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

Full statement: Sony cancel American release of 'The Interview'

Following the demands of the Sony hackers, the Seth Rogen and James Franco political satire 'The Interview' has been shelved in its home market of America.

Mr Turner and Birdman lead nominations for 35th London Critics' Circle Film Awards

The London Film Critics' Circle has announced the nominations for its 35th annual awards ceremony, with Mike Leigh's historical biopic Mr Turner leading the way with seven nominations, including Film of the Year and British Film of the Year.

Sony hack: James Bond film Spectre script leaked, Clooney's 'sleepless nights', Jolie bashing, salary revelations and more

The massive hack on film studio sony Pictures has become a media firestorm with a wealth of sensitive information being leaked by hacking group Guardians of Peace. Here's the rundown of events:

FIRST TRAILER: Sean Penn turns action star in 'The Gunman'

Double Oscar winner Sean Penn hasn't been known to close in the most commercial of film projects, but as he's reached his fifties the 'Mystic River' and 'Milk' star appears to have had a change of heart.

Full list of Golden Globe nominations plus snubs and stars reactions

The Golden Globe nominations have been announced and ‘Birdman’ ‘Boyhood’ and ‘Imitation Game’ are leading the pack while some heavy hitters found themselves snubbed: 'Interstellar' settled for just a music nomination for Hans Zimmer's score and Angelina Jolie's 'Unbroken' got nothing, as did Clint Eastwood's war drama 'American Sniper' starring a snubbed Bradley Cooper.

Sony hackers reportedly demand the release of 'The Interview' be scrapped

The hackers that struck Sony Pictures and revealed star salaries as well as leaking screener copies of some of their films onto torrent websites have taunted the studio again.

Mark Wahlberg seeks pardon for historical assault crime

'The Fighter' star Mark Wahlberg is seeking redemption - he's just filed for a pardon over a crime he was convicted of back in 1988.

Watch the entire cast, title, car, synopsis and release date announcement of James Bond 24: Spectre

'Skyfall' director Sam Mendes took to the Pinewood Studios stage to formally announce the particulars of the forthcoming James Bond movie. The Oscar winner revealed that 007's 24th adventure would be titled 'Spectre'.

Actor Mickey Rourke's triumphant boxing return: Opponent 'was paid to throw the fight'

Amateur boxer turned pin-up actor turned pro boxer turned Oscar nominated actor turned pro boxer again Mickey Rourke scored a professional boxing match win at the age of 62 last week, but some sources now claim the two round fight was rigged.

Full list: 'Birdman' leads Independent Spirit Award nominations

One of the earliest to announce their film picks in the awards season, the Independent Spirit Awards have revealed their nominations with director Alejandro G. Inarritu's 'Birdman' leading the way with six noms.

Spielberg, Streep, Pacino and more pay tribute to Oscar winning director of 'The Graduate' Mike Nichols

Mike Nichols, the visionary director who won an Oscar for one of the most definitive pictures of the 1960s - 'The Graduate' - and was nominated for a further four, has died aged 83.

More women speak out as Bill Cosby 'refuses to dignify rape allegations with any comment'

Sexual assault allegations have once again surfaced against comedian and actor Bill Cosby, but he has flat-out refused to address them.

Christoph Waltz 'to play next Bond villain'

Quentin Tarantino favourite and double Oscar winner Christoph Waltz is set to play the next villain the James Bond franchise, according to reports.

Sam Raimi to direct Evil Dead TV series starring Bruce Campbell

It's official: 'The Evil Dead' is coming back to screens with original star Bruce Campbell involved alongside director Sam Raimi.

Matt Damon confirms 'I'm doing another Bourne movie for 2016'

Oscar winner Matt Damon has confirmed that he's returning to the espionage Bourne franchise with another movie set to be released in 2016.

The Fault in Our Stars: Shailene Woodley & Ansel Elgort interview

To celebrate the DVD and Blu-ray release of The Fault in Our Stars (out November 3rd), check out this interview with lead actors Shailene Woodley (Hazel) & Ansel Elgort (Gus).

Tom Hanks to write book of short stories

'Captain Philips' Oscar winner Tom Hanks is adding another feather to his cap - he's just revealed plans to enter the field of literature.

Land Rover reveals the UK's top 40 most-loved sci-fi films

The 1982 family-favourite, about an extra-terrestrial trying to return home beat other sci-fi heavy hittings such as Ridley Scott's horror 'Alien' and the Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones buddy comedy 'Men in Black' to the top spot.

Benedict Cumberbatch lined up to play Marvel's 'Doctor Strange'

Benedict Cumberbatch is now in the frame to add the Marvel superhero universe to his already glowing CV.

Jena Malone playing female Robin in 'Batman v Superman': Extra who leaked news could be fined $5m

According to an anonymous extra on the set of upcoming superhero epic 'Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice', Jena Malone has been cast as a female version of Batman's sidekick Robin.

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