Earliest Movie Sequel

After going to see The Transporter 2 last night and indulging my love of stupid movies I began wondering what the earliest movie sequel was. Once I exlucluded the old serials, which I figured didn’t count, and movies that are based on previous works, which would eliminate all the silent versions of Alexander Dumas’ works, I couldn’t come up with anything earlier than the 60’s. I have to imagine that there was something earlier than theat, so what was the first movie sequel that was not based on a previous work?

I remember there was a sequel to “the cat people” in the forties.But, to be fair,it was sequel in name only.I think it was called “curse of the cat people”.

Oh yeah,who could forget “the thin man”? I recently watched douglas fairbanks in “zorro”,1920 and “son of zorro”,1925.

I’m confused by the parameters. No movie that has its source material any other medium is acceptable? That lets out both The Thin Man series (from a Dashell Hammett story) and Zorro (first appeared in print in 1919).

But the earliest I can find is the “Jones” series of short comedies starring John R. Cumpson and Florence Lawrence in a series of 1909 domestic sitcoms, including Mr. Jones Has a Card Party, The Joneses Have Amateur Theatricals, His Wife’s Mother, Jones and His New Neighbors, Jones and the Lady Book Agent and Her First Biscuits (the victims of Mrs. Jones’s biscuits include future stars Mary Pickford, Mack Sennett, Arthur Johnson and Owen Moore), among other.

(bolding mine)

Tell me that’s not her real name…


Born Florence Annie Bridgwood in 1886; her mother, an actress as well, took her maiden name of “Lawrence” back after her divorce. So yep, basically she really was Florence Lawrence. Big, big star from 1908 to about 1912. Wound up broke, living in a boarding house and working as an extra; killed herself in 1938.

AKA “The Biograph Girl.” Arguably the first “movie star.”

Apropos of absolutely nothing, there was a novel out a few years ago called “The Biograph Girl: A Novel of Hollywood Ten and Now” which revolves around the notion that Florence faked her own death. She’s re-discovered at age 107 living in a nursing home in Buffalo. I haven’t read it, but it’s on my “pick up if I see it somewhere cheap” list.

Grrr…that’s “Hollywood Then and Now,” the Hollywood Ten being something entirely different.

Bah. Zorro? Mr. Jones Has His Wife’s Mother? Silents. Arcana. Esoterica. Minutiae. Piffle. BAH! I say.

I nominate Son of Kong (1933) as the earliest movie sequel anyone should give a wet poot about.

I’ve heard from several sources that the first feature with a sequel was * Birth Of A Nation* (1915) followed by *Fall Of A Nation * (1916)

To clarify the terms I would say that any movie sequel that itself is not based on a previous work would count. So for instance if someone made a sequel to ‘Gone with the Wind’ called ‘The Wind Strikes Back’, then it would count even though the first movie was based on a novel.

So far I think Son of Kong sounds like the earliest. IIRC Birth of a Nation and Fall of a Nation were both based on books by Tom Dixon, which is backed up by IMDB. The ‘Jones’ comedies seem to fall under what I would think of as serials or shorts rather than fully formed movies.

Well, that’s getting a bit subjective, then; most films before 1914 or so were “shorts.” So the question is really “Earliest Movie Sequel That Falls Under All of Alistair McCello’s Specific Rules.”

*The Shiek * (1921) and *The Son of The Shiek * (1926) starring Rudolph Valentino.

That is a good point, I suppose if those early years are to be included at all then there can’t be a required length. So as long as each of the Jones films had its own full plot then they would count.

How about The Katzenjammer Kids in School (1898) and The Katzenjammer Kids Have a Love Affair (1900)?

Apparently they were both based on comic strips, so they don’t count.

I think that one could be cross-referenced under the “Earliest Movie Porn” thread . . .

Dumb Sagacity (UK, 1907) was a sequel to Black Beauty (1907).
A Square Deal; or, The End of a Bad Man (1907) was a sequel to The Bad Man: A Tale of the West.
His Wife’s Visitor (1909) was a sequel to They Would Elope.

An Hour Before Dawn (1913) was a sequel to Chelsea 7750 (1913). Both were original screenplays by J. Searle Dawley.
Tillie’s Tomato Surprise (1915) and Tillie Wakes Up (1917) were sequels to Tillie’s Punctured Romance (1914), all starring Marie Dressler. Although the first movie was based on a play, the sequels were both originals.
Womanhood, the Glory of the Nation (1917) was the sequel to The Battle Cry of Peace (1915).

The sequel is based on the novel The Fall of a Nation: A Sequel to The Birth of a Nation by Thomas Dixon. Despite his title, none of the characters in The Fall are from The Birth of a Nation, nor is it set in the South, nor is it set during Reconstruction. The plot of the sequel is about an American millionaire who heads a German-backed conspiracy to overthrow the United States by arming the nation’s immigrants.