Events in Film & Television in 1939

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Film release premierFilm Premier

Feb 10 "Stagecoach" western film directed by John Ford, starring Claire Trevor and John Wayne, premieres in Miami

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Feb 14 Victor Fleming replaces George Cukor as director of film "Gone With the Wind"

Director Victor Fleming
Director
Victor Fleming
  • Feb 15 Lillian Hellman's play "The Little Foxes" premieres in New York City

Film tv awardsFilm Awards

Feb 23 11th Academy Awards: "You Can’t Take It With You", Spencer Tracy & Bette Davis wins

Film release premierFilm Premier

Mar 24 "Wuthering Heights" based on the novel by Emily Brontë, directed by William Wyler starring Merle Oberonand and Laurence Olivier, premieres in Los Angeles

Film release premierFilm Release

Mar 31 "The Hound of Baskervilles", starring Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes and Nigel Bruce as Dr. Watson for the first time, is released

  • Apr 17 SN Behrman's "No Time for Comedy" premieres in NYC

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Apr 30 NBC/RCA 1st public TV demo with FDR at opening of NY World's Fair

32nd US President Franklin D. Roosevelt
32nd US President
Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • May 1 Batman comics hit the street
  • Jun 10 MGM cartoon character Barney Bear debuts
  • Jun 12 Shooting begins on Paramount Pictures' Dr. Cyclops, the first horror film photographed in three-strip Technicolor.
  • Jul 7 "The Rules of the Game", French film directed by Jean Renoir, starring Nora Gregor and Paulette Dubost, premieres in Paris

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jul 13 Frank Sinatra makes his recording debut

Singer and Actor Frank Sinatra
Singer and Actor
Frank Sinatra
  • Aug 6 1st broadcast of "Dinah Shore Show" on NBC-radio

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Aug 8 7th Venice Film Festival opens with a United States boycott due to Benito Mussolini's Fascist Italian regime

Italian Dictator Benito Mussolini
Italian Dictator
Benito Mussolini

Film release premierFilm Premier

Aug 15 "The Wizard of Oz", American musical fantasy film directed by Victor Fleming and King Vidor, premieres at Grauman's Chinese Theatre, Hollywood, starring Judy Garland (Dorothy), Ray Bolger (Scarecrow), Jack Haley (Tin Man), Bert Lahr (Cowardly Lion), Frank Morgan (Wizard), Billie Burke (Glinda), and Margaret Hamilton (Wicked Witch)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Oct 11 Gertrude Lawrence's "Skylark" premieres in NYC

Actress and Musical Performer Gertrude Lawrence
Actress and Musical Performer
Gertrude Lawrence

Film release premierFilm Release

Oct 17 "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington", directed by Frank Capra and starring Jimmy Stewart and Jean Arthur, is released

Film Director Frank Capra
Film Director
Frank Capra
Actor Jimmy Stewart
Actor
Jimmy Stewart
  • Nov 6 WRGB TV channel 6 in Schenectady-Alby-Troy, NY (CBS) 1st broadcast

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Nov 9 "Ninotchka" with Greta Garbo premieres

Actress Greta Garbo
Actress
Greta Garbo

Film release premierFilm Premier

Dec 15 "Gone With the Wind", drama film directed by Victor Fleming and starring Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh, premieres in Atlanta (Best Picture 1940, inflation not adjusted highest-grossing film of all time)

Film release premierFilm Release

Dec 30 "Of Mice and Men", starring Burgess Meredith as George, Lon Chaney Jr. as Lennie, is released