1939 in film

1939 in film

The year 1939 in film involved some significant events.


Movie historians and film buffs often look back on the year 1939 as "the greatest year in film history". Hollywood was at the height of its Golden Age, and this particular year saw the release of an unusually large number of exceptional movies, many of which have been honored as all-time classics, when multitudes of other films of the era have been largely forgotten.

August 15 - "The Wizard of Oz" premieres in the US.

December 15 - "Gone with the Wind" premieres in Atlanta, Georgia, USA with a 3-day festival.

Top grossing films (U.S.)

Academy Awards

* Best Picture: "Gone with the Wind" - David O. Selznick, MGM
* Best Director: Victor Fleming - "Gone with the Wind"
* Best Actor: Robert Donat - "Goodbye, Mr. Chips"
* Best Actress: Vivien Leigh - "Gone with the Wind"
* Best Supporting Actor: Thomas Mitchell - "Stagecoach"
* Best Supporting Actress: Hattie McDaniel - "Gone with the Wind"

Films released in 1939

* "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes"
* "Andy Hardy Gets Spring Fever", starring Lewis Stone, Mickey Rooney, Cecilia Parker, and Fay Holden
* "Another Thin Man", starring William Powell and Myrna Loy
* "The Arsenal Stadium Mystery"
* "Ask a Policeman"
* "At the Circus"
* "Babes in Arms"
* "Bachelor Mother"
* "Barricade"
* "Beau Geste", starring Gary Cooper and Ray Milland
* "Boys' Reformatory"
* "Dark Victory", starring Bette Davis (favorite role)
* "Daughter of The Tong"
* "Destry Rides Again", starring James Stewart
* "Dodge City", starring Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland
* "Drums Along the Mohawk", directed by John Ford, starring Henry Fonda and Claudette Colbert
* "Each Dawn I Die"
* "Everything Happens At Night"
* "The Four Feathers" starring John Clements and Ralph Richardson
* "Five Came Back" starringLucille Ball
* "Frontier Marshal"
* "Gone with the Wind", starring Clark Gable and Vivian Leigh
* "Goodbye, Mr. Chips", starring Robert Donat and Greer Garson
* "The Gorilla" (1939)
* "Gulliver's Travels"
* "The Hardys Ride High", starring Lewis Stone, Mickey Rooney, Cecilia Parker, and Fay Holden
* "Hollywood Cavalcade", starring Alice Faye, Don Ameche, J. Edward Bromberg, Alan Curtis
* "The Hound of the Baskervilles", starring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce
* "The Hunchback of Notre Dame", starring Charles Laughton and Maureen O'Hara
* " The Marines Fly High", starring Lucille Ball
* "In Name Only", starring Cary Grant, Carole Lombard and Kay Francis
* "Intermezzo", starring Ingrid Bergman and Leslie Howard
* "Jamaica Inn", by Alfred Hitchcock
* "Jesse James", starring Tyrone Power, Henry Fonda, Nancy Kelly, and Randolph Scott
* "Judge Hardy and Son" Starring Lewis Stone, Mickey Rooney, Cecilia Parker, and Fay Holden
* "King Of The Underworld"
* "Le Jour se lève" ("Daybreak")
* "Let Us Live" starring Maureen O'Sullivan and Henry Fonda
* "The Light that Failed", starring Ronald Colman
* "Love Affair"
* "Mexicali Rose", starring Gene Autry
* "Midnight"
* "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington", starring James Stewart, Jean Arthur, and Claude Rains
* "Of Mice and Men", starring Burgess Meredith, Betty Field, Lon Chaney Jr.
* "On Dress Parade", starring The Dead End Kids
* "Only Angels Have Wings", with Cary Grant and Jean Arthur
* "On Your Toes", screenplay by the playwright Lawrence Riley et al. (film mentioned in article)
* "Ninotchka", starring Greta Garbo
* "The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex"
* "Q Planes", starring Ralph Richardson and Sir Laurence Olivier
* "Range War", a Hopalong Cassidy western starring William Boyd
* "The Roaring Twenties"
* "The Rules of the Game" ("La règle du jeu"), by Jean Renoir
* "Seven Little Australians" directed by Arthur Greville Collins
* "The Son of Frankenstein", starring Boris Karloff
* "The Spy in Black"
* "Stagecoach", directed by John Ford, starring John Wayne, Claire Trevor, Berton Churchill
* "Stanley and Livingstone", starring Spencer Tracy and Sir Cedric Hardwicke
* "The Story of the Last Chrysanthemums"
* "The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle"
* "Three Texas Steers", starring John Wayne, directed by George Sherman
* "The Wizard of Oz", starring Judy Garland and Ray Bolger
* "The Women", with Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford and Rosalind Russell
* "Wuthering Heights", starring Merle Oberon, Sir Laurence Olivier, David Niven and Flora Robson
* "Wyoming Outlaw", starring John Wayne, directed by George Sherman
* "Young Mr. Lincoln", directed by John Ford, starring Henry Fonda


