A short guide to filmic firsts

Number 1.  Numero uno. #1. No matter how you say it, having the word ‘’first’’ tied to your name indicates success, and film firsts are no exception.

Legendary British filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock had many ‘firsts’ in his six decade career as he mastered the art of suspense and psychological thriller. Directing more than fifty films, Hitchcock’s distinctive directorial style is regarded as one of the best in history.

Much anticipated film Hitchcock (trailer HERE) looks at the director’s life during the making of controversial yet renowned horror film, Psycho.  Check out these famous film firsts that are known for much more than being number 1.




The First Film in the US - Monkeyshines No.1 (1889-1890)
Let’s start at the beginning, sometime between 1889-1890, no one is quite sure of the exact date. We are more certain however, that Monkeyshines No.1 was the first film shot in the U.S. Historians think it was filmed purely for the use of a camera test and never intended for commercial use. Despite some questions, it is widely believed that Monkeyshines was in fact the first movie shot with a continuous strip of film. The rest is cinematic history.



First Montage Film - Battleship Potemkin (1925)
Through an absence of words, Sergei Eisenstein’s Battleship Potemkin dramatizes the 1905 mutiny and police massacre that ensued as Russian battleship crewmembers protested against the Tsarist regime. The technique of montage was used for the first time, as a group of short shots were edited to appear in sequential order on screen. This use of montage known in film editing today as ‘‘cutting’’ led to Battleship Potemkin being named the ‘‘greatest film of all time’’ at the 1958 Brussels World’s Fair.



First Feature Length Talkie - The Jazz Singer (1927)
As moviegoers grew tired of seeing films without dialogue, American musical The Jazz Singer provided relief as the first feature length film with sound, commonly referred to today as ‘‘talkies.’’ American singer Al Jolson leads as Jack Robin, the son of a Jewish cantor who defiantly leaves home to chase his dream of becoming a jazz singer. The Jazz Singer breaks the silence for all films to come. Need I say more?



First Colour Film - Becky Sharp (1935)
Based on the novel Vanity Fair, historical drama Becky Sharp is best known for its use of Technicolor tri-strip production, creating the first colour film before our eyes. Miriam Hopkins stars as Becky Sharp herself, as she attempts to become part of an upper class family, at the expense of leaving her lower class show biz family behind. Becky Sharp proves that life really is better in colour.



First Flushing Toilet on Screen - Psycho (1960)
There are a great many firsts in Alfred Hitchcock's suspense masterpiece 'Psycho' but revealing them here would ruin the surprises of the narrative. However, one which won't give anything anyway is an interesting little bit of film trivia - 'Psycho' shows the first instance of a real toilet being flushed on mainstream American screens!



The First in Series - Dr. No (1962)-The First James Bond
"Shaken, not stirred." Why yes, we are talking about "Bond, James Bond." Dr. No introduced viewers to the original and arguably best incarnation of Bond throughout its 23 films, Sean Connery.  Dr. No marks the first British spy film in which 007 is dispatched to Jamaica to investigate the death of a fellow agent. This was of course the first of Ian Fleming’s novels to be transformed into a movie ('Casino Royale' was made into a seldom seen one-hour TV special a decade previous), leading to a successful series of 23 films. Viewers entered the world of Bond, from his nightly rendezvous with the infamous 'Bond girls' to his notorious cars and weaponry. More than fifty years later, The James Bond series continues today and is heralded as the longest-running continuous film franchise, revealing its timeless nature. It certainly wasn't the first franchise but it's the most enduring.



First Summer Blockbuster - Jaws (1975)
Directed by legend Steven Spielberg, Jaws reigns as not only one of the greatest films of all time, but as a film that is famous for producing many firsts. Following two shark attacks in resort town Amity Island, a marine biologist, professional shark hunter and the local police chief team up to purse the mysterious shark’s demise. Truly a moment in motion picture history, this horror thriller set the stage for films to be deemed as a ‘‘Blockbuster.’’ This was also the first time a motion picture was widely released across the U.S. after heavy promotion through TV advertising, creating the modern Hollywood business model used today. Upon its release, Jaws was the highest grossing film at the time and remains the prototypical blockbuster hit.



Hitchcock (2012) - First Biographical Film about Alfred Hitchcock
Since his death in 1980, the Hitchcock style continues to be adopted and evolved by many in the industry today. One such tribute is seen in upcoming film Hitchcock, which examines the director’s relationship with wife Alma Reville during the making of controversial yet renowned horror film, Psycho. Watch the trailer for Hitchcock HERE!



Be sure to catch the thrill and suspense when Hitchcock comes to cinemas 8 February.

Other film news

VIDEO: Robert Downey Jr walks out of intense Channel 4 interview

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Jerry Bruckheimer leaks first image of Johnny Depp in 'Pirates of the Caribbean 5'

Production on 'Pirates of the Caribbean 5: Dead Men Tell No Tales' has been a notorious one so far but no official images or videos have surfaced. Until now, that is.

