Questions tagged [cinema-history]

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

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3
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0answers
157 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
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2answers
124 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 ...
16
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6answers
2k views

What was the first franchise to prominently feature LGBT characters?

In Hollywood, LGBT characters still seem slightly taboo'd. Unless the movie's specific theme is sexuality or LGBT related, it seems as if nearly all characters are heterosexual. In stand-alone movies, ...
14
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1answer
844 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 ...
2
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1answer
116 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 ...
3
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3answers
478 views

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 ...
21
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2answers
4k views

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
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1answer
3k views

What happened to the cut 44 minutes of The Magnificent Ambersons?

Does anyone really know what happened to the missing 44 minutes of Orson Welles’ “The Magnificent Ambersons”? Were they saved somewhere in an RKO vault and forgotten*, or left on the cutting room ...
6
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1answer
1k views

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 ...
62
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7answers
18k views

What makes The Shawshank Redemption so cinematically important?

The Shawshank Redemption is ranked as the "Top Rated" movie according to IMDB's Top 250 List. What makes it so important and unique in the world of cinema? Does it have to do purely with acting/plot,...
3
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0answers
75 views

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.
2
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0answers
152 views

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 ...
8
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0answers
214 views

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'...
0
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0answers
50 views

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?
0
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0answers
80 views

Who decides precisely when a film will be released?

Who decides when a film is released? We know that the director and producer work in tandem, but who specifically, job role would be preferable here, decides precisely when a film will be released into ...
4
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2answers
508 views

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 ...
140
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10answers
40k views

Why are films where the bad guy “wins” at the end so rare?

It seems that there is a rarity in films where the bad guy wins at the film's conclusion ("bad guys" being defined by the culture of the movie makers). By "win" I mean the good guy(s) have been ...
52
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5answers
13k 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. ...
12
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1answer
947 views

What is the first movie to show slicing through a candle to show sword prowess

The nearest I can find is The Mark of Zorro. It shows the villain (played by the wonderful Basil Rathbone) slicing through a candle with rage and then the hero slicing through a candle but seemingly ...
3
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3answers
241 views

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 ...
-2
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2answers
127 views

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 ...
18
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1answer
8k views

What's the first movie with a plot twist? [closed]

The first narrative movie ever was Trip to the moon of Georges Mélièrs. It's about men going to the moon and fighting aliens, so a classical sci-fi movie but without any plot twists. What was the ...
3
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4answers
390 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 ...
7
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0answers
227 views

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 ...
20
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2answers
19k views

Why the aspect ratio change from 4:3 to 16:9 to even wider formats?

It's a common trait of older movies to be shot in 4:3 aspect ratio. Found a list of 4:3 movies, they're all very old (like, before 1960s). Eventually, it became common for 16:9 ratios to be found. ...
2
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1answer
126 views

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 ...
3
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1answer
138 views

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 ...
7
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1answer
196 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 ...
33
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10answers
12k views

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 ...
8
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1answer
208 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? ...
22
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2answers
25k views

What is the world's first movie?

What is the world's first movie? I am curious.
7
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1answer
2k views

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
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2answers
6k views

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 ...
12
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1answer
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 ...
59
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4answers
15k 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 ...
0
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1answer
288 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"): ...
49
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7answers
5k views

What was the first crossover movie like The Avengers, using only movie franchises?

The Avengers is taking 4 separate movie franchises (Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, and Captain America) and combining them all into one huge movie with all the main characters from each movie. Doing some ...
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0answers
53 views

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 ...
-10
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1answer
511 views

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?
-3
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1answer
283 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?
40
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3answers
10k views

Why would a movie that appears pornographic via it's rating (X) receive an Academy Award?

When looking at the IMDb page for Midnight Cowboy, it says that the movie is rated X but won 3 Oscars. I always assumed an X-rated movie is a pornographic movie. Does this mean that Oscars can also be ...
24
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7answers
36k views

What is the first appearance of the F-bomb in a movie?

Having seen the incredible statistics on the frequency of the use of the word "fuck" in movies in this question: What is the sweariest movie ever?, I thought it might also be worth recording the first ...
13
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1answer
575 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:...
5
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0answers
100 views

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 ...
39
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1answer
13k views

How did the word “Bollywood” originate?

As we know, American film industry is referred as Hollywood. The American film industry is called so because the film industry emerged at the place called Hollywood, Los Angeles, CA(Correct me if I am ...
7
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4answers
9k views

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 ...
43
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4answers
15k views

Why do old movies sound like old movies?

There seems to be a distinctive "old movie" sound. The accents (often British, or some weird American-British hybrid), the delivery of lines (if I talked to somebody the way these lines are delivered, ...
12
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1answer
641 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

What was the first book that was split into two (or more) films?

It's become a trend for book adaptations, especially the last in a series, to be split into multiple movies: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows parts 1 and 2, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay parts 1 ...
11
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2answers
7k views

What is the source of Truffaut's famous anti-war movie quote?

Francois Truffaut famously said it is impossible to make an anti-war film. This is cited numerous times by Ebert, and there is even the trope "Truffaut was right". But what is the source for this ...