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Facts About Movies and Television

Hollywood director D. W. Griffith made 450 films between 1908 and 1913. (source)

In movies and television, scientists are more likely to suffer a violent death than members of any other profession.

View more facts about: Geniuses

The Great Train Robbery, an American film released in 1903, is generally considered as the first movie in the modern sense. It was 10 minutes long and had 14 different scenes. (source)

The first movie ever was called Roundhay Garden Scene, created by Louis Lee Prince in Leeds, England in 1888. At two seconds in length, it is also one of the shortest ever. (source)

View more facts about: Firsts

On the television quiz show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, a contestant who is unable to answer a question has the option of asking the audience or phoning a friend. Friends answered the correctly 65% of the time, but the most popular audience choice was correct 91% of the time. (source)

According to the South Dakota department of health, the average man watches 29 hours of television per week, and the average woman 34 hours per week. (source)

View more facts about: Interesting Statistics

At the beginning of the commercial movie industry, the actors and actresses were not taken quite as seriously as they are today. They were typically just friends of the director, and they often had to help move the scenery around and clean up after the shoot. Only after the moviegoers began demanding to see their favourite actors and actresses in more movies did the actors and actresses become "stars." (source)

The first feature-length movie with some synchronized sound and dialogue was The Jazz Singer in 1927; the first all-sound movie was The Lights of New York, which came out in the following year. At first, this new development was criticized by movie critics, who worried that talking would ruin the purity of soundless cinema.

View more facts about: Firsts

On April Fools' Day, 1957, the BBC television documentary show Panorama broadcast a documentary about the "spaghetti orchards" of Switzerland. Over pictures of Swiss spaghetti trees, the spaghetti plantations of Switzerland and Italy, the spaghetti weevil, and the reason for spaghetti being of such uniform lengths were discussed. Many viewers, oblivious to the date, believed that what they were watching was genuine. (source)

View more facts about: Food and Drink | Hoaxes and Deceptions

In the 1980s in the United Kingdom, a television commercial advertising the Yellow Pages ran, depicting a man looking for the (fictitious) book Fly Fishing by J. R. Hartley. At the end of the ad, the man speaks into the phone, "My name? J. R. Hartley," which became a popular catchphrase in Great Britain. In the 1990s, a man wrote a book entitled Fly Fishing, and used the pseudonym J. R. Hartley to cash in on the ad's popularity. The book, though out-of-print, is still quite popular, but mostly due to the commercial, not the book's content. (source)

View more facts about: Books and Literature

The 1980 Italian film Cannibal Holocaust depicted violence that appeared so realistic and horrifying that Italian authorities thought that it was an actual snuff film. As well, the cast of the film had signed agreements to lay low for a year after the film was released, which caused people to think that they had, in fact, been killed on film. Ten days after the film was released, authorities confiscated prints of the film and arrested its director on suspicion of murder. Facing a long prison term, the director allowed the cast to come forward, their original contracts notwithstanding, in order to clear his name. (source)

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