Movies and TV shows that Revolutionized special effects

by 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

8.2
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A group of astronomers go on an expedition to the Moon.

Director: Georges Méliès | Stars: Georges Méliès, Victor André, Bleuette Bernon, Brunnet

Votes: 34,066

Most successful early film and was innovative for its time.

2. The Passion Play (1903)

44 min | Short, Biography, Drama

6.6
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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 »

Directors: Lucien Nonguet, Ferdinand Zecca | Stars: Madame Moreau, Monsieur Moreau

Votes: 315

Earliest know color short

3. A Sculptor's Welsh Rabbit Dream (1908)

Short

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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

7.7
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This early color film records the Indian celebrations relating to the coronation of King George V.

Votes: 11

First color film (documentary)

5. The World, the Flesh and the Devil (1914)

50 min | Crime, Drama

7.2
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A crooked lawyer schemes to dispossess the heir to a baronetcy.

Director: F. Martin Thornton | Stars: Frank Esmond, Stella St. Audrie, Wellington Briggs, Charles Carter

Votes: 12

First color fiction film

6. The Photo-Drama of Creation (1914)

480 min | Documentary, Drama, History

6.5
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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 »

Votes: 175

First major film to incorporate sound.

7. The Birth of a Nation (1915)

Not Rated | 195 min | Drama, History, War

6.7
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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.

Director: D.W. Griffith | Stars: Lillian Gish, Mae Marsh, Henry B. Walthall, Miriam Cooper

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)

Drama

7.0
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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 »

Directors: Nat G. Deverich, Harry K. Fairall | Stars: Elliot Sparling, Barbara Bedford, Noah Beery, Aileen Manning

Votes: 45

First 3D film

9. The Jazz Singer (1927)

Unrated | 88 min | Drama, Music, Musical

6.8
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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.

Director: Alan Crosland | Stars: Al Jolson, May McAvoy, Warner Oland, Eugenie Besserer

Votes: 7,542 | Gross: $7.63M

First feature length "Talkie"

10. Flowers and Trees (1932)

Approved | 8 min | Animation, Short, Comedy

7.5
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An evil tree stump, jealous of two trees in love, starts a forest fire.

Director: Burt Gillett | Stars: Esther Campbell, Marion Darlington

Votes: 1,559

The first film to use the three color technicolor process.

11. Becky Sharp (1935)

Unrated | 84 min | Drama, Romance, War

6.0
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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 »

Directors: Rouben Mamoulian, Lowell Sherman | Stars: Miriam Hopkins, Frances Dee, Cedric Hardwicke, Billie Burke

Votes: 673

First live action three layer technicolor film

12. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)

G | 83 min | Animation, Family, Fantasy

7.6
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Exiled into the dangerous forest by her wicked stepmother, a princess is rescued by seven dwarf miners who make her part of their household.

Directors: William Cottrell, David Hand, Wilfred Jackson, Larry Morey, Perce Pearce, Ben Sharpsteen | Stars: Adriana Caselotti, Harry Stockwell, Lucille La Verne, Roy Atwell

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

8.1
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100 Metascore

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.

Directors: Victor Fleming, George Cukor, Mervyn LeRoy, Norman Taurog, King Vidor | Stars: Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Ray Bolger, Bert Lahr

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

8.2
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97 Metascore

A manipulative woman and a roguish man conduct a turbulent romance during the American Civil War and Reconstruction periods.

Directors: Victor Fleming, George Cukor, Sam Wood | Stars: Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Thomas Mitchell, Barbara O'Neil

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

7.7
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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.

Director: Fred M. Wilcox | Stars: Walter Pidgeon, Anne Francis, Leslie Nielsen, Warren Stevens

Votes: 37,794 | Gross: $3.00M

Used many new techniques

16. The Ten Commandments (1956)

Approved | 220 min | Adventure, Drama

7.9
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The Egyptian Prince, Moses, learns of his true heritage as a Hebrew and his divine mission as the deliverer of his people.

Director: Cecil B. DeMille | Stars: Charlton Heston, Yul Brynner, Anne Baxter, Edward G. Robinson

Votes: 52,428 | Gross: $93.74M

Used a number of techniques to increase the spectacle

17. Futureworld (1976)

PG | 108 min | Sci-Fi, Thriller

5.8
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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.

Director: Richard T. Heffron | Stars: Peter Fonda, Blythe Danner, Arthur Hill, Yul Brynner

Votes: 7,885

First film to incorporate CGI.

18. Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)

PG | 121 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

8.7
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92 Metascore

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.

Director: George Lucas | Stars: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Alec Guinness

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

8.3
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A space station in neutral territory is the focus of a unique five year saga.

Stars: Mira Furlan, Richard Biggs, Stephen Furst, Andreas Katsulas

Votes: 24,083

First TV show to make extensive use of CGI

20. Forrest Gump (1994)

PG-13 | 142 min | Drama, Romance

8.8
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82 Metascore

JFK, LBJ, Vietnam, Watergate, and other history unfold through the perspective of an Alabama man with an IQ of 75.

Director: Robert Zemeckis | Stars: Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise, Sally Field

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

8.3
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95 Metascore

A cowboy doll is profoundly threatened and jealous when a new spaceman figure supplants him as top toy in a boy's room.

Director: John Lasseter | Stars: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Don Rickles, Jim Varney

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

7.8
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70 Metascore

Tells the story of Benjamin Button, a man who starts aging backwards with bizarre consequences.

Director: David Fincher | Stars: Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Tilda Swinton, Julia Ormond

Votes: 501,300 | Gross: $127.51M

In the same way Forrest Gump utilized effects that hadn't been used as successfully before.