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Landmarks of Early Film, Vol. 1

4.6 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

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(Nov 26, 1997)
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$199.99 $51.99

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

DVD. Documentery.

Amazon.com

A magnificent collection for anyone interested in the earliest days of film history, this compilation of films spans the years from 1886 to 1913, from the first experiments in "serial photography" to the emergence of narrative shorts and the dawn of the feature-length film. It's a veritable archive of nearly every important film from the birth of the medium, including Edison Kinestoscope films (1894-96), films by the brothers Lumière (1895-97), the magical movies of French special effects pioneer Georges Méliès, documentary "actualities" from 1897 to 1910, and selected short films from 1903 to 1913. The two-hour collection offers a fascinating study of how motion pictures quickly developed a variety of applications and a means of artistic and practical expression, with their own emerging language of camera style, editing, and cinematography. Watching these films is like stepping into a time machine to witness the infancy of motion pictures, which would rapidly evolve to become the most powerful medium of the 20th century prior to the development of television. --Jeff Shannon

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Directors: Thomas Edison, Lumiere Bros., Various
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Black & White, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Image Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: November 26, 1997
  • Run Time: 117 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 630507559X
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #111,871 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Landmarks of Early Film, Vol. 1" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Satre Stuelke on April 17, 1999
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Each chapter is a very high quality transfer. Worth much more than the purchase price. All are complete (not just clips) and many preserve the original hand-coloring. Because the list is not above, here's the content: 1. Muybridge series photography 1877-1885, 2.EDISON KINETOSCOPE FILMS 1894-1896: The Kiss, 3. Serpentine Dances, 4. Eugene Sandow, 5. Glenroy Brothers (Comic Boxing), 6. Cockfight, 7. The Barber Shop, 8. Feeding the Doves, 9. Seminary Girls, 10. LUMIERE FILMS 1895-1897 Exiting the Factory, 11. Arrival of Train at La Ciotat, 12. Baby's Lunch, 13. The Sprinkler Sprinkled, 14. Dragoons Crossing the Saone, 15. Promenade of Ostriches, Paris Bot. Gardens, 16. Childish Quarrel, 17. Lion, London Zoological Garden, 18. Demolition of a Wall, 19. Transformation By Hats, 20. Carmaux: Drawing Out the Coke, 21. Poultry-Yard, 22. Snowball Fight, 23. Card Party, 24. New York: Broadway at Union Square, 25. A Trip to the Moon (1902), 26. ACTUALITIES 1897-1910 Pres. McKinley at Home (1897), 27. Pack Train on Chilkoot Pass (1898), 28. Sky Scrapers of New York City... (1903), 29. San Francisco: Aftermath of an Earthquake (1906), 30. The Dog and his Various Merits (1908), 31. Aeroplane Flight and Wreck (1910), 32. The Great Train Robbery (1903), 33. The Whole Dam Family & the Dam Dog (1905), 34. The Golden Beetle (1907), 35. The Policememn's Little Run (1907), 36. Troubles of a Grasswidower (1908), 37. Nero, or The Fall of Rome (1909), 38. Winsor McCay and his Moving Comics (1911), 39. The Girl and Her Trust (1912), 40. Bangville Police (1913).
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Format: DVD
This package is really a must-have for anyone interested in early film history. The Edison and Lumiere films are fascinating to watch. The two landmark narrative films are presented here: "A Trip to the Moon" includes the original narration as Melies intended, and "The Great Train Robbery" includes the original color tinting. And even though the link for "The Great Train Robbery" at the bottom of this page points to IMDB's page for the 1904 remake, the version on the DVD is Edwin S. Porter's original 1903 version. Among the later films on this DVD, "The Policemen's Little Run" is hilarious, and it offers excellent images from 1907 Paris. I haven't even watched the last two films on this disc. I'm going slowly and savoring each one.....
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It's amazing to see what the world looked like at the turn of the century, and you couldn't ask for a more beautiful production. There's great variety in this presentation as you can see from the contents.
It's especially nice to have full films, rather than clips. I also find it very interesting to see what was considered humorous at the time. In the 1905 film, "The Whole Dam Family, and the Dam Dog", for example, there is minimal action, the humor coming from wordplay in the titles which may seem juvenile today, but at the same time show great playfulness. This is just one of the many pleasures to be found on this incredible disc.
Next, move on to Volume 2, for an in-depth look at the films of Melies!
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Perhaps it's not fair for me to judge this collection. I'm looking at this DVD with an upscaling DVD player on a High Definition Video Projector on a huge screen, so I'm seeing many more transfer flaws than most people, and really that was my only complaint. I was specifically looking for a good copy of George Melie's Trip to the Moon, and I was certainly happy to also get copies of many famous and Historic films, such as the Lumiere' and Edison films, but I know there can be better transfers of these films. If you are looking at this collection on a standard HDTV or TV, you'll be fine, but if you are using a projector and a huge screen, like me, you'll want to try some other copies of these films. For instance, the new George Melie's collection from David Shepard is stunning in comparison. I'm talking about the quality of the Video Transfer it's self. These films are very old and I know it's hard to find good elements to use when they make DVD's, but I've seen much better transfers. I know it can be done.
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Format: DVD
Considering the age of the source materials, this is an extremely well-produced package. As previous reviews indicate, it's strength is its variety. You'll see rare tinted films and unusual subjects, along with a sampling of D.W. Griffith, Edison and the Lumiere Brothers. All the names you'd be reading about in any beginning film class. I only wish there had been a couple more of the magical "trick" films of Georges Melies! If you have an interest in early film history, this is a great assortment.
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I purchased this disk to get a copy of "A Trip to the Moon" and am nothing short of thrilled with the purchase. It is fascinating to see how sophisticated films became in a 15-20 year period. The D. W. Griffith 1912 entry, "A Girl and Her Trust" is a jewel in this collection as well.
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By A Customer on July 28, 2003
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
For cinephiles, or anyone interested in the history of film, this is an unbelievable collection. In addition to their interest for understanding the development of film "language", it is striking how many of these films I also found tremendously entertaining in their own right. It's really quite amazing to think how, within one or two decades of the introduction of the medium, people like Melier and Griffith had figured out how to use it to tell stories and entertain us in ways that can still be enjoyed almost 100 years later. That first twenty or so years was a wild ride, though, with a lot of amazing innovations happening as to how to use the new medium, and this collection captures that wonderfully.
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