Movie Firsts of the Sound Era

Inspired by the “Help me make an Evolution of Movies collection.” thread.

I’m excluding silent movies because of the large number of obscure silent movies that did most of the groundbreaking that wouldn’t be replicated for 50 years.

So let’s gather the combined film knowledge of this board in one place.

List the first movie to . . .

Include the name of the movie and what it did that was a first. This could include social (first inter-racial kiss), scientific (first mention of cloning), movie lore (first camio by a director), technological (first 70 mm), etc.

Let’s start with the “Jazz Singer” as the first general release talkie.

First kiss between two men in a mainstream film: The Born Losers (1967) featuring Billy Jack. Yes, that Billy Jack. In it one rough biker jokingly says to another,“Kiss me!” and the other grabs him and really plants a real, long kiss on him. A definite rewind, “what did I just see?” moment.

Don’t know for sure if it’s the first, but I’ve got a big kiss for whoever can come up with an earlier one. :wink:

I’m going to posit that 1989’s Batman set a precedent by killing off an arch-enemy, and see if someone can come up with earlier counter-examples.

Yes, I know the Joker is still around in every other Batman world, but I think the movie did something very important by saying that it’s OK to end a superhero movie like that.

Wasn’t Psycho the first movie to feature the sound of a toilet flushing?

I’ve heard that MASH was the first major film containing the word “fuck”.

Yeah. The turmoil caused by the original “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a fuck” was so great, no one tried again for over thirty years.

You are joking right? (am I about to be whooshed?) I mean what do you mean by Arch enemy?
James Bond killed his arch enemy (each one became the new arch enemy) Heston Killed Dr Zauis in Beneath the Planet of the Apes… in the 1970s (The monkey wanted to guild him that would make him anyone an arch Enemy).

Of course if you are talking famous Arch Enemies to famous Literary characters 1932s “Sherlock Holmes” has an offing of Professor Moriarty.

I’m just going to wait for Eve.

But I think Fantasia was the first ‘surround sound’ movie.

kingpengvin - I wasn’t joking, but wasn’t sure, which is why I asked for earlier counter-examples.

James Bond wasn’t what I meant, because that’s always been part of his deal - there aren’t any repeat villains.

The Sherlock Holmes one is great, because that’s exactly what I’m talking about. So I was wrong.

Anyway, when I saw Batman, one of the things that impressed me was that they killed the Joker. The 70’s/80’s Superman movies wouldn’t have done anything like that, but now it’s kind of a standard in super hero movies. I don’t think the Green Goblin would’ve been killed in Spiderman had Tim Burton’s Batman not existed.

Snow White?


Maybe I’m taking you too literally, but “Huh?”

MAS*H (1970)

Scarface (1983)

First movie to feature a ** french kiss ** is ** Casablanca** in the Paris flashback when Rick and Ilsa are in the cafe making their plans to leave the city.

First movie to mention the word “virgin” in the everyday context: The Moon is Blue (1953) which caused the film to be denouced by the Catholic Church.

First movie to use the word “panties”: Anatomy of a Murder (1959).

If Major = American, OK.

2 British films, each 3 years older than MAS*H, vie for the title:

This is a tangent, so I’ll be brief…

More likely it had everything to do with Green Goblin being bumped off in a classic Spider-Man tale. (Note the hyphen.)

Jaws. Blofeld.

First legit movie to feature full frontal male nudity - The Devils (1971).

First legit movie to feature full frontal female nudity - If (1968).

I think. Possibly The Devils is the first movie with two men hanging out in the same scene.


First movie to receive an NC-17 rating: “Henry and June.”

Didn’t Extase (1932) and Metropolis (1927) both have full frontal nudity? Both were legit.

And Henry and June (1990) came after The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover (1989), also NC-17.

Really, I’m not an expert on mainstream softcore porn…

There was a male-on-male kiss on the lips in the screen adaptation of Arthur Miller’s play *A View From the Bridge (1961), directed by Sidney Lumet.

Young Hedy Lamarr ran stark naked through the woods and into a lake in Ecstasy (1932). Antonioni’s Blowup (1966) had frontal female nudity during one of the photographic sessions.

Perhaps the first non-porn, non-ethnographic commercial feature with both frontal male and female nudity was I Am Curious (Yellow) (1967). The first U.S. non-porn commercial feature with male and female frontal nudity was Robert Forster and Verna Bloom in Medium Cool (1969).

Psycho (1960) may have been the first U.S. commercial feature in which we saw a toilet flush, but there were comic scenes in The Grapes of Wrath (1940) and Tarzan’s New York Adventure (1942) in which rubes are frightened by the flush of a toilet, just offscreen.

By the way, Richard Hooker’s novel and the 1970 movie are titled MASH. The film’s advertising and the TV series styled it MAS*H.

I really doubt that’s a French kiss between Rick and Ilsa in Casablanca (1942) (unless you mean they were in France at the time). The Production Code forbade it. Natalie Wood and Warren Beatty are generally credited with America’s cinema’s first open-mouthed kiss in Splendor in the Grass (1961).

First all-talking feature: Lights of New York (1928).

First feature entirely in widescreen: Fox Movietone Follies of 1929 (1929), now lost, unfortunately.

First 3-D feature in color: Robinson Crusoe (1946), from the U.S.S.R.

Twenty-six years before Anatomy of a Murder, Warner Bros.’ Footlight Parade used the word “panties” (and rhymed it with “scanties”) in the musical number “Shuffle Off to Buffalo”.