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Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Crowd (1928) Our Daily Bread (1934), The Big Parade (1925), GREED (1924), The Merry Widow (1925)




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The Big Parade (1925) John Gilbert, Renée Adorée, Hobart Bosworth, Claire McDowell
Directed by King Vidor
Produced by Irving Thalberg (uncredited)
Written by Harry Behn, Laurence Stallings (novel Plumes)
Music by William Axt
Release date: November 5, 1925
Running time: 141 minutes
Gross revenue $18–22 million

It tells the story of an idle rich boy who joins the US Army's Rainbow Division and is sent to France to fight in World War I, becomes friends with two working class men, experiences the horrors of trench warfare, and finds love with a French girl.

The film was ground-breaking for not glorifying the war or its human costs, exemplified by the lead character's loss of a leg from battle wounds. It heavily influenced all subsequent war films, especially All Quiet on the Western Front (1930).

It was adapted by Harry Behn and King Vidor (uncredited) from the play by Joseph Farnham and the autobiographical novel Plumes by Laurence Stallings, and directed by Vidor.

It stars John Gilbert, Renée Adorée, Claire Adams, Karl Dane, Robert Ober and Tom O'Brien.
The Big Parade was one of the greatest hits of the 1920s, boosting Gilbert's career, and making Adorée a major star.

Tragically, Renée Adorée would soon be diagnosed with tuberculosis and die only a few years later. The film is the highest grossing silent film in cinema history, grossing $18–$22 million. In some larger cities this film was shown for a year or more continuously.

After the film's producers found a clause in Vidor's contract, entitling the director to 20% of the net profits, studio lawyers called for a meeting with him. At this meeting, accountants played up the costs of the picture while downgrading their forecast of its potential success. King Vidor was thus persuaded to sell his stake in the film before receiving his percentage.

However, the film's tremendous success did establish Vidor as one of MGM's top directors for the rest of his career.

In 1992 The Big Parade was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

The film was re-issued in 1931 with a sound-track consisting of William Axt's score. Composer Carl Davis created a new orchestral score for the film in the 1980s (quoting the theme associated with Melisande in Axt's original setting), and it was restored and released on video in the late 1980s as part of the MGM and British television Thames Silents project.

The Crowd (1928) Starring James Murray, Eleanor Boardman and directed by King Vidor.

and on the same DVD - the sequel - Our Daily Bread (1934)

It is notable for its dramatization of the concerns and dangers of urbanization and modernity.

Directed by King Vidor
Produced by Irving Thalberg
Written by King Vidor, John V.A. Weaver
Cinematography Henry Sharp
Editing by Hugh Wynn
Distributed by MGM
Release date: February 18, 1928
Running time: 104 minutes

The picture is an influential and acclaimed feature and was nominated for the Academy Award for Unique and Artistic Production.

In 1989, this film was one of the first 25 films to be selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

Greed (1924)

It was directed by Erich von Stroheim and starring Gibson Gowland, Zasu Pitts, Jean Hersholt, Dale Fuller, Tempe Pigott, Sylvia Ashton, Chester Conklin, Joan Standing and Jack Curtis.

The plot follows a dentist whose wife wins a lottery ticket, only to become obsessed with money. When her former lover betrays the dentist as a fraud, all of their lives are destroyed.

The movie was adapted by von Stroheim (shooting screenplay) and Joseph Farnham (titles) from the 1899 novel McTeague by Frank Norris. (The on-screen writing credit for June Mathis was strictly a contractual obligation to her on the part of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (the parent studio), as she was not actually involved in the production.)

Originally over ten hours long, Greed was ultimately edited against von Stroheim's permission to about two and a half hours, and the full-length version is a lost film. This DVD TCM airing. 240min

The Merry Widow (1925) American silent MGM romantic drama film and black comedy directed and written by Erich von Stroheim. The film stars Mae Murray, John Gilbert and Roy D'Arcy.

Directed by Erich von Stroheim
Produced by Erich von Stroheim
Irving Thalberg (uncredited)
Written by Erich von Stroheim, Benjamin Glazer
Release date: August 26, 1925

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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Lillian Gish - Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1985) Patrick Day as "Huck"



Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1985)

Jim Dale, Frederic Forrest, Lillian Gish, Barnard Hughes, Richard Kiley, Butterfly McQueen, Geraldine Page, Sada Thompson, Samm-Art Williams, Patrick Day as "Huck"

Directed by Peter H. Hunt Produced by Jane Iredale Teleplay by Guy Gallo


1985's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is the only filmed version of the Mark Twain classic to cover every episode in the original novel and not merely such familiar vignettes as the "King and the Duke" business.

