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  1. #1
    Olympian is offline Member
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    Question What is the meaning of "first billed"?

    Hello,

    I was looking at a movie information on the IMDB website and there, under "Cast" it said: "Cast overview, first billed only:". What does "first billed" mean?

    Thank you

  2. #2
    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: What is the meaning of "first billed"?

    I would take it to mean only the actors that appear on adverts for the film, or in a larger font in the titles - i.e. not the minor characters.

    Best wishes,

    MrP

    Not a professional ESL teacher.

  3. #3
    Olympian is offline Member
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    Default Re: What is the meaning of "first billed"?

    Thank you MrP.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: What is the meaning of "first billed"?

    Quote Originally Posted by MrPedantic View Post
    I would take it to mean only the actors that appear on adverts for the film, or in a larger font in the titles - i.e. not the minor characters.
    You may be right, Mr P; I took it to mean only the first name to appear.

  5. #5
    MrPedantic is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: What is the meaning of "first billed"?

    It would probably have helped if I'd checked at IMDb first; but they seem to use the phrase to designate the main actors, with the remainder listed in a "full cast and crew" expandable link.

    Not a professional ESL teacher.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: What is the meaning of "first billed"?

    Quote Originally Posted by MrPedantic View Post
    It would probably have helped if I'd checked at IMDb first;
    I didn't think of it, either.

  7. #7
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    Ouisch is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: What is the meaning of "first billed"?

    Film credits can be a confusing minefield of celebrity ego....actors' agents will lobby to have their star listed in a certain place on movie posters or in ads, or prior to the title in the actual film. Anyway, "first billed" usually refers to actors listed in the opening credits of a movie. As a rule, actors with minimal roles in films (say, Joe Smith who played "Man at Party") will be listed in the closing credits. But occasionally a major star (or major star of years past who hasn't had a starring role in eons but whose name has sentimental value) will play a small role in a film and, because of their celebrity stature will land a spot in the opening credits: "Special guest appearance by Milton Berle as Man at Party".

  8. #8
    Olympian is offline Member
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    Default Re: What is the meaning of "first billed"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ouisch View Post
    Film credits can be a confusing minefield of celebrity ego....actors' agents will lobby to have their star listed in a certain place on movie posters or in ads, or prior to the title in the actual film. Anyway, "first billed" usually refers to actors listed in the opening credits of a movie. As a rule, actors with minimal roles in films (say, Joe Smith who played "Man at Party") will be listed in the closing credits. But occasionally a major star (or major star of years past who hasn't had a starring role in eons but whose name has sentimental value) will play a small role in a film and, because of their celebrity stature will land a spot in the opening credits: "Special guest appearance by Milton Berle as Man at Party".
    Thank you Ouisch for this behind-the-scenes information. I did not know that agents also played a role in getting their star listed.

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