Saturday, December 29, 2012

Call of the Cuckoo - 1927


Country: United States
Language: English (intertitles)
Director: Clyde Bruckman
Writer: H.M. Walker (titles)
Stars: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy and James Finlayson
Release Date: 15 October 1927 (USA)
Also known as: Das Haus der tausend Freuden (Germany); La llamada del Cucú (Argentina); Una famiglia di matti (Italy)
Production Co: Hal Roach Studios
Sound Mix: Silent
Color: Black and White
Plot Keywords: Asylum | Two Reeler
Genres: Comedy | Short
Mishaps befall a new home owner (Davidson) located next door to an insane asylum. Max wants to sell his home, because of the crazy neighbours. Somebody else wants to get rid of his house, too, so they swap. But that house turns out to be a chaos of installation. The lights are not connected with the right switches, gas and water are mixed up, and the floor has a list, too. During the house-warming party, it comes to a battle between two relatives, who have little respect for others property, but that's not the worst blow for Max that evening.
Trivia
This film was made just days after Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy had finished filming Prisioneiros Azarados, in which they play shaven-headed convicts. Thus, the reason for the boys' buzz-cut hairdos in this film.
Connections
Edited into Laurel and Hardy's Laughing 20's (1965)
Referenced in Homem e Mulher Até Certo Ponto (1970) 

The Drummer of the 8th - 1913


Country: United States
Language: English
Director: Thomas H. Ince
Stars: Cyril Gardner, Mildred Harris and Frank Borzage
Release Date: 28 May 1913 (USA)
Production Co: Broncho Film Company
Sound Mix: Silent
Color: Black and White (tinted)
Plot Keywords: Battle | Escape | Civil War | Capture | Welcome Home Party  | Overhearing | Drummer Boy | Enlistment | Younger Brother | Escape From Prison | Coffin | Plans | Prisoner Of War | Wound | Prison Camp | Hiding | Number In Title
Genres: Short | War | Drama
When the Civil War begins, young Billy runs away from home to enlist in the Northern Army as a drummer; he's wounded in battle and taken prisoner. He manages to escape and deliver an important message to his commanding officer, but loses his life in the process.

The White Caps - 1905


Country: United States
Language: English
Directors: Wallace McCutcheon, Edwin S. Porter
Stars: Kate Toncray, John R. Cumpson and Arthur V. Johnson
Release Date: September 1905 (USA)
Filming locations: Demarest, New Jersey, USA; Fort Lee, New Jersey, USA
Production Co: Edison Manufacturing Company
Sound Mix: Silent
Color: Black and White
Plot Keywords: Abused Wife | Vigilantism | Chase
Genres: Drama | Short
Two members of a vigilante group known as 'The White Caps' post a warning sign on a man's home. When the man comes home, he tears down the sign, and then proceeds to abuse his wife both verbally and physically. As soon as she can get away from him, the wife leaves home with her child to find a place of refuge. When the vigilantes find out about this, they arm themselves with rifles and immediately go to confront the abusive husband.  
Connections
Featured in Edison: The Invention of the Movies (2005) (Video) - The entire film is included on the DVD

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Scarlet Car - 1917


Country: United States
Language: English
Director: Joseph De Grasse
Writers: Richard Harding Davis (novel), William Parker
Stars: Franklyn Farnum, Edith Johnson and Lon Chaney
Release Date: 24 December 1917 (USA)
Production Co: Universal Film Manufacturing Company
Sound Mix: Silent
Color: Black and White
Plot Keywords: Based On Novel
Genres: Drama
Connections
Remade as The Scarlet Car (1923). Remake.
Featured in
Tod Browning and Lon Chaney (2000) (TV Movie) - clip included in the film
Lon Chaney: A Thousand Faces (2000) (TV Movie)

