gone with the Wind, The Wizard of Oz, Ninotchka, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Stagecoach, Dark Victory…no more needs to be said, this was the best year in Hollywood history.

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