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Vintage Film

Discussion in 'Christmas Together' started by Ryan, Feb 26, 2013.



  1. MerryCarey

    MerryCarey A Voice from the North MMC Lifer MMC Donor Santa's Elf Christmas Crew Louann Jeffries Award Kringle Radio DJ

    It's in the public domain, so there are a lot of videos out there from lousy prints. If possible, try to see Kino Video's version, with the score by Carl Davis. Seeing a good print with a good score makes a difference.

    One of the great rare experiences of my life was watching it in a vintage-1926 movie theater, accompanied by a theater organ---while sitting next to Eleanor Keaton, Buster's widow. I had arranged for her to be a guest for the showing, so I was her driver that weekend. Unforgettable!
     
    3 people like this.
  2. Yuletide Junkie

    Yuletide Junkie Dang Near Santa Himself MMC Lifer MMC Donor MMC Premiere Member

    WOW! Someone has a wonderful life...Impressive life scrapbook event.
     
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  3. MerryCarey

    MerryCarey A Voice from the North MMC Lifer MMC Donor Santa's Elf Christmas Crew Louann Jeffries Award Kringle Radio DJ

    It really was a WOW event! I even learned from Mrs. Keaton that after she married Buster, he taught her how to make his trademark flat hats (and gave her the job of making them for him from then on). And she told me exactly how it's done! I was driving her to the theater at the time, so I made furious mental notes and wrote it all down later.

    I've been blessed to spend time with some fascinating people. The top three are/were Gloria Jean, Lois Laurel (Stan Laurel's daughter), and Eleanor Keaton.
     
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  4. MerryCarey

    MerryCarey A Voice from the North MMC Lifer MMC Donor Santa's Elf Christmas Crew Louann Jeffries Award Kringle Radio DJ

    It Happened on 5th Avenue

    We watched "It Happened on 5th Avenue" last night … we hadn't pulled it out in a couple years, and we thoroughly enjoyed it. So much so that Mr. went to the computer afterward and did a little online research. He found a fascinating bit of trivia: Frank Capra had optioned the story to make a movie of it. It was to be the first film produced by his new company, Liberty Films. But we all know that "It's a Wonderful Life" was actually the first film produced by Liberty. From the timeline, it appears that Capra discovered the short story that became "It's a Wonderful Life" and decided to make that instead, relinquishing the rights to the "5th Avenue" story.

    It's interesting to speculate how the film might have been cast had Capra made it: Barbara Stanwyck as Trudy? Henry Travers as McKeever? Jimmy Stewart as Jimmy? It's a story that Capra would have enjoyed digging into.
     
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  5. Ryan

    Ryan Christmas Podmaster MMC Lifer MMC Donor Christmas Crew

    I need to watch that movie. There are so many I'm putting on my 2014 list of movies to see. Maybe there is room for one more...
     
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  6. MerryCarey

    MerryCarey A Voice from the North MMC Lifer MMC Donor Santa's Elf Christmas Crew Louann Jeffries Award Kringle Radio DJ

    I got an awesome Christmas gift this year: a set of Buster Keaton's silent films on Blu-ray. Never saw them look so good! And two of the features have Carl Davis scores, and there are loads of extras. Mr. found the set on sale and surprised me with it. We were sampling some of them this evening.
     
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  7. XmasDreams

    XmasDreams North Pole Network Help MMC Lifer MMC Donor Christmas Crew ATC Alum

    Sounds like a great collection

    Sent from my Desire HD using Tapatalk 2
     
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  8. MerryCarey

    MerryCarey A Voice from the North MMC Lifer MMC Donor Santa's Elf Christmas Crew Louann Jeffries Award Kringle Radio DJ

    Yes, it is … all the silent shorts and all the silent features, with extras, all remastered for Blu-ray. I recommend this set!
     
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  9. Ryan

    Ryan Christmas Podmaster MMC Lifer MMC Donor Christmas Crew

    Sounds like a great present, MerryCarey!
     
  10. Ryan

    Ryan Christmas Podmaster MMC Lifer MMC Donor Christmas Crew

    Have any of you seen any Harry Langdon films? I've been reading about him and am thinking I need to check some of his movies out.
     
  11. MerryCarey

    MerryCarey A Voice from the North MMC Lifer MMC Donor Santa's Elf Christmas Crew Louann Jeffries Award Kringle Radio DJ

    I have seen a couple of his features and a few of his shorts. He's worth checking out, but he's not my cup of tea. He's my least favorite of the Big Four.
     