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The Ex-Convict - 1904


Country: United States
Language: English
Director: Edwin S. Porter
Writers: Robert Hilliard (play), Edwin Holland (play)
Release Date: December 1904 (USA)
Filming Locations: New York City, New York, USA
Production Co: Edison Manufacturing Company
Sound Mix: Silent
Color: Black and White
Plot Keywords: Discouragement | Punctuation In Title | Employment Discrimination | Ex Convict | Sick Child  |  Rescue Of Child | Based On Play
Genres: Drama | Short 
A former convict, now released from prison, is determined to support his wife and child. But with no references, and a past that can be used against him, he has little success in finding work. Even amidst his discouragement, on one occasion he bravely saves a young girl from being run over. But when his luck continues to be bad, he gradually becomes desperate, and he begins to wonder if he may need to return to his old ways after all.
Connections
Featured in Edison: The Invention of the Movies (2005) (Video) - The entire film is included on the DVD

Monday, December 24, 2012

The Golf Bug - 1922


Country: United States
Language: English
Director: James D. Davis
Stars: James Parrott, Jobyna Ralston and George Rowe
Release Date: 29 October 1922 (USA)
Production Co: Hal Roach Studios
Sound Mix: Silent
Color: Black and White
Genres: Comedy | Short

The Salmon Run - 1927


Country: United States
Release Date: 21 August 1927 (USA)
Production Co: Fox Film Corporation
Sound Mix: Silent
Color: Black and White
Genres: Documentary | Short 
A film about commercial salmon fishing in the U.S. northwest in the late 1920s. To purchase a clean DVD or digital download of this film for personal home use or educational use contact us at questions@archivefarms.com To license footage from this film for commercial use visit: www.globalimageworks.com

Why Girls Say No - 1927


Country: United States
Language: English
Director: Leo McCarey
Writers: Stan Laurel, H.M. Walker (titles)
Stars: Marjorie Daw, Creighton Hale and Max Davidson
Release Date: 20 February 1927 (USA)
Production Co: Hal Roach Studios
Sound Mix: Silent
Color: Black and White
Plot Keywords: Question In Title
Genres: Short | Comedy

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Should Second Husbands Come First? - 1927


Country: United States
Language: English
Director: Leo McCarey
Stars: Max Davidson, Lillian Elliott and Spec O'Donnell
Release Date: 23 October 1927 (USA)
Production Co: Hal Roach Studios
Runtime: 20 min  | Germany: 21 min (2011 restoration)
Sound Mix: Silent
Color: Black and White
Plot Keywords: Punctuation In Title | Question In Title | Number In Title
Genres: Short | Comedy

Miss Fatty's Seaside Lovers - 1915


Country: United States
Director: Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle
Stars: Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle, Harold Lloyd and Joe Bordeaux
Release Date: 15 May 1915 (USA)
Filming Locations: Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA
Production Co: Keystone Film Company
Runtime: 11 min
Sound Mix: Silent
Color: Black and White
Plot Keywords: One Reeler | Character Name In Title
Genres: Comedy | Short
When a rich 'mothball magnate' checks into a hotel with his family, the mashers come out of the woodwork to woo his daughter (Arbuckle.) The scene shifts to the beach where the buxom heiress becomes stranded on a rock, where she is sunbathing, when the tide comes in. An hilarious rescue effort ensues.

