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I was looking at boxofficemojo's stats on the Superman series and observing that with inflation, the first Superman movie was huge for its time, and probably why it spawned some sequels - rare for that period in movie history, compared to the barrage of sequels we see these days.

Then it occurred to me to ask - what was the very first movie feature film sequel (not a reboot or prequel)?

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Fall of a Nation (1916)? Sequel to Birth of a Nation (1915). –  FredH Jun 24 '13 at 1:52
Wikipedia mentions 1913 Kate Kirby series: Chelsea 7750, An Hour Before Dawn and The Port of Doom –  default locale Jun 24 '13 at 4:08
@defaultlocale - which Wikipedia article? Your links are all imdb... –  Mark Mayo Jun 24 '13 at 4:12
@MarkMayo List of film series, specifically, with three entries –  default locale Jun 24 '13 at 4:18
Wow... At home watching Superman (1978) ... The thought occurred to me... What was the first movie sequel? Thanks to this website, I have my answer. –  user6666 Nov 8 '13 at 1:55

1 Answer 1

The Fall of a Nation (1916)

According to LiveScience:

"The Fall of a Nation," released in 1916, is considered the first feature-length movie sequel, according to "The Story of Hollywood: An Illustrated History" (BL Press, 2006). Directed and co-written by Thomas Dixon, Jr., the silent film is a sequel to director D.W. Griffith's controversial 1915 classic, "The Birth of a Nation." In his book, "The Birth of a Nation: A History of the Most Controversial Motion Picture of All Time" (Oxford University Press, 2007), author Melvyn Stokes writes that Dixon made the sequel to capitalize on the success of first film.

Dixon actually wrote a novel called "The Fall of a Nation" before he did the film. Much like its predecessor, "The Fall of a Nation" was and remains a controversial film, according to Turner Classic Movies, for its glorification of the Ku Klux Klan and promotion of many ugly stereotypes. "Viewed as propaganda, it is a pity it is so reckless," The New York Times wrote about the film after its screening in 1916 at New York's Liberty Theatre. The paper also called it a "lively, interesting and sometimes preposterous picture."

"The Fall of a Nation" is also considered a 'lost' film. Surviving prints of the movie disappeared decades ago and have yet to surface anywhere.

Sherlock Holmes II (1908)

Sherlock Holmes II

There were earlier series of films. The earliest, according to Wikipedia's lists of film series, is Viggo Larsen's Danish 1908 silent series of Sherlock Holmes films:

After leaving Danish film company Nordisk, he joined German film company VitaScope and made five further Sherlock Holmes films under the title of Arsène Lupin contra Sherlock Holmes (1910), followed by Sherlock Holmes Contra Professor Moriarty (1911).

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