Events in Film & Television in 1940

  • Jan 22 1st radio broadcast of "Road to Happiness" on CBS

Film release premierFilm Release

Jan 24 "The Grapes of Wrath", directed by John Ford and based on John Steinbeck's novel of the same name, starring Henry Fonda and Jane Darwell, is released

Actor Henry Fonda
Actor
Henry Fonda
Film director John Ford
Film director
John Ford
Author John Steinbeck
Author
John Steinbeck
  • Feb 1 NBC performs the first inter-city television broadcast from its station in New York City to another in Schenectady, New York by General Electric relay antennas.

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Feb 2 Frank Sinatra's singing debut in Indianapolis (Tommy Dorsey Orchestra)

Singer and Actor Frank Sinatra
Singer and Actor
Frank Sinatra

Film release premierFilm Premier

Feb 7 Walt Disney's second feature length movie, "Pinocchio" premieres (NYC)

Animator Walt Disney
Animator
Walt Disney

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Feb 10 "Tom & Jerry" cartoon created by William Hanna & Joseph Barbera debut by MGM

Animator William Hanna
Animator
William Hanna
Animator Joseph Barbera
Animator
Joseph Barbera
  • Feb 23 Walt Disney's animated movie "Pinocchio" released

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Feb 29 Hattie McDaniel becomes 1st African American woman to win an Oscar for "Gone with the Wind"

Film tv awardsFilm Awards

Feb 29 12th Academy Awards: "Gone with the Wind" wins eight Oscars, Robert Donat & Vivien Leigh also win

  • Mar 23 1st radio broadcast of "Truth or Consequences" on CBS

Film release premierFilm Premier

Mar 27 "Rebecca" based on the book by Daphne du Maurier, directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine premieres in Los Angeles (Best Picture 1941)

  • Apr 21 1st $64 Question, "Take It or Leave It," on CBS Radio
  • Apr 29 1st radio broadcast of "Young Dr Malone" on CBS

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Jun 18 General Charles de Gaulle on BBC tells French to defy Nazi occupiers

French President Charles de Gaulle
French President
Charles de Gaulle
  • Jun 19 "Brenda Starr", 1st cartoon strip by a woman, appears in Chicago
  • Jun 29 Batman Comics, mobsters rubbed out a circus highwire team known as the Flying Graysons, leaving their son Dick (Robin) an orphan
  • Jun 30 "Brenda Starr" cartoon strip, by Dale Messick, 1st appears for the Chicago Tribune Syndicate
  • Jul 19 Nazi occupiers in Netherlands forbid anti-nazi films
  • Aug 3 German occupiers forbid ritual slaughters & English & French movies
  • Sep 4 CBS begins broadcasting TV as station W2XAB

Film release premierFilm Release

Oct 15 "The Great Dictator", a satiric social commentary film by and starring Charlie Chaplin released

Comedian/Actor/Filmaker Charlie Chaplin
Comedian/Actor/Filmaker
Charlie Chaplin

Film release premierFilm Premier

Oct 30 Film premiere of "One Night in the Tropics" first film for Abbott and Costello Paterson New Jersey.

Comedian and Actor Lou Costello
Comedian and Actor
Lou Costello
  • Nov 10 Walt Disney begins serving as an informer for the Los Angeles office of the FBI; his job is to report back information on Hollywood subversives.
  • Nov 13 "Fantasia" animated film by Walt Disney, starring Leopold Stokowski and Deems Taylor, is released

Film release premierFilm Release

Dec 26 "The Philadelphia Story" film directed by George Cukor, based on the Broadway play of the same name and starring Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn, is released (Academy Awards Best Actor 1941)