Presented in four parts, Finn opens in 1844, with young Huck (Patrick Day) being kidnapped from the home of the Widow Douglas (Sada Thompson) by his brutal, drink-sodden Pap (Frederic Forest). Huck escapes by faking his own death and rafting down the river in the company of escaped slave Jim (Samm-Art Williams).

Part two offers the seldom-dramatized scene in the novel wherein an abolitionist is lynched; Part three recounts the Shepardson/Grangerford feud; and part four culminates with the chicanery of the King (Barnard Hughes) and the Duke (Jim Dale) and the capture of Jim.

Featured in the huge cast are Lillian Gish, Geraldine Page, Butterfly McQueen, Richard Kiley and Eugene Oakes as Tom Sawyer.

Originally clocking in at 240 minutes, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was first telecast in February and March of 1986 on PBS' American Playhouse.

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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Pearl White "The Perils of Pauline" (1914 & 1947) Betty Hutton



Pearl White The Perils of Pauline (1914)

Cast:
Pearl White ... Pauline
Crane Wilbur ... Harry Marvin
Paul Panzer ... Koerner/Raymond Owen
Edward José ... Sanford Marvin
Francis Carlyle ... Owen's Henchman, Hicks
Clifford Bruce ... Gypsy Leader
Donald MacKenzie ... Blinky Bill
Jack Standing ... Ensign Summers
Eleanor Woodruff ... Lucille

Directed by Louis J. Gasnier & Donald MacKenzie

Original Score by Brian Pinette

9 Chapters

Trial by Fire
The Goddess of the Far West
The Pirate Treasure
The Deadly Turning
A Watery Doom
The Shattered Plane
The Tragic Plunge
The Serpent in the Flowers
The Floating Coffin

This groundbreaking episodic serial (originally extended to 20 weeks from the original 13) was the first wildly successful American continued-story serial and influenced many more made in the next decade. Every two weeks Pauline (Pearl White) evaded different murderous attempts on her life. She survives the plots of her dastardly guardian Koerner (Paul Panzer) who wants her inherited fortune for himself and will stop at nothing to get it. The episodes are self-contained but each contains a new cliffhanging peril -- a giant rolling boulder (yep, Pauline was way ahead of Indiana Jones), a deadly balloon, etc., for Pauline to escape. A must for every serious serial collector's library.

Note: This DVD presents the 9-episode version of the serial released in Europe, as found on 9.5mm film, and is an english "re-translation" of the only version of the serial known to exist, so picture quality is less than should be expected of transfers made from 16mm or 35mm prints, but it's still pretty good.

The Perils of Pauline (1947) Betty Hutton

A musical film released by Paramount Pictures. It is a fictionalized Hollywood account of silent film star Pearl White's rise to fame starring Betty Hutton as White.

The film, a broad satire of silent-movie production, is a musical-comedy vehicle for Hutton, filmed in Technicolor, with original songs by Frank Loesser (including the standards "I Wish I Didn't Love You So" and "Rumble, Rumble, Rumble"). The script portrays "Pearl" as an ambitious hoyden who rises from amateur-night vaudeville to silent-screen stardom.

The film also stars William Demarest, Frank Faylen, Constance Collier, Billy DeWolfe and John Lund & was directed by George Marshall.

Paul Panzer, who played the villain in the 1914 film, has a very small part in this film, as do silent-comedy veterans Chester Conklin, Hank Mann, Snub Pollard, and James Finlayson.

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Alice Howell in 3 rare silent gems on 1 DVD - Cinderella Cinders, One Wet Night, Under A Spell







WORLD-EXCLUSIVE --

When Stan Laurel was asked to name the ten greatest comediennes of all time, one of the first on the list was Alice Howell ... Her films were sometimes advertised - "Every one a Howell!"

Three silent gems on one no-region DVD ...



