2024 Classic Film Anniversaries

2024 Classic FIlm Anniversaries at Art & Hue

This year is bumper-packed full of classic film anniversaries, from stylish heists to enduring comedies. Art & Hue rounds-up the milestones of beloved & cult films to celebrate in 2024.

The Third Man 75th anniversary

The Third Man 75th Anniversary – 75 years of The Third Man
Lauded at the time of release and still frequently included in most “best film” lists, “The Third Man” is a masterpiece of British film noir.

Produced by legendary filmmakers Alexander Korda and David O. Selznick, this noir thriller in post-War Vienna sees Joseph Cotten’s character Holly Martin trying to uncover what happened to his friend Harry Lime, played by Orson Welles.

Although it’s classed as a British film, as it was written by Graham Greene, directed by Carol Reed, and produced by London Films, the cast of American & European actors filmed in Austria by an Australian cinematographer make the film a collaboration of international talent.

Considered by some to be the greatest film of all time, the atmospheric zither music from “The Third Man” is instantly evocative of shadowy criminality at the birth of the Cold War.

Starring Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Trevor Howard & Valli, the distributors British Lion were experimenting at the time with the idea of premiering films outside of London and Hastings was the first location chosen.

The Grand Gala World Premiere of “The Third Man” was held at the Ritz Cinema in Hastings, East Sussex, on the 1st of September 1949 before the London opening on the 2nd at the Plaza Cinema, and then going on general release nationwide from the 4th.

Ealing Comedies 75th Anniversary

Ealing Comedies 75th Anniversary – 75 Years of Ealing Comedies
2024 marks a very special celebration for fans of classic films as it’s 75 years since the birth of the British film institution that became known as the Ealing Comedies.

On the 28th of April 1949, “Passport to Pimlico” opened at both the Gaumont and Pavilion cinemas in London and proved to be a box office success.

Produced under the stewardship of Michael Balcon at Ealing Studios, “Passport to Pimlico” was one of the most popular films of 1949 and, along with “Whisky Galore!”, “Kind Hearts & Coronets” & “A Run for Your Money“, all released in the same year within the space of a few months, firmly established the Ealing Comedies.

The studios had released comedies previously, such as “Hue & Cry” in 1947 and “Another Shore” in 1948, but Ealing’s prolific output in 1949 was a boom period for the studios, with critical and commercial success.

All four Ealing Comedies released in 1949 were nominated for a BAFTA but missed out to Carol Reed’s film noir “The Third Man”, which is also celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2024.

Even though the Pimlico residents in the film prefer pints of beer in their local pub, it seems more appropriate to raise a glass of wine from the Burgundy region of France to toast the comedic institution’s 75th birthday. Santé!

To mark 75 years of Ealing Comedies, Art & Hue presents 12 stylish pop art prints inspired by Ealing’s classic comedy films. These reimagined & remixed poster designs pay homage to the wit & charm of the era, celebrating the iconic productions that have left an indelible mark on film history & British comedy.

Alfred Hitchcock's Blackmail 95th anniversary

Blackmail 95th – 95 years of Hitchcock’s Blackmail
2024 marks 95 years of “Blackmail”, billed as the first all-British film production with sound.

Alfred Hitchcock’s “Blackmail” starred Anny Ondra (albeit dubbed with the voice of Joan Barry) as a woman blackmailed for defending herself, based on Charles Bennett’s 1928 stage play of the same name.

Blackmail” was one of the most successful releases of that year, received critical praise, and featured set pieces we’ve come to associate with Hitchcock’s unique style of thriller.

First screened to press & cinema distributors on the 21st of June 1929 at the Regal Cinema at Marble Arch, the film premiered at the Capitol cinema in London on the 28th of July 1929.

Whilst other films claim to be the first British “talking picture”, they played sound separately, such as on a vinyl record, along with the pictures; Hitchcock’s “Blackmail” was the first British film to include the soundtrack on the actual film reel cementing its status as “the first British talkie”.

Devil Girl from Mars 70th Anniversary

Devil Girl from Mars 70th – 70 years of Devil Girl from Mars
2024 marks 70 years of the cult British sci-fi “Devil Girl from Mars“, perhaps not a “classic” film in the traditional sense but a beloved curio nonetheless.

Resplendent in patent pleather, with an outfit that most probably inspired Darth Vader’s black helmet and cape, Patricia Laffan’s alien “Queen Nyah” lands in rural Scotland on the hunt for men.

With the Martian population dying out, her mission is to take men back to Mars to repopulate the planet.

Billed at the time as the first major science-fiction film to be made in England, while perhaps not entirely accurate, it was certainly the first to feature a hostile alien landing on British soil.

