Prior to the debut of "One Hundred Years of Mormonism" and two other documentaries in 1913, most "documentaries" had really been one-reel "actualities" -- short (10 to 15 minutes) films that simply captured actual events in front of a camera. These would typically feature little or no editing.
Table, and the footnote about DeMille that follows, are from Film Facts, page 10:
The First Twelve Feature Films Produced in the USA
|May 1912||Oliver Twist||(5 reels)||H. A. Spanuth|
|Oct 1912||From the Manger to the Cross||(6 reels)||Karem Co.|
|Oct 1912||Richard III||(4 reels)||Sterling Camera & Film Co.|
|Nov 1912||Cleopatra||(6 reels)||Helen Gardner Picture Plays|
|Nov 1912||The Adventures of Lieutenant Petrosino||Feature Photoplay Co.|
|Feb 1913||One Hundred Years of Mormonism||(6 reels)||Utah Moving Picture Co.; Ellay Co.|
|Feb 1913||A Prisoner of Zenda||(4 reels)||Famous Players Film Co.|
|March (?) 1913||Hiawatha||(4 reels)||Frank E.Moore|
|June 1913||The Battle of Gettysburg||(5 reels)||NY Motion Picture Co.|
|July 1913||The Seed of the Fathers||(6 reels)||Monopol Film Co.|
|Aug (?) 1913||Victory||(5 reels)||Victory Co.|
|Sept 1913||Tess of the D'Urbervilles||(5 reels)||Famous Players Film Co.|
It is worthy of note that neither Cecil B. DeMille's The Squaw Man (1914) nor D. W. Griffith's Judith of Bethulia (1914), each of which has been citted as the first feature produced in the US, appears above.
The first feature-length documentary ever made in the United States was "One Hundred Years of Mormonism." This film is also the first feature-length documentary made anywhere, about any subject, although it ties for this honor with two other films.
Film Facts, page 211:
The first feature-length documentaries were Paul Rainey's eight-reel African Hunt (US 1912); a dramatised production in five reels called One Hundred Years of Mormonism (US 1912); and Akaky Tsereteli's Journey Along the Racha and Lechkhuma (Rus 1912) by the Georgian director Vasily Amashukeli.
The largest publicity budget [in film history] was the $68 million spent by Universal and licensed merchandisers on promoting Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park (US 93) [produced by Gerald Molen/Jerry Molen, a Latter-day Saint] in the US. This was $8 million more than the cost of the film.
In February 2001 Coca-Cola inked a $150 million promotional tie-in deal with Warner Bros as the sole global marketing partner on the upcoming Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.
The highest-grossing sequel [in movie history] was Universal's The Lost World: Jurassic Park (US 97) [produced by Gerald Molen/Jerry Molen, a Latter-day Saint], which took $611 million [worldwide], compared with $913 million for Jurassic Park. Or Fox's Star Wars: Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace (US 99) at $927 million -- the second-highest-grossing film of all time--if prequels are considered eligible for the record.
The film with the highest earnings at the box office is Twentieth Century Fox and Paramount Pictures' Titanic (US 97), directed, scripted and co-produced by James Cameron, and starrring Leonardo DiCaprio opposite British thesp Kate Winslet. Budgeted at a record $200 million, Titanic became the first ever billion-dollar movie on 1 March 1998. It went on to achiee $1,834 in worldwide ticket sales, of which $600.8 million was in the North American market. This was over twice the gross of the previous box-office champion, Jurassic Park (US 93), at $913.3 million.
Box office champions before Titanic and since the advent of talkies were as follows: SNow White and the Seven Dwarfs (US 37), which was the first talkie to overtake the record for silent pictures set by The Big Parade (US 25); Gone with the Wind (US 39(, which held the record from 1940 until overtaken by The Sound of Music (US 65) in August 1966 and again in 1971-2 as the result of a reissue; The Godfather (US 72), which sset a new record the year of its release; and Jaws (US 75), also a record-breaker in its first year and box-office champion until surpassed by Star Wars in 1977. THe crown passed to Steven Spielberg's E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (US 82) in January 1983, 31 weeks after its release, and then to another Spielberg epic, Jurassic Park (US 93), over ten years later.
The top grossing silent film was King Vidor's The Big Parade (US 25), with worldwide rentals [box office revenue returned by theaters, minus the theaters' share] of $22 million. No exact figure is available for D. W. Griffith's The Birth of a Nation (US 15), which was long thought of as the top grossing silent, wih estimates of up to $50 million receipts in the domestic market alone. This is now considered to be a wildly exaggerated figure, and Variety quotes $5 million as a reasonable 'guesstimate'. Griffith himself stated in 1929 that the film had earned $10 million worldwide.
The highest opening gross for a film was the $92.7 million earned in North America by Universal's The Lost World: Jurassic Park (US 97), directed by Steven Spielberg, over the four-day Memorial Day weekend of 23-26 May 1997. The highest single day's gross of all time was $28.5 million for the Lucas Film/Fox's Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (US 99) on its opening day. Wednesday, 19 May 1999, aided by the fact that the first shows started at 12:01 a.m. and continued non-stop night and day.
