25 Incredible Firsts in the History of Films

by Shweta Anand2 years ago

13 First movie with sound: Don Juan (1926)

In 1926, the Vitaphone was a pioneering technology that allowed movies to have synchronized sound. The first full-length film to be released using this process was Don Juan (1926), directed by Alan Crosland, making it one of the earliest movies to have sound.

However, despite having a musical score and sound effects, this John Barrymore starrer did not have any spoken dialogues. As a result, it is still classified as a silent film. (1, 2)

14 First “talkie” ever made: The Jazz Singer (1927)

The Jazz Singer
Image credit: Warner Bros Pictures

By the time the first “talkie” appeared, viewers had gotten used to watching movies with background music and sound effects. Nevertheless, in 1927, The Jazz Singer became the first feature-length “talkie” film to be released.

The arrival of this movie is said to have brought the silent era of films to a close. This film was directed by Alan Crosland and starred Al Jolson, May McAvoy, Warner Oland and Yossele Rosenblatt. (1, 2)


15 First movie featuring the “Wilhelm Scream”: Distant Drums (1951)

The “Wilhelm Scream,” featuring a man screaming in pain, is one of the most infamous sound bites in film history. The first film to showcase this sound-effect was Distant Drums, directed by Raoul Walsh and released in 1951. This movie also featured actors Gary Cooper, Richard Webb, Mari Aldon, Arthur Hunnicutt and Carl Harbaugh.

Since the release of this film, the Wilhelm Scream sound-effect has appeared in numerous movies such as in the Star Wars franchise, Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), and more. (1, 2, 3)

16 First ever summer blockbuster: Jaws (1975)

Image credit: Universal Pictures

Before Steven Spielberg’s Jaws (1975) changed history, the summer was known to be a dumping ground for movies. But Jaws became such a huge commercial success that it is said to have invented the concept of a “summer blockbuster.”

The film was never intended to be a summer release but production delays forced it to become one. It also starred actors Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss, Lorraine Gary and Murray Hamilton. (1, 2)


17 First film released with a PG-13 rating: Red Dawn (1984)

Red Dawn
Image credit: Valkyrie Films

The PG-13 rating is one of the most common film ratings used today. However, until the 1980s, this rating did not even exist. Two movies, Gremlins (1984) and Indian Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984), were said to be so controversial that they led to the creation of a new rating, PG-13.

Then, in August 1984, Red Dawn, starring Patrick Swayze and directed by John Milius, became the first movie to be released with this rating. (1, 2)

18 First-ever fully computer-animated film: Toy Story (1995)

Toy Story
Media credit: Walt Disney Pictures

Toy Story is an American computer-animated film, released in 1995. This move is notable for many reasons, one of which is that it is the first feature film from Pixar. But other than that, Toy Story has also made history by being the first fully computer-animated film.

This movie, directed by John Lasseter, famously featured actors such as Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Don Rickles, Jim Varney, Wallace Shawn and John Ratzenberger.  (1, 2)


19 First movies released on DVD in 1997: Twister (1996) and Mars Attacks! (1996)

Twister and Mars Attacks!
Mars Attacks (Image to the left), Twister. Image credits: Tim Burton Productions, Warner Bros

In the 1990s, DVDs were regarded as a breakthrough technology, having replaced older technologies such as the VCR. Then, in 1997, Twister (1996) and Mars Attacks! (1996) became two of the first movies to be released on DVD. Twister, directed by Jan de Bont and featuring a wonderful star cast of Helen Hunt, Bill Paxton, Jami Gertz and Cary Elwes, is an epic disaster film.

Meanwhile, Mars Attacks! is an alien-themed science fiction movie directed by Tim Burton, starring Jack Nicholson, Glenn Close, Pam Grier, Annette Bening, Pierce Brosnan and Danny DeVito. (source)

20 First-ever Oscar for the best-animated film: Shrek (2001)

Media credit: DreamWorks Animation

Shrek is an animated comedy film, released in 2001. In 2002, it won the Oscar for the Best Animated Feature category and became the first film to do so. In 2020, it again made history by being the first DreamWorks production and non-Disney animated film to be inducted into the National Film Registry.

Directed by Andrew Adamson and Vicky Jenson, this film features legendary actors such as Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz and John Lithgow in prominent roles. (1, 2)


21 First movie to accept cryptocurrency for tickets: Dope (2015)

Image credit: Significant Productions

Dope, released in 2015, is an indie movie about a “geek,” Malcom, in Los Angeles who loves 90s hip-hop and knows a lot about modern technology. Keeping with this theme, it became the first-ever film to accept Bitcoin, a cryptocurrency, to buy its tickets.

Interestingly, the film also shows Malcolm using Bitcoin. This movie has been directed by Rick Famuyiwa and stars Shameik Moore, Tony Revolori, Kiersey Clemons, Kimberly Elise and Chanel Iman, among others. (1, 2)

22 First movie shot in 8K: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2
Image credit: Marvel Studios

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is a superhero film directed by James Gunn and released in 2017, as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It features a spectacular star cast of renowned actors like Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldaña, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel and Bradley Cooper, but is notable for another reason as well.

This movie is reportedly the first-ever feature film to be shot in 8K resolution. For this, it even used a special camera, Red’s 8K Weapon. (1, 2)


23 First non-English film to win an Oscar for best picture: Parasite (2019)

Image credit: Barunson E&A

In the Academy Awards ceremony held in 2020, Parasite (2019) became the first non-English language film to win in the Best Picture category. It also bagged other awards, such as Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, and Best International Feature Film.

This movie is a South Korean creation, directed by Bong Joon-ho and featuring Song Kang-ho, Lee Sun-kyun, Cho Yeo-jeong, Choi Woo-shik, Park So-dam, Lee Jung-eun and Jang Hye-jin. It tells the story of a poor family that finds its way into the household of a wealthy one. (1, 2)

24 The first film shot in space: The Challenge

An upcoming Russian movie, called The Challenge, is said to be the first film shot in space. Although a few films have been shot in space before, this will be the first feature film to do so.

In 2021, it was reported that some of the movie’s crew had flown to the International Space Station to shoot sections of the film. The cast of this Klim Shipenko-directed film include Yulia Peresild, Alyona Mordovina and Vladimir Mashkov, among others. (1, 2)


25 First movie shot in IMAX black-and-white, analog photography: Oppenheimer (2023)

Christopher Nolan’s upcoming film, Oppenheimer, is set to become the first film with sections shot in IMAX black-and-white, analog photography. The movie is a biographical thriller, with Cillian Murphy playing the titular character, J. Robert Oppenheimer. (1, 2)

Also Read:
10 Movies or Tv Shows That Predicted the Future Right

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