Questions tagged [cinema-history]

An account of the historical development of both movies and television series.

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1 answer
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What is the oldest piece of visual media involving computerized dating services?

TVTropes mentions the history of digital dating services, and then notes that there's media from before the 1990s about it. Using computers as dating services did not start with the rise of the ...
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27 votes
2 answers
4k views

What is the first animated cartoon?

I am reading a book about film history which says that Fantasmagorie (1908) was the first animated cartoon. Coincidentally, I stumbled upon Pauvre Pierrot which is an animated cartoon from 1882. Not ...
4 votes
1 answer
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How and why did Vivaldi's Spring Allegro become synonymous with "high class" in movies?

Vivaldi has been used a lot in film, and the Four Seasons is probably his most famous and popular work. Often, in films, you will hear the first party of Vivaldi's Spring (specifically the Allegro) -- ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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Why is Mickey's dog named Pluto?

I was looking into this myself, and Wikipedia brings up this quote by Ben Sharpsteen: We thought the name [Rover] was too common, so we had to look for something else. ... We changed it to Pluto the ...
13 votes
1 answer
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Is The Ethel Waters Show lost media?

The Ethel Waters Show was a 1939 NBC variety special starring actress and singer Ethel Waters, in what reportedly may have been the very first appearance of a Black person on TV. I’d love to see the ...
6 votes
0 answers
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What are the precedents for the game elements of "Squid Game" beyond "Battle Royale"?

Having watched Squid Game, I have the feeling that, while it is very different from Battle Royale, there are a number of elements that the two works have in common, in the way that the game is ...
0 votes
2 answers
190 views

Which was the first commercial movie featuring duplicates (doubles) on screen

Which was the first commercial movie featuring duplicates (doubles) on screen. By duplicates I mean, same person playing two different roles (or same role but from different time in case of Time ...
24 votes
4 answers
8k views

If Sweden didn't have commercial TV channels until the late 1980s, how can these TV commercials from the 1960s and 1970s exist?

Lately, I've been watching a bunch of Swedish-language TV commercials from the late 1960s and 1970s. Here is an example from 1969: What confuses me about this is that ...
3 votes
2 answers
232 views

Was the choice of music part of the creation of silent films?

As I understand it, the music that accompanied silent films in the 1920s was done by having an organist or possibly an orchestra pit in the theaters, playing live music while the audience watched the ...
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3 votes
0 answers
304 views

What's the deal with freeze-framing during opening credits?

I keep meaning to ask this question, every time I see a movie from the period (roughly 1960s through 1980s) where the opening credits are shown superimposed over an opening scene — but, every time ...
2 votes
1 answer
146 views

Was the Batman / Green Hornet crossover the first filmed Bruce Lee fight?

The IMDB entry for Burt Ward states: A special piece of movie trivia is that Bruce Lee's first filmed fight scene of his career was fighting Burt Ward. This seems a bit off to me since The Green ...
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21 votes
2 answers
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Was Looney Tunes considered a cartoon for adults?

My siblings and I watched Looney Tunes growing up. This was before I was aware there was such a thing as cartoons for adults. Adults wouldn't really watch Looney Tunes, except when they were with us. ...
6 votes
1 answer
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From a historical viewpoint, when did voice-over recordings start and when did it end?

From a historical viewpoint, did all actors and actresses in the Hollywood golden ages: 30s-50s, record the audio separately? Or was it all taken in one shot? I can't believe that every single movie ...
3 votes
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What was the first TV character death to have a large public impact? [closed]

Note that I mean TV character here, not actor. By impact, I mean things like staged funerals, grieving letters sent to the network, wide-scale news media coverage, etc.
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What was the first TV series to show a toilet?

So over the weekend I was listening to my local NPR station to Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me! and they were playing a true or false game about characters in the TV series, The Brady Bunch. Anyways, one ...
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8 votes
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Who pioneered the use of Laughing Kookaburra birds to create the impression of a jungle setting?

