Celebrating the History of Motion Pictures from 1890 to 1960

1926 Timelines: 1920 to 1929

The Hungarian film director, Mihaly Kertesz, arrives from Europe to begin making films at Warner Bros. He is to be known as Michael Curtiz.


Using their new Vitaphone sound system, Warner Bros. presents a two and a half hour program consisting of a number of musical shorts and the feature–length film, “Don Juan”. Reproducing a musical score, singing, and sound effects, but no dialogue, the sound–on–disc system is synchronized with the action on the films.


Rudolph Valentino dies of peritonitis at the age of 31.


Nine Hollywood producers and five unions sign the “Studio Basic Agreement” which allowed the studios to appoint a committee to represent their common interests with stagehands, carpenters, electricians, painters and musicians. Although film actors were not yet organized, Hollywood ‘s moment as a non–union haven was over.


RCA and Western Electric cross–license each other’s amplification patents. This makes it possible for every theater to broadcast movie sound.


Significant Films:

“The Pleasure Garden”, is released in London. It is the first film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, who is 26 years old.

“The Battleship Potemkin”, by the Russian director, Sergei Eisenstein, is released. Eisenstein’s development of montage editing becomes part of every director’s repertory.

“The Lodger”, directed by Alfred Hitchcock, is released in London. It establishes Hitchcock’s reputation as one of Britain ‘s finest film directors.

Douglas Fairbanks’ latest film, “The Black Pirate”, is released. It is the first feature–length Technicolor movie to be widely distributed, and it goes on to become Technicolor’s greatest box–office success during the silent–film era.

Buster Keaton releases his film, “The General”. It is such a financial disaster that Keaton gives up his own production company and signs with MGM.

MGM releases Greta Garbo’s third film, “Flesh and the Devil”.

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