1878: 1 movie
posted 2012 June 1
The main reason this movie, which is sometimes called Sallie Gardner at a Gallop, deserves to be included among the best movies of all time is that it is the first movie of all time. But it is also simply a lovely piece. Through it, we find that movies started with the desire to learn, a curiosity for the natural world. Movies started with the staging of an activity, and dealt with animals and their relation to people. Movies started with the theme of flight. Movies started out of a desire to see things which can't be seen by the naked eye, and with ingenuity to use new technology in even newer ways. These were the main ingredients for the first movie.
It should be noted, however, that some don't consider this the first movie for at least a couple of reasons. One of them being that, since at least the American Civil War, there had been the practice of showing two successive photos alongside each other, through a special viewing device to give the impression of a more vivid photograph, but that phenomenon lies a little closer to still-photography.
The other main reason that some do not consider this to be the first movie is because it was not made with the intention of projecting it. People with such a belief consider this project rather one of the steps before movies, with Ottomar Anschütz being the first to project pictures in motion a few years later. We include Muybridge's pictures anyway, because after shooting them, Muybridge did seek different ways to project them. The proof of this lies in the fact that the photos were drawn onto glass and projected onto a screen through Muybridge's newly invented zoopraxiscope, which may be considered the first animated movie. It is almost certain that if a projector that could have projected it had existed, the photos themselves would have been projected in 1878. So, the first movie was made without there even being a way to show it, except in still form. Later, Muybridge continued making motion pictures of other animals and of people, including himself.