Movies and TV shows that Revolutionized special effectsby pgrass13 | created - 28 Mar 2012 | updated - 21 Feb 2014 | Public
These are the movies that originated or revolutionized effects or methods that had not been used effectively before.
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1. A Trip to the Moon (1902)
TV-G | 13 min | Short, Adventure, Fantasy
A group of astronomers go on an expedition to the Moon.
Most successful early film and was innovative for its time.
2. The Passion Play (1903)
44 min | Short, Biography, Drama
1. THE ANNUNCIATION. The Angel of the Lord appears to Mary, announcing the birth of a child, which shall be called the "Son of God." 2. THE STRANGE STAR. Led by the light of the strange new... See full summary »
Earliest know color short
3. A Sculptor's Welsh Rabbit Dream (1908)
Sculptor dreams of fantastic dream in which the genie of the lamp appears to him .
First clay animation short
4. With Our King and Queen Through India (1912)
126 min | Documentary
This early color film records the Indian celebrations relating to the coronation of King George V.
First color film (documentary)
5. The World, the Flesh and the Devil (1914)
50 min | Crime, Drama
A crooked lawyer schemes to dispossess the heir to a baronetcy.
First color fiction film
6. The Photo-Drama of Creation (1914)
480 min | Documentary, Drama, History
The Photo-Drama of Creation, is a four-part Christian film produced by the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania. The film presents the Bible Students (now called Jehovah's ... See full summary »
First major film to incorporate sound.
7. The Birth of a Nation (1915)
Not Rated | 195 min | Drama, History, War
The Stoneman family finds its friendship with the Camerons affected by the Civil War, both fighting in opposite armies. The development of the war in their lives plays through to Lincoln's assassination and the birth of the Ku Klux Klan.
Votes: 18,709 | Gross: $10.00M
While mostly known for its racist theme, it was revolutionary for the time.
8. The Power of Love (1922)
Because of his financial trouble, Don Almeda (Noah Beery) promises his daughter, Maria (Barbara Bedford), to Don Alvarez (Albert Prisco). But Maria does not love Don Alvarez, and, in fact, ... See full summary »
First 3D film
9. The Jazz Singer (1927)
Unrated | 88 min | Drama, Music, Musical
The son of a Jewish Cantor must defy the traditions of his religious father in order to pursue his dream of becoming a jazz singer.
Votes: 7,542 | Gross: $7.63M
First feature length "Talkie"
10. Flowers and Trees (1932)
Approved | 8 min | Animation, Short, Comedy
An evil tree stump, jealous of two trees in love, starts a forest fire.
The first film to use the three color technicolor process.
11. Becky Sharp (1935)
Unrated | 84 min | Drama, Romance, War
Set against the background of the Battle of Waterloo, Becky Sharp is the story of Vanity Fair by Thackeray. Becky and Amelia are girls at school together, but Becky is from a "show biz" ... See full summary »
First live action three layer technicolor film
12. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
G | 83 min | Animation, Family, Fantasy
Exiled into the dangerous forest by her wicked stepmother, a princess is rescued by seven dwarf miners who make her part of their household.
Votes: 149,039 | Gross: $184.93M
The first full length color movie (animated) and the first full length animated film. Disney made a big risk in making the film.
13. The Wizard of Oz (1939)
PG | 102 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy
Dorothy Gale is swept away from a farm in Kansas to a magical land of Oz in a tornado and embarks on a quest with her new friends to see the Wizard who can help her return home in Kansas and help her friends as well.
Votes: 320,750 | Gross: $22.20M
One of the first full length color movie (live action) however it is book ended in Black and White. Revolutionized a number of special effects.
14. Gone with the Wind (1939)
G | 238 min | Drama, History, Romance
A manipulative woman and a roguish man conduct a turbulent romance during the American Civil War and Reconstruction periods.
Votes: 238,312 | Gross: $198.68M
One of the first full length color movie (live action) that is entirely in color, came out a few months after the Wizard of Oz. The longest film up to that point (almost 4 hours)
15. Forbidden Planet (1956)
Approved | 98 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
A starship crew goes to investigate the silence of a planet's colony only to find two survivors and a deadly secret that one of them has.
Votes: 37,794 | Gross: $3.00M
Used many new techniques
16. The Ten Commandments (1956)
Approved | 220 min | Adventure, Drama
The Egyptian Prince, Moses, learns of his true heritage as a Hebrew and his divine mission as the deliverer of his people.
Votes: 52,428 | Gross: $93.74M
Used a number of techniques to increase the spectacle
17. Futureworld (1976)
PG | 108 min | Sci-Fi, Thriller
Upon uncovering the dirty secret of futuristic theme-park Futureworld, an ex employee is killed after he tips-off 2 other reporters who decide to do an undercover investigation.
First film to incorporate CGI.
18. Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)
PG | 121 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Luke Skywalker joins forces with a Jedi Knight, a cocky pilot, a Wookiee and two droids to save the galaxy from the Empire's world-destroying battle-station while also attempting to rescue Princess Leia from the evil Darth Vader.
Votes: 1,013,924 | Gross: $322.74M
ILM had to create a bunch of new effects
19. Babylon 5 (1994–1998)
45 min | Action, Adventure, Drama
A space station in neutral territory is the focus of a unique five year saga.
First TV show to make extensive use of CGI
20. Forrest Gump (1994)
PG-13 | 142 min | Drama, Romance
JFK, LBJ, Vietnam, Watergate, and other history unfold through the perspective of an Alabama man with an IQ of 75.
Votes: 1,423,453 | Gross: $330.25M
The effects used in this movie (ie inserting him into historic footage) had not been used effectively before then.
21. Toy Story (1995)
G | 81 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy
A cowboy doll is profoundly threatened and jealous when a new spaceman figure supplants him as top toy in a boy's room.
Votes: 703,867 | Gross: $191.80M
First full length fully CGI animated movie
22. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)
PG-13 | 166 min | Drama, Fantasy, Romance
Tells the story of Benjamin Button, a man who starts aging backwards with bizarre consequences.
Votes: 501,300 | Gross: $127.51M
In the same way Forrest Gump utilized effects that hadn't been used as successfully before.