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George Cukor Timeline







George Cukor


George Cukor Timeline - 1899-1940

  7/7 - George Cukor is born George Dewey Cukor on the Lower East Side of New York City to assistant District Attorney Victor and Helen Ilona, both Hungarian Jewish immigrants. He grows up at 222 East 68th Street with his sister Elsie, his parents and grandparents. [ADD]
    - Appears in a recital with David O. Selznick. [ADD]
    - Graduates from DeWitt Clinton High School. [ADD]
    - Enrols in the City College of New York. [ADD]
  Oct - Joins the Students Army Training Corps. [ADD]
    - Begins working as assistant stage manager and actor on a touring production of the popular British musical The Better 'Ole. [ADD]
    - Becomes stage manager for the Knickerbocker Players. [ADD]
    - Becomes actor and Co-Manager of the newly-formed Lyceum Players in Rochester. [ADD]
    - Acts on the Broadway stage. [ADD]
    - Becomes Director and co-producer of The Lyceum Players with George Kondolf Jr. Members of the troupe include Louis Calhern, Frank Morgan, Reginald Owen, Douglass Montgomery, Miriam Hopkins, Robert Montgomery, Billie Burke, Ruth Gordon, Marjorie Rambeau, Dorothy Gish and - briefly - Bette Davis. [ADD]
  20/10 - Makes his Broadway directorial debut at the Empire Theatre with Hungarian playwright (and co-director) Melchior Lengvel's Antonia. The show runs for 55 performances, closing in December 1925. [ADD]
  2/2 - Cukor's Broadway adaptation of The Great Gatsby opens at the Ambassador Theatre and is a hit with the critics. [ADD]
    - The Lyceum Players becomes the Cukor-Kondolf Company when the troupe is forced to move from the Lyceum Theatre to the Temple Theatre. [ADD]
    River of Romance (1929)
  Feb - With the advent of talking pictures, Cukor leaves Broadway for Hollywood to work as a dialogue director for Paramount Pictures on a salary of $600 per week. His first assignment is to teach the cast of River of Romance to talk with a Southern accent. [ADD]
  Oct - Paramount lend Cukor to Universal where he conducts screen tests and acts as dialogue coach on Lewis Milestone's All Quiet on the Western Front. His method of teaching irritates the cast and he later claims not to have been invited to the studio end-of-shoot party. [ADD]
  1/8 - Grumpy, Cukor’s first directing credited (co-directed with Cyril Gardner), is released. [ADD]
  24/10 - The Virtuous Sin, co-directed with Louis J. Gasnier, is released. [ADD]
  22/12 - The Royal Family of Broadway, co-directed with Louis Gasnier, is released. [ADD]
    Tarnished Lady (1931)
  2/5 - Tarnished Lady, Cukor’s first sole directorial credit, is released. [ADD]
  7/11 - The risqué pre-Code Girls About Town, in which Kay Francis and Lillian Tashman play a couple of gold-diggers on the loose, is released. [ADD]
  Mar - Files suit against Paramount Pictures when they ask him to relinquish the director's credit on One Hour With You to the film's producer, Ernst Lubitsch. Cukor eventually settles for a dialogue director credit and leaves Paramount to work with David O. Selznick at RKO. He receives a co-director credit with Lubitsch for the French-language version Une heure pres de toi. [ADD]
    - MGM release Cukor from his contract. He is put under contract with RKO. [ADD]
  24/6 - What Price Hollywood?, in which Lowell Sherman plays an alcoholic director (based partly on himself) whose career declines as that of his protégé (Colleen Moore) takes off, is released. [ADD]
  30/9 - A Bill of Divorcement, for which Cukor directs Katharine Hepburn for the first time (in her screen debut) is released. The couple become firm friends, and will collaborate a further nine times over the next forty-seven years. [ADD]
  25/11 - Rockabye is released. The film was originally directed by George Fitzmaurice, loaned by RKO from MGM, but producer David Selznick was so unhappy with the result that he called in Cukor to virtually re-shoot the entire film (with Joel McCrea replacing leading man Phillips Holmes) in eighteen days. [ADD]
