Celebrating the History of Motion Pictures from 1890 to 1960

1935 Timelines: 1930 to 1939

RKO, Warner Bros., and Paramount are summoned to appear before a grand jury on charges of monopolistic practices.


Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks are granted a divorce.


Joseph Schenck and Darryl F. Zanuck buy controlling interest in the Fox Film Corporation that will be merged with their company, 20th Century Pictures. The new company will be called, “20th Century–Fox Film Corporation”.


The “Big Five” studios now control virtually all of Hollywood’s “quality” motion picture production, and own most of the important theaters in the country. They are: Loew’s, Inc. (MGM); Warner Bros.; Paramount; 20th Century–Fox; and RKO.


Paramount–Publix emerges from bankruptcy reorganization under the new name, “Paramount Pictures, Inc.”, and the German director, Ernst Lubitsch, is named Studio Production Chief.


J. Cheever Cowdin’s Standard Capital Company takes over operating control of Universal Pictures. Carl Laemmle, Sr., who founded the company, retires from motion pictures.


David O. Selznick leaves MGM to found his own independent production company.

In Britain, the sliding formula of the “Cinematograph Films Act of 1927” now requires that 20% of the films shown in British cinemas have to be produced in Great Britain. This results in a large number of “quota quickies”, cheap, poorly–made films produced to fill the requirements of the Films Act. When the Cinematograph Films Act is re–enacted by Parliament in 1937, the film quotas will be increased to 30%.


Significant Films:

Universal releases “The Bride of Frankenstein”. Directed by James Whale, and starring Boris Karloff and Elsa Lanchester, the film is generally considered to be the greatest horror film of its time.

The movie “Top Hat”, starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, sets a new box–office record at the Radio City Music Hall by taking in $245,000 in its first two weeks.

The German director, Leni Riefenstahl, releases her Nazi propaganda film “Triumph of the Will”. Covering the 1934 Nazi Rally in Nuremberg, the film is considered to be the most powerful propaganda film ever made.

Alfred Hitchcock’s new film “The Thirty–Nine Steps”, premiers in London. The thriller, based on a novel by John Buchan, confirms Hitchcock’s standing as the leading British director of his generation.

MGM’s film “Mutiny on the Bounty”, starring Clark Gable and Charles Laughton, wins the Academy Award for “Outstanding Production”.

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