Thursday Night Open Thread

What’s the oldest movie you’ve ever seen?

I like me some old movie. A lot of people don’t. I suppose they think that no good ideas existed before they were born. That’s just silly. Or, maybe they just don’t like black and white films. Whatever, not everyone likes old movies. But some old movies are great.

So, what’s the oldest movie you’ve ever seen? Well, it’s about to be the first movie ever.

No plot, because it wasn’t a movie with a plot and such. Just a photographic record of something.

[The YouTube]

So, what do you think? Tell me. And remember, this is for posterity so be honest. How do you feel?

Or, do you have something totally unrelated to talk about? Because, it’s not Answer Basil’s Question time. It’s Thursday Night Open Thread time. Whatever is on your mind, this is the place.

Who wants to start?

Send to Kindle
1 Star (Hated it)2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (Awesome) (No Ratings Yet)


  1. Seen that one before, done to win a $50 bet. Cost > $1,000 to make (no I didn’t watch the video). But From the Earth to the Moon is probably the oldest I’ve seen. The oldest I’ve owned was Metropolis (early dystopian science fiction); I had it on Laserdisc.

    When I was a kid, there was a pizza place that played old movies inside for it’s patrons. Mostly stuff from around the time of the first talkies (all black and white, some silent, some talkies). I specifically recall a lot of Laurel & Hardy.


  2. Same here.

    I saw the horse gallop footage thingy that was made to win a bet about whether the horse’s feet were off (or on) the ground at the same time. I even own a revolving drum that recreates the effect using still photos, like a drum-like VueMaster.

    I’ve also seen arguably the first photograph ever, taken from a Paris attic. In like 1888. As you can tell, I don’t have access to my notes.

    There are a lot of the Lumiere brothers’ early films online, from documentary street footage to “A Voyage to the Moon.”

    Fast forward a few years from documentary/fiction/ to drama –“The Train Robbery” — and you then finally get comedy [discounting the early footage of some idiot looking into a hose while another moron kinks it up and suddenly releases the water]: Charlie Chaplin spoofing documentaries in “Kid Auto Races at Vienna” — and the entertainment world explodes.

    It makes me think that satire and spoofs are always the really lasting art form.


  3. I only watched part of A Voyage to the Moon. I remember watching some clips of a man who was doing green screen like effects before their was green screen.

    When I was a kid I used to watch things like Charlie Chaplin and the Marx Brothers. And Charlie Chan too.


  4. On July 14, 1913, a boy named Leslie King was born in Omaha. His mother separated from his father six days after he was born, and moved to Grand Rapids, where she met a man named Gerald Ford. In 1935, Leslie changed his name to Gerald Ford, in honor of his father. By then, he had played football at the University of Michigan, and had been named All-America. He went on to earn a degree from Yale Law School, graduating in the top 25% of his class, and enlisted in the US Navy six months later. He served in the Pacific theater of operations. He went on, of course, to become a congressman from Michigan, Vice-President of the United States, and President of the United States. Here’s to Gerald Ford, a good and decent man who, IMHO, deserved re-election in 1976.

    If I may be permitted a moment of more than my usual egotism, I’ll also inform you that I was born July 14, 1952, in Chicago. That means that I’m sixty-five years old today. My friends inform me that I’m as immature youthful as ever, however. I plan to spend the day in a folding chair in my front yard, telling all the kids who pass to keep off the lawn.


    • Don’t forget to tell them to “Quit yer hell-raisin’ out here!” while you are scolding them off your lawn. Happy birthday! (“Quit yer” is pronounced “kwitcher.”)


  5. The horse in the movie was named Electioneer, and its memory is preserved in Electioneer Road, on Stanford’s campus, near the west campus tennis courts and the part of the Stanford golf course that is north of Junipero Serra Boulevard.



Leave a Reply