Bwana Devil became the first 3-D sound film to be released. Paramount’s wrap-around, big-screen Cinerama format debuted . The technique required three cameras, three projectors, interlocking, semi-curved screens, and four-track stereo sound. This Is Cinerama was the first Cinerama film shown to the public. Cinerama was the first real widescreen feature film format. The gimmicks were aimed at attracting TV watchers back to the movie theaters. The Screen Actors Guild (SAG) negotiated the first contracts that granted performers-actors residuals paid by studios for feature films sold to television.
Charlie Chaplin released his last American film, Limelight. During post-production, he traveled to Europe for premieres of the film in London and Paris. His INS application for re-entry into the U.S. was revoked by Attorney General James McGranery, who called Chaplin an “unsavory character”. Although Chaplin promised to return and answer charges, he broke ties with the U.S. after his wife Oona returned to Los Angeles in early 1953 to get his assets out of the US. Chaplin resided in Switzerland until his death in late 1977.
After appearing and testifying before the House Un-American Activities Committee, where he was accused of being involved with the Communist Party and refused to name names, actor John Garfield was blacklisted. He died on May 21. It is speculated that the 39 year-old actor, already suffering from long-term heart problems brought on by a childhood illness, suffered his fatal heart attack due to the resultant stress.
Charlie Chaplin on the set of Limelight
In Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer, The U.S. Supreme Court limited the power of the President to seize private business after President Harry S. Truman nationalized all steel mills in the United States just before a steel strike began.
Dr. C. Walton Lillehei and Dr. F. John Lewis performed the first open-heart surgery at the University of Minnesota. The surgery was made possible by the first use of a mechanical heart developed by General Motors. The Pulitzer Prize for Literature was awarded to The Caine Mutiny by Herman Wouk. Billboard ranked “Blue Tango”, an instrumental performed by Leroy Anderson, as the number one hit of 1952.
15 Feb 1952, London, England, UK — London crowds line the route of the procession carrying the coffin of King George VI. The king reigned from 1936 until his death in February 1952. | Location: Edgeware Road, London, England, UK. — Image by © Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS
The first British nuclear weapon was detonated in Australia making the United Kingdom the third nuclear weapons state The Treaty of San Francisco went into effect formally ending the war between Japan and the Allies and simultaneously ending the occupation of the four main Japanese islands. Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl was published. The first successful sex reasignment surgery was performed in Copenhagen, letting George Jorgensen Jr. become Christine Jorgensen.
King George VI died at age 56 after a long illness. His daughter Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh (now Elizabeth II), was proclaimed queen shortly thereafter. Her coronation did not take place until 1953, due to the traditional period of mourning for the late king.
The list of the films I will select from is here. I have previously reviewed the following 1952 films on this site: Forbidden Games; The Narrow Margin; Kansas City Confidential; Scandal Sheet; Angel Face; and The Sniper.
1952 Oscar Winners – montage of stills