Recently, Paramount+ aired the new series The Offer (2022), a dramatization of the making of The Godfather (1972). I haven't seen it but it seems to be following in the footsteps of the film Saving Mr. Banks (2013), which dramatized the making of Disney's Mary Poppins (1964). These two works are very different from documentaries: no voiceover, no interviews. Each one is instead telling a story-- about an existing story.

Was Saving Mr. Banks the first show or movie to dramatize the making of a real show or movie, or have there been others? I'm not interested in documentaries like Netflix's The Movies That Made Us (2019), nor in fictional meta-films like Tropic Thunder (2008).

  • 5
    Does Tim Burton's Ed Wood [1994] count?
    – Tetsujin
    Commented May 17, 2022 at 17:53
  • I can't remember the names, but wasn't there a made for tv dramatization of making of Quadrophenia that pre dates this? Commented May 18, 2022 at 15:45
  • Would it need to be a feature film, or would a made for TV movie or mocumentary count? Commented May 18, 2022 at 15:45
  • 1
    I know it doesn’t qualify, but I have to mention Adaptation, a movie about the making of itself. Then again, Adaptation is a real film, so technically Adaptation is the dramatization of the making of a real film.
    – GendoIkari
    Commented May 18, 2022 at 22:14
  • @GendoIkari I wouldn't necessarily say it doesn't qualify, as you have explained yourself. (And it's certainly older than Hitchcock, athlough I think there must be much older examples already, too.)
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Commented May 18, 2022 at 22:21

3 Answers 3


The Aviator (2004) is about director Howard Hughes, and includes the production and filming of Hell's Angels (1930).

  • 1
    The timing of your answers implies that you could possibly be in the process of finding these successively earlier films one after the other. But please make sure that you realize the question asks for the earliest one rather than just an endless list of examples before putting up another answer and finding a better one an hour later. (Or maybe extend your existing answer using the editing functionality.)
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Commented May 18, 2022 at 23:00
  • @NapoleonWilson It didn't seem fair to completely rewrite an answer that had already been upvoted. Anyway, I've deleted my other answers (in the hope that this one will qualify).
    – gidds
    Commented May 18, 2022 at 23:04

If you're going to talk about a portion of the film covering the production of another, there is a very long list of Biopics which do that. We can go back to The Perils Of Pauline (1947), which covers the life of actress Pearl White and a little of the making of some of the famous cliffhanging, tied-to-the-railroad-tracks serials known as "The Perils Of Pauline".


Under the Rainbow (1981) was set with the production of Wizard of Oz as its backdrop

Under the Rainbow, made in 1981 starring Carrie Fisher and Chevy Chase, was set against the backdrop of the production of The Wizard of Oz. It was a spy comedy and not specifically about the filming of the movie, so it may not qualify as an answer for you, but the production of The Wizard of Oz is integral to the plot. Carrie Fisher's character and many of the secondary characters were cast and crew of the movie (Fisher's character was the casting director). A German agent who happens to be a little person is pursued by Chevy Chase's FBI agent and uses the production to blend in with the munchkin extras until he can make contact with his Japanese counterpart (who in turn is confused by the large number of little people around making it hard from him to spot the German).

The movie depicts actors (often in costume) and sets from The Wizard of Oz, as well as the filming of scenes.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .