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Top 10 Firsts in Motion Picture History

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The history of film spans over a hundred years, from the latter part of the
19th century to present day and beyond.  Motion pictures have had a
substantial impact on the arts, technology, and politics.  The industry is
constantly adapting to new technology and improving the movie watching
experience.  In the history of motion picture there have been a number of
innovations and firsts.  The original silent movie era was much different from
today’s blockbusters.  This list will be examining some early firsts in film
history.     

10. The Film with the Most Profanity: Trainspotting

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Trainspotting is a 1996 film directed by Danny Boyle and based on the novel of the
same name by Irvine Welsh. The movie follows a group of heroin addicts in a
1980s economically depressed area of Edinburgh.  Trainspotting holds the record
for the most cursing in any motion picture.  It uses 381 curses in 94 minutes, which
averages 4 swear words a minute.  Scarface uses 475 curses in 170 minutes, Jay
and Silent Bob Strike Back uses 364 curses in 104 minutes, Casino uses 304 in
179 minutes, and Full Metal Jacket uses 301 curses in 116 minutes.  The 2005 film
Fuck: A Documentary on the Word uses the curse 824 times.  The 1999 release
Summer of Sam uses “fuck” 435 times, an average of 3.1 times per minute.  

9. The First Movie Released in DVD Format: Twister

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Twister is a 1996 American disaster film starring Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton.
The movie follows storm chasers who research tornadoes.  In 1995 DVDs
were invented. The technology replaced VHS as the main video and data
storage devices.  DVDs are of the same dimensions as compact discs
(CDs), but store more than six times as much data.  Twister is notable for
being the first Hollywood feature film to be released in the DVD format.  It
was also the last movie to be released on HD DVD.  The recent trend is
Blu-ray, which is an optical disc storage medium designed to supersede the
standard DVD format. 

8. The First Nude Film Scene by a Leading Actress:
Audrey Munson

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Several films of the silent era and early sound era included nude scenes,
which were presented in a historical or religious context.  In 1915, actress
Audrey Munson appeared nude in the film Inspiration.  It is believed to be
the first film to feature nudity from a leading cast member.  In 1934,
American studios passed the Hays Code, which forbid scenes of nudity in
American films.  The ban was not lifted until the 1960’s.  Many documentary,
foreign, and pornographic films featured nudity during this era.  After the
ban, Jayne Mansfield became the first mainstream American actress to
appear nude in the 1963 film Promises! Promises!

7. The First Feature Film to Use Only Computer
Generated Imagery: Toy Story

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In 1995, Toy Story became the first feature film to use only computer
generated imagery.  The movie is directed by John Lasseter and features
the voices of Tom Hanks and Tim Allen.  It was the top
grossing film on its
opening weekend and went on to earn over $350 million worldwide.  Toy
Story was the first release from Pixar Animation Studios. Pixar is a computer
animation studio based in Emeryville, California best known for its CGI
animated feature films.

Computer-generated imagery is the application of 3D computer graphics into
special effects in films and television programs.  CGI is used for visual
effects because computer generated effects are more controllable than
other more physically based processes, such as constructing miniatures for
effects shots or hiring extras for crowd scenes, and because it allows the
creation of images that would not be feasible using any other technology.  It
can also allow a single graphic artist to produce such content without the use
of actors, expensive set pieces, or props.

6. The First Actor to Receive $1 million for a Movie
Role: William Holden

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William Holden is one of Hollywood’s most storied and famous actors.  In
the 1950’s he appeared in numerous classic films and in 1957 he starred in
the production of The Bridge on the River Kwai and was paid $1 million
dollars for his work.  The movie had the budget of a blockbuster and Holden
was the highest paid actor of his day and the first to receive $1 million for a
single role.

Elizabeth Taylor was awarded a record setting $1 million for her work in the
1963 film Cleopatra, making her the first actress to receive $1 million for a
role.  The movie Cleopatra is infamous for almost bankrupting 20th Century
Fox.  Originally budgeted at a total of $2 million, the film’s cost eventually
exceeded $44 million, which is equivalent to $307.5 million today.

5. The First Science Fiction Film: A Trip to the Moon

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Science fiction is a film genre that uses science-based depictions of
phenomena, such as extra-terrestrial life forms, alien worlds, and time travel.
These movies often feature futuristic elements such as spacecraft, robots,
or other technologies. Science fiction films have often been used to focus
on political or social issues, and to explore philosophical issues like the
human condition.  In 1902, A Trip to the Moon became the first science
fiction film ever made.  The production is a French black and white silent
film.  It was written and directed by Georges Méliès, assisted by his brother
Gaston. The movie runs 14 minutes if projected at 16 frames per second,
which was the standard frame rate at the time the film was made.

A Trip to the Moon was extremely popular at the time of its release and it is
the best-known of the hundreds of fantasy films made by Méliès.  It utilizes
innovative animation and special effects, including the well-known image of
the spaceship landing in the moon's eye.  A Trip to the Moon was released
to the public domain because it was made more than 75 years from today,
and its copyright has expired.  The production was named one of the 100
greatest films of the 20th century by The Village Voice, ranking in at #84.

4. The Most Expensive Film Ever Made: Pirates of
the Caribbean: At World's End

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Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End is a 2007 adventure film, the third
film in the Pirates of the Caribbean series.  It has the highest production
budget in box office history at $300 million.  At World's End was an
international hit, becoming the most successful film of 2007, grossing
approximately $960 million worldwide, and making it the second most
successful in the series, behind Dead Man's Chest.  The film was nominated
for the Academy Award for Makeup and the Academy Award for Visual
Effects.  Despite advertising saying "it's the final chapter of the trilogy", the
fourth installment, On Stranger Tides, is currently in development and is
scheduled to be released in 2011.


Rounding out the Top 10 most expensive movies in history includes Spider-
Man 3 ($258 million), Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince ($250 million),
Avatar ($237 million), The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian ($225
million), Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest ($225 million), X-Men:
The Last Stand ($210 million), Superman Returns ($209 million), King Kong
($207 million), and 2012 ($200 million).  Note that Avatar is officially
budgeted at $237 million; other estimates put the cost at $280–310 million to
produce and $150 million for marketing. 

3. The First and Only Pornographic Film to Gross
Over $100 Million: Deep Throat

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Deep Throat is a 1972 American pornographic film written and directed by
Gerard Damiano and starring Linda Lovelace (Linda Susan Boreman).  It
was one of the first pornographic films to feature a plot, character
development, and relatively high production standards.  The film garnered
mainstream attention and grossed over $100 million.  It is the first and only
pornographic film to make over $100 million.  Estimates of the film's total
revenues have varied widely and numbers as high as $600 million have been
cited.  Deep Throat was banned outright in parts of the U.S. and many other
countries, the FBI's estimates that the film produced an income of
approximately $100 million.

Deep Throat officially premiered at the World Theater in New York on June
12 and was advertised in The New York Times under the bowdlerized title
"Throat.”  The film's popularity helped launch a brief period of upper-middle
class interest in explicit pornography.

2. The First Woman to Direct a Motion Picture that
Grossed Over $100 Million: Penny Marshall
 

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Penny Marshall is an American actress, producer, and director.  After playing
several small roles for television, Marshall was cast as Laverne DeFazio in
the sitcom Laverne and Shirley.  The show was a ratings success and ran
from 1976 until 1983.  Marshall received three Golden Globe award
nominations for her performance.  In 1988, Penny Marshall was given the
job of directing the blockbuster Big.  Steven Spielberg was originally going
to direct the picture.

Big became a worldwide success and helped launch the career of Tom
Hanks.  The movie grossed over $150 million worldwide and became the
first movie directed by a woman to make over $100 million.  Penny Marshall
went on to direct another 100 million dollar blockbuster in 1992 with A
League of Their Own.  She also directed Awakenings (1990), Jumpin' Jack
Flash
(1986), Renaissance Man (1994), The Preacher's Wife (1996), and
Riding in Cars with Boys (2001). 

1. The First Feature Film to be Broadcasted in
Color: The World, the Flesh and the Devil

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A Film Using Kinemacolor

The World, the Flesh and the Devil (1914) was the world's first dramatic
feature film to be photographed in color.  It was made using the Kinemacolor
process.  The movie is about an intensely unhappy woman who hatches a
plot to switch the babies of a poor family and a rich family.  But the nurse
hired to pull off this transfer refuses to go through with it, leaving each baby
with its proper family.  When the babies are grown, the man from the poor
family (who has been led to believe that he did come from the rich family)
goes to the house of the other and throws him out.  The remainder of the
movie deals with the frustrations of mistaken identity.


Kinemacolor was the first successful color motion picture process, used
commercially from 1908 to 1914. It was invented by George Albert Smith of
Brighton, England in 1906, and launched by Charles Urban's Urban Trading
Co. of London in 1908.  From 1909 on, the process was known as
Kinemacolor.  It was a two-color additive process, photographing and
projecting a black-and-white film behind alternating red and green filters. 

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Copyright The List Blog - Top 10, All Rights Reserved, Posted January 13, 2010