Great Train Robbery - 100th Anniversay
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All the elements of earlier Hart westerns are here, the shy hero, the woman in distress, the 19th century code of honor (Hart was born in 1865), rugged action sequences involving Hart and above all the rugged natural locations of a now vanished West. The production values are high, the photography splendid, and the supporting cast top notch especially Barbara Bedford as Hart's love interest Molly. Bedford played strong independent women during her brief career most notably in the 1920 LAST OF THE MOHICANS.
This new DVD release is an enhanced copy of the old Killiam Collection VHS version that has been around for a while but it has never looked this good. Also included is the 1939 eight minute prologue that Hart did for the film's reissue. Hart was 74 by this time and his recounting of the making of his films and the Old West that he knew is not only informative but also quite poignant. This film is his lasting legacy, a legacy that stretches from Gary Cooper to Clint Eastwood, and it's great to have it on DVD at last.
The DVD features four silent westerns (all classics) with excellent picture quality and suitable accompanying music with orchestra.
Tumbleweeds is the 1939 reissue and has W S HART speaking of his love of the west.
Battle of Elderbush Gulch is an exciting story by D W Griffith.
Heart of Texas Ryan stars Tom Mix.
Two versions of the title film are included.
All the films have short intros, history and bios.
If you love silent films grab it while you can !
Usually I don't mind watching a dvd in sequence, but TUMBLEWEEDS opens with an introduction, "Farewell to the Screen," Hart filmed for the 1939 reissue of his 1925 silent classic. Hart, decked out in cowboy hat and bandana against a desert landscape tells us a little about the film - it's about the opening of the Cherokee Strip in 1889. He also tells us why he retired from movies and how important his career was to him. Listening to him we hear a speech that borders on the maudlin, and the impression isn't relieved much by the swelling violin under-score. Hart's voice reminds me a bit of a water-down Franklin Roosevelt (Hart was born in New York and moved west in his youth.) None of this is unpleasant or even out of place, but it leaves an incongruous memory when the title card reads a drawling "varmint" or "I reckon." If you're new to Hart, as I was, I'd suggest you watch the movie before playing the introduction.
Hart plays `tumbleweed' Dan Carver. A tumbleweed, Carver explains to pretty Molly Lassiter (Barbara Bedford), is a footloose and rootless man of the open range. Hart was 60 years old when TUMBLEWEEDS was filmed, and although he probably never looked his age (he just wore that bandana higher and higher off his neck, I guess) it's a little strange to see him aw-shucks a-courting the 23-year-old Bedford.
Well, the love story is secondary, anyway. TUMBLEWEEDS is famous for the opening of the strip scene, and the sequence leading to the "maddest stampede in American history" is brilliantly edited.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The first 15 or so minutes it's William Hart talks. Stories. Then the rest in all silent. As someone that likes black and white movies and especially westerns, I sat back and just... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Thomas M.
A early western masterpiece by its star. William S. Hart.If you have never seen one of his silent westerns [he only made silent ones] then you will be surprise. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Fred Baetz
TUMBLEWEEDS is a wonderful film that deserves a better presentation than this DVD which is apparently sourced from a well-used print with a decent piano score, although an... Read morePublished 9 months ago by David Shepard
This is a great deal. Several movies. Gives a little history of The Great Train Robbery. A must see for any Western movie buff.Published 19 months ago by Desert Denizen