Timeline of Greatest Film
Milestones and Turning Points
in Film History


The Year 1917

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 1917
Year
Event and Significance
1917
Charlie Chaplin became the first actor with a million-dollar deal, signed with First National, a nine-film deal.
1917
The first African-American owned studio, the pioneering The Lincoln Motion Picture Company, was founded.
1917
Max Fleischer invented the rotoscope to streamline the frame-by-frame copying process. It was a device used to overlay drawings on live-action film.
1917
Producer Hal Roach's sport comedy short Over the Fence (1917), directed by silent film comedian-star Harold Lloyd himself, marked the first time that Lloyd wore his trademark circular, horn-rimmed eyeglasses and a boater hat. He had grown tired of his "Lonesome Luke" character in numerous one-reeler comedies and decided to test out a new persona - the "glasses" character. It was the first of Lloyd's four directed (credited) films from 1917-1919. Lloyd would go on to star in many classic feature-length film comedies in the 1920s as the "glasses" guy, his signature character.
1917
The first feature-length motion picture produced in two-strip Technicolor in the US was The Gulf Between. It was also the third feature-length color movie. It is considered a lost film, with only a few frames surviving.
1917
Famed westerns director John Ford made his first films, ten of them, in the year 1917. His first film, the two or three-reel The Tornado (1917), is now considered a lost film. Ford's first feature-length film production was Straight Shooting (1917), also his earliest complete surviving film - a western with his popular collaborative actor Harry Carey, and Hoot Gibson.


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