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On this date: 'How Green Was My Valley,' 'Bullitt,' 'Maltese Falcon' premiere, more

On this date in Hollywood history -- October edition: "How Green Was My Valley," "The Maltese Falcon," "How Green Was My Valley," "Bullitt," "The Red Shoes" and "All About Eve" premiere, birthday for Carole Lombard and Jean Arthur makes her screen debut a hundred years ago and more ... 

Discover what happened on days throughout October in Hollywood history, from historic film premieres and industry milestones to anniversaries of birthdays/deaths of beloved Old Hollywood figures, and more. (And explore previous months)

This story will be updated throughout the month

October 28

Maureen O’Hara plays the sad and stoic bride with a windswept wedding veil in John Ford’s “How Green Was My Valley,” which premiered October 28, 1941. Walter Pidgeon is her true love, observing from afar, with his yearning and loneliness evident even in silhouette.

In her memoir, O’Hara recalls the memorable scene: “I later read a book about the picture in which the author praised the scene and said it was typical ‘John Ford luck’ that the wind gave him such a beautiful image. Rubbish. The book made me so damn mad. Mr. Ford had wind machines blowing until he got that shot exactly the way he wanted it.”

October 27

The generation-defining “Rebel Without a Cause” with James Dean was released October 27, 1955, a month after Dean died in a car crash. The huge hit was sandwiched between his two other starring roles: “East of Eden” (1955) and “Giant” (1956), also released after his death.

“Rebel Without a Cause” also starred Natalie Wood and Sal Mineo, who both received Academy Award nominations for their performances.

October 22

The magic and tragic “The Red Shoes” made its U.S. premiere in New York City on October 22, 1948. At 75 years old, “The Red Shoes” is timely and timeless, with Moira Shearer as the ballerina reckoning her career and love.

October 17

Is there anything cooler than Steve McQueen in 1968’s “Bullitt”? Other than Steve McQueen in just about anything?

“Bullitt” was released in theaters 55 years ago on October 17, 1968, and the iconic car chase scene kept – and keeps – audiences on the edge of their seats. 

Watch more of the scene

October 17

The sometimes overlooked and underrated Jean Arthur marks some major milestones this week …

🎬 100 years ago, she made her screen debut in John Ford’s silent “Cameo Kirby” (October 1923).

🍿 One of her classics, “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” was released this week in 1939. She starred with James Stewart and Thomas Mitchell in the Frank Capra favorite.

🎂 And her birthday is also this week! Jean Arthur was born October 17, 1900.

Some of her work, from the silent era into the 1950s, in these photos:

  • Publicity photo
  • “Cameo Kirby” (1923)
  • “The Talk of the Town” (1942) with Cary Grant
  • “You Can’t Take It With You” (1938)
  • “Mr. Deeds Goes to Town” (1936) with Gary Cooper
  • “The Canary Murder Case” (1929) with Louise Brooks. Also starring William Powell
  • “The Saturday Night Kid” (1929) with Clara Bow
  • “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” (1939) with James Stewart
  • “Shane” (1953)
  • “The More the Merrier” (1943) with Charles Coburn peeking in the window. Also starring Joel McCrea

October 13

The inimitable Bette Davis as Margo Channing in “All About Eve,” which premiered in New York City on October 13, 1950.

The movie was a hit at the box office and with critics, earning Davis an Oscar nomination as Best Actress and the movie itself winning the Best Picture award.

Davis’ line – "Fasten your seatbelts. It's going to be a bumpy night” – from this popular scene has made it into pop culture, memes and numerous “best movie quotes” lists.

October 6

Before she was movie star Carole Lombard, she was one of Mack Sennett’s “Bathing Beauties,” a series of actresses who appeared in the movie-maker’s slapstick short films. Lombard’s glamour, athleticism and screwball skills are already at play as a vain collegiate track star in the 1928 comedy short “Run, Girl, Run” (warning: it’s full of fat jokes and some now-questionable sight gags typical of the time). 

Lombard (born October 6, 1908; died January 16, 1942) would be launched into major stardom by the 1930s before her death in a 1942 plane crash. 

Watch the full 20-minute comedy short of an early Carole Lombard

October 3

Bogie in 1941’s “The Maltese Falcon” – classic movies at their most classic: Humphrey Bogart starring as Sam Spade from Dashiell Hammett’s book, directed by John Huston in his debut, who also adapted the screenplay, and with an all-star cast of classic movie fan favs – Mary Astor, Gladys George, Ward Bond, Peter Lorre and Sydney Greenstreet. 

“The Maltese Falcon” premiered October 3 in New York and was released widely later in the month. 

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