This list has been compiled from data published in the American trade paper Variety and ranks the 20 most successful films at the box office by their worldwide grosses at end 2000. The girues represent the total value to the tickets sold, as opposed to the rentals returned to the distributors. All the productions listed are American.
|2||Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace||Fox||1999||927|
|5||The Lion King||Buena Vita||1994||772|
|6||E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial||Universal||1992||701|
|7||The Sixth Sense||Buena Vista/Spyglass||1999||679|
|9||The Lost World: Jurassic Park||Universal||1997||611|
|11||Men in Black||Sony||1997||584|
|12||Mission: Impossible 2||Paramount||2000||545|
|18||Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade||Paramount||1989||495|
Unfortunately for those of this company who expected to be immortalised in the credits, there is now a law in Hollywood which decrees that no more than three writers can receive screen credit. In the event those whose names are recorded in the annals of Hollywood as the official begetters of The Flintstones screenplay are Tom S Parker, Jim Jennewein and Steven E. de Souza.
Film Facts, page 50:
Films based on diaries have been rare, though one obvious example is The Diary of Anne Frank (US 59). A notable addition to the genre was Peter Jackson's Heavenly Creatures (NZ 94), a remarkable exposition of an intense relationship between two teenage girls in New Zealand in the early 1950s which led to tragedy when they bludgeoned the mother of one of them to death in a public park. Much of the story was pieced together rom the diary of the daughter of the victim, Pauline Parker, a solitary girl of working-class background who had been friendless at Christchurch Girls High School until the advent of a spirited upper-middle-class girl from England, Juliet Hulme (Kate Winslet). It recorded the fantasy world they isolated themselves within and the growing despair they felt when faced with the prospect of separatoin. Irrationally they sought a solution by plotting the death of Pauline's mother, recorded in daily detail in the diary. When the horrifying deed was done, it was the discovery of the diary by the police which led to the rapid arrest of both girls. At their trial a plea that they were mentally unbalanced when they committed the crime was dismissed and they were detained at Her Majesty's Pleasure. They were released in 1959 on the condition that they never saw each other again. Shortly before the film was released an investigative journalist in New Zealand revealed that the well-known British writer of crime fiction Anne Perry was the former Juliet Hulme. The title Heavenly Creatures was taken directly from Pauline's diary; she had used it to describe herself and Juliet as people set apart.
Film Facts, page 51:
The characer most often portrayed on screen since the inception of the story film has been Sherlock Holmes, the master detective created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930), who has been played by 88 actors, including two black actors and two chinese, in 225 films produced between 1900 and 1999 (see filmography). The only actor to have played both Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson was Reginald Owen, who was Watson in Sherlock Holmes (US 32) and Holmes in A Study in Scarlet (US 33). Apart from the heroes or heroines featuring in films listed under Remakes (see p. 29) the fictitious or legendary characters most frequently represented on screen have been Count Dracula - 167 films; Lord Krishna - 127; Frankenstein's Monster - 121; Tarzan - 102; Zorro - 74; Hopalong Cassidy - 66; the Durango Kid - 64; Robin Hood - 62; Charlie Chan - 49; Ali Baba - 34.
Film Facts, page 74:
The films of 1994
Crime made a comeback--over 28% of US films were in this genre [in 1994]. Not only had the proportionnearly doubled since 1984, but the mood was much blacker -- picutres like Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction and Oliver Stone's Natural Born Killers [written by Latter-day Saint screenwriter David Veloz] seemed to be extolling violence as an art form. Comedy was the largest category, slightly higher than crime at nearly 30%, with films ranging from the infantile, as represented by the critically panned but enormously successful The Flintstones [produced by Gerald Molen], to the Capraesque, as represented by the critically acclaimed and even more enormously successful Forrest Gump.
The earliest subjects of western interest were Sioux Indian Ghost Dance, Indian War Council and Buffalo Dance, made by the Edison Co. at West Orange, NJ on 24 September 1894. Bucking Broncho followed on 16 October and is notable for the first appearance of a cowboy in a fil--Lee Martin of Colorado...
The first westerns were copyrighted by the American Mutoscope & Biograph Co. on 21 September 1903. One was titled Kit Carson (US 03) and related the story of its hero's capture by Indians and subsequent escape through the agency of a beautiful Indian maiden. There were 11 scenes and the film had a running timeof 21 minutes, making it the longest dramatic picture (other than Passion Plays), produced in America at that time. The other film, titled The Pioneers (US 03), showed the burning of a settler's homestead by Indians, who kill the homesteader and his wife and carry off his daughter. The picture ends with the dramatic rescue of the cihld by frontiersmen who have found the bodies of her parents. Running time was approximately 15 minutes. Both pictures were directed by Wallace McCutcheon and filed on location in the Adirondack Mountains of New York State. Kit Carson was made on 8 September 1903 and The Pioneers two days later.
