The following is an overview of 1929 in film, including significant events, a list of films released and notable births and deaths.
The days of the silent film are numbered. A mad scramble to provide synchronized sound is on.
- February 1 - The Broadway Melody is released by MGM and becomes the first major musical film of the sound era, sparking a host of imitators as well as a series of Broadway Melody films that will run until 1940.
- February 18 - The first Academy Awards, or Oscars, are announced for the year ended August 1, 1928.
- March 3 - William Fox announces that he has taken control of Loews Inc., including its subsidiary Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, buying shares from Marcus Loew's widow and sons and Nicholas Schenck for $50 million. The acquisition eventually falls through.
- May 16 - The first Academy Awards are distributed at The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles.
- May 26 - Fox Grandeur News is shown in Fox Film's new widescreen 70 mm Grandeur film format
- July 13 - The first all color talkie (in Technicolor), On with the Show, is released by Warner Bros. who lead the way in a new color revolution just as they had ushered in that of the talkies.
- July 17 - William Fox is badly injured in a car accident which kills his chauffeur.
- August 3 - The Cock-Eyed World beats every known gross for any box office attraction throughout the world with a reported first week gross of $173,391 at the Roxy Theatre (New York City).
- August 20 - Hallelujah! is the first Hollywood film to contain an entire black cast.
- August 22 - First in the Walt Disney Productions' animated short Silly Symphony series, The Skeleton Dance, is released.
- September - Paramount Pictures acquires 49% of CBS.
- October 24 - Jean Harlow signs a five-year, $100 per week contract with Howard Hughes.
- October 30 - Entertainment newspaper Variety report that Wall Street Lays An Egg leading to many prominent showman and film stars losing money on their investments.
- November - Warner Bros. gain complete control of First National Pictures buying Fox Film's 36% stake for $10 million
- November 10 - Première of John Grierson's documentary film Drifters about North Sea herring fishermen, made for the Empire Marketing Board, effectively inaugurating the British Documentary Film Movement. (It debuts at the private Film Society in London on a double-bill with the U.K. première of Eisenstein's The Battleship Potemkin.)
- November 15 - U.K. release of Atlantic, a film about the sinking of the RMS Titanic which is one of the first British sound-on-film movies and, in its simultaneously-shot German-language version, the first to be released in Germany; also the first Titanic movie with sound.
- December - Anti-trust suits are filed against William Fox and Warner Bros. by the US Department of Justice for Fox's acquisition of Loews and Warners' acquisition of the Stanley Corporation of America and First National.
||The Broadway Melody
||Gold Diggers of Broadway
||Sunny Side Up
||The Desert Song
||The Cock-Eyed World
||The Hollywood Revue of 1929
||On with the Show!
||Say It with Songs
The 2nd Academy Awards honored the best films released between August 1, 1928, and July 31, 1929. They took place on April 3, 1930, at an awards banquet in the Cocoanut Grove of the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles.
Most nominations: In Old Arizona (Fox Film Corporation) - 5
Most awards - no film won more than 1 award
The 3rd Academy Awards were awarded to films completed and screened released between August 1, 1929, and July 31, 1930. They took place on November 5, 1930, at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles.
Most nominations: The Love Parade (Paramount Famous Lasky Corp.) - 6
Most awards - no film won more than 1 award
Note: Prior to 1933, awards were not based on calendar years. Best Picture, Actress and Director went to 1930 films.
Notable films released in 1929
U.S.A. unless stated otherwise.
- After the Verdict, directed by Henrik Galeen, starring Olga Tschechowa and Warwick Ward - (GB)
- Alibi, starring Chester Morris and Mae Busch
- The Alley Cat, directed by Hans Steinhoff - (GB/Germany)
- The American Prisoner, directed by Thomas Bentley, starring Carl Brisson, Madeleine Carroll (Britain)
- An Andalusian Dog (Un chien andalou), a short film by Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí - (France)
- Applause, directed by Rouben Mamoulian, starring Helen Morgan
- Arsenal (a.k.a. January Uprising in Kiev in 1918) - (U.S.S.R.)
