Earliest prequel in film?

It occurs to me that Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) is the earliest movie prequel I can think of, at least in the sense we commonly think of prequels today. Am I forgetting (or simply unaware of) a ton? For purposes of this exercise, I’m classifying a movie prequel as:

  1. A film that came out after another film;
  2. set in the same story “universe,” of sequential events if not actual location;
  3. featuring the same protagonist, or at least a protagonist who was a primary character in the first film;
  4. with that character being played by the same actor (i.e. no two-decade-later origin story reboots);
  5. that depicts, completely or at least primarily, events that took place before the events of the earlier film (i.e. not just one little flashback scene); and
  6. neither the first movie nor the prequel are adaptations of books or other media.

By those criteria, can you think of any earlier prequel than Temple of Doom? I know I could Google it, but I’d rather be made to feel dumb by y’all than by a cold, heartless search engine. :slight_smile:

I would say Godfather part 2, but conditions 5 and 6 disqualify it.

Escape From The Planet Of The Apes, after Beneath The Planet Of The Apes.

Fits all six criteria, technically.

I said “technically”.

I believe “Butch and Sundance: The Early Days” (1979) was the movie that coined the word “prequel,” except it violates your #4.

Diamonds Are Forever (1971) has to occur before On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969; No other explanation for Bond not saying something like “Hey, didn’t you kill my wife a few months ago?”). But, different actors for both Bond and Blofeld.

Diamonds Are Forever and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service are based on novels
and it’s not a prequel anyway

why would Bond say that to Blofeld anyway

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly seems like a prequel to Fistful of Dollars and For a Few Dollars more (because he gets the poncho in TGTBATU), but I’m not sure the movies are necessarily related. Still, it DOES seem to fit all your criteria.

At the beginning of*** Diamonds***, isn’t Bond looking for Blofeld to exact revenge for killing Tracey? :dubious: :confused:

Davey Crockett and the River Pirates(1956) is a prequel to Davey Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier (1955). Both, however, are edited compilations of TV shows.

Another Part of the Forest (1948) is a prequel to The Little Foxes (1941), but fails on 3, 4, and 6.

Wait, Temple of Doom was a prequel? How did I miss that part?

I don’t have DVDs of the two movies on hand, but I did not get that impression watching it, and based on the synopses on Wiki and IMDB, I’m not the only one. My most vivid recollection of the beginning of Diamonds is Connery strangling that woman with her own bikini top. The films, of course, weren’t made in the same order as the books they semi-adapted and both movies proceed as if Bond and Blofeld are meeting for the first time. (SPECTRE has a “first meeting” as well, so I guess that’s kind of a hat trick. The only way for Diamonds not to be a prequel is for Majesty’s to be a reboot and I don’t think that’s suppose to be the case.

Everyone he molested in the teaser was asked “Where is he?” That is, he was hunting Blofeld down. When he finally nailed him in the mud baths, his only objective was to snuff him with extreme prejudice.

I haven’t seen the movie in more than 20 years, but I think there was also brief mention of his “vendetta” being over (or words to that effect) in the subsequent scene in M’s office.

It’s never really established that the Eastwood character is the same guy in all three, or even two of the three, although he wears exactly the same clothes in each. Plus Lee Van Cleef is definitely two different characters in the second and third movies.

Temple of Doom ostensibly happens in 1935, Raiders in 1936, and Last Crusade in 1938.

I’d call Godfather II a sequel with flashbacks.

Really, the only dead giveaway is the year stamp at the beginning of each film. Otherwise the first three movies are pretty much independent stories.

To be fair, if Temple of Doom weren’t a prequel, then he’d presumably be killing Nazis.

Temple of Doom is a prequel in only technical terms in that we’re told the year is 1935. I don’t think there’s actually anything in the film that qualifies it as a prequel. In fact, in Raiders, Indy tells his buddy that he doesn’t believe in magic and voodoo, which is kind of odd being that he was in the Temple of Doom one year prior.

I think that Lucas set the movie in 1935 because Karen Allen declined to be in it. We all know that George Lucas is a genius in this area.

There’s a funny throwaway line in The Last Crusade, when Indy and Ilsa are in the catacombs underneath the library, and they find the knight’s tomb. There is a painting that we see briefly and Ilsa asks about the subject of the painting:

Ilsa: “What’s this?”
Indy: “The Ark of the Covenant”
Ilsa: “Are you sure?”
Indy: “Pretty sure.”

Well he has a different name in all three films. Joe in A Fistful of Dollars, Monco in For a Few Dollars More, and Blondie in The Good, The Bad and the Ugly.