Monday, December 17, 2012

45 Minutes From Hollywood - 1926


Country: United States
Language: English (intertitles)
Director: Fred Guiol
Writers: Hal Roach, H.M. Walker (titles)
Stars: Oliver Hardy, Glenn Tryon and Charlotte Mineau
Release Date: 26 December 1926 (USA)
Also Known As: A 45 minuti da Hollywood (Italy), Forty-five Minutes from Hollywood (USA - alternative spelling), Väter der Klamotte: Diese Dame ist ein Kerl (West Germany - TV title)
Filming Locations: Hal Roach Studios - 8822 Washington Blvd., Culver City, California, USA
Production Co: Hal Roach Studios
Runtime: USA: 21 min
Sound Mix: Silent
Color: Black and White
Plot Keywords: Hollywood | Bank Robbery | Hotel Detective | Jealousy | Tourist  |  Man Dressed As Woman | Bank Robber | Hotel Room | Tour | Place Name In Title | Celebrity | Number In Title
Genres: Short | Comedy
A young man visiting Hollywood on family business gets into trouble when he sees a bank robbery in progress, and thinks it is a movie scene.
A California family receives a notice that they must make a payment immediately, or else be forced out of their home. The payment must be made at an office in Hollywood, and so Grandpa, his granddaughter, and his grandson Orville all go together, full of excitement at the chance to see some movie stars. Grandpa misses the train, leaving the other two to continue alone. Once in Hollywood, they pass by a bank robbery in progress, which Orville mistakes for a movie scene. He rushes into the action, and is taken by one of the holdup gang, who leaves him unconscious and dressed like a woman in the room of a hotel detective. This creates considerable difficulty and embarrassment both for Orville and for the detective. 
Quotes
Mother: Guard the money, son - Lookout for confidence men and assistant directors.
Connections
Edited into Laurel and Hardy's Laughing 20's (1965)

The Train Wreckers - 1905


Country: United States
Language: English (intertitles)
Director: Edwin S. Porter
Stars: Gilbert M. 'Broncho Billy' Anderson
Release Date: 27 November 1905 (USA)
Also known as: Train Wreckers (USA)
Production Co: Edison Manufacturing Company
Runtime: 11 min
Sound Mix: Silent
Color: Black and White
Plot Keywords: Train | Gunfight | Rescued By Dog | Damsel In Distress | Chase  | Last Second Rescue | Bound And Gagged | Heroine
Genres: Short | Action | Drama
A romance between a railroad engineer and the switchman's daughter is nearly ruined by train wreckers who knock out the girl and leave her on the tracks to be run over. The engineer perches on the engine's cow catcher and rescues the girl.
One of the pleasures of viewing these early films is to witness the invention and maturation of genres, formulas and some of the most common movie clichés and conventions. This Edison picture, 'Train Wreckers' made by prolific filmmakers Edwin S. Porter and Wallace McCutcheon, displays many elements of what later became standards of action films, including the last-minute rescue shorts made by D.W. Griffith. The female lead and the use of a train, in addition to the rescues and action, seem especially to be precursors to Griffith's 'The Girl and Her Trust' (1912).
In the 16-shots of 'Train Wreckers', the female lead goes from damsel-in-distress to heroine and back to damsel-in-distress as she has a series of encounters with a gang, who for some unexplained reason are trying to derail a train. She's bound and gagged to a tree, where she is rescued by her dog. Porter and McCutcheon may have been influenced here by 'Rescued by Rover', which was released earlier in 1905. Later, our hero is left for dead on the tracks, only to be saved by the filmmakers' use of a dummy and splice. There's quite a lot of action packed into one reel, including two last-minute rescues from disaster, a chase and a gunfight. There are even the most basic and brief crosscuts (Shot A cuts to Shot B cuts back to Shot A), which is something Porter had done before at Edison, but he doesn't seem to have developed it beyond the simplest forms of crosscutting in his later work. Other early Nickelodeon fare, such as Vitagraph's suspenseful 'The 100 to One Shot; or a Run of Luck' (1905/06) or 'The Mill Girl' (1907), in addition to Griffith's films, would feature much quicker and more extensive editing. 'Train Wreckers' also breaks the axis of action rule a few times, switching the directions of action between shots (train goes right in one shot and goes left in another).
There must have been too much going on for the one-reel standard to allow the filmmakers to explain every detail, because there are a few outstanding unexplained features here. Why does the heroine walk through the woods? Where is she going? Why does she walk on the railroad tracks? Why can't the criminals kill an unprotected man on the front of a train when they're firing bullets at him from only a few feet away? Are they anarchists—why are they trying to wreck the train? Perhaps Edison's catalogue gave a description to these finer points, but with the beginning of nickelodeons, self-contained narratives were becoming required, as many exhibitors no longer were willing to or able to pay lecturers to elaborate on films for audiences—which was customary in early cinema. Nevertheless, 'Train Wreckers' is one of the better-made films I've seen from its time. The filmmakers made great use of the locations, created a good pacing with plenty of interest going on. In addition to the action, the film even takes a few early scenes for peaceful exposition, introducing the heroine's sweetheart and life around the trains. There's an exceptionally well-composed shot through a window of a train arriving at the station. The film was one of Edison's best sellers between 1905-1906, selling 157 prints (Musser, "Before the Nickelodeon").
Connections
Edison: The Invention of the Movies (2005) (Video) - The entire film is included on the DVD

