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

From a thin Bale to a bloated Cruise, here are cinema's most surprising transformations!

Critics and audiences alike are buzzing over Johnny Depp’s unrecognizable self in his portrayal of gangster Whitey Bulger in the upcoming film Black Mass, as his dark locks are dyed white-blonde and he dons coloured contacts to depict the Irish-American Boston mobster. In honour of the upcoming release of Black Mass, take a step back in time to look at some of the most iconic movie transformations ever.

Film's greatest female comedy duos!

Get ready for lots of laughs when Hot Pursuit comes out on Blu-rayTM and DVD November 23rd. Duo Reese Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara star alongside each other in this hilarious comedy as they go on the run. To celebrate the release of the film we take a look at some of the greatest female comedy duos.

The force is strong in these ones... Your favourite Star Wars characters revealed!

The most highly anticipated movie of the past decade is now, at last, upon us. We’ve already had every conversation of the past couple of weeks be at one point dominated by the release of the trailer, which carefully eludes to everything whilst also saying nothing at all. Because thanks to the marketing moguls behind the film’s release, everything is up for the guessing. The conspiracy theories however, keep on coming, most notably those that relate the new characters of Star Wars: the Force Awakens back to the ones that we have grown to love and know.

Infographic: All of the watches worn by James Bond

Our friends at Watches2U have put together this brilliant infographic charting the nation's favourite superspy's wristwear of choice for your viewing pleasure!

The top 10 greatest book to box set adaptations

To celebrate the release of The Leftovers: The Complete First Season on Blu-ray and DVD today we take a look at the top ten best journeys from book to box set of modern times.

From DiCaprio to Portman: The unlikely beginnings of the screen's brightest stars

To celebrate the home entertainment release of Entourage The Movie we take a trip down memory lane and look at where some of the biggest stars in Hollywood first got spotted.

From Kilmer to Seagal... Whatever happened to our favourite action film heroes?

What about some of those action heroes we haven't heard from in a while? We decided to track down a few of our favourites.

Writing's On The Wall: Sam Smith confirmed for new James Bond theme

It's official: Sam Smith is singing the new James Bond theme tune, following in the footsteps of Adele's Oscar winning Skyfall song.

Read the legendary Kray brothers RAP SHEET of criminal activity!

To get more of an idea of what the two siblings got up to, this feature takes a look at their RAP SHEET...

Tributes pour in for horror film legend Wes Craven

The film world has shown its appreciation of horror maestro Wes Craven, who passed away on Sunday aged 76.

Five of the film world's funniest families

The Griswolds are back in hilarious comedy Vacation - out in cinemas this Friday. The film follows on from the National Lampoon classics and in true Griswold-style, disaster strikes the next generation of the calamitous family as they embark on a cross-country road-trip.

Jurassic World director locked in for new Star Wars film

After scoring the third highest performing film at the box office of all time, Colin Trevorrow became an indie filmmaker who was suddenly the most in-demand director in Hollywood.

And the world's top 10 highest paid actors are...

The numbers don't lie... Robert Downey Jr is the world's highest paid actor. And if that wasn't impressive enough, it's the Iron Man star's third year in a row at the top spot.

00-Heaven: First look at the stunning new James Bond steelbooks and Blu-ray set

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios (or MGM to you and me) and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment are releasing special edition Blu-rays and Blu-ray & DVD collectible box-sets on September 14th, ahead of the November 6th global release of SPECTRE, the 24th James Bond adventure. And the first promo images have jaws dropping.

First trailer lands for Robert Redford's long-awaited Bill Bryson memoir A Walk In The Woods

Directed by Ken Kwapis (He’s Just Not That Into You), the film arrives in cinemas this September. Check out the trailer below and the official synopsis.

'My whole life has lead to this moment': Simon Pegg joins Star Wars cast

Actor and Star Wars superfan Simon Pegg has been cast in the upcoming Star Wars spin-off film Rogue One, it has been confirmed.

Disney to grant Prince Charming his own standalone live action film

After Kenneth Branagh's live action take on Cinderella grossed over half a billion dollars at the worldwide box office last year and Maleficent made even more, Disney have invested further into the idea of standalone live action films based on iconic usually animated characters.

Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner announce divorce just a day after their 10 year wedding anniversary

Celebrity power couple Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner are getting divorced after just over 10 years of marriage, it has been confirmed.

Rebooted: Check out the new all-girl Ghostbusters costumes here!

Writer and director Paul Feig has given fans a glimpse of the new Ghostbusters costumes via social media with the cheeky hashtag #whatyougonnawear

Ezra Miller may join Harry Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts with Eddie Redmayne

First came the news that recent Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne was cast in Harry Potter spin-off Fantastic Beasts and now it looks like We Need to Talk About Kevin star Ezra Miller was coming onboard as well.

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