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History of Motion Pictures - Early Films by Thomas Alva Edison 1899 DVD

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Product Description

One recalls the historic words "I am experimenting upon an instrument which does for the eye what the phonograph does for the ear, which is the recording and reproduction of things in motion ...." uttered by Thomas A. Edison in 1888. As the world knows, this was a man who delivered on what he promised. Our world would certainly not be the same if he had not been part of American history. It can, of course, be argued that his world-changing inventions would eventually have been masterminded by others. However, there would almost certainly have been an incredible time lag before this happened. Thomas Alva Edison was not a ploddingly meticulous scientist – he was a driven visionary the likes of whom we will not see again. A creative genius who had an incalculable impact on the modern world.

Each of the film segments that you will see on this DVD represent a piece of history in its own right – times and situations that have, in their own way, defined the times and situations that were to follow. The Spanish American War, 19th century New York and Yellowstone Park, Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders… all these and more are available in a compact time capsule from the historic era of cinema’s pioneering years.

From the Contributor

This innovative DVD features some of the earliest motion pictures made by legendary inventor T.A. Edison. Included are 39 short films of various lengths and themes, each reflecting the stage at which cinematographic technology was back in the 19th Century. This DVD by A2ZCDS is a fascinating odyssey through time. It was a historical discovery - a sequence of individual still pictures, when set in motion, can give the illusion of movement. When this phenomenon was put under scrutiny, it was called persistence of vision, whereby the eye retains a visual image for a fraction of a second after the source has been removed. Various imaginative attempts were made to capitalize on this discovery, most notably in the form of the zoetrope and the Magic Lantern. Various inventors got into the act and a number of devices were made. However, an historical absolute held true – no invention will see the light of day until its time has come. When celebrated American inventor Thomas Alva Edison finally authored the Kinetoscope (a machine for recording actual movement on film and another machine for viewing the resulting images) in the 19th century, he had the findings of other pioneers like Eastman and Muybridge to draw on. However, he is rightly credited with the making of the first workable motion picture projector. The world of cinematography as we know it today is a direct descendant from this and later inventions by this genius. The History of Motion Pictures - Early Films by Thomas Alva Edison 1899 DVD by A2ZCDS presents 39 unique examples of the motion pictures from the 19th century. Each comes directly from the historic recording studios of Thomas Edison himself – Thomas Edison Inc.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Format: Black & White, Flash, Full length, Full Screen, Original recording remastered, Restored, NTSC
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Studio: A2ZCDS.com
  • DVD Release Date: October 3, 2005
  • Run Time: 63 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000ARGHD2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #505,128 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

This DVD includes 39 of the 102 films shot by the Edison manufacturing company from the year 1899. There are more films that actually tell a story or perform a more complete function than those in the 1891-1898 set, due to the increased experience with the medium of film. Also, more of the films are over a minute in length than in the 1891-1898 pack, but there is nothing here that would be considered a "feature-length film" by today's standards. Some of the included films are:

Astor Battery on parade - Filmed as the Astor Battery appeared in New York on Saturday, January 21, 1899, on their return from active service in the Philippines. The picture is taken as they cross Broadway, Union Square, north. The mounted police are followed by the band, then the famous Astor Battery itself, marching 24 abreast. The members perform their drill with aplomb and make a spectacular sight.

U.S. troops and Red Cross in the trenches before Caloocan - Taken during the Spanish American War, this clips shows U.S. troops after having driven the Filipinos out of the trenches. After firing one or two volleys, they press on in pursuit. The enemy returns the fire and the forward rush is marked by a trail of dead and wounded. Following close behind is the hospital corps. Stretchers are quickly brought out and the nurses tenderly care for the fallen and carry them to the rear.

Raising Old Glory over Morro Castle - Also from the era of the Spanish American War, this short film shows the ceremonious lowering of the Spanish flag, to be replaced by America's Stars and Stripes. This symbolizes the end of the tyranny and oppression that has ruled in the new world for four hundred years. Also visible in the distance are the turrets and battlements of Morro, the last foothold of Spain in America.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Arthur on May 22, 2006
The early Thomas Edison films are legendary, simply because they were the first things ever put on moving pictures. This was before the days of Holywood and people didn't really know what the mass market would want to see and if the medium would be accepted or not. Therefore, Edison experimented around with a large range of film subjects, from news events to short dramas to travelouges. YOu get an excellent sample of each type of film making he was considering and it all comes together well as a historical perspective on the history of film.
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