Hollywood: A Celebration of the American Silent Film

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Arts Documentary hosted by James Mason, published by ITV in 1980 - English narration

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Image: Hollywood-A-Celebration-of-the-American-Silent-Film-Cover.jpg

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The award-winning team of David Gill and Kenneth Brownlow present a definitive and unparalleled look at the history of silent film in America: "Hollywood," narrated by James Mason. This 13-part series celebrates the birth of an industry, the town and people who made it all happen. People who, in a few short years, produced an enourmous range of spectacular, inventive and exciting films. From the arrival of the filmmaking pioneers early at the dawn of a new century, through the outbreak of the first World War; from the rise of romance, to the demise of the Old West; from when comedy was king, until the advent of sound. These are the stars, the scandals, the directors, producers, cameramen, stuntmen and, of course, the films themselves that created the legend we know as "Hollywood." The series showcased, for the first time on television, the greatest silent films as they were meant to be seen -- with the proper running speeds and orchestral scores. It was literally produced in the nick of time, as many of those interviewed would be deceased in a few short years – their wonderful memories lost forever. Episodes include interviews with notable directors and actors from the era along with family members of stars. Written, Directed & Produced by Kevin Brownlow & David Gill; Thames Television Production

[edit] The Pioneers

What started as a flickering curiosity shown in penny arcades soon grew into an art form. In just a few short years, Hollywood began turning out spectacular films, with original musical scores--often performed live by a symphony orchestra, and shown in glittering picture palaces.
In 1903, "The Great Train Robbery" drew wildly enthusiastic audiences who cheered and called for more. Twelve years later, D.W. Griffith produced "The Birth of a Nation"--one of the greatest films ever made, and the first to prove the power of the medium. It provoked riots and demonstrations, brought audiences flocking, and gave birth to the financial fortunes of Hollywood.
Includes rare footage and excerpts from WINGS (1927), THE WIND (1928), NOAH'S ARK (1928), and, in early Technicolor, THE BLACK PIRATE (1926); interviews with Lillian Gish, Dolores Costello, Blanche Sweet, Jackie Coogan, King Vidor, and much more!

[edit] In the Beginning

In 1900, Hollywood was a peaceful village with sheep, goats and pigs wandering along its dusty streets. Then filmmakers arrived in search of permanent sunshine, and changed the town forever.
Cecil B. DeMille directed Hollywood's first feature-length film, "The Squaw Man", in an old stable on Vine Street. Residents watched with disapproval and amazement as the sets for D.W. Griffith's "Intolerance" reared above their bungalows.
The silent films produced by Hollywood transcended national boundaries and languages to become the most powerful medium of mass entertainment the world had ever known.
Includes rare footage and excerpts from THE SQUAW MAN (1914), INTOLERANCE (1916), and JOAN THE WOMAN (1916); interviews with Henry King, Allan Dwan, Agnes de Mille, Lillian Gish, Anita Loos, and much more!

[edit] Single Beds and Double Standards

Hollywood had become a fairy-tale city of fabulous wealth and dizzying success, when a series of scandals shattered the dream. Details of the Fatty Arbuckle case so shocked America that producers appointed Will Hays to clean up the industry before the public's moral outrage put them all out of work.
Hays encouraged "human, heartwarming pictures" and issued a production code designed to keep films wholesome. The code was strictly enforced, yet directors still managed to get their message across.
Hollywood had found its savior. But his price was self-imposed censorship which would rule Hollywood for forty years.
Includes rare footage and excerpts from CONEY ISLAND (1917), THE TEN COMMANDMENTS (1923), and A WOMAN OF AFFAIRS (1928); interviews with Colleen More, Gloria Swanson, Henry Hathaway, King Vidor, and much more!

[edit] Hollywood Goes to War

The outbreak of World War I provided Hollywood with one of its greatest sources of plots - and profits. As the American mood shifted away from neutrality, Hollywood followed, abandoning films with pacificst themes for stories of war at the front.
With the arrival of peace war films vanished until King Vidor made "The Big Parade" in 1925. Acclaimed by critics and audiences alike, it made a fortune for MGM. "What Price Glory?", directed by Raoul Walsh, quickly followed .
Lewis Milestone's "All Quiet on the Western Front" showed the German side of the conflict, and became the most powerful statement on the war by the generation that fought it.
Includes rare footage and excerpts from HEARTS OF THE WORLD (1918), THE BIG PARADE (1925), WHAT PRICE GLORY? (1926), and WINGS (1927); interviews with Douglas Fairbanks Jr., King Vidor, Lillian Gish, Blanche Sweet, and much more!