* "Buck Rogers", starrng Buster Crabbe
* "Dick Tracy's G-Men", starring Ralph Byrd
* "Daredevils of the Red Circle, starring Herman Brix and Charles B. Middleton
* "Flying G-Men"
* "The Lone Ranger Rides Again"
* "Mandrake the Magician, starring Warren Hull
* "The Oregon Trail"
* "Overland with Kit Carson"
* "The Phantom Creeps", starring Bela Lugosi
* "Scouts to the Rescue"
* "Zorro's Fighting Legion", starring Reed Hadley

Short film series

* "Buster Keaton" (1917-1941)
*"Laurel and Hardy" (1921-1943)
*"Charley Chase" (1924-1940)
* "Our Gang" (1922-1944)

Animated short film series

* "Krazy Kat" (1925-1940)
* "Mickey Mouse" (1928-1953)
* "Silly Symphonies" (1929-1939)
* "Looney Tunes" (1930-1969)
* "Terrytoons" (1930-1964)
* "Merrie Melodies" (1931-1969)
* "Scrappy" (1931-1941)
* "Betty Boop" (1932-1939)
* "Popeye" (1933-1957)
* "Color Rhapsodies" (1934-1949)
* "Donald Duck" (1937-1956)
* "Walter Lantz Cartunes (also known as New Universal Cartoons or Cartune Comedies)" (1938-1942)
* "The Captain and the Kids" (1938-1939)
* "Goofy" (1939-1955)
* "Andy Panda" (1939-1949)
* "Nertsery Rhyme Cartoons" (1939)
* "Crackpot Cruise Cartoons" (1939)
* "Lil' Eightball" (1939)
* "Count Screwloose and J.R." (1939)


* January 10 - Sal Mineo, actor (+ 1976)
* February 3 - Michael Cimino, director
* February 6 - Mike Farrell, American actor
* February 9 - Janet Suzman, actress
* March 5 - Samantha Eggar, actress
* April 7 - Francis Ford Coppola, director, producer, writer
* April 12 - Alan Ayckbourn, writer
* April 13 - Paul Sorvino, actor
* May 13 - Harvey Keitel, actor
* May 19 - Nancy Kwan, actress
* May 25 - Ian McKellen, actor
* May 30 - Michael J. Pollard, actor
* July 30 - Peter Bogdanovich, director
* July 31 - France Nuyen, actress
* August 2 - Wes Craven, director, producer, writer
* August 12 - George Hamilton, actor
* August 25 - John Badham, director
* August 29 - Joel Schumacher, director
* August 30 - Elizabeth Ashley, actress
* September 1 - Lily Tomlin, actress
* September 18 - Frankie Avalon, actor, singer
* September 29 - Larry Linville, American actor (d. April 10, 2000)
* October 8 - Paul Hogan, actor
* October 22 - Tony Roberts, actor
* October 24 - F. Murray Abraham, actor
* October 27 - John Cleese, actor
* October 28 - Jane Alexander, actress
* November 22 - Allen Garfield, actor

Film Debuts

* Veronica Lake
* Anne Gwynne


* June 9 - Owen Moore, actor
* August 23 - Sidney Howard, writer
* September 24 - Carl Laemmle, producer
* October 23 - Zane Grey, writer
* December 12 - Douglas Fairbanks, actor

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