Cinderella Cinders (1920) Alice Howell, Richard Smith and Rose Burkhardt
Production Company: Reelcraft Pictures ... Directed by Frederick J. Ireland

One Wet Night (1924) starring Alice Howell, Neely Edwards, Bert Roach
Under A Spell (1925) starring Alice Howell, Neely Edwards, Bert Roach
Production Co: Universal Pictures ... Directed by Richard Smith

Alice Howell was the "Lucy" of her day. She co-starred with Chaplin & other comedy greats developing her unique style. She appeared in a series of films with Neely Edwards & Bert Roach playing the same dysfunctional family ... (approx. running time of DVD 60min)

Original Score by Brian Pinette. Copyright 2011 for Menu, (Theme song) and Score.


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Alice Howell ...

With her fuzzy hairdo piled atop her dizzy head, a vacant stare, and a shuffling penguin walk as the finishing touch, Alice Howell is arguably the most unfairly neglected of the silent era's few female comedy stars.

Howell, who plowed both vaudeville and burlesque with her husband as Howell & Howell, entered films with Mack Sennett's Keystone comedy factory in 1914. She was there during the time of Charlie Chaplin, which is the only reason her name has survived at all (they appeared together in Caught in a Cabaret and Laughing Gas, both 1914).

But Mabel Normand received almost all the plum female roles at Keystone, and when the self-important Henry \"Pathé\" Lehrman left Sennett and failed to persuade Normand to come along, Howell joined the exodus.

She became the Queen of the Lot at Lehrman's L-KO ("Lehrman-Knockout"), but was still considered a pale imitation of Normand. Still, Howell remained with L-KO for the duration of the company's existence before moving to the Stern brothers' Century comedies.

Century released through Universal, and Howell saw her star rise dramatically. When Century suddenly changed gears towards child stars and performing animals, Howell left and signed with a new company, Reelcraft. It was a step down, and although frequently described as hilarious (if somewhat low-class), the Howell comedies played mainly the hinterlands.

But Universal had never forgotten the dizzy dame with the hairdo, and Irving Thalberg, in one of his final decisions before moving over to MGM, teamed her with the debonair Neely Edwards and the rotund Bert Roach in an extremely successful series in which she and Edwards played a married couple, with Roach as their inept butler.

Existing series' entries such as One Wet Night, in which the Edwards-Howell household is burglarized by a transvestite (leading Alice to suspect Neely of infidelity), are still mirth-provoking and do much to corroborate Stan Laurel's oft-quoted ranking of Howell as one of the screen's ten best "comediennes" of all time.

Belonging thoroughly to the silent era, Howell retired with the advent of sound.

Biography by Hans J. Wollstein

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Torrent (1926) / Love (1927) Greta Garbo


Torrent (1926) / Love (1927) Greta Garbo
Two Garbo gems (TCM) - 1 no-region DVD.
In DVD/CD sleeve, photo label.

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Silent film gem CABIRIA (1914) Original Score, Brian Pinette



Cabiria (1914)

Dilent movie from the early years of Italy's movie industry, directed by Giovanni Pastrone. Apart from being a classic on its own the film is also notable for being the first film in which the long-running film character Maciste makes his debut.

The movie is based on Emilio Salgari's Cartagine in fiamme (Carthage in Flames) and Gustave Flaubert's novel Salammbo. Set in ancient Carthage during the period of the Second Punic War, it treats the conflict between Rome and Carthage through the eyes of the title character, who is kidnapped by pirates, sold as a slave in Carthage, and rescued from being sacrificed to the god Moloch by a Roman nobleman and his muscular slave Maciste (who would later become the protagonist in a whole successful series of films on his own). Hannibal and his war elephants fit into the plot of this epic film.

Directed by Giovanni Pastrone
Written by Gabriele d'Annunzio (portrayed as the "auteur" in this poster) and others
Starring Bartolomeo Pagano
Release date: April 18, 1914
Running time: 181 minutes
Country: Italy
Language: Silent film
Budget 1 million Lira

Italian author Gabriele d'Annunzio contributed to the screenplay writing all of the intertitles and naming all characters and the movie itself. The film was noted as being the first popular film to use the tracking shot - the camera is mounted on a dolly allowing it to both follow action and move within a film set or location. For years afterward a tracking shot was referred to by both cameramen and directors as a 'Cabiria' shot. However in many cases Pastrone used these shots with no real purpose other than the novelty of camera movement within a location. In some instances the camera rolls toward and then right past what should be the focus of the shot. However, the movement was such an innovation at the time that other film makers quickly incorporated it. The film was a major influence on D.W. Griffith's Intolerance. The famous crane shot moving down and into the festival in Babylon is in a sense a 'Cabiria' shot taken to the ultimate extent.