[edit] Hazard of the Game

Silent films are often remembered for their physical gags--always good for a laugh, over in a second. But behind these gags lay planning, courage and skill.
Stuntmen took the risks while the stars took the credit--and it was a firm rule that no stuntman could reveal the tricks of his trade. They have kept silent--until now.
Here at last, legendary stuntmen Yakima Canutt, Harvey Parry, Bob Rose and Paul Malvern tell the hair-raising stories behind their greatest stunts.
Includes rare footage and excerpts from PLAY SAFE (1923), THE BLACK PIRATE (1926) and LILAC TIME (1928); also interviewed are Colleen More, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Leatrice Joy, and much more!

[edit] Swanson and Valentino

Two great stars personified Hollywood: Gloria Swanson and Rudolph Valentino. She sacrificed everything for stardom. He did nothing to seek the adoration which ultimately engulfed him.
Swanson recalls her meteoric rise--and fall--with remarkable candor. Valentino's brother helps tell the story of the young Italian who became the silver screen's Great Lover--but whose private life failed to match his public image.
Includes rare footage and excerpts from SADIE THOMPSON (1928), QUEEN KELLY (1928), THE SHEIK (1921) and THE EAGLE (1925); interviews with Gloria Swanson, Alberto Valentino, Ben Lyon, Colleen More, Adella Rogers St. Johns, and much more!

[edit] The Autocrats

Two of Hollywood's greatest directors were Cecil B. DeMille and Erich von Stroheim. But what they shared in achievement, they never shared in success.
DeMille worked within the studio system, von Stroheim against it. And while DeMille's lavish productions reaped huge profits for the studios despite the millions they cost, von Stroheim's films were doomed to be hatcheted by the studio, if even released.
Includes rare footage and excerpts from MALE AND FEMALE (1919), THE TEN COMMANDMENTS (1923), FOOLISH WIVES (1922), GREED (1925) and QUEEN KELLY (1928); interviews with Gloria Swanson, Agnes de Mille, Henry King, Paul Ivano, and much more!

[edit] Comedy - A Serious Business

One of the first things filmmakers learned in Hollywood was how to make people laugh.
Comedy was king, and battling for the throne were four box office rivals--Harold Lloyd, Buster Keaton, Harry Langdon and Charlie Chaplin. In an era brimming with the visual, their comedy was the work of genius.
Includes rare footage and excerpts from MAKING A LIVING (1914), THE PAWNSHOP (1916), LUKE'S MOVIE MUDDLE (1916), THE GENERAL (1926); interviews with Hal Roach, Jackie Coogan, Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd, and much more!

[edit] Out West

The Old West was still there when the movies arrived. Cowboys and outlaws saw a heaven-sent chance to relive their youth--and get paid for it--by working in films.
The man who really started the "Western Craze" was the Wild West showman William Cody, who made "The life of Buffalo Bill" in 1913. Tom Mix was the next western screen hero, followed by William S. Hart, who dignified the genre with films like "Narrow Trail" and "Tumbleweeds". These films were a celebration of the West, establishing a tradition that continues to this day.
Includes rare footage and excerpts from THE MASSACRE (1912), THE RETURN OF DRAW EGAN (1916), and HELL'S HINGES (1916); interviews with "Iron Eyes" Cody, Colonel Tim McCoy, Yakima Canutt, Harvey Parry, John Wayne, and much more!

[edit] The Man with the Megaphone

Silent film directors were a flamboyant breed--pioneers who invented the art of film direction as they went along.
Working conditions were chaotic. Open sets were built side by side and back to back, and live "mood" music was provided according to each star's taste.
Despite deafening noise and constant distraction, directors talked their cast through every move and emotion, and from this confusion came great films--including F.W. Murnau's expressionistic "Sunrise" and King Vidor's classic "The Crowd".
Includes rare footage and excerpts from MARE NOSTRUM (1926), SUNRISE (1927) and THE CROWD (1928); interviews with Bessie Love, Janet Gaynor, Blanche Sweet, King Vidor, Allan Dwan, and much more!

[edit] Trick of the Light

In the early days of Hollywood, directors relied heavily on their cameramen. While their cameras may have looked primitive, when handled by a skilled craftsman, a pretty girl was transformed into a "screen goddess."
Individual cameramen were invaluable to both studios and stars. With the help of art directors, they achieved some of the most amazing and dangerous sequences ever filmed.
Includes rare footage and excerpts from WAY DOWN EAST (1920), INTOLERANCE (1916), THE BIRTH OF A NATION (1915), and THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME (1926); interviews with Colleen More, Lillian Gish, Bessie Love, Allan Dwan, William Wyler, and much more!

