The Golden Age of Hollywood

Silent Films and Early Talkies

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Silent Films and Early Talkies

I'm currently working on a book describing silent films and early talkies that are currently available on DVD. This seems to be a good way to get started. I thought the number would be rather limited, but there are over 500 such films available.

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Comment by The Giant on February 28, 2010 at 2:29pm

Comment by The Giant on February 28, 2010 at 2:27pm

Comment by Dave Miller on February 28, 2010 at 2:10pm

Comment by The Giant on January 25, 2010 at 1:50pm
This is not really one of my favorites, I'd much rather they had run THE BIG PARADE.

Have to say that WIDOW clearly needs additional restoration. Or at least this print does. Full of unsightly glare and artifacts, with occassional decomposition. Should note that a brand new print was struck from elements found in an Austrian Archive just recently. Apparently, there is a longer Road Show version that exists too. I did not even know this until just a couple days ago, about the Road Show release.

I actually have a complete Orchestral score by Robert Israel for this picture recorded in 2004. Borrowing heavily from the Operretta, with probably a few of the original William Axt-David Mendoza themes as well. Just got the recording in MP-3 file format a few months ago, and eventually, I will attempt to match it up with the TCM print of the film. Danish artist Maud Nielssen also composed a new Orchestral score that debuted at the Pordenone festival last fall to great acclaim. Nielssen had scored the alternate Photoplay Productions version of THE PATSY. The one that does not air in this country.

If the ending to THE MERRY WIDOW seems a bit abrupt, it is. Irving Thalberg pretty much ordered Von Stroheim to "rap things up or else." Undoubtedly if Erich had his way the movie could have easily drug on for another three or four more reels.
Comment by Dave Miller on January 25, 2010 at 1:01am
John Gilbert and Roy D'Arcy are the co-stars in The Merry Widow (1925) with Mae Murray. Here is a picture of the ballroom scene, and circled are Joan Crawford and Clark Gable in uncredited roles.

I got this info from a Joan Crawford site. http://www.legendaryjoancrawford.com/merrywidow.html
Comment by The Giant on January 17, 2010 at 5:50pm
I was hoping that TCM would eventually expand this documentary by about an additional 45 minutes and include some of the extremely rare footage from films like HIS HOUR (1924), and TWELVE MILES OUT (1927), among others. Maybe it will be done done later on. Remember that Flicker Alley who produced the BARDELYS?MONTE CRISTO DVD, did not have any access to those clips. Same with THE BIG PARADE, MAN, WOMAN & SIN and THE COSSACKS. Rental fee's no doubt would have been cost prohibitive.

A comprehensive Gilbert documentary is long overdue. Maybe with THE BIG PARADE DVD release
Comment by Jaynie Van Roe on January 17, 2010 at 5:36pm
Thought you all might be interested in some news on the finding of silent film footage presumed lost.

Collecting The History Of Silent Film (mostly on Annette Kellerman)

And Preserving The Legacy Of Silent Film Actress Valkyrien
Comment by Mike Duffy on January 16, 2010 at 9:29pm
It's funny upon recollection. I was watching and listening for at least 5 minutes before I realized that that was ALL there was to be of the format--
just a RADIO tribute on VIDEO!
Comment by Phil Richards on January 16, 2010 at 8:59pm
Yeah, I have to agree with you there, I, too was hoping for something more than that one shot of Leatrice talking. They could've at least changed the camera angle at some point and included some clips. But I still was very drawn in by her stories.
Comment by Mike Duffy on January 16, 2010 at 6:33pm
I was expecting a much more comprehensive Gilbert career special than the talking head static reminicance of Gilbert's daughter. She was very good but someone was negligent in not editing her narration into a more visual presentation.
 

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