Film critic Roger Ebert has said that Griffith "moves the camera with greater freedom and has a headlong narrative and an exciting use of cross-cutting that Pastrone does not approach."[1] The film also marked the debut of the Maciste character, who went on to have a long career in Italian sword and sandal films. For many years, Cabiria and Griffith's Judith of Bethulia (1914) were considered the first feature films. However, several earlier examples have come to light in recent years, including the Australian film The Story of the Kelly Gang (1906).

Like Birth of a Nation, Cabiria has aroused its share of controversy because of the political nature of its subject matter. It was produced by Italian ultra-nationalist Gabriele d'Annunzio and was released soon after the Italo-Turkish War, in which Italy conquered the North African Ottoman provinces of Cyrenaica and Tripolitania. The film highlights Italy's Roman past and the "monstrous" nature of Carthaginian society (with especial focus on the temple of Moloch), which is contrasted with the "nobility" of Roman society.[2] Cabiria was therefore one of several films of the period that "helped resuscitate a distant history that legitimized Italy's past and inspired its dreams" and which "delivered the spirit for conquest that seemed to arrive from the distant past", thereby presaging the "political rituals of fascism" (wars of conquest, the Roman salute, parades and the fasces itself).

Original Score by Brian Pinette

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Friday, April 8, 2011

Enchanted Cottage (1924) Richard Barthelmess, May McAvoy & Lux Radio Show


RARE Enchanted Cottage (1924) Richard Barthelmess, May McAvoy DVD!

The Enchanted Cottage is a 1924 silent drama film based upon a play by Arthur Wing Pinero. The film was directed by John S. Robertson. The film was produced by Richard Barthelmess (through his company Inspiration) and released through Associated First National. Barthelmess and May McAvoy star in the drama.

This film is preserved at the Library of Congress in Washington D. C.

Directed by John S. Robertson
Produced by Inspiration Pictures Inc.
Written by Arthur Wing Pinero(play; The Enchanted Cottage, a Fable in Three Acts), Josephine Lovett (scenario), Gertrude Chase (intertitles)
Cinematography George Folsey
Editing by William Hamilton
Distributed by Associated First National
Release date: March 24, 1924
Running time: 7 reels at 7,120 feet (appr. 80-85 minutes)
Country: United States
Language: Silent film (English intertitles)

Includes RADIO SHOW - Lux Radio Theatre (1945) - The Enchanted Cottage with Robert Young, Dorothy McGuire (who starred in the talkie remake).


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Most silent films have been digitally re-mastered & have original scores by Brian Pinette.

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Saturday, April 2, 2011

Greta Garbo, Lillian Gish, Blanche Sweet, Charlie Chaplin, Alice Howell, Buster Keaton, Stan Laurel



14 silent gems on 4 no-region DVDs ...

DVD #1 - Anthology

The Burglar's Dilemma (1912) Directed by DW Griffith. With Lionel Barrymore, Henry B. Walthall, Adolph Lestina, Lillian Gish. (15min23sec) In this latter day Cain and Abel story, a jealous brother strikes down his sibling just as a young burglar is about to enter the house. The jealous brother summons police, who then charge the young intruder with murder ...
Cinderella (1914) Mary Pickford. Directed by James Kirkwood,‭ ‬Sr.,‭ ‬produced by Daniel Frohman,‭ ‬and released by Famous Players Film Company,‭ ‬later known as Paramount Pictures.‭ ‬The film is based upon the famous fairy tale with the same name.‭ (‬51min14sec‭)
The Goat (1921) short comedy film (22min54sec) written, directed by and starring comedian Buster Keaton.
The plot involves the complications that ensue when Buster Keaton is mistaken for the criminal "Dead Shot Dan." This short contains one of Keaton's more memorable images: A distant, speeding train approaches the camera, and stops with a close-up of Keaton who has been sitting on the front of the train.
Dr. Pyckle and Mr. Pryde (1925) silent, black-and-white comedy film (19min42sec), directed by Scott Pembroke and Joe Rock (also the producer).
The film itself is both a spoof of the previous Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde films - 1912 & 1920 and the well-famed novel by Robert Louis Stevenson Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. The film stars Stan Laurel as the title characters.

