To me, this question seems like a dressed-up list question (or at least, the first part is and the second part is justification for it being legitimate).

It may be this particular question that's a problem, but I have been noticing a few "first film to do X" questions floating about (do a search for "first") and was wondering whether they're even a good question to ask. I say this because the first instance of something is not necessarily significantly innovative or notable enough that all subsequent instances are inspired by it; then it all becomes (IMO) silly cinema trivia. Additionally, I think it would be harder to get a correct answer for some of these questions which stretch far back in time to films only the most seasoned film historians would know about.

On the other hand there probably are legitimate questions of this form, e.g. regarding major new technological developments. What are people's opinions on such things?

  • 1
    I'd say that specific example was more listy than others (which has now been edited to be away from that) but in general, I do like these questions because while they may seem somewhat trivial, they also provide a nice challenge to find out who truly did what first.
    – Tablemaker
    Commented Mar 12, 2012 at 14:41

1 Answer 1


The word "first" is crucial here, IMO. That makes the question answerable according to the Q&A format: one distinct answer is possible that can be deemed correct and hence be marked as accepted. Fortunately, in the question you refer to the answerer did a excellent job making it a "good" answer in this sense.

I wouldn't mind more questions (and answers) like this to appear here. Generally it is very interesting to know which movie / director / actor laid the basis of some innovation.

  • Good question Verge, and answer GertArnold. I agree, I think that these questions are ok - the quality of these questions are not necessarily compromised by it being simple to pose. Yes they can be silly trivia, yes they can also be very hard. I see no reason why we can not include them.
    – iandotkelly Mod
    Commented Mar 12, 2012 at 14:01
  • I think you hit it on the head here. "First" means there is a definitive answer and NOT more than one, which would make it a list. Also agree to @iandotkelly's point-- these questions can often be difficult and require serious research.
    – stevvve
    Commented Mar 12, 2012 at 16:36

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