Film Facts, page 75:
The highest-earning western was Kevin Costner's Dances with Wolves (US 90), which grossed $394.2 million worldwide. The previous record was held for 21 years by Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (US 69).
Film Facts, page 83:
Extras who Became Stars
Comparatively few major stars began their film careers as extras, the majority having had stage or, latterly, television experience before entering movies. Those who did do extra work include Theda Bara, Gary Cooper, Marlene Dietrich, Clark Gable, Janet Gaynor, John Gilbert, Paulette Goddard, Stewart Granger,Jean Harlow, Harold Lloyd, Sophia Loren, Marilyn Monroe, David Niven, Ramon Novarro, Merle Oberon, Norma Shearer, Erich von Stroheim, Constance Talmadge, Rudolph valentino, Michael Wilding and Loretta Young [a native of Utah].
Film Facts, page 115:
The largest cast of dwarves and midgets was 116 in The Wizard of Oz (US 30), and an equal number in Under the Rainbow (US 81) [starring Billy Barty], which was the story of what the original Munchkins got up to on and off the set of The Wizard of Oz while they were staying at the Culver Hotel in 1938. (What they got up to was miniature mayhem.)
Film Facts, page 126:
The fastest speed at which a camera has been operated on any feature film (or the slowest slow-motion sequence) was 2500 frames per second for the giant explosion scene in Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan (US 82). The scene, shot at Industrial Light and Magic at the Cow Palace in San Francisco, took a single second to film but occupied 104 seconds on screen. The normal speed at which a 35mm motion picture camera operates is 24 frames per second.
Film Facts, page 130:
The first use of morphing was in Ron Howards's Willow (US 88)...
Film Facts, page 174:
The first feature film in a Native American language was Windwalker (US 80), starring Trevor Howard, which was made entirely in the Cheyenne and Crow languages. [The film's producer, director and writers, as well as most other key crew members, were Latter-day Saints.]
Film Facts, page 207:
The first CinemaScope cartoon feature was Disnehy's The Sleeping Beauty (US 59); there were none others until Twentieth Century Fox's Anastasia (US 98).
The first computer-animated character in a movie was the sea creature in James Cameron's waterlogged sci-fi pic The Abyss (US 89). It comes aboard a crippled nuclear sub and changes shape to mimic the loks on the faces of the crew.
The first animated feature generated by computer was John Lasseter's Toy Story (US 95), a Walt Disney Pictures/Pixar production with Tom Hanks voicing cowboy-puppet Woody and Tim Allen his toy-cupboard rival Buzz Lightyear. THe picture took four years to complete. Sight and Sound commended the technical achievement of the film with the observation that 'Ordinary cel animatino cannot achieve the density of colour, or the believability of these lighting effects, and can rarely match the fluidity of "camera" movement on display here', adding 'the photo-realistic quality of the rendering on the toys and surroundings is breathtakingly sharp and fine-grained'.Each of the 110,000 frames of the movie was mde up of 1,416,192 pixels enabling the variables of lighting, background, character movement, reflectance, surface textures and colour which gave the action a versimilitude never achieved in animation before. The finished print toko a total of 800,000 computer hours, at 300 megabytes per frame.
Film Facts, page 211:
The first feature-length documentaries were Paul Rainey's eight-reel African Hunt (US 12); a dramatised production in five reels called One Hundred Years of Mormonism (US 12); and Akaky Tsereteli's Journey Along the Racha and Lechkhuma (Rus 12) by the Georgian director Vasily Amashukeli.
The most successful documentary film at the box office was the IMAX large-screen production The Dream Is Alive (Can 85), produced and directed by Graeme Ferguson in association with NASA and with a commentary by veteren broadcaster Walter Cronkite. The 37-minute fil, much of it shot in space by 14 space-shuttle astronauts, grossed over $86 million. The most successful documentary released in conventional cinemas was the Destination Cinemas production Mysteries of Egypt (US 98) with a worldwide gross of $71 million.
Film Facts, page 229:
More Pakistani children saw Jurassic Park (US 93) than all the films released in Pakistan in the last 45 years.
Film Facts, page 238:
The highest price paid for TV rights to a movie was $80 million in June 1997 by the Fox network for Steven Spielberg's The Lost World: Jurassic Park (US 97).
The most successful made-for-video film was Disney's The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea (US 2000), with sales of $121 million.
Film Facts, page 243:
The first and only year in which all ten performers nominated for Best Actor and Best Actress were American-born was 1985. William Hurt won for Kiss of the Spider Woman, against competition from Harrison Ford, James Garner, Jack Nicholson and Jon Voight; while Geraldine Page took the honours for The Trip to Bountiful [produced by Latter-day Saint Sterling Van Wagenen] versus Whoopi Goldberg, Jessica Lange, Anne Bancroft and Meryl Streep.