Celebrating the History of Motion Pictures from 1890 to 1960

1946 Timelines: 1940 to 1949

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences revises its rules for Academy Awards voting. Instead of allowing members of the entire film community to select nominees and winners, only members of the Academy will be allowed to vote. The Academy’s rolls immediately increase from 700 to over 1,600.


Shirley Temple celebrates her 18th birthday.


20th Century–Fox signs up a 20–year–old photographic model named Norma Jean Baker at a salary of $75 per week. She will be known professionally as Marilyn Monroe.


In what has become known as “the treaty of Beverly Hills”, the Association of Motion Picture Producers (AMPP) agrees to give members of the Conference of Studio Unions (CSU) a 25% wage hike making them the nation’s highest paid salaried workers.


The vice–president of the American Federation of Labor, Matthew Woll, says that Hollywood is the “third largest Communist center in the U.S.” He warns that the unions will not countenance actors and scriptwriters “guilty of treason.”


The combined profits of the eight largest studios is said to be $120 million for the year. That is double the profits of 1945.


The Internal Revenue Service closes the tax loophole for single–picture corporations. This forces many independent Hollywood production companies to seek out permanent financial and distribution deals with the major studios. Some directors and stars become “in–house” independents at a major studio, or become freelance.


In Hollywood the English producer, J. Arthur Rank, orchestrates a merger between “Universal Pictures” and the independent production company “International Pictures”. The new studio will be known as Universal–International.


Significant Films:

RKO releases Alfred Hitchcock’s “Notorious”. Starring Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman, it is advertised as having the “longest screen kiss in the history of the cinema”.

In defiance of the Legion of Decency and the Production Code Administration (PCA), Howard Hughes re–releases his 1943 movie “The Outlaw” through United Artists. Using the censorship flap to fuel audience interest, Hughes personally handles the promotion for the film with the result that it becomes a major box–office hit.

Columbia releases “The Jolson Story”. Starring the contract player, Larry Parks, the film makes him a star and is the third most popular movie of the year. (Larry Parks’ singing is dubbed by Al Jolson himself.)

RKO releases Frank Capra’s “It’s A Wonderful Life”. Starring James Stewart and Donna Reed, the movie does not do well at the box–office despite being nominated for four Academy Awards.

Samuel Goldwyn releases “The Best Years of Our Lives”. Directed by William Wyler, and starring Fredric March, Myrna Loy, and Harold Russell, the film wins seven Academy Awards including the one for “Best Motion Picture”. Harold Russell, a war veteran with no hands, wins the “Best Supporting Actor” Oscar despite having had no training as an actor, and despite this being his first film.

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