Timeline of Greatest Film
Milestones and Turning Points
in Film History


The Year 1963

Timeline of Greatest Film History Milestones and Turning Points
(by decade and year)
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1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969

The Year 1963
Year
Event and Significance
1963
Sidney Poitier won the Best Actor Academy Award (awarded in 1964) for Lilies of the Field (1963), thereby becoming the first African-American to win this award. This was the only instance in the 20th century that this award was given to an African-American.
1963
Cleopatra (1963), the most expensive film ever made (in terms of real costs adjusted for inflation) to date opened. It was one of the biggest flops in film history (cost-overruns made the $2 million budget become $44 million). The epic starred Elizabeth Taylor, Rex Harrison, and Richard Burton. Negative publicity was generated by the off-screen extra-marital affair conducted between major stars Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton (as Marc Antony) (married to Eddie Fisher and Sybil Burton respectively) - in the long run, it was beneficial for the film's bottom line, since it became the most expensive film made-to-date, and took two and a half years of filming. The stars' off-screen indiscretions helped (although they were criticized on moral grounds), but it took many years for the film to recoup its enormous costs.
1963

Elizabeth Taylor was the first female star (or actress) to sign and be paid a record $1 million for a film, for her lead role in the legendary epic film Cleopatra (1963) from 20th Century Fox.

1963
The superhero Ironman, an armored metal man of iron or cyborg, was created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, Don Heck and Jack Kirby, and first appeared as billionaire industrialist Tony Stark (loosely based on Howard Hughes) in a Marvel Comics' Tales of Suspense comic-book in March of 1963. It would be 45 years later that the first Ironman film appeared - director Jon Favreau's and Paramount's Iron Man (2008) starring Robert Downey, Jr.
1963
The second Bond film, From Russia With Love (1963), introduced Desmond Llewelyn as 007's gadgets master named Q. This film set the pattern for many Bond films to follow - with many of the requisite elements of the espionage/agent-spy series. Evil, menacing SPECTRE No. 1 villain Ernst Stavro Blofeld (uncredited Anthony Dawson) first appeared with only his hands, in close-up, seen petting a white Persian cat.
1963
Marvel Comics released the first X-Men comic book in September of 1963. It was another Marvel Comics series created by artist Jack Kirby and Stan Lee about peace-keeping mutant characters. It would be 37 years later when the first X-Men film appeared, director Bryan Singer's surprise hit, X-Men (2000) that starred Hugh Jackman as Wolverine/Logan, Halle Berry as Storm, and other colorful characters, in Charles Xavier's (Patrick Stewart) school of mutant X-Men.
1963
Highly controversial Italian poet, provocative filmmaker and intellectual Pier Paolo Pasolini was sentenced to a four months suspended sentence by an Italian court, claiming his contempt for the state religion. It had ruled for the censorship of his episode "La Ricotta" in the four-part anthology film Ro.Go.Pa.G. (1963) (Curd Cheese) (aka "RoGoPaG," signifying its four directors Rossellini, Godard, Pasolini, and Gregoretti). The film depicted a film crew led by a film director (Orson Welles) shooting a film about the crucifixion of Christ.
1963
Jerry Lewis' The Nutty Professor (1963) was released - generally regarded as Lewis' best film, and an updated take-off on the Dr. Jekyll-Mr. Hyde saga (in the form of a nerdy, stammering buck-toothed professor with a bowl haircut named Julius Kelp and his alter-ego - lounge lizard hipster Buddy Love), opposite Stella Stevens as Stella Purdy, the pig-tailed object of his love.
1963
Stanley Kramer's It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World (1963), an epic comedy with a lengthy running time (originally 175 minutes) and a huge cast (present day comedians and cameos from many big-name legendary stars from the past), was the first big-budget, all-star comedy extravaganza.
1963
Ampex, which had developed the world's first practical videotape recorder in 1956 for TV studios, began to offer its first consumer version of a videotape recorder, sold through the Neiman-Marcus Christmas catalogue for $30,000 - a non consumer-friendly price.
1963
Friz Freleng (and David DePatie) created the cool, bluesy 'The Pink Panther' animation with a pink feline character for the opening credits of The Pink Panther (1963).
1963
The low-budget, exploitative, and successful film company - American International Pictures (AIP), founded in 1956, released their first "beach" film (mostly to drive-in theatres), the first of a 'beach movie' cycle of teen films - the musical comedy Beach Party (1963). It was designed to appeal to the lucrative teen market, and was the first of a number of films to star popular singer Frankie Avalon and grown-up ex-Disney Mickey Mouse Club Mousketeer Annette Funicello (as Dolores or "DeeDee" in later films).
1963
The first theater originally designed (by inventor Stanley Durwood of American Multi-Cinema, now AMC Theatres) as a multiplex (a multi-screen movie theatre) opened in the Ward Parkway shopping center in Kansas City - it was called Parkway Twin (for its two screens). Megaplex screens (with up to 24 screens) and stadium-style seating would become additional features.
1963
Director Otto Preminger's and Columbia Studios' independent film The Cardinal (1963) made its debut - it was the first film to be released in Panavision 70, a process (called a "blow-up") which enlarged the 35mm film to 70mm that was then projected onto a wide screen. Other sources have claimed that the first Panavision 70 "blow-up" film was UA's previous year's Taras Bulba (1962).
1963
Director Tony Richardson's Best Picture-winning UK film, a period comedy titled Tom Jones (1963), was noted for its many freewheeling cinematic tricks (a slapstick mock-silent prologue with inter-titles, quick edits, stop-motion, freeze-frames, wipe-cuts, sped-up motion, audience asides and breaking of the fourth wall, tongue-in-cheek narration), and the sexy eating scene cross-cutting between roguish Tom Jones (Albert Finney) and Mrs. Waters (Joyce Redman).
1963
Buxom, platinum blonde sex goddess/siren Jayne Mansfield appeared naked (breasts and buttocks) in the unrated sex farce Promises! Promises! (1963). Mansfield became the first mainstream actress to appear nude in an American feature sound film. (The honor would have been held by Marilyn Monroe in Something's Gotta Give (1962), but she died during production.) The original version was banned in many cities (including Cleveland) and substituted with an edited version. The provocative film was heavily publicized in Playboy's June 1963 issue, with pictures to prove it, that led to the magazine's publisher Hugh Hefner being charged with obscenity (and later acquitted) -- the only time in his life.
1963
Sexploitation director Herschell Gordon Lewis' low-budget cult film Blood Feast (1963) was released (starring Playboy Playmate Connie Mason) - usually considered the first distinctive horror 'splatter' film for its excessive gore, blood, violence, and bodily mutilation. (Claims were made that it was the first horror film in which a tongue was ripped out of a person's mouth.) It was the first film in Lewis' "Blood Trilogy" - followed by 2000 Maniacs! (1964) and Color Me Blood Red (1965). Lewis' career was launched with Blood Feast, he was dubbed "the godfather of gore," and he made a career out of similarly gory, low-budget drive-in films for the next decade (i.e., A Taste of Blood (1967), The Gruesome Twosome (1967), Something Weird (1967), The Wizard of Gore (1970) and The Gore Gore Girls (1972)).


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