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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars entertaining movies creatively designed to influence people, January 24, 2008
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This review is from: Treasures III: Social Issues in American Film, 1900-1934 (DVD)
Treasures III: Social Issues In American Film, 1900-1934 has a plethora of wonderful films that reflect the hearts and minds of Americans as well as their government at a time of great social change. These films are marvelously restored and they are also very entertaining.

There are many rather short films; one of them depicts steerage class immigrants landing on Ellis Island. It's fascinating to watch the people disembark and carry what little they were able to carry by themselves into their new homeland. The different styles of dress also indicate that there were immigrants from several countries on this ferry boat from the ship to the dock on Ellis Island.

Another film worth mention is The Godless Girl directed by Cecil B. DeMille. This is one of many films that try to entertain BUT also teach people ways of thinking that pleased people in power. We see the "evils" of atheism and the "wonder" of a young woman's coming to believe in God. This film is especially well acted and I highly recommend it. The action is great, too. Of course, in our time there is much more tolerance for those who question the existence of a higher power. The Godless Girl, like so many other films in this set, would never be made today.

The Soul Of Youth is another exposé into the lives of young male orphans having it rough both inside and outside the orphanage. One significant moral of this story is that you shouldn't abandon--or sell--your children.

We also see films about the "black hand," which was the Mafia of its time; and several films including Mr. Nation Wants A Divorce portray recent news events as the story plots for films. In Mr. Nation Wants A Divorce, we see Mr. Nation, husband of Carrie Nation, fighter against liquor, wants a divorce because his wife Carrie Nation has left him to raise their family all on his own.

The Crime Of Carelessness teaches the importance of being careful in the workplace to avoid accidents; and the short newsreels about Prohibition fascinate me.

The four DVDs come with a fine book with black and white pictures telling us more about the films. There's a great deal of information about the films on the four DVDs themselves; and there's audio commentary that will interest you as well.

Overall, my review could never do enough justice to this exceptionally fine four DVD set with its companion book. We learn so much about what was really going on in America--and what the government wanted us to think and do as well. People who love history will relish this set; and people who like silent movies will find many of these films to be rather entertaining and very well acted.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 25, 2008 6:05:12 PM PST
This sounds like a treasure trove! Many of these movies have been forgotten and are never made available to people. This sounds like a welcome release. Your review makes clear what value there is with these movies. Thank you for a fine review!
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Matthew G. Sherwin
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