Treasures from American Film Archives

Die amerikanische National Film Preservation Foundation hat bereits den 3. DVD-Sampler mit Filmen aus ihren Mitgliedsarchiven angekündigt: „Treasures III: Social Issues in American Film 1900-1934“ (lieferbar Oktober 2007). Der Titel im Förderungsantrag lautetet „We the People“. Die Sammlung setzt mit 48 restaurierten Filmen eine wenig bekannte Zeit der amerikanischen Filmgeschichte ins Bild:

During the „Progressive Era“ before World War I, virtually no socially significant issue was too controversial to bring to the big screen—abortion, anarchism, prohibition, unions, the vote for women, TB, worker safety, organized crime, race relations, loan sharking, juvenile justice, homelessness, police corruption, job discrimination, immigration, and more. Controversy fueled public debate and stoked the box office. Here was entertainment with the power to persuade.“ (Treasures III)

Aus späteren Jahren enthalten ist Cecil B. DeMilles „The Godless Girl“ von 1928 und vermutlich Victor Schertzingers „Redskin“ von 1929 (im Zwei-Streifen-Technicolor-Verfahren). Die fehlenden Begleitmusiken werden von 65 Musikern und Komponisten geschaffen, 20 Experten sorgen für den Audiokommentar zu den einzelnen Filmen. Einige Werke daraus werden nächste Woche auf dem San Francisco Silent Film Festival (The Godless Girl) und auf den nächsten Giornate del Cinema Muto in Pordenone vorgeführt werden.

Bereits die ersten beiden Editionen, „Treasures from American Film Archives“ und „More Treasures from American Film Archives 1894-1931“ waren absolut außergewöhnlich. Die 4. Edition, „Treasures IV: The American Avant-Garde Film, 1945-1985“ ist bereits in Planung und wird 2008 erscheinen. Die Ausgabe schließt zeitlich an die Edition „Unseen Cinema – Early American Avant-Garde Film 1894-1941“ an. Steven Anker dazu:

„Films cannot be appreciated unless they are seen,“ said Steve Anker, Dean of the Film Department at CalArts and a member of the DVD set’s curatorial committee. „Since the digital revolution, film artists have been increasingly interested in making their work available for classroom and home use, especially since 16mm has become difficult to experience. Treasures IV is sure to introduce many new viewers to, and remind many others of, this culturally vital American film art.“

Nachtrag vom 10.7.2007: Gestern hat die National Film Preservation Foundation den genauen Inhalt der DVD-Edition „Treasures III: Social Issues in American Film 1900-1934“ bekannt gegeben und dazu eine Broschüre und eine Presseerklärung veröffentlicht. Enthalten sein wird u.a. Lois Webers „Where are my children (1916) und „The soul of youth“ (William Desmond Taylor, 1920).


2 Responses to Treasures from American Film Archives

  1. craig sagt:

    On their Web site, the National Film Preservation has just posted a
    press release (also pasted below) listing all the titles on the four
    dvd set. At the site, you can also download a very nice four-page
    color brochure

    Press release at:


    Contact: Barbara Gibson
    415-863-4900 x 211


    San Francisco, CA (July 9,2007)-Cecil B. De Mille’s sensational
    reformatory exposé, The Godless Girl; Redskin in two-color
    Technicolor; Lois Weber’s anti-abortion drama Where Are My Children?;
    The Soul of Youth by William Desmond Taylor; and dozens of rare
    newsreels, cartoons, serials, documentaries, and charitable appeals
    are showcased in the National Film Preservation Foundation upcoming
    four-DVD box set, Treasures III: Social Issues in American Film,
    1900-1934. Slated for release by Image Entertainment on October 16,
    Treasures III (retail price $89.99) introduces to DVD 48 films from
    the decades when virtually no issue was too controversial to bring to
    the screen.

