1999: Tarzan was the first Disney cartoon film to depict a character’s nipples.
1955: James Dean was killed on 30 September when his new Porsche sports car collided head-on with another car on a California highway. The impact broke the young actor’s neck and crushed his chest; the driver of the other car suffered only minor cuts and bruises. (The other driver’s name, incidentally, was Donald Turnupseed.)
Source: Donald Spoto, Rebel: The Life and Legend of James Dean (1996), pp. 248–9
1932: Howard Hawks, the film director, invited screenwriter and author William Faulkner and actor Clark Gable to go dove hunting. As they drove east from Los Angeles, Hawks and Faulkner began to talk about books. Gable joined in, asking Faulkner to name the best modern writers.
“Ernest Hemingway, Willa Cather, Thomas Mann, John Dos Passos,” Faulkner replied, “and myself.”
“Oh,” said Gable. “Do you write?”
“Yes, Mr. Gable,” said Faulkner. “What do you do?”
Source: Joseph Blotner, Faulkner: A Biography (1984), pp. 309–10
1925: On 21 December, Sergei Eisenstein’s The Battleship Potemkin was first screened at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow. Eisenstein had toiled for three weeks to edit the film in time, and was still putting the finishing touches to it on the opening night.
His assistant Grigori Alexandrov recalled, “I spent the evening riding on a motorcycle between the cutting room and the theatre, carrying the reels one at a time. When Eisenstein was finally happy with the last reel, he sat on the back of my motorcycle with the can of film under his arm. . . . but when we were in the middle of Red Square, and about a quarter of a mile from the Bolshoi, the motorcycle broke down. So we ran the rest of the way!”
At that time, films were shown with a break between each reel. “All went well, except that the break between the last two reels was nearly twenty minutes long!”
Source: Ronald Bergan, Eisenstein: A Life in Conflict (1997), pp. 111–12