Timeline of Greatest Film
Milestones and Turning Points
in Film History


The Year 1910

Timeline of Greatest Film History Milestones and Turning Points
(by decade and year)
Introduction | Pre-1900s | 1900s | 1910s | 1920s | 1930s | 1940s | 1950s
1960s | 1970s | 1980s | 1990s | 2000s | 2010s
1910, 1911, 1912, 1913, 1914, 1915, 1916, 1917, 1918, 1919

The Year 1910
Year
Event and Significance
1910
Carl Laemmle set up his own Independent Motion Picture Company (IMP) to counteract the Edison Trust (the MPPC).
1910
Laemmle introduced the star system, causing the rise of the American movie star phenomenon, by hiring now-forgotten Florence Lawrence ("The Biograph Girl"), one of Biograph's anonymous stars, and beginning a massive publicity campaign. By most accounts, Lawrence was the first US motion picture "movie star." Carl Laemmle orchestrated a shameless but spectacular, high-profile 'publicity stunt' in March of 1910, with rumors of her death in a street-car accident in St. Louis, and her subsequent resurrection at the IMP Company's St. Louis premiere of her first IMP film (The Broken Oath, aka The Broken Bath), in April of 1910. She was the first film star to make a 'personal appearance' (as a publicity stunt).
1910
The first screen credit was given to Florence Lawrence, in IMP's short crime romance The Broken Oath (aka The Broken Bath), directed by her husband Harry Solter.
1910
Dialogue titles began to appear with regularity. Studios began distributing publicity stills of actors and actresses.
1910
The first US multi-reel "feature" film was Vitagraph's five-reel Life of Moses. It was shown at a single sitting in New Orleans. Such multi-reel films weakened exhibitors' control of their programs (i.e., prior to this development, exhibitors effectively "edited" the program by arranging their selections of short films without directorial intervention.)
1910
Film companies began to move to the area later known as Hollywood. Los Angeles annexed Hollywood.
1910
The first film made in the new municipality of Hollywood, by Biograph and director D.W. Griffith, In Old California, was released. It launched the film industry in the city.
1910
For the first time, Hollywood purchased the rights to adapt a novel from a publisher (Little, Brown & Company who published Helen Hunt Jackson's novel Ramona), for a D.W. Griffith film to be made in 1910.
1910
The first western silent film super-star Tom Mix made his first major screen appearance as Bronco Buster in Selig Polyscope's Ranch Life in the Great Southwest (1910), filmed at their studio in the Los Angeles area. The one time bartender, cow hand and Texas Ranger would go on to make hundreds of silent westerns for both Selig and Fox Studios, some of which he also produced, wrote or directed.
1910
Brooklyn Eagle newspaper cartoonist John Randolph Bray patented the 'cel' process ultimately used by animators. He pioneered true animated (motion-picture) cartoons with structured story lines.
1910
The first movie stunt -- a man jumped into the Hudson River from a burning balloon.
1910
Filmdom's first major comedy star of the early silent film era, the happy and rotund John Bunny (almost 300 pounds), originally a successful stage comic, made his film debut in Brooklyn-based Vitagraph's Jack Fat and Jim Slim at Coney Island (1910), and was paid $40/week. By 1911 he was Vitagraph's biggest moneymaker. He died in 1915 at the height of his fame.
1910
The first Frankenstein monster film in the US was Edison's Frankenstein, a 16-minute (one-reel) version made by the Edison Motion Picture Studios and starring stage veteran Charles Ogle (uncredited) as the monster, and Mary Fuller as Frankenstein's fiancée Elizabeth. The film was directed and written by J. Searle Dawley and filmed in the Bronx. The monster appeared misshapen and pathetic rather than horrifying in this first film adaptation of Mary Shelley's novel. In this early version, the Monster was created in a cauldron of chemicals.
1910
Vaudeville press agent William Foster launched his Foster Photoplay Company, the first African-American film production company (to produce "race films" as they were called), in Chicago. It produced primarily slapstick comedies starring black vaudeville performers.
1910
Max Factor created the first makeup formulated especially for film.
1910
The Motion Picture Patents Company (MPPC) tried to monopolize film distribution and absorb independent distributors by setting up the General Film Company. Independent William Fox responded by making his own films.
1910
In Denmark, Fotorama introduced the multi-reel documentary film Den Hvide Slavehandel (The White Slave Trade) - one of the first examples of a vice film, and the first time film was used to study prostitution.
1910
At the Gaumont Palace in Paris, French engineer Leon Gaumont demonstrated his more advanced Chronophone system, a synchronized sound system using phonograph cylinders, to allow synchronized sound while viewing films.
1910
Pioneering French female filmmaker, the first female film director Alice Guy Blache, became the first - and so far the only - woman to own and run her own studio plant - The Solax Company Studios - first in Flushing, NY from 1910 to 1912 (and then in Fort Lee, NJ from 1912 to 1914). It was the largest pre-Hollywood studio in America. From 1896 to 1920, she directed hundreds of short films (including over 100 sychronized sound films and twenty-two feature films), and produced hundreds more.


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