    Little Women (1933)
  17/3 - Our Betters, an adaptation of his friend Somerset Maugham’s successful stage play, is released. The film flops at the box office. [ADD]
  24/11 - Little Women is released. The film, which is produced by David Selznick, has a $1 million budget and employs a total of 4,000 people. It is nominated for the Best Picture Academy Award, but loses to Cavalcade. [ADD]
  28/12 - Cukor directs an all-star ensemble cast including John Barrymore, Jean Harlow, Wallace Beery and Lionel Barrymore, in Dinner at Eight. [ADD]
  Apr - Shoots additional scenes for Manhattan Melodrama after its’ 14th April premiere because W. S. Van Dyke, the film’s original director, is already working on his next project, The Thin Man. [ADD]
    David Copperfield (1935)
  18/1 - David Copperfield is released. Working with Selznick once more, Cukor successfully manages to capture the essence of the Dickensian characters. The film is nominated for the Best Picture Academy Award, but fails to win. [ADD]
  14/6 - No More Ladies, a romantic comedy starring Robert Montgomery and Joan Crawford is released. Cukor took the helm when director Edward H. Griffith fell ill with pneumonia but refused a co-director credit. [ADD]
  12/12 - The premiere of Sylvia Scarlett takes place. Katharine Hepburn spends most of the film disguised as a boy, and the reviews are terrible. Cukor and Hepburn jointly offer to make another film for Pandro S. Berman without pay, but he refuses. [ADD]
    - Signs with MGM. [ADD]
  14/9 - The premiere of Romeo and Juliet takes place at the Carthay Circle Theater in Los Angeles. The event is marred by the news that its’ producer, Irving Thalberg, has died of pneumonia. [ADD]
  12/12 - The premiere of Camille takes place at the Plaza Theater in Palm Springs. [ADD]
    - David O. Selznick hires Cukor to direct his proposed screen adaptation of Margaret Mitchell's yet-to-be-published novel, Gone With the Wind. [ADD]
    Holiday (1938)
  14/1 - I Met My Love Again, to which Cukor makes an un-credited contribution, is released. [ADD]
  11/2 - The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, for which Cukor (and William Wellman) directed retakes and additional scenes, is released. [ADD]
  15/6 - The romantic comedy Holiday, which once again re-unites Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn, is released. [ADD]
  29/12 - The premiere of Zaza takes place in Hollywood. Its’ release follows a prolonged battle with Joseph Breen of the Production Code Administration. [ADD]
  Early - Is fired from the production of Gone With the Wind after filming only a few scenes. The reason for his dismissal is never revealed, although many believe the reason was that leading man Clark Gable felt that Cukor - famously considered to be a ‘woman’s director’ - was favouring Vivien Leigh and Olivia de Havilland in the scenes he shared with them. Cukor also repeatedly clashed with David Selznick over the slow pace of the shoot‘s progress under him. [ADD]
  12/8 - Temporarily assigned to The Wizard of Oz after original director Richard Thorpe is fired. Cukor doesn’t actually film any scenes, but does change Judy Garland’s appearance as Dorothy to that which is seen in the film. [ADD]
  1/9 - The all-female drama The Women is released. Hunt Stromberg assigned Cukor to directing duties as soon as he learned the director had been dismissed from Gone With the Wind. [ADD]
  7/6 - Susan and God, a comedy in which Joan Crawford plays a socialite who finds religion, is released. [ADD]
  26/12 - Cukor’s screen adaptation of the hit Broadway play The Philadelphia Story, is released. Cukor is nominated for the Best Picture Academy Award but loses out to John Ford (Grapes of Wrath). [ADD]


George Cukor




Timeline 1899-1940

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