Lon Chaney: Before the Thousand Faces
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(Oct 13, 2017)
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LON CHANEY: BEFORE THE THOUSAND FACES contains three early feature films, made 1915-16 for Universal, in which Lon Chaney has a supporting role. These films have never been available for fans, and are seen here in new 2K scans of 35mm elements preserved by the Library of Congress. The films on this DVD were restored and scored by Jon C. Mirsalis,
A MOTHER'S ATONEMENT (1915) - 20 mins
IF MY COUNTRY SHOULD CALL (1916) - 24 mins
THE PLACE BEYOND THE WINDS (1916) - 39 mins
B&W – stereo – 82 mins – not rated – NTSC – region-free – 4:3 aspect ratio
New musical scores by Jon C. Mirsalis
DVD released by Undercrank Productions, in association with Greenbriar Picture Shows
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“A Mother’s Atonement” was easy to follow, despite a surprise-twist ending. The other two had just enough characters to keep me consulting the cast lists and replaying segments. There were really nice interiors in “If My Country Should Call” and beautiful scenic photography in the other two, including shimmering lakes and sunlight effects on an overhead shot. Artistically inset, “thought balloon” intertitles were occasionally used in “If My Country Should Call.”
“A Mother’s Atonement” and “The Place Beyond the Winds” were among the frozen nitrate reels found in Dawson City, Yukon. All three films have some deterioration and missing reels. Chaney’s performances are completely intact in two of the films, but “A Mother’s Atonement” is missing a little. Dr. Jon C. Mirsalis has provided beautiful musical accompaniment and intertitles to explain the missing portions.