- Asphalt, starring Gustav Fröhlich - (Germany)
- Atlantic, starring Madeleine Carroll, the first sound film made in Germany and the first sound Titanic movie - (GB)
- The Awful Truth
- Berth Marks, a Laurel and Hardy short produced by Hal Roach
- Big Business, a Laurel and Hardy short
- Big Time, starring Lee Tracy and Mae Clarke
- Blackmail, directed by Alfred Hitchcock - (GB)
- The Bridge of San Luis Rey, starring Lily Damita
- Broadway, a musical comedy with Technicolor sequences
- The Broadway Melody, musical comedy starring Charles King, Anita Page and Bessie Love
- Bulldog Drummond, starring Ronald Colman
- The Canary Murder Case, starring William Powell, Louise Brooks, Jean Arthur
- Children of the Ritz
- The Clue of the New Pin - (Britain)
- The Cocoanuts, starring the Marx Brothers
- A Cottage on Dartmoor, directed by Anthony Asquith - (GB)
- Coquette, Directed by Sam Taylor, starring Mary Pickford, Johnny Mack Brown, Matt Moore
- Dangerous Curves, starring Clara Bow and Richard Arlen
- Desert Nights, a silent film starring John Gilbert
- The Desert Song, a musical operetta with Technicolor sequences
- Devil-May-Care, starring Ramón Novarro - a musical romance with Technicolor sequences
- Diary of a Lost Girl (Tagebuch einer Verlorenen), directed by G.W. Pabst, starring Louise Brooks - (Germany)
- Disraeli, starring George Arliss and Joan Bennett
- Drifters, documentary by John Grierson - (GB)
- Dynamite, directed by Cecil B. DeMille, starring Conrad Nagel and Kay Johnson
- Eternal Love, directed by Ernst Lubitsch starring John Barrymore
- Fancy Baggage, a part-talkie from Warner Brothers Pictures starring Audrey Ferris and Myrna Loy
- Father Vojtech (Páter Vojt?ch), directed by Martin Fri? - (Czechoslovakia)
- Finis Terræ, directed by Jean Epstein - (France)
- The Flying Fleet, starring Ramón Novarro, Ralph Graves, Anita Page, and Edward Nugent
- The Flying Scotsman, starring Moore Marriott and Ray Milland - (GB)
- Footlights and Fools, a musical comedy entirely in Technicolor
- The Four Feathers, starring Richard Arlen and Fay Wray
- Fox Movietone Follies, a musical revue with Multicolor sequences
- Fräulein Else, starring Elisabeth Bergner - (Germany)
- The General Line (), directed by Sergei Eisenstein - (U.S.S.R.)
- Glorifying the American Girl, a musical comedy with Technicolor sequences
- Gold Diggers of Broadway, a musical comedy entirely in Technicolor
- The Great Gabbo, a musical drama with Multicolor sequences
- Hallelujah!, directed by King Vidor
- Hardboiled Rose, a part-talkie starring Myrna Loy
- Hearts in Dixie, starring Clarence Muse, drama/musical
- High Treason directed by Maurice Elvey and starring Jameson Thomas and Benita Hume - (GB)
- His Glorious Night, directed by Lionel Barrymore, starring John Gilbert - Gilbert's first talkie, known as the film that destroyed his career
- The Hole in the Wall, starring Claudette Colbert, Edward G. Robinson
- The Hollywood Revue of 1929, a showcase of talent under contract to MGM
- Hot for Paris, from Fox Film Corporation
- The Hound of the Baskervilles, directed by Richard Oswald, starring Carlyle Blackwell and Alexander Murski (Germany)
- The Informer, directed by Arthur Robison, starring Lya De Putti, Lars Hanson - (GB)
- In Old Arizona, starring Warner Baxter
- The Iron Mask, starring Douglas Fairbanks
- The Kiss, starring Greta Garbo and Conrad Nagel
- Kitty, directed by Victor Saville (Britain)
- A Knight in London, starring Lilian Harvey - (GB/Germany)
- The Lady Lies, starring Walter Huston and Claudette Colbert
- Lady of the Pavements, directed by D. W. Griffith, starring Lupe Vélez and William Boyd
- Land Without Women, starring Conrad Veidt - (Germany)
- The Letter
- The Locked Door, starring Rod LaRocque and Barbara Stanwyck
- The Love Parade, starring Maurice Chevalier and Jeanette MacDonald
- Lucky Star, directed by Frank Borzage, starring Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell
- Ludwig II, King of Bavaria (Ludwig der Zweite, König von Bayern), directed by & starring William Dieterle - (Germany)
- Marianne, starring Marion Davies
- Madame X, directed by Lionel Barrymore
- Man with a Movie Camera (Chelovek s kinoapparatom), a documentary - (U.S.S.R.)
