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The History of American Cinema: 1963











January - August


The Great Escape (1963)







6/2 -

A report in Variety claims that 20th Century-Fox has received advances of $8.35 million from exhibitors for Cleopatra. [ADD]





26/3 -

Following the appointment of Darryl F. Zanuck as president, 20th Century-Fox shares stand at $29, compared to $25 in June 1962. [ADD]





28/3 -

Alfred Hitchcock’s adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s The Birds is released.   Written by Evan Hunter, the film, in which birds terrorise the inhabitants of a small community, stars Rod Taylor and Tippi Hedren. [ADD]





4/4 -

French director Jean Renoir is made Doctor honoris causa of the University of Southern California. [ADD]





8/4 -

Blockbusters Lawrence of Arabia and The Longest Day battle it out for the Best Picture Award at the 35th Annual Academy Awards Ceremony. [MORE]





29/5 -

Martin Ritt’s sombre contemporary western Hud, is released.   Paul Newman stars in the title role with support from Melvyn Douglas, Brandon de Wilde and Patricia Neal. [ADD]





4/6 -

Jerry Lewis directs, co-writes (with Bill Richmond) and stars in The Nutty Professor, a parody of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.   It is the fourth film Lewis has directed since his split from partner Dean Martin. [ADD]

    Cleopatra (1963)




12/6 -

Walter Wanger’s production of Cleopatra, directed by Joseph L. Manckiewicz premieres at the Rivoli Theater in New York.   The film cost $40 million to make, and began filming nearly three years earlier in September 1960.   Largely delayed because of leading lady Elizabeth Taylor’s illnesses, the shoot began in earnest in Rome in March 1961.   The real-life affair between Taylor and her co-star Richard Burton add a resonance to the on-screen affair between their Cleopatra and Marc Anthony. [ADD]





18/6 -

50-year-old Mexican actor Pedro Armendáriz shoots himself through the heart after being diagnosed with terminal cancer.   One of Mexico’s biggest film stars, he was familiar to world audiences through his roles in John Ford movies The Fugitive (1947), Fort Apache (1948) and Three Godfathers (1949). [ADD]





25/6 -

Film studios are accused of racism by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) who cite 20th Century-Fox’s The Longest Day as an example.   There are no black actors in the film, despite 1,700 black soldiers taking part in the D-Day Normandy landings. [ADD]





4/7 -

Bank Holiday favourite The Great Escape is released.   Steve McQueen stars as ‘the cooler king’ who leads a mass break-out from a German prisoner-of-war camp.   James Garner, Richard Attenborough and Charles Bronson also star. [ADD]





18/8 -

Screenwriter Clifford Odets dies of cancer at the age of 57. [ADD]





20/8 -

A meeting between the NAACP and film producers results in the negotiation of a quota agreement for the employment of black actors. [ADD]





The History of Cinema: 1963

    Algeria - Hungary
    Gt. Britain
    India - Japan
    Kyrgyzstan - Vietnam
    USA September - December


USA: 1962

USA: 1964




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