[edit] Star Treatment

Producers discovered that if they didn't have a star, they didn't have a hit. Creating stars became business in itself, and soon the Hollywood Star System was born. From it came such greats as Clara Bow, Lillian Gish and John Gilbert, who inherited the title "Great Lover" from Valentino.
The career of John Gilbert vividly illustrates how producers could make or break a star. When he fell in love with Greta Garbo, shrewd studio heads capitalized on their romance and teamed them in a number of successful films. But when Gilbert punched Louis B. Mayer after Mayer passed a remark about Garbo, Mayer vowed to ruin Gilbert's career--and made good on his threat.
Includes rare footage and excerpts from THE MERRY WIDOW (1925), THE BIG PARADE (1925), FLESH AND THE DEVIL (1926) and LOVE (1927); interviews with Louise Brooks, Charles "Buddy" Rogers, King Vidor, Eleanor Boardman, and much more!

[edit] End of an Era

Sound films did not arrive overnight. Throughout the early to mid-twenties, more and more films were made with synchronized sound and music, but it wasn't until 1927 that Warner Brothers gambled on "talking" pictures with "The Jazz Singer." From that moment on, all that had shaped and created Hollywood was utterly transformed.
Talking pictures were here to stay, and the art of silent film-making--along with many of the stars, directors and producers devoted to it--was sacrificed to technology.
Includes rare footage and excerpts from THE JAZZ SINGER (1927), LILAC TIME (1928), LIGHTS OF NEW YORK (1928) and ANNA CHRISTIE (1930); interviews with Lillian Gish, Mary Astor, Janet Gaynor, Colleen More, Frank Capra, George Cukor, and much more!

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[edit] Technical Specs

Video Codec: x264 CABAC High@L4
Video Bitrate: 1 874 Kbps
Video Resolution: 704x540
Display Aspect Ratio: 4:3
Frames Per Second: 29.970 fps
Audio Codec: AC3
Audio Bitrate: 224 kb/s CBR 48000 Hz
Audio Streams: 2
Audio Languages: english
RunTime Per Part: 52 min
Number Of Parts: 13
Part Size: 784 MB
Source: DVD (LaserDisc transfer)
Encoded by: DocFreak08

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Hollywood.A.Celebration.Of.The.American.Silent.Film.01of13.The.Pioneers.x264.AC3.MVGroup.org.mkv (782.61 Mb)
Hollywood.A.Celebration.Of.The.American.Silent.Film.02of13.In.the.Beginning.x264.AC3.MVGroup.org.mkv (782.78 Mb)
Hollywood.A.Celebration.Of.The.American.Silent.Film.03of13.Single.Beds.and.Double.Standards.x264.AC3.MVGroup.org.mkv (784.93 Mb)
Hollywood.A.Celebration.Of.The.American.Silent.Film.04of13.Hollywood.Goes.To.War.x264.AC3.MVGroup.org.mkv (784.47 Mb)
Hollywood.A.Celebration.Of.The.American.Silent.Film.05of13.Hazard.of.the.Game.x264.AC3.MVGroup.org.mkv (783.88 Mb)
Hollywood.A.Celebration.Of.The.American.Silent.Film.06of13.Swanson.and.Valentino.x264.AC3.MVGroup.org.mkv (784.11 Mb)
Hollywood.A.Celebration.Of.The.American.Silent.Film.07of13.The.Autocrats.x264.AC3.MVGroup.org.mkv (784.08 Mb)
Hollywood.A.Celebration.Of.The.American.Silent.Film.08of13.Comedy.A.Serious.Business.x264.AC3.MVGroup.org.mkv (784.61 Mb)
Hollywood.A.Celebration.Of.The.American.Silent.Film.09of13.Out.West.x264.AC3.MVGroup.org.mkv (783.70 Mb)
Hollywood.A.Celebration.Of.The.American.Silent.Film.10of13.The.Man.With.the.Megaphone.x264.AC3.MVGroup.org.mkv (784.10 Mb)
Hollywood.A.Celebration.Of.The.American.Silent.Film.11of13.Trick.of.the.Light.x264.AC3.MVGroup.org.mkv (784.39 Mb)
Hollywood.A.Celebration.Of.The.American.Silent.Film.12of13.Star.Treatment.x264.AC3.MVGroup.org.mkv (784.34 Mb)
Hollywood.A.Celebration.Of.The.American.Silent.Film.13of13.End.of.an.Era.x264.AC3.MVGroup.org.mkv (784.36 Mb)

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