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    The Kid (1921)
  21/1 -

Charlie Chaplin’s first feature film, The Kid, premieres at Carnegie Hall in New York.   1 1/2 years in the making, it stars Chaplin with newcomer Jackie Coogan in the title role.   Chaplin receives a $1.5million advance from First National plus 50% of the net after First National recover the advance. [MORE] [ADD]

    The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921)
  6/3 -

Rex Ingram’s The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse is released and propels its young star, Rudolph Valentino, towards superstardom.   The film is still making money in November following a recall of the prints so that Valentino can be given star billing rather than the support status he was originally afforded. [MORE] [ADD]

  10/5 -

Abel Gance holds a screening of the American version of his acclaimed J’Accuse for press and cinema owners at the Ritz in New York. [MORE] [ADD]

  13/5 -

The animated short The Goose that Laid the Golden Egg, the first of cartoonist Paul Terry’s Aesop’s Film Fables, is released. [MORE] [ADD]

    Pearl White
  7/6 -

Serial star Pearl White is discovered alive and well after being lost in the mountains for more than 16 hours. [MORE] [ADD]

  1/7 -

Following scathing French reviews of Fred Niblo’s The Three Musketeers, its star, Douglas Fairbanks, vows “never to put a foot in France again”  [MORE] [ADD]

    The three Musketeers (1921)
  28/8 -

Fred Niblo’s The Three Musketeers, starring Douglas Fairbanks, is released, further consolidating the star’s position as an action hero and marking a move away from his usual light comedies. [MORE] [ADD]

  30/8 -

The Federal Trade Commission accuses Famous Players-Lasky of block-booking, the practice whereby exhibitors must take packages of films unseen in order to obtain copies of major films. [MORE] [ADD]

    Orphans of the Storm (1921)
  31/8 -

D. W. Griffith builds a $150,000 replica of an 18th century French village for his latest film, Orphans of the Storm. [MORE] [ADD]

    Roscoe Arbuckle Virginia Rappe Maude Delmont
  10/9 -

Roscoe ‘Fatty’ Arbuckle is charged with the rape of actress Virginia Rappe, who died of peritonitis following a party held by Arbuckle at the Saint Francis Hotel in San Francisco.   Arbuckle pleads his innocence after Maude Delmont, a friend of Rappe’s, accuses him of the rape. [MORE] [ADD]

    The Affairs of Anatol (1921)
  25/9 -

Cecil B. DeMille’s film version of Arthur Schnitzler’s scandalous 1890’s play, Anatol, is released.   The Affairs of Anatol stars heartthrob Wallace Reid and Gloria Swanson. [MORE] [ADD]

    Stan Laurel (sitting) and Oliver Hardy (above Laurel) in A Lucky Dog (1921)
  Oct -

Sun-Life Pictures release The Lucky Dog, which was filmed in 1919.   The film is noticeable only for the fact that it marks the first pairing of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy.   Hardy plays a thief who robs Laurel at gunpoint. [MORE] [ADD]

    The Sheik (1921)
  20/11 -

The Sheik, directed by George Melford and starring Rudolph Valentino, is released.   Supporting cast includes Agnes Ayres, Patsy Ruth Miller, George Waggner, Frank Butler, Lucien Littlefold and Adolphe Menjou. [MORE] [ADD]

  27/11 -

Following Metro Pictures refusal to increase Rudolph Valentino’s weekly salary to $450, the actor moves to Paramount, who offer him $500. [MORE] [ADD]

  6/12 -

Max Linder’s Be My Wife is released.   As well as co-starring with Alta Allen, the French comedian also produced and directed. [MORE] [ADD]

    Ernst Lubitsch
  24/12 -

Ernst Lubitsch arrives in America to promote his film The Loves of Pharaoh, and to consider offers from Hollywood producers. [MORE] [ADD]

    Tol'able David (1921)
  31/12 -

Henry King’s version of Joseph Hergesheimer’s Tol’able David is released.   Richard Barthelmess, the star,  purchased the film rights from director D. W. Griffith for $7,500, and formed his own production company, Inspiration Pictures, to get the film made. [MORE] [ADD]

  31/12 -

Paramount Pictures announce that they produced a total of 101 feature films in 1921 – the most ever produced by a single studio to date. [MORE] [ADD]


First National and United Artists both open distribution branches in France.  [MORE] [ADD]


George W. Bingham is awarded a patent for his Widescope film system, which uses 70mm stock which is slit during processing and screened on two interlocked 35mm projectors. [MORE] [ADD]


– The 8,000-seater Capitol Theater in New York becomes the world’s largest cinema.  [MORE] [ADD]


Other Films of Note

    Dream Street (1921)

Camille (Ray C. Smallwood) [MORE] [ADD]


Dream Street (D. W. Griffith) [MORE] [ADD]


Fool’s Paradise (Cecil B. DeMille) [MORE] [ADD]


The Garden of Allah (Herbert Brenon) [MORE] [ADD]


The Idle Class (Charles Chaplin) [MORE] [ADD]


The Prisoner of Zenda (Dave and Max Fleischer) [MORE] [ADD]


The Queen of Sheba (J. Gordon Edwards) [MORE] [ADD]



USA: 1920

USA: 1922


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