Accidentally Preserved: volume 2
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"Accidentally Preserved: Rare and Lost Silent Films from Vintage 16mm Prints" is a DVD series of rare/lost silent film shorts, presented in new digital HD transfers with new musical scores on piano or theatre organ by Ben Model. This second DVD release in the series contains 9 more rare/lost silent film shorts. The films on volume 2 are all new to DVD, and two of them have not been seen by anyone in several decades.
During the 1930s and 1940s companies like the Kodascope and Universal Show-At-Home libraries made 16mm copies of silent movies for people to rent and watch at home. It was like Netflix for the art deco era. Because these movies were on 16mm safety film, many of them have outlived the original 35mm nitrate prints of silent films that are now lost or extremely rare. It's as if these movies were...Accidentally Preserved.
Renowned silent film accompanist/historian Ben Model has taken eight more of the rare and lost silent films in his 16mm collection – plus one from the collection of film archivist Dino Everett – and produced this 2nd Accidentally Preserved DVD, bringing these rarities to a new audience in new HD transfers. Each film on this DVD has a new musical score by Ben Model performed on piano or theatre organ. Unavailable to the public for decades, these delightful shorts return to screens to entertain us once more.
Buy the "Accidentally Preserved: Notes on the Films" booklet – it fits in the DVD case! – or visit the Accidentally Preserved website to read detailed film notes by historian Steve Massa and to find out more information about this series.
The films of Accidentally Preserved: volume 2:
Bobby Vernon in WHY WILD MEN GO WILD (1920) – 12 min
Chaplin cartoon: CHARLEY ON THE FARM (1919) – 10 min
Alberta Vaughn in SHERLOCK’S HOME (1924) – 21 min
Neely Edwards in THE LITTLE PEST (1927) – 10 min
Lloyd Hamilton in PAPA’S BOY (1927) – 16 min
Malcolm "Big Boy" Sebastian in HELTER SKELTER - 8 min
Henry Murdock in COOK, PAPA, COOK (1928) – 9 min
Blasting Cap Safety: HOW JIMMY WON THE GAME (1928) – 14 min
Animated ad: CHRISTMAS SEALS FILM (1925) – 3 min
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The content is VERY RARE and, out side of the Charlie Chaplin Cartoon, the casual comedy fan will not know who these people are.
As I work for the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum, I was in my glory watching these. I wish some other silent comics got the same great careful treatment that these comedies were given in creating this DVD.
There was some IMAGE STABILIZATION used to create a steady image which greatly helps the enjoyment of these rarities.
But thankfully DNR was avoided. The films used are rather clean of major scratches and splices.
Apologies are made by Undercrank for the Chaplin cartoon, the image is good but some of the words in the balloons are hard to read. This is apparently in the master film used.
Careful notations are made about any recreated titles to keep the presentation honest & authentic.
Ben Model created the music & expertly performed it for this release. His love for these films comes off in his music compositions,
I am looking forward to a possible volume 3. Even if DVD-R is the only way to affordably release these silent rarities.
There’s a two-reel Lloyd Hamilton comedy (PAPA’S BOY, 1927) in the collection that many may not be familiar with…and if you’re asking “who’s Lloyd Hamilton?” at this point that is all the incentive you need to purchase the disc. (Hamilton is a sadly neglected funster from the silent comedy era—though the reason for this is because much of his work simply did not survive the ravages of time and neglect. Yet many comedy icons, among them Chaplin, Keaton and Charley Chase, acknowledge him as an inspiration and/or an actor whose talent was enough to provoke both envy and respect.) The content of the collection runs from underrated comedy shorts to cartoons to public service announcements; for me, the highlight of ACCIDENTALLY PRESERVED, VOLUME 2 is the two-reel SHERLOCK’S HOME (1924), a “Telephone Girls” comedy starring Alberta Vaughn that predates much of what we now know as situation comedy – it eschews the rough-and-tumble slapstick associated with Mack Sennett’s Keystone productions and yet remains a comedic joy to watch throughout.
I should probably issue a disclaimer and reveal that I contributed to the original Kickstarter project that started the ball rolling with the ACCIDENTALLY PRESERVED DVD series…and when it’s time to pass the hat around for Volume 3, I’ll give willingly for that as well. These DVDs mean too much to me as a fan of silent comedy and a staunch advocate of film preservation, and I think after sampling Volume 2 you’ll feel the same.