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More Treasures from American Film Archives 1894-1931

9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Like the first Treasures from the American Film Archives produced by the National Film Preservation Foundation, MORE TREASURES OF AMERICAN FILM ARCHIVES takes as its starting point the preservation work of our nation's film archives. More Treasures covers the years from 1894 through 1931, when the motion pictures from a peepshow curio to the nation's fourth largest industry. This is the period from which fewest American Films survive. Five film archives have made it their mission to save what remains of these first decades of American film: the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, George Eastman House, The Library of Congress, The Museum of Modern Art and the UCLA Film and Television Archive. More Treasures (made possible in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities) reproduces their superb preservation work-fifty films follwed by six previews for lost features and serials.

Special Features

  • Over 9-1/2 hours on three discs
  • Commentary by 17 critics, historians, and preservationists
  • Digitally mastered from the finest archival sources
  • Newly recorded musical scores
  • Over 500 interactive screens about the films and music
  • 200-page illustrated book with film notes and credits
  • Postcards from the films

Product Details

  • Actors: Irene Rich, May McAvoy, Bert Lytell, Ronald Colman, Edward Martindel
  • Directors: A.E. Weed, Alice Guy, Alvin Knechtel, Ashley Miller, Charles R. Bowers
  • Format: Box set, Black & White, Closed-captioned, Color, Full Screen, NTSC, Dolby
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Image Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: September 7, 2004
  • Run Time: 573 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002JP1VW
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #124,036 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "More Treasures from American Film Archives 1894-1931" on IMDb

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

119 of 120 people found the following review helpful By Robert Morris on October 24, 2004
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This boxed set of 3 dvds and extensive commentary is a marvelous survey of the development of motion pictures as a technology, as an art form, and as a means of documenting the history and culture of the times. Those who will treasure this collection the most are those who still feel awe and wonder in watching moving images of people long gone and times far removed, as well as students of film who want to see early manifestations of techniques that are standard in today's movies. There are three categories of films in this collection: experimental films that test early advances in sound or color; political, industrial, or commercial documentaries; and early, rare, curious, unique, or important films by familiar or obscure film makers.

The best in the box include "The Country Doctor", from 1909, directed by D.W. Griffith for Biograph, a beautifully photographed and remarkably well-acted moral tale of a physician torn between his duty to family and profession; "The Suburbanite", from 1904, a polite comedy about the exploits of a middle-class familiy moving to the "burbs" of New Jersey; "The Invaders" an early Western produced and directed by Thomas Ince, an early film pioneer; "Gretchen the Greenhorn", staring Dorothy Gish, a warm and honest story about urban immigrant life; and Ernst Lubtisch's "Lady Windermere's Fan", an entertaining comedy-drama that illustrates the extent to which silent cinema had evolved by 1925 in its ability to tell a complex psychological tale without the need for extensive dialogue. Each of these films are still capable of drawing modern viewers into their story, despite their age and, for the early movies, the limitations of the techniques available to the film-maker.
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60 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Steven Hellerstedt on May 7, 2006
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What an astonishing and entertaining box set! This three-disk set with the unwieldy name and robust price tag is one of the best collections I've watched in a long time. These `films' - some are only thirty seconds long - range in date from 1894 to 1931. Almost all are silent, save for a couple of experimental sound films. A comprehensive review is out of the question, so I'll limit myself to short observations on some of my favorites from each disk.

Disk One - Things are kicked off with `Dickson Experimental Sound Film' (ca. 1894), a 15-second film that features two-men dancing and a man playing a violin in front of a huge metal cone, the microphone for the wax cylinder the sound was recorded on. This set is dotted with experimental movies like this one. Out of context they're a little mystifying, but this one comes with a short commentary track. The commentary track lasts a few minutes, and the movie is looped behind it. All films come with program notes which are found both on-screen (handy) and in a two-hundred page book. I think a lot of people will get a kick out of the 13-minute `The Wonderful Wizard of Oz' (1910). It's certainly inventive enough, but the Scarecrow, Tin Man & Lion look different, the Wizard looks creepy, and I was never that much of an Oz fan to begin with. My favorites from the first disk are the two feature films, at least feature length for their time: `The Invaders' (1912- 41 mins) and `Gretchen the Greenhorn' (1916- 58 mins.) `The Invaders' is an early western that features real Lakota Sioux playing the indians. It's a smart film that feels authentic. `Gretchen the Greenhorn' is a charming story starring the 18-year-old Dorothy Gish (Lillian's little sister) as a young Dutch girl joining her father in America.
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77 of 79 people found the following review helpful By Barbara Underwood on March 12, 2005
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This marvellous second set of rare archival material never before released on video truly is a treasure for anyone interested in the development of motion pictures in all its genres. I found the diverse variety on these 3 dics surprising and impressive, as well as very educational. An excellent book contains all the background information you might start to wonder about once you see some of the unusual and unexpected short films, and there are commentaries by critics and historians on the discs as well. As a silent film enthusiast, I was most delighted to see the four feature films (over an hour in length) in this set, as well as the poignant D.W. Griffith short, "The Country Doctor" an action-packed episode from the movie serial "The Hazards of Helen", and the fascinating 1907 Edison short, "The Teddy Bears" with impressive puppet animation. And I was simply amazed by the fun animations by the Inkwell Studios and in particular, the bizarre comedy short "There It Is" with Charley Bowers.

The four feature films show the development of the movie: from the stirring story about Sioux and Cheyenne conflicts in Thomas Ince's "The Invaders" of 1912, to the plight of Dutch migrants who fall victim to a gang of counterfeiters in "Gretchen the Greenhorn" played superbly by the talented Dorothy Gish, then to "Clash of the Wolves" in 1925 starring Rin-Tin-Tin, the amazing super dog, giving the most impressive performance I've ever seen by an animal actor; and finally the smooth and sophisticated Ernst Lubitsch rendition of Oscar Wilde's "Lady Windermere's Fan" rounds off this collection.
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