    „In film’s first decades, activists from every political stripe used
    movies to advance their agenda,“ said Martin Scorsese, who serves on
    the NFPF Board of Directors. „These films are an important and
    fascinating glimpse of history. They changed America and still
    inspire today.“

    Prohibition, birth control, unions, TB, atheism, the vote for women,
    worker safety, organized crime, loan sharking, race relations,
    juvenile justice, homelessness, police corruption, immigration-these
    issues and more are brought to life in the new 12-1/4 hour set. In
    addition to the four features, the line up includes the first Mafia
    movie, a 1913 traffic safety film, management’s version of the
    Triangle Shirtwaist fire, temperance and suffragette spoofs, A Call
    for Help from Sing Sing!, an action-packed Hazards of Helen episode, a
    patriotic „striptease“ cartoon for war bonds, the earliest surviving
    union film, and a medley of prohibition newsreels kicked off by
    Capital Stirred by Biggest Hooch Raid.

    The motion pictures are drawn from the preservation work of the
    nation’s foremost early film archives: George Eastman House, the
    Library of Congress, the Museum of Modern Art, the National Archives,
    and the UCLA Film & Television Archive. None of the works has been
    available before in high-quality video.
    Treasures III is playable worldwide and has many special features for
    DVD audiences:
    · Newly recorded music contributed by more than 65 musicians and
    · Audio commentary by 20 experts
    · 200-page illustrated book with essays about the films and music
    · More than 600 interactive screens
    · 4 postcards from the films
    The third in the award-winning Treasures series, the new set reunites
    the curatorial and technical team from the NFPF’s earlier DVD
    anthologies. The project is made possible through the generous
    support of the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National
    Film Preservation Board of the Library of Congress. Net proceeds will
    support further film preservation. A four-page brochure with the full contents list can be downloaded from the NFPF Web site:
    Program 1: The City Reformed

    The Black Hand (1906, 11 min.)
    Earliest surviving Mafia film.

    How They Rob Men in Chicago (1900, 25 sec.)
    Police corruption Chicago-style.

    The Voice of the Violin (1909, 16 min.)
    A terrorist plot is foiled by the power of music.

    The Usurer’s Grip (1912, 15 min.)
    Melodrama arguing for consumer credit co-operatives.

    >From the Submerged (1912, 11 min.)

    Drama about homelessness and „slumming parties“

    Hope- A Red Cross Seal Story (1912, 14 min.)
    A small town mobilizes to fight TB

    The Cost of Carelessness (1913, 13 min.)
    Traffic safety film for Brooklyn school children.

    Lights and Shadows in a City of a Million (1920, 7 min.)
    Charitable plea for the Detroit Community Fund.

    6,000,000 American Children…Are Not in School (1922, 2 min.)
    Newsreel story inspired by census data.

    The Soul of Youth (1920, 80 min.), with excerpts from Saved by the
    Juvenile Court (1913, 4 min.)
    William Desmond Taylor’s feature about an orphan reclaimed through the
    juvenile court of Judge Ben Lindsey with excerpts from the political
    campaign film Saved by the Juvenile Court (1913. 4 min.)

    A Call for Help from Sing Sing! (1934, 3 min.)
    Warden Lawes speaks out for wayward teens.

    Program 2: New Women

    The Kansas Saloon Smashers (1901, 1 min.)
    Carrie Nation swings her axe.

    Why Mr. Nation Wants a Divorce (1901, 2 min.)
    Role-reversal temperance spoof.

    Trial Marriages (1907, 12 min.)
    Male fantasy inspired by a feminist’s proposal.

    Manhattan Trade School for Girls (1911, 16 min.)
    Profile of the celebrated progressive school for impoverished girls.

    The Strong Arm Squad of the Future (ca. 1912, 1 min.)
    Anti-suffragette cartoon.

    A Lively Affair (ca. 1912, 7 min.)
    Comedy with poker-playing women and child-rearing men.

    A Suffragette in Spite of Himself (1912, 8 min.)
    Boys‘ prank results in an unwitting crusader.

    On to Washington (1913, 80 sec.)
    News coverage of the historic suffragette march.

    Hazards of Helen: Episode 13 (1915, 13 min.)
    Helen thwarts robbers and overcomes workplace discrimination.

    Where Are My Children? (1916, 65 min.)
    Provocative anti-abortion drama by Lois Weber.

    The Courage of the Commonplace (1913, 