The Candy Kid - 1917


Country: United States
Language: English
Director: Arvid E. Gillstrom
Stars: Billy West, Ethel Cassity and Oliver Hardy
Release Date: 15 October 1917 (USA)
Filming Locations: Bayonne, New Jersey, USA
Production Co: King Bee Studios
Sound Mix: Silent
Color: Black and White
Genres: Comedy | Short

The Ragtime Band - 1913


Country: United States
Language: English (intertitles)
Director: Mack Sennett
Stars: Ford Sterling, Mabel Normand and Nick Cogley
Release Date: 1 May 1913 (USA)
Also known as: That Rag Time Band (USA - alternative spelling); The Band (USA - working title); The Jazz Band (undefined); The Jazz Band Leader (USA - reissue title)
Production Co: Keystone Film Company
Sound Mix: Silent
Color: Black and White
Genres: Short | Comedy
Professor Smelts the band leader gets into a romantic rivalry with one of his musicians over the affections of a pretty girl.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The European Rest Cure - 1904


Country: United States
Language: English
Director: Edwin S. Porter
Stars: Joseph Hart
Release Date: September 1904 (USA)
Production Co: Edison Manufacturing Company
Runtime: 17 min (16 fps)
Sound Mix: Silent
Color: Black and White
Genres: Comedy | Short
An American tourist has a terrible ordeal on his European vacation. An American going to Europe for a rest cure says good-bye to his family, then boards a ship that heads out to sea, where it runs into some rough weather. When they reach Ireland, the man has a mishap, and then in Paris he gets involved in a fracas. As he continues on to his other stops, things continue to get even less restful.
Connections
Edison: The Invention of the Movies (2005) (Video) - The entire film is included on the DVD 

Friday, December 14, 2012

A Strong Revenge - 1913


Country: United States
Language: English (intertitles)
Director: Mack Sennett
Stars: Mack Sennett, Mabel Normand and Ford Sterling
Release Date: 10 March 1913 (USA)
Also known as: The Rivals (USA - reissue title); The Shoemaker's Revenge (USA - working title)
Production Co: Keystone Film Company
Sound Mix: Silent
Color: Black and White
Genres: Short | Comedy
In the early 1900's, German comedy teams were very popular and so were Limburger Cheese jokes and routines. Limburger was "the cheese you could smell in the dark." It is probable that this entire movie is based on a vaudeville routine. Both Sennett and Sterling had vaudeville backgrounds. and probably saw routines very much like this.
In a recent article called "The Cheese That Stands Alone," Ben Schwartz in "Lapham's Quarterly" notes the many films based on the bad smell of cheese:
"the movie, Oh! That Limburger: The Story of a Piece of Cheese (1906), in which two boys slip Limburger into their father's pockets, after which he is chased out of his office by his co-workers.
Still, it's doubtful Andrea foresaw how the new media of silent films aimed at younger, modern audiences would offer up Limburger as a comedy star. They include Limburger and Love (1910) and, conversely, Love and Limburger (1913), A Strong Revenge (1913), Adventures of Limburger and Schweitzer (1914), Limburger's Victory (1915), A Case of Limburger (1915), A Limburger Cyclone, (1917), and the Katzenjammer Kids cartoon, Down Where The Limburger Blows (1917). In Chaplin's Shoulder Arms (1918), the comedian plays a GI at the front who receives Limburger in a care package. He needs a gas mask to get near it, and then throws the cheese into an enemy trench forcing thirteen German soldiers to surrender. As a war hero, Limburger found one of its few positive images."
What is amazing about this movie, which is really one long and one short practical joke, is the ability of the actors to make you see how bad the cheese smells. The facial expression by Normand and the rest of the cast are so good, that you feel how bad the cheese smells. 