I was sent a link to the first video below and it immediately sent me back to my childhood watching reruns of what were already old films on Sunday afternoon television. I'm sure I've heard this bird'...
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Why do films from before 1917 seem to run faster than normal? [duplicate]

Why do the scenes in the films of year 1917 and before seem to run faster than the normal speed? Does it have to do something with the equipment of that era or that the actors used to act like that?
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2 answers
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Why do 90s movies often look noisy? [closed]

It is my impression that movies from around the 90s look more noisy than from other eras (in terms of picture quality, sorry I probably lack the proper terminology here). In particular, unlike what ...
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3 votes
3 answers
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What was the first movie to use viruses as the basis for zombies?

So when you watch old zombie movies, like Night of the Living Dead, zombies tend to be a mysterious thing, they are just an unnatural event with no explanation. Fast forward 50 years into the future ...
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2 answers
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How did movies start charging more for seats at the back

While theaters where plays and operas are performed charge more for those at the front, movie theaters charge more for people at the back. I remember reading about a certain maid in a movie theater in ...
3 votes
4 answers
566 views

What is the earliest example of a 'gag reel'?

Having just watched a string of gag reels on youtube, I would like to know what the earliest examples of this extra material would be. I found one from 1946 on youtube but it would be interesting to ...
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4 votes
3 answers
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Did non-Caucasian actors become famous playing Caucasian characters?

From Wikipedia: In the early years of film, black characters were routinely played by white people in blackface. In the first filmic adaptation of Uncle Tom's Cabin (1903), all of the major black ...
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Is Hamilton the biggest film acquisition in history?

Coming from an article at Deadline with the headline, Disney Paid $75 Million For Worldwide Movie Rights To Lin-Manuel Miranda’s ‘Hamilton’; Biggest Film Acquisition Deal Ever? and then goes onto to ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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What did the writers mean by this detail in one scene of one episode of "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" from 1957?

In the 26th episode of season two of "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" titled, "I Killed The Count Part II", first aired in 1957, there is a short scene, or rather a brief moment of one scene, which ...
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1 answer
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Most dangerous stunts in film [closed]

When researching a different question, I came across an article on horse stunts, which claimed that a stunt from the John Wayne movie Stagecoach was one of the most difficult and dangerous stunts on ...
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1 answer
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Origin of movie opening crawl

What was the first movie to have an opening crawl? What was the first movie serial to summarize events in previous episodes with an opening crawl, the practice which is continued in the movies? My ...
21 votes
2 answers
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Why are there no programmes / playbills for movies?

I feel like with today's movies, it would be easy to fill a small booklet with production notes, pictures and background information. Is there a particular reason why programmes (as available for ...
8 votes
1 answer
285 views

What is the first movie to use a VCR (or recording device) to trick an adversary?

I was watching "Columbo: Playback", and the murderer uses a video security system to cover up a murder. It got me thinking, what was the first movie to use video playback to trick another character? ...
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0 votes
1 answer
347 views

In old films, why do characters flail around when they're shot?

When characters get gunned down in old films by repetitive fire, they often flail side-to-side while standing... for a loooong time... E.g. in Robocop (videos contain "blood"): ...
60 votes
4 answers
16k views

Why were movies shot on film shot at 24 frames per second?

Title says it all! Nowadays, everything is digital, frame rates vary and are displayed properly by media playback devices depending on need, requirement or desire. But back before quality digital ...
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12 votes
1 answer
3k views

What's the longest period of time over which a time lapse film has been recorded?

Time lapse photography can create some pretty impressive visuals. I think we mostly see time-lapse photography in non-fictional works about nature, plants, or the stars. But sometimes it's used in ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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First depiction of a quadruped robot-vehicle?

Episode 2 of Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water (1990) shows the baddies pursuing the main characters in a convertible vehicle, a submarine/ship that becomes a quadruped robot at some point of the ...
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1 answer
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Where did people watch trailers before internet was invented?

Now, with the Internet, we can simply watch trailers of a film on YouTube or other sites. But how did people watch trailers before all this was created? Were trailers shown in the cinemas only?
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33 votes
10 answers
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Early credit roll before the end of the film

In the 2018 movie Vice, an "early credits roll" was used for comedic effect about halfway through the film. It was used in conjunction with text overlays with a sarcastic tone to them. I found this ...
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5 votes
0 answers
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Which was the first Indian mythological movie to use the phrase 'Narayana, Narayana' whenever Sage Narada appears on the scene?

