Pop Quiz: 10 Film Firsts - Raindance

Ever wonder when the first remake was created? What the first sequel was? This little list will give you those answers and a few (well 8) more firsts in film. Got one of your own? Send it in, we’ll happily update the article!

Last weeks newsletter printed a list of ’10 Firsts in Film’. At the time I disputed some of the information given, and being a terrible pedant we’re bringing you a corrected list now. Never say Raindance doesn’t bring you the truth!

Lights! Camera! Action!

1) First Full-Length Feature Film – The Story of the Kelly Gang, 1906

2) First Colour Feature Film – The World, The Flesh and The Devil, 1914

3) First Sequel – Fall of a Nation, 1916

4) First Animated Full-Length Feature Film – The Apostol, 1917

5) First Remake – Marked Men, 1916
Incorrect.The first remake was of the phenomenally successful ‘ The Great Train Robbery’ (1903). There was no intellectual copyright for film scenarios at the time and so the Lubin Company made its own frame-by-frame copy,’The Great Train Robbery’ (1904,) to cash in on the success. Prior to this many of the short subjects made by Lumiere as early as 1894 were immediately copied, or remade by the filmmakers themselves, if they proved successful.

Incidentally I can’t find a film called ‘Marked Men’ from 1916. The ‘Marked Men’ from 1919 was a remake of ‘The Three Godfathers’, both films starring Harry Carey.

6) First Best Picture Winner at the Oscars – Wings, 1927
Partially correct. there were two winners of Best Picture in 1929.
‘Wings’ won Best Picture, Production;
‘Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans’ won Best Picture, Unique and Artistic Production.
At the next ceremony they reduced the awards to one Best Picture.

7) First Film with Audible Dialogue – The Jazz Singer, 1927
Pedantically incorrect. ‘The Jazz Singer’ was the first Feature film with audible dialogue, but the original list said ‘first film’ not first feature. The first film seen  by a paying audience with audible dialogue was a programme of Phofilm musical shorts. At the beginning of the programme Sidney L Bernstein appeared and spoke, explaining how the process worked. This all occurred 1 year and 2 days before ‘The Jazz Singer’ was seen. However since ‘You ain’t heard nothin’ yet’ is almost certainly a much better first line of dialogue than whatever Mr Bernstein said I think we’ll let it lie. Sound-on-film technology had been publicly demonstrated since 1923.

8) First Feature Film to Gross $100 million – Gone With the Wind, 1937
Probably correct. Can’t find the figures myself.

9) First 3-D Feature Film – Bwana Devil, 1957
Incorrect. The first 3-D Feature film was ‘Power of Love’ which premiered on 27th September 1922, a mere 30 years before ‘Bwana Devil’.

10) First CGI Feature Film – Toy Story, 1995

So, six and a half out of ten, could do better. Feel free to use these facts to alienate your friends and annoy pub quiz referees. If anyone wants to refute any of the above please be my guest. You can email me here!



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