Epic trailer and brilliant posters for 'Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice' arrive

Arriving nearly a full year before the film's release date, a surprisingly full-length teaser trailer for for the hotly anticipated superhero picture 'Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice' has got tongues wagging and jaws dropping. View it in HD here.

Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones officially back together 'and stronger than ever'

Oscar winning Hollywood couple Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones have patched up their differences are are "back, stronger than ever."

WATCH HERE: Dennis Quaid filmed having on-set meltdown but is the video real or hoax?

The veteran double Golden Globe nominated star appears to lose his cool with the director and lash out at the crew while on set in the clip. It isn't clear what film or television project the 'Day After Tomorrow' actor was shooting at the time but the explicit outburst was captured on a mobile phone in the hands of a crewmember within spitting distance of the actor who was once married to Meg Ryan.

Bill Hader, Jemaine Clement, Rebecca Hall, Penelope Wilton and more join Spielberg's BFG cast

Steven Spielberg's first time directing a Disney film has just added some star names to its core cast. 'The BFG' will co-star Bill Hader, Jemaine Clement, Rebecca Hall, Penelope Wilton alongside three-time Tony Award winner Mark Rylance who will play the titular “Big Friendly Giant” and newcomer Ruby Barnhill as Sophie in the Roald Dahl adaptation.

Check out the first cast image from David Ayer's Suicide Squad

The Suicide Squad has assembled. Director David Ayer set Twitter alight with the very first group cast picture from the production of the ensemble superhero flick 'Suicide Squad'.

David Lynch exits 'Twin Peaks' reboot

Writer and director David Lynch is leaving the highly anticipated return of his cult TV show 'Twin Peaks', the auteur himself revealed. The reason? Money.

Clint Eastwood may direct Jonah Hill in Olympic bomb-threat drama

If you thought the mixture of Jonah Hill and Martin Scorsese in 'The Wolf of Wall Street' was an odd one, how about Hill being directed by 'Dirty Harry' himself - Clint Eastwood?

Johnny Depp hand injury shuts down production on 'Pirates of the Caribbean 5'

'Pirates of the Caribbean 5' has been struck by another setback. The franchise sequel, which has been verging on development hell for a few years now, has now seen its lead actor - Johnny Depp - sustain a hand injury that has effectively shut down production.

WATCH HERE: First trailer for 'SPECTRE' reveals Daniel Craig's James Bond, Christoph Waltz and more!

We'd previously only been given a glimpse of Daniel Craig's turtleneck in the poster, but now the first teaser trailer for the massively anticipated 'Skyfall' follow-up, 'SPECTRE', has landed and it's available to watch in all its HD glory right here.

Idris Elba in negotiations for villain role in 'Star Trek 3'

Pre-production has already started on Justin Lin's 'Star Trek 3' but the villain role has yet to be cast. The Hollywood Reporter has now reported that Idris Elba is officially in talks to fill those shoes.

First look at Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor in 'Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice'

Here's the first glimpse of Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor in 'Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice', as first broken over at Entertainment Weekly.

Bradley Cooper takes over 'A Star Is Born' director duties from Clint Eastwood

Bradley Cooper set to make his debut as director, taking over from Clint Eastwood for music drama 'A Star Is Born'.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt confirms he'll star in 'Fraggle Rock' movie

A live-action feature-film adaptation of Jim Henson's 'Fraggle Rock' has been in various stages of early development for the better part of a decade, but now it looks like it's making some real progress: 'Brick' star Joseph Gordon-Levitt has confirmed that he'll be starring.

Michael Biehn confirms his return as Hicks in Neill Blomkamp's 'Alien' sequel

Michael Biehn, the cult actor who is best known for his work in James Cameron sci-fi classics 'The Terminator', 'The Abyss' and 'Aliens', has confirmed that he will be returning to the 'Alien' franchise in Neill Blomkamp's upcoming sequel.

First look at Tom Hanks in Spielberg's 'Bridge of Spies' plus why John Williams isn't scoring the film

Here's the first look at 'Bridge of Spies' - the upcoming dramatic thriller directed by triple Oscar-winning director Steven Spielberg (“Saving Private Ryan,” “Schindler’s List”) and starring two-time Academy Award winner Tom Hanks (“Forrest Gump,” “Philadelphia”). The first official images sees Hanks' lawyer character in action.

See Emile Hirsch's mugshot following his assault charge

'Into the Wild' star Emile Hirsch scrubbed up well for his mugshot as he posed after a court appearance in Park City, Utah, this week.

Eyewitness: Harrison Ford 'saved lives' by crashing plane away from residential area

It has now been proposed by an eyewitness that the 'Indiana Jones' star's quick-thinking to down his stricken plane on a golf course instead of attempting to make it back to the nearby airport via a residential area most likely 'saved several lives'.

Bruce Willis to make Broadway stage debut in Stephen King's 'Misery'

After decades in the acting game, it seems a little strange that 'Die Hard' star Bruce Willis has never graced the stage but all that is about to change - he's just signed on to make his Broadway debut in Stephen King's 'Misery'.

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