Viewers of mythological movies made in many prominent Indian languages (such as Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Hindi), for many decades now, will instantly recognize the phrase 'Narayana Narayana', as the ...
52 votes
6 answers
15k views

Why do old gun fight scenes sound so weird and cartoonish?

In older movies (pre-90's), many gun fight scenes have cartoon sounds. I can almost imagine the scene drawn and the words KAPOING, POW, ZOINK being shown. Here's an example from 007. ...
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13 votes
1 answer
647 views

How commercially successful, in general are Mockbuster movies?

How commercially successful, in general are Mockbuster movies? In a previous answer, they state that Mockbuster movies are made cheaply to turn a quick profit. Quoting from that answer and Wikipedia:...
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1 answer
363 views

Damsel in Distress on Rail Road Tracks [duplicate]

Excluding the mustache villian, what was the first movie to have a person tied to a train track? Did the movie scene come from a book?
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12 votes
1 answer
730 views

Why is the last scene (right before and including the end credits) often worse quality in transfers of older films?

I've noticed it in both DVD and Blu-ray transfers of older movies (for example a few spaghetti westerns). Throughout the movie, the transfer quality is very good, and at the last scene (when there is ...
10 votes
3 answers
401 views

Eastern European cold war movies

From the 1950s to the 1980s, in the Western countries and especially in the United States and UK, several movies were released, directly inspired – in different genres – by the political situation, ...
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2 votes
0 answers
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Where did the word "mafia" appear in Puzo's original screenplay of "The Godfather"?

The New York Times documents that Joseph Columbo pressured producer Al Ruddy to remove all occurrences of "Mafia" and "Casa Nostra" from the movie "The Godfather". An article on knowledgenuts.com ...
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7 votes
1 answer
199 views

Distinction between propaganda films, training films, and public information films

I would like to know whether scholars in the field of film studies have produced any reasonably widely-accepted demarcation criteria for distinguishing between the following kinds of film: Propaganda ...
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14 votes
1 answer
928 views

Has there ever been a live-action movie that takes place entirely underwater?

Have there been any movies that take place entirely underwater? It looks like it is a rare kind of film that takes place entirely underwater because all the water/underwater-themed movies I've seen ...
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1 answer
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Indian Movies have song where Actors Dance but hollywood movies don't [duplicate]

I have Been watching hollywood movies since 2005 but never saw a film where actor dance in beautiful garden and make love.whereas in Indian cinema most film earn from there music.Why there is no ...
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7 votes
4 answers
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Why aren't UK cinema listings available more than a week in advance?

Even in the pre-internet age, I found it astonishing and annoying that in the UK local cinemas would post the week's - one week only - listings on a Thursday. So if you wanted to know what might be on ...
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56 votes
1 answer
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How did Hitchcock enforce the "no late admission" policy for Psycho?

According to Wikipedia, Alfred Hitchcock mandated that movie theaters could not allow late viewers to come into Psycho after it began. The most controversial move was Hitchcock's "no late admission"...
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6 votes
1 answer
695 views

Were black actors more prominent in the 80s than they are now?

Lately I've taken a mild interest in 80s pop culture, and from my very superficial look I was surprised to see more black actors in movies, tv shows, and commercials of that time than I'm used to ...
2 votes
1 answer
231 views

Did Darth Vader do the first one-armed lift in the movies?

In Star Wars Darth Vader lifts one of the rebel soldiers off the deck using one powerful arm. This lift with slight variations has been used in subsequent movies and TV programs to demonstrate ...
2 votes
0 answers
100 views

First Irish color feature?

What was the first Irish color feature film? On google I found information about the first color footage, but nothing about a feature film, a movie. The film should be one that the Irish film ...
4 votes
3 answers
930 views

What is the term for the movie theater policy and behavior pre movie clips?

Just before coming attractions the movie theater houses typically have a set of short movies telling the audience how to behave. I'm not looking for "Coming Attractions" or "Our feature presentation"...