DVD #2 - Anthology

The Painted Lady (1912) Directed by DW Griffith. With Blanche Sweet, Madge Kirby, Charles Hill Mailes. (12min23sec) A lonely young woman lives with her strict father who forbids her to wear make-up. One day at an ice cream social, she meets a young man you seems interested in her. However, unknown to her, he is a burglar who is only interested in breaking into her father's house. One night she is awakened by a noise. Grabbing a pistol, she enters her father's downstairs office where she confronts a masked intruder . . .
Death's Marathon (1913) Directed by DW Griffith. With Blanche Sweet, Henry B. Walthall, Walter Miller. (14min45sec) Two business partners pursue the same woman. She accepts the marriage proposal of the irresponsible partner, much to her later regret. He squanders money on gambling, as his interest in her gradually wanes. One day after losing the company money in a card game, he decides to commit suicide ...
Snow White (1916) American silent film made by Famous Players-Lasky Corporation and produced by Adolph Zukor and Daniel Frohman. Directed by J. Searle Dawley, from the Grimm brothers story, Winthrop Ames adapted it to the screen from his play Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs that he had written under the pseudonym "Jessie Graham White" and had produced in 1912 at his Little Theatre on Broadway. Marguerite Clark is Snow White. (1hr2min57sec)
Anna Christie (1923) Blanche Sweet. First screen adaptation of Eugene O'Neill classic. This literal translation to the silent film was preferred by Mr. O'Neill over the Greta Garbo 1930 version. (1hr36min18sec)


DVD #3 - Anthology

The Mothering Heart (1913) Directed by DW Griffith. With Walter Miller, Lillian Gish, Kate Bruce. A young couple struggle to get ahead, the wife always assuaging the troubles of her melancholy husband. As he climbs the ladder of success, he abandons the homely values and takes up with another woman. His wife leaves him, returning to her mother's home where she bears a child. When the husband is abandoned by his concubine, remorse drives him to find his wife... (23min47sec)
Tillie's Punctured Romance (1914) Charlie Chaplin, Marie Dressler, Mabel Normand, Mack Swain, Chester Conklin. Directed by Mack Sennett. Charlie talks wealthy farmer's daughter Tillie into eloping with him (and taking her father's money). In the city Tillie gets drunk and lands in jail while Charlie runs off with her money and his old girlfriend Mabel. Later Charlie reads that Tillie (now working as a waitress) has inherited the estate of her multi-millionaire uncle. Charlie dumps Mabel and talks Tillie into moving into her uncle's villa, and Mabel arranges to become a housemaid there ... (68min)
Salomé (1923) Directed by Charles Bryant and starring Alla Nazimova. Adapted from the play by Oscar Wilde with costumes inspired by Beardsley drawings. (36min24sec)

DVD #4 - Anthology

Cleopatra (1912) Helen Gardner
Helen Gardner was the first woman filmmaker at Vitagraph, where she began ... Not only did Miss Gardner star in this adaptation, she also was the Producer. (1hr27min13sec)
Little Old New York (1923) Directed by Sidney Olcott. With Marion Davies, Stephen Carr, JM Kerrigan. An Irish girl comes to America disguised as a boy to claim a fortune left to her ... (1hr45min38sec)
Torrent (1926) Directed by Monta Bell, though he is uncredited, and based on a novel by Vicente Blasco Ibáñez. The first American film starring Swedish actress Greta Garbo. The film also stars Ricardo Cortez as the son of a domineering mother, played by Martha Mattox. The title refers to a flood that occurs in the small town where most of the action takes place, which draws the two romantic leading characters closer together. (1hr27min36sec)

In DVD/CD sleeves, photo labels.
Guaranteed/replaced with same title.

PAY here (CLICK link) for $12.99 DVDs (USA)
4 DVDs in DVD/CD sleeve, photo label. Guaranteed, replaced with same title.
AFTER you make payment – please email damienrecords@gmail.com to advise your titles.
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4 DVDs in DVD/CD sleeve, photo label. Guaranteed, replaced with same title.