Cohen's Fire Sale - 1907


Country: United States
Language: English
Director: Edwin S. Porter
Release Date: 29 June 1907 (USA)
Production Co: Edison Manufacturing Company
Runtime: 13 min
Sound Mix: Silent
Color: Black and White
Plot Keywords: One Reeler | Garbage Collector | Firefighting | Milliner | Jewish Stereotype  | Insurance Fraud | Arson
Genres: Short | Comedy
A shipment of merchandise from France arrives at Cohen's Millinery, and is placed outside the storefront, where Mr. Cohen opens it up. When he and his employees have gone back into the store for a moment, a trash collector mistakenly picks up the crate and carries it off. A frantic chase results in most of the hats being scattered throughout the neighborhood. Later, Mr. Cohen, upset about the loss, looks for a way to make some of his money back.
Connections
Edison: The Invention of the Movies (2005) (Video) - The entire film is included on the DVD 

Black Eyes - 1915


Country: United States
Language: English
Director: Willard Louis
Writer: Lee Arthur (story)
Stars: Raymond McKee, Jean Dumar and Guido Colucci
Release Date: 6 October 1915 (USA)
Production Co: Edison Company
Sound Mix: Silent
Color: Black and White
Genres: Short | Comedy
A husband and wife swear never again to sneak out on each other with their friends, and are both faced with complications when they go back on their word.
Jack and Beatrice Willard have plans to go to the theater, but when Jack's law partner gets tickets to a prize fight, Jack lies to his wife and cancels the theater trip. Beatrice then decides to play bridge with some friends, and when they both come home very late, they have a bitter argument. The next morning, they make up, and swear never again to sneak out on each other. But then, on their wedding anniversary, a similar situation arises, and this time both of them will find it much harder to explain themselves.
Connections
Edison: The Invention of the Movies (2005) (Video) - The entire film is included on the DVD 

The Lesser Evil - 1912


Country: United States
Language: English
Director: D.W. Griffith
Writer: George Hennessy
Stars: Blanche Sweet, Edwin August and Mae Marsh
Release Date: 29 April 1912 (USA)
Also known as: El mal menor (Spain)
Filming Locations: California, USA
Production Co: Biograph Company
Sound Mix: Silent
Color: Black and White
Plot Keywords: Rescue | Smuggler | Smuggling | Boat Captain | Kidnapping  | Melodrama | Ship | Sailor
Genres: Short | Drama
A young woman has a peaceful existence, living near the sea and enjoying a romance with a simple, hard-working fisherman. But she finds herself in sudden danger when she happens upon the crew of a boat while they are ashore in the act of smuggling. She is abducted and forced aboard their boat. While the fisherman races to organize a rescue mission, the crew of the boat decides to seize her from the captain, in order to have their way with her. 
Connections
Edited into Spisok korabley (2008)  

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The House of Cards - 1909


Country: United States
Language: English
Director: Edwin S. Porter
Writer: Edwin S. Porter
Stars: Mary Fuller, Marc McDermott and Herbert Prior
Release Date: 10 December 1909 (USA)
Production Co: Edison Manufacturing Company
Runtime: 16 min
Sound Mix: Silent
Color: Black and White
Genres: Short | Drama | Western
The rancher whom Tom works for has entrusted Tom with a bag of gold to take to the bank. But on arriving at the bank, Tom finds that it is closed for the day. It is not long before Tom is lured into a game of cards, and loses the rancher's money. Soon there is a warrant out for Tom's arrest on a charge of embezzlement, and his situation becomes increasingly desperate.
Connections
Edison: The Invention of the Movies (2005) (Video) - The entire film is included on the DVD 

