Cinema 1935: You Must Remember This…Events, Trends, Movies, Star

Cineliteracy: What You Need to Know about 1935 as a Movie Year


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February 23:

Gene Autry stars as the Singing Cowboy in the serial The Phantom Empire, resulting in becoming the top Western star from 1937 to 1942, way before John Wayne.

February 27:

Shirley Temple, age 7, wins the first ever Oscar Juvenile Award.


Republic Pictures is formed after merger of smaller companies including Monogram Pictures, Mascot Pictures, Liberty Pictures and Majestic Pictures.

May 31:

Fox Film and Twentieth Century Pictures merge to form 20th Century Fox.

August 15:

Will Rogers, the Top Money Making Star, dies in a plane crash.

August 25:

William Boyd appears in the first of 66 films as Hopalong Cassidy in Hop-Along Cassidy.


Judy Garland signs a contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM).

September 5:

Gene Autry appears in his first film for Republic Pictures, Tumbling Tumbleweeds, named after his second million-selling record.

November 30:

The British film Scrooge, the first talking version of Charles Dickens’ novel A Christmas Carol, opens in the U.S. Seymour Hicks plays Ebenezer Scrooge, a role he had played onstage.

Box-Office Hits: 20 Top Films

Top-grossing films (U.S.)

Rank Title Studio Box office

1. Mutiny on the Bounty (Best Picture Oscar winner) MGM, $2,250,000

2 Top Hat RKO Radio Pictures $1,782,000

3 China Seas Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer $1,710,000

4 The Crusades Paramount Pictures $1,700,000

5 Broadway Melody of 1936 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer $1,655,000

6 David Copperfield $1,621,000

7 Love Me Forever Columbia Pictures $1,600,000

8 Steamboat Round the Bend 20th Century Fox $1,528,000

9 The Lives of a Bengal Lancer Paramount Pictures $1,500,000

10 Roberta RKO Radio Pictures $1,467,000


Two of the top-grossing movies were Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers movie musicals.

Four of the 10 popular features are movie musicals, signaling the height of this genre during the Depression era.

Most Popular Movie Stars (by rank)

Shirley Temple

Will Rogers

Clark Gable

Fred Astaire–Ginger Rogers

Joan Crawford

Claudette Colbert

Dick Powell

Wallace Beery

Joe E. Brown

James Cagney


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