On This Day … 23 July [2022]


Events

  • 1926 – Fox Film buys the patents of the Movietone sound system for recording sound onto film.
  • 1962 – Telstar relays the first publicly transmitted, live trans-Atlantic television programme, featuring Walter Cronkite.

People (Births)

  • 1982 – Paul Wesley, American actor, director, and producer.

People (Deaths)

  • 1982 – Vic Morrow, American actor (b. 1929).

Fox Film

The Fox Film Corporation (also known as Fox Studios) was an American Independent film production studio formed by William Fox in 1915, by combining his earlier Greater New York Film Rental Company and Box Office Attractions Film Company (founded 1913).

The company’s first film studios were set up in Fort Lee, New Jersey, but in 1917, William Fox sent Sol M. Wurtzel to Hollywood, California to oversee the studio’s new West Coast production facilities, where the climate was more hospitable for filmmaking. On July 23, 1926, the company bought the patents of the Movietone sound system for recording sound onto film.

After the Wall Street crash of 1929, William Fox lost control of the company in 1930, during a hostile takeover. Under new president Sidney Kent, the new owners began conversations of a fusion with Twentieth Century Pictures, under founders Joseph M. Schenck and his friend Darryl Zanuck. Schenck, Zanuck, and Spyros Skouras merged the company with Twentieth Century to form 20th Century-Fox in 1935.

Movietone Sound System

The Movietone sound system is an optical sound-on-film method of recording sound for motion pictures that guarantees synchronisation between sound and picture. It achieves this by recording the sound as a variable-density optical track on the same strip of film that records the pictures. The initial version was capable of a frequency response of 8500 Hz. Although sound films today use variable-area tracks, any modern motion picture theatre (excluding those that have transitioned to digital cinema) can play a Movietone film without modification to the projector (though if the projector’s sound unit has been fitted with red LED or laser light sources, the reproduction quality from a variable density track will be significantly impaired). Movietone was one of four motion picture sound systems under development in the US during the 1920s, the others being DeForest Phonofilm, Warner Brothers’ Vitaphone, and RCA Photophone, though Phonofilm was primarily an early version of Movietone.

Telstar

Telstar is the name of various communications satellites. The first two Telstar satellites were experimental and nearly identical. Telstar 1 launched on top of a Thor-Delta rocket on 10 July 1962. It successfully relayed through space the first television pictures, telephone calls, and telegraph images, and provided the first live transatlantic television feed. Telstar 2 launched 07 May 1963. Telstar 1 and 2 – though no longer functional – still orbit the Earth.

Paul Wesley

Paweł Tomasz Wasilewski (23 July 1982), known professionally as Paul Wesley, is an American actor, director and producer.

He is known for starring as Stefan Salvatore on the supernatural drama series The Vampire Diaries (2009-2017) as well as his role as James T. Kirk in Star Trek: Strange New Worlds (2022) on Paramount+.

Vic Morrow

Victor Morrow (born Victor Morozoff; 14 February 1929 to 23 July 1982) was an American actor. He came to prominence as one of the leads of the ABC drama series Combat! (1962-1967), which earned him an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actor in a Series.

Active on screen for over three decades, his film roles include Blackboard Jungle (1955), King Creole (1958), God’s Little Acre (1958), Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry (1974), and The Bad News Bears (1976). Morrow continued acting up to his death during filming of Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983) when he and two child actors were killed by a stunt helicopter crash.

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