- The Manxman, directed by Alfred Hitchcock - (GB)
- Married In Hollywood, a musical romance with Multicolor sequences
- Melody of the Heart, directed by Hanns Schwarz, starring Willy Fritsch - (Germany)
- The Miraculous Life of Thérèse Martin (La Vie miraculeuse de Thérèse Martin), directed by Julien Duvivier - (France)
- Les Mystères du Château de Dé (The Mysteries of the Chateau of Dice), directed by and starring Man Ray - (France)
- The Mysterious Dr. Fu Manchu, starring Warner Oland and Jean Arthur
- The Mysterious Island, starring Lionel Barrymore
- Navy Blues, directed by Clarence Brown
- The New Babylon (Novyy Vavilon) - (U.S.S.R.)
- New York Nights, starring Norma Talmadge and Gilbert Roland
- On with the Show, a musical comedy entirely in Technicolor
- The Organist at St. Vitus' Cathedral (Varhaník u sv. Víta), directed by Martin Fri? - (Czechoslovakia)
- Pandora's Box (Die Büchse der Pandora), directed by G.W. Pabst, starring Louise Brooks - (Germany)
- Paris, a musical comedy with Technicolor sequences
- Piccadilly, a melodrama starring Anna May Wong and Gilda Gray - (GB)
- Pointed Heels, starring William Powell, a musical comedy with Technicolor sequences
- Queen Kelly, starring Gloria Swanson (film unfinished because producers balked at releasing a silent film in what was quickly becoming a sound film market)
- Rain, directed by Joris Ivens (Netherlands)
- Redskin, starring Richard Dix, a drama with Technicolor sequences
- The Rescue, starring Ronald Colman and Lili Damita
- Resia Boroboedoer, only film of the Nancing Film Corp. - (Dutch East Indies)
- The Return of the Rat, directed by Graham Cutts and starring Ivor Novello - (GB)
- The Return of Sherlock Holmes
- Rio Rita, starring Bebe Daniels - a musical comedy with Technicolor sequences
- The River, directed by Frank Borzage
- The Runaway Princess directed by Anthony Asquith and Fritz Wendhausen and starring Mady Christians and Fred Rains (Britain/Germany)
- Sally, a musical comedy entirely in Technicolor
- Salute, directed by John Ford and David Butler and starring George O'Brien, Helen Chandler and William Janney
- The Saturday Night Kid, with Clara Bow, Jean Arthur, and a small early role for Jean Harlow (uncredited)
- Show Boat, a part-talkie based not on the famous musical, but on the Edna Ferber novel that inspired it
- The Show of Shows, starring John Barrymore and Loretta Young, a musical revue with Technicolor sequences
- Side Street, starring the Moore Brothers
- The Single Standard, directed by John S. Robertson, starring Greta Garbo & Nils Asther
- The Skeleton Dance, a Walt Disney animated short
- Smilin' Guns, a Hoot Gibson Western-comedy
- Spite Marriage, a Buster Keaton film
- St. Louis Blues, starring Bessie Smith
- Den starkaste, directed by Alf Sjöberg - (Sweden)
- Street Girl, directed by Wesley Ruggles, RKO's first "official" film
- Sunny Side Up, starring Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell, a musical comedy with Technicolor sequences
- The Taming of the Shrew, starring Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks
- This Thing Called Love, starring Edmund Lowe and Constance Bennett, a musical romance with Technicolor sequences; considered lost
- The Three Kings, directed by Hans Steinhoff, starring Henry Edwards, Evelyn Holt (Britain/Germany)
- The Three Passions, directed by Rex Ingram - (GB)
- Thunder, directed by William Nigh, starring Lon Chaney, Sr. and Phyllis Haver
- Thunderbolt, directed by Josef von Sternberg, starring George Bancroft and Fay Wray
- A Throw of Dice - (Germany/GB/India)
- The Trespasser, directed by Edmund Goulding, starring Gloria Swanson and Robert Ames
- Turksib - (U.S.S.R.)
