On This Day

Events in Film & Television in 1951

  • Jan 23 3rd Emmy Awards: Alan Young Show, Alan Young and Gertrude Berg win

Musical Finale

Jan 27 Leonard Bernstein's musical "Peter Pan", starring Jean Arthur and Boris Karloff, closes at Imperial Theater, NYC, after 320 performances

  • Jan 28 "La Vie Commence Demain" the 1st X-rated movie, depicting artificial insemination, opens in London

Television Debut

Feb 3 "Victor Borge Show" debuts on NBC TV

Radio History

Feb 6 Radio commentator Paul Harvey arrested for trying to sneak into Argonne National Laboratory, a nuclear test site located 20 miles (32 km) west of Chicago

  • Feb 10 "John and Marsha" by Stan Freberg, a parody of daytime soap operas which had only two voices repeating each other's names, peaks at #21 in the USA
  • Feb 22 4th British Film and Television Awards (BAFTAs): "All About Eve" Best Film

Golden Globes

Feb 28 8th Golden Globes: "Sunset Boulevard", Jose Ferrer, & Gloria Swanson win

Music Recording

Mar 27 Frank Sinatra records "I'm a Fool to Want You"

Theater Premiere

Mar 29 Rodgers and Hammerstein's musical "The King and I", based on the novel "Anna and the King of Siam", opens at St James Theater, NYC; runs for1 246 performances, winning 5 Tony Awards; Star Yul Brynner would lead the cast of the 1956 film version, and play the role over 4,200 times

Film Premiere

Apr 5 "A Place in the Sun", film adaptation of Theodore Dreiser's "An American Tragedy", directed by George Stevens, starring Montgomery Clift, Elizabeth Taylor and Shelley Winters premieres at the Cannes Film Festival in France

  • Apr 20 4th Cannes Film Festival: "Miss Julie" directed by Alf Sjoberg and "Miracle in Milan" directed by Vittorio De Sica jointly awarded the Grand Prix du Festival International du Film
  • May 14 Ernie Kovacs Show, TV Variety debut on NBC
  • May 28 The Jerry Colonna Show debuts on ABC-TV

Radio Premiere

May 28 Radio programme "Crazy People" (later titled The Goon Show) premieres on the BBC, created by Spike Milligan

  • Jun 6 1st Berlin International Film Festival opens
  • Jun 9 "Doodles Weaver Show" debuts on NBC-TV
  • Jun 22 Gene Rayburn & Dee Finch show premieres on NBC radio

Television Debut

Jun 25 1st color TV broadcast, CBS' Arthur Godfrey from NYC to 4 cities

  • Jun 28 "Amos 'n' Andy" premieres on CBS TV
  • Jun 30 "Victor Borge Show" last airs on NBC-TV
  • Jul 2 "Bob & Ray show" premieres on NBC radio
  • Jul 14 1st color telecast of a sporting event (CBS-horse race)

Film Release

Jul 28 Walt Disney releases animated musical film "Alice In Wonderland", featuring Kathryn Beaumont, J. Pat O'Malley, Ed Wynn, and Sterling Holloway and songs by Sammy Fain and Bob Hilliard

  • Aug 11 First televised baseball game in colour on WCBS in New York City; Boston Braves beat Brooklyn Dodgers, 8-1

Film Premiere

Aug 14 "A Place in the Sun", film adptation of Theodore Dreiser's "An American Tragedy", directed by George Stevens, starring Montgomery Clift, Elizabeth Taylor and Shelley Winters premieres in Los Angeles, California; wins 6 Academy Awards, including Best Director, 1952

Venice Film Festival

Aug 20 12th Venice Film Festival: "Rashomon" directed by Akira Kurosawa wins the Golden Lion

Film Premiere

Aug 26 Film "An American In Paris" with music by George Gershwin, directed by Vincente Minnelli, starring Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron premieres in London (Academy Awards Best Picture, 1952)

  • Sep 3 TV soap opera "Search for Tomorrow" debuts on CBS
  • Sep 4 1st transcontinental TV broadcast, by US President Harry Truman
  • Sep 4 NBC extends to become a 61 station coast-to-coast network
  • Sep 9 1st broadcast of "Love of Life" on CBS-TV

Film Release

Sep 18 "A Streetcar Named Desire", directed by Elia Kazan and based on Tennessee Williams' 1947 play of the same name, starring Marlon Brando and Vivien Leigh, is released

  • Sep 18 "The Day the Earth Stood Still", science fiction film directed by Robert Wise, and starring Michael Rennie, opens
  • Sep 19 1st broadcast of "Search for Tomorrow" on CBS-TV
  • Sep 29 1st color telecast of football game on network, Philadelphia (CBS)
  • Oct 2 1st Netherland TV broadcast (Toverspiegel)
  • Oct 3 CBS-TV airs the first coast-to-coast telecast of a prize fight; Australian light-heavyweight Dave Sands outpoints American Carl 'Bobo' Olson in 10 rounds at Chicago Stadium

Television Debut

Oct 15 "I Love Lucy", starring Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, debuts on CBS

  • Nov 18 Former Cubs 1st baseman & future TV star of Rifleman Chuck Connors is 1st player to oppose the major league draft
  • Dec 16 NBC premiere of "Dragnet" in black and white
  • Dec 23 National Football League Championship, LA Memorial Coliseum: Los Angeles Rams beat Cleveland Browns, 24-17; first coast-to-coast televised NFL title game
  • Dec 24 1st opera commissioned for television - "Amahl and the Night Visitors" by Gian Carlo Menotti premieres on NBC with the NBC Opera Theater

Film Release

Dec 26 "The African Queen", directed by John Huston and based on the 1935 novel of the same name, starring Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn, is released in LA, California (Academy Awards Best Actor 1952)