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The History of Cinema: 1917







Argentina - Gt. Britain


El Apostol (Argentina, 1917)

    - El Apostol, the world's first animated feature film, is released.   Written and directed by Quirino Cristiani, all copies of the film are destroyed by a fire in producer Federico Valle's vaults in 1926. [ADD]
  1/1 - As supplies of unexposed film become available once more, Zang Sichuan founds the Huei His production company. [ADD]
  31/10 - Pao Ching-chia’s The Commercial Press introduces a cinema section. [ADD]
  29/3 - Emile Reynaud, pioneer of cartoons is confined to a hospice for the incurably ill at Ivry-sur-Seine. [ADD]
  5/4 - Tristan Bernard, Edmond Benoit-Levy and Leon Gaumont form the French League for the Cinema to develop the domestic film industry and define its interests before parliament. [ADD]
    Rene Creste as Judex
  7/4 - Le Pardon d’Amour, the twelfth and final episode of Louis Feuillade’s Judex serial is released.   Starring Rene Creste as the eponymous dashing hero, the series proved to be an enormous success. [ADD]
  12/4 - At a conference in Paris it is reported that a total of 198 films have been banned or cut by the Commission of Censors, while a tax has been imposed on films that depict crime. [ADD]
  15/6 - Rene Navarre, the actor who created the character of Fantomas, forms his own production company and releases The Adventures of Clementine, a series of cartoons drawn by Benjamin Rabier. [ADD]
  22/6 - An article in Le Cinema criticises the background noise on soundtracks. [ADD]
  6/7 - Eclair release the first series of cartoons by Emile Cohl entitled Les Aventures des Pieds-Nickeles. [ADD]
  26/7 - Director Jacques Feyder marries actress Francoise Rosay, the star of his 1916 film Abregeons les formalites. [ADD]
    Marcel Herbier
  14/11 - Eclipse release Le Torrent, Marcel L’Herbier’s debut as a scriptwriter. [ADD]
  1/1 - The Deulig (Deutsche Lichtbild Gesellschaft) sets itself the goal of acting whenever possible in defence of German economy and culture throughout the world. [ADD]
    Ernst Lubitsch
  16/11 - Ernst Lubitsch writes and directs Wenn Vier das selbe machen, which stars Ossi Oswalda, ‘Germany’s Mary Pickford.’ [ADD]
  14/12 - Universum-Film AG (Ufa) is formed following the buying out of such film production and distribution companies as Messter, Nordisk, Union, PAGU, BB-Film, and Gloria and Joe May Film.   It instantly becomes the country’s largest film organisation, boasting vertical integration.  [ADD]
    – During the war, the German government creates more than 900 makeshift cinemas for its frontline troops. [ADD]

Great Britain 

  31/3 - Despite the rising popularity of cinema, the British film industry falls into decline due to a lack of investment.   The industry is almost totally comprised of small independent companies lacking the financial resources to make the feature films that have recently become popular. [ADD]
    – The government establishes the Department of Information, with the aim of using film as a means of communication.   Headed by novelist John Buchan, productions are made at the British Oak/New Agency  film studio in Ebury Street, Westminster, London. [ADD]
    – Patent No. 107167 is awarded to William Baldwin Vansize, an American telegraph engineer of 233 Broadway, New York, for a system which provides actors with a battery-powered microphone that sends radio-waves to a steel tape or wire for recording sound which is synchronised with the movement of film through a camera. [ADD]
    Neptune Film Studios ceases production. [ADD]

Other Key Films of 1917

    National Freedom Holiday in Baku [ADD]

Lyubovta e ludost (Vasil Gendov) [ADD]


Alma chilena (Chilean Soul) (Arturio Mario) [ADD]


Prazsti Adamite (Antonin Fenci) [ADD]


Klovnen (A. W. Sandburg) [ADD]


Le Droit a la vie (Abel Gance) [ADD]

    Mater Dolorosa (Abel Gance) [ADD]
    La Zone de la mort (Abel Gance) [ADD]

Lulu (Alexander von Antalffy) [ADD]

    Great Britain

Masks and Faces (Fred Paul) [ADD]

    Hungary - Turkey
    USA: January-June
    USA: July-December



1917: Hungary-Turkey

1917: USA January-June

1917: USA July-December






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