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Early Feature Films


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This is a discussion thread for early feature films.


Based on length, the first feature film was the 70-minute film The Story of the Kelly Gang (1906) from Australia. The first European feature was the 90-minute film L'Enfant prodigue (France, 1907), although that was basically an unmodified record of a stage play; Europe's first feature adapted directly for the screen, Les Mis?rables, came from France in 1909. The first Russian feature was Defence of Sevastopol in 1911. The first UK features were the documentary With Our King and Queen Through India (1912), filmed in Kinemacolor, and Oliver Twist (1912). The first American features were The Fairylogue and Radio-Plays (1908), a different production of Oliver Twist (1912), From the Manger to the Cross (1912), and Richard III (1912), the latter starring actor Frederick Warde. Earlier features had been produced in America and France, but were released in individual scenes, leaving the exhibitor the option of running them together; or they were full-length records of a boxing match. (For example: The American company S. Lubin released a Passion Play in January 1903 in 31 parts, totaling about 60 minutes. The French company Path? Fr?res released a different Passion Play, La Vie et la passion de J?**** Christ, in May 1903 in 32 parts running about 44 minutes.) The first Romanian feature film was The Independence of Romania (1912). The first Asian feature was Japan's The Life Story of Tasuke Shiobara (1912), and the first South American feature was Brazil's O Crime dos Banhados (1913).


By 1915, over 600 features were produced annually in America.

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>Is there anything before "The Birth of a Nation"?

Of course! ^ _ ^


The 1903 Passion Plays are still available. La Vie et la passion de J?**** Christ (1903) is available on DVD. Also, La Vie et la passion de J?**** Christ (1903) and From the Manger to the Cross (1912) are both available on one DVD:




A few clips and outtakes from The Story of the Kelly Gang (1906) are available on DVD.


To the best of my knowledge, L'Enfant prodigue (1907) is not lost.


From the Manger to the Cross (1912) has been shown on TCM. You can request it, if you want to see it.


Hundreds of early feature films are still available.

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