Her Crowning Glory - 1911


Country: United States
Language: English
Stars: John Bunny, Flora Finch and Helene Costello
Release Date: 12 September 1911 (USA)
Production Co: Vitagraph Company of America
Runtime: 14 min (19 fps)
Sound Mix: Silent
Color: Black and White
Plot Keywords: Nurse | Governess | Widower | Sister | Jealousy  | Cigar Smoking | Marriage Proposal | Haircut | Spanking
Genres: Comedy | Short 
A widower becomes infatuated with his daughter's governess, to the displeasure of the child and her nurse. A widower has been bringing up his young daughter with the help of a nurse. The widower's sister, though, considers the child to be spoiled and undisciplined, so she insists on hiring a strict governess for the girl. When the governess arrives, both the daughter and the nurse dislike her, but the father is captivated by the governess's long, wavy, chestnut-colored hair. When the father asks the governess to marry him, the nurse and the daughter realize that they have to act quickly.
Trivia
One of the 50 films in the 4-disk boxed DVD set called "Treasures from American Film Archives (2000)", compiled by the National Film Preservation Foundation from 18 American film archives. This film was preserved by the UCLA Film and Television Archive. This version has a piano music score and runs 14 minutes. Only 4 of John Bunny's 162 films are known to have survived. 

The Totville Eye - 1912


Country: United States
Language: English
Director: C.J. Williams
Writer: Bannister Merwin (scenario)
Stars: Walter Edwin, Yale Boss and Robert Brower
Release Date: 27 November 1912 (USA)
Production Co: Edison Company
Runtime: 14 min
Sound Mix: Silent
Color: Black and White
Genres: Short | Comedy
A printer and his young assistant take over a local newspaper while the editor is away. Scotty and his young helper Sammy do the printing for the local newspaper, The Totville Eye. Scotty has ideas for improving the paper, but his stodgy editor refuses to change anything. When the editor is called away by a family illness, Scotty is left in charge. He soon puts Sammy to work as a cub reporter, and the stories in the paper's next edition are quite a bit different from its usual content.
Connections
Edison: The Invention of the Movies (2005) (Video). The entire film is included on the DVD 

The Struggle - 1913


The Struggle
(1913) American
B&W : Two reels
Directed by Jack Conway and Frank E. Montgomery (Frank Montgomery)
Cast: Princess Red Wing, J. Barney Sherry, Jack Conway, Edna Maison, Elmer Morrow, Francis Ford, Richard Stanton
New York Motion Picture Company production; distributed by The Universal Film Manufacturing Company, Incorporated [101-Bison]. / Produced by Thomas H. Ince. Scenario by William Clifford. / Released 23 September 1913. / Standard 35mm spherical 1.37:1 format.
Drama: Western.
Survival status: Print exists in the International Museum of Photography and Film at George Eastman House film archive [35mm positive].
Keywords: Chases - Transportation: Stagecoaches
Listing updated: 9 March 2011.
References: ClasIm-224 p. 42 : Website-GEH; Website-IMDb; Website-NFPF.
This review was extracted from the site Silent Era: http://www.silentera.com/PSFL/data/S/Struggle1913-3.html

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Thirty Days at Hard Labor - 1912


Country: United States
Language: English
Director: Oscar Apfel
Writer: O. Henry (story)
Stars: Robert Brower, Mary Fuller and Harold M. Shaw
Release Date: 9 January 1912 (USA)
Production Co: Edison Company
Runtime: 16 min
Sound Mix: Silent
Color: Black and White
Genres: Short | Comedy
Jack and Beatrice meet and fall in love, but Beatrice's father objects, because Jack's family is wealthy, and Jack has never had to work for a living. He makes Jack sign an agreement that he will make a living with his own hands for thirty days, to prove himself, before he sees Beatrice again. Jack's first attempts at manual labor are failures, but he finally finds an unusual job at a restaurant that gives him hope of fulfilling the agreement.
Trivia
A copy of this film survives at The Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Connections
Edison: The Invention of the Movies (2005) (Video) - The entire film is included on the DVD