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  12. Ryan

    Ryan Christmas Podmaster MMC Lifer MMC Donor Christmas Crew


    How would you describe his style as compared to some of the others?
     
  13. Ryan

    Ryan Christmas Podmaster MMC Lifer MMC Donor Christmas Crew

    Another question MerryCarey, and anyone else...

    How would you rank the silent era comedians? What order would your top five be?
     
  14. MerryCarey

    MerryCarey A Voice from the North MMC Lifer MMC Donor Santa's Elf Christmas Crew Louann Jeffries Award Kringle Radio DJ

    The character he played was quite different and unique … something like a toddler in the body of a man. I just never warmed up to him. Unlike Chaplin and Keaton, he did not create his own character; it was largely fine-tuned by Frank Capra, who directed Langdon's films as his star was rising. Once Langdon made it big, he fired Capra and tried (unsuccessfully) to direct his own films. He thought he was a creative genius like Chaplin, but he wasn't. He was just a character.

    If you can get ahold of "When Comedy Was King" (a compilation of silent comedians produced by Robert Youngson), that will give you a sample of Langdon. Or get ahold of one of his better features, like "The Strong Man" or "Tramp, Tramp, Tramp."
     
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  15. MerryCarey

    MerryCarey A Voice from the North MMC Lifer MMC Donor Santa's Elf Christmas Crew Louann Jeffries Award Kringle Radio DJ

    That's a very difficult undertaking! The best ones were so unique that it's like cats and dogs … you can have your favorites, but that doesn't necessarily make one better than another. But among my favorites (in no particular order) are Laurel & Hardy, Buster Keaton, and Charlie Chase. Why? For pure funny pleasure, you can hardly beat Laurel & Hardy. I hope you can someday experience one of their great silent shorts (say "Big Business" or "Two Tars") in a theater with an audience. For craftsmanship and ingenuity, Buster Keaton. Charlie Chase was a master of embarrassment---try to see "Limousine Love." What about Chaplin? I've seen plenty of his films, but he sort of leaves me cold---in the 1920s, after so many people called him a genius, he began to see himself as a genius, and that egoism showed in his work. Mr. says if Chaplin had passed away after making his famous Mutual comedy shorts in the teens, nobody could have touched him. I like Harold Lloyd, but he never really lit me up.

    And there are dozens and dozens of other comedians who may be nearly as great, but whose work may be lost or unavailable. And many who weren't necessarily geniuses, but who were always good for some laughs, like Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle and Lige Conley and Snub Pollard and Billy Bevan. And some of the silent Our Gang comedies.

    Robert Youngson's compilations are good silent comedy samplers: "The Golden Age of Comedy" (largely Laurel & Hardy), "When Comedy Was King," "Four Clowns," "30 Years of Fun."

    If you're looking for sources of silent comedy on video, let me know. Mr. and I will put together a good list.
     
  16. Ryan

    Ryan Christmas Podmaster MMC Lifer MMC Donor Christmas Crew


    I would love a list if it's not too much trouble.

    I agree 100% about Chaplin! I think he is overrated but I know those are fighting words to some.

    I think the reason I like Lloyd is because I relate to the character. His films have a cheery tone and are just plain fun.

    I think L&H are the funniest, even the few silents I've seen. They are an example of dialogue being funny and not just slapstick. Even in the silents the dialogue is funny to read!

    I need to watch more Chase. I've heard good things.
     
  17. Ryan

    Ryan Christmas Podmaster MMC Lifer MMC Donor Christmas Crew

    FYI...I heard on a documentary about Harold Lloyd that he left a Christmas tree up all year. I knew I liked that guy for some reason. :)
     
  18. Yuletide Junkie

    Yuletide Junkie Dang Near Santa Himself MMC Lifer MMC Donor MMC Premiere Member

    For What it is Worth Dept: I watched that documentary this past weekend.
     
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  19. MerryCarey

    MerryCarey A Voice from the North MMC Lifer MMC Donor Santa's Elf Christmas Crew Louann Jeffries Award Kringle Radio DJ

    Was it "Harold Lloyd: The Third Genius"?
    I have that somewhere in our collection, but I haven't watched it in years.
     
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  20. Ryan

    Ryan Christmas Podmaster MMC Lifer MMC Donor Christmas Crew

    Actually I can't remember which one. I watched one and listened to a podcast about him and now I'm second guessing which one was my source.

    I do have the Third Genius as it is an extra on the Criterion release of Safety Last.
     

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