- The Vagabond Lover, starring Rudy Vallée
- The Virginian, starring Gary Cooper and Walter Huston
- Wait and See, directed by Walter Forde - (Britain)
- Wall Street, starring Ralph Ince
- Welcome Danger, starring Harold Lloyd
- Where East is East, directed by Tod Browning; starring Lon Chaney, Lupe Vélez and Estelle Taylor
- White Hell of Pitz Palu (Die weiße Hölle vom Piz Palü), starring Leni Riefenstahl - (Germany)
- Why Be Good?
- Wild Orchids, starring Greta Garbo, Lewis Stone and Nils Asther
- The Wolf Song, starring Gary Cooper and Lupe Vélez
- Woman in the Moon (Frau im Mond), directed by Fritz Lang - (Germany)
- Wonder of Women
- The Wonderful Lies of Nina Petrovna, directed by Hanns Schwarz - (Germany)
- Words and Music, first movie in which John Wayne is credited as Duke Morrison
- The Wrecker (Der Würger) - (GB/Germany)
Short film series
Animated short film series
- January 1 - Haruo Nakajima, actor (died 2017)
- January 3 - Sergio Leone, director (died 1989)
- January 7 - Terry Moore, actress
- January 11 - Rod Taylor, Australian actor (died 2015)
- January 31 - Jean Simmons, actress (died 2010)
- February 10 - Jerry Goldsmith, composer (died 2004)
- April 1 - Jane Powell, actress, singer, dancer
- April 5 - Nigel Hawthorne, actor (died 2001)
- April 10 - Max von Sydow, actor
- May 2 - Eddie Garcia, actor
- May 4 - Audrey Hepburn, actress (died 1993)
- September 2 - Hal Ashby, director (died 1988)
- September 20
- October 14 - Norbert Gastell, German voice actor (died 2015)
- October 28 - Joan Plowright, actress
- November 12
- November 15 - Ed Asner, actor
- December 1 - David Doyle, actor (died 1997)
- December 6 - Alain Tanner, Swiss film director
- December 9 - John Cassavetes, actor, director (died 1989)
- December 13 - Christopher Plummer, actor
- January 5 - Marc McDermott, Australian actor (born 1881)
- February 18
- May 9 - Fred C. Truesdell, stage & film actor (born 1870)
- July 2 - Gladys Brockwell, American actress (born 1894)
- July 3 - Dustin Farnum, American stage & silent screen star (born 1874)
- August 2 - Mae Costello, American actress (born 1882)
- October 3 - Jeanne Eagels, American actress (born 1929)
- October 31 - Norman Trevor, actor, Olympic athlete (born 1877)
- November 2 - Leo D. Maloney, actor and director (born 1888)
Lobby card of Berth Marks
- ^ "Fox's World High, $173,391". Variety. August 14, 1929. p. 9. Retrieved 2018.
- ^ "Fox Sells F.N. Holdings to Warners". The Film Daily. November 4, 1929. p. 1.
- ^ Sexton, Jamie. "Drifters (1929)". screenonline. BFI. Retrieved .
- ^ a b The Eddie Mannix Ledger, Los Angeles, California: Margaret Herrick Library, Center for Motion Picture Study.
- ^ a b c d e Glancy, H Mark (1995). "Warner Bros Film Grosses, 1921-51: the William Schaefer ledger". Historical Journal of Film Radio and Television. 15.
- ^ a b "Biggest Money Pictures". Variety. June 21, 1932. p. 1.
- ^ Jewel, Richard (1994). "RKO film grosses, 1929-51: the C. J. Trevlin Ledger". Historical Journal of Film Radio and Television. 14 (1).