Also starring John Laurie & Joseph Tomelty, “Devil Girl from Mars” was released on the 2nd of May 1954.

So bad it’s great, the science fiction film “Devil Girl from Mars” has achieved cult status for the high-camp production and low-tech special effects.

On Her Majesty's Secret Service Bond 55th Anniversary

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service 55th – 55 year of OHMSS
2024 marks 55 years of the classic 1969 Bond film “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”, regarded by many to be the best Bond film, and still influencing filmmakers up until Daniel Craig‘s final film “No Time to Die”.

“On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” has it all: Diana Rigg, George Lazenby, Joanna Lumley, Jenny Hanley, Julie Ege, Anouska Hempel, Verner Panton lighting, a mountain-top lair, a Christmas song, a beautifully poignant love song by Armstrong, George Baker, and arguably the best John Barry soundtrack ever.

A classic film in its own right, as part of the cinematic legacy of Bond it’s a stand-out piece of filmmaking that demonstrated that the franchise could survive the departure of Sean Connery (even though he did return for “Diamonds are Forever” once it was realised that George Lazenby wasn’t to reprise the role).

Diana Rigg was indubitably the star of the film following the global success of The Avengers, and having a stronger, atypical Bond “girl” creates a more powerful, & heartbreaking, relationship with Bond.

Her supreme acting talent clearly rubbed off on Lazenby who holds his own in the film, particularly in the emotional scenes such as the tragic ending.

The film has many fans and admirers including directors Steven Soderbergh and Christopher Nolan, and actor & writer Mark Gatiss, who rank it as the best cinematic outing of Bond.

The film’s global premiere was in Japan on the 13th of December 1969, before the Royal premiere in London on the 18th of December 1969 at the Odeon Leicester Square. The film then went on national release in Britain and America on the 19th of December 1969.

The Italian Job 55th Anniversary

The Italian Job 55th Anniversary – 55 years of The Italian Job
On the 5th of June in 1969, the seminal 1960s film “The Italian Job” opened at the Plaza cinema in London. Starring Michael Caine and featuring the iconic British Mini Coopers, the film has endured as a cult classic.

The unusual combination of Noel Coward, Michael Caine, and Benny Hill planning a bullion raid in Italy resulted in memorable scenes of minis driving where they shouldn’t – through shopping arcades and across rooftops.

The film also features George Innes, Valerie Leon and Irene Handl.

The audience gets behind Michael Caine’s daring crew and wishes them to succeed with their criminal endeavours but, given the morality of the time where crime couldn’t be shown to pay, the film ended on a literal cliff-hanger to keep both censors and cinema-goers (somewhat) happy.

Filled with football fans and shot through with the rousing song by Quincy Jones, “Getta Bloomin’ Move On! (The Self Preservation Society)”, the film is bursting with a confident British swagger, like a football-mad nation that owned the 1960s and had won the previous World Cup.

65th anniversary of I'm All Right Jack

I’m All Right Jack 65th – 65 years of I’m All Right Jack
This year marks 65 years since the release of the classic comedy “I’m All Right Jack” on the 13th of August 1959 at the Leicester Square Theatre in London.

A satirical look at trade unions and businessmen, in which neither side comes out well, the industrial relations comedy was well received by cinemagoers, making it one of the most successful films at the box office in 1959, and by critics, winning the BAFTA Award for Best British Screenplay.

A sequel of sorts, “I’m All Right Jack” sees the return of characters from the 1956 film “Private’s Progress”, including Ian Carmichael as Stanley Windrush, Dennis Price as Bertram Tracepurcel, Richard Attenborough as Sydney DeVere Cox, and Terry-Thomas as Major Hitchcock.

They were joined by familiar faces from British comedy including Margaret Rutherford, Irene Handl, Sam Kydd, Kenneth Griffith, and Liz Fraser who was nominated for the Most Promising Newcomer BAFTA award for her first main film role as Cynthia Kite in “I’m All Right Jack”.

Initially unwilling, the legendary British filmmakers John & Roy Boulting had to persuade Peter Sellers to play the supercilious shop steward in the satirical comedy, a role which would see Sellers win the BAFTA for Best British Actor.

“I’m All Right Jack” was a huge hit, so much so that Prime Minister Harold Macmillan apparently requested a copy to show to President Eisenhower on his visit to Great Britain in 1959.


More upcoming classic film anniversaries in 2024


Pinewood land bought 90 years ago
Pinewood Studios films


These are just some of the film anniversaries taking place in 2024 – there are more film milestones, as well as TV events, to celebrate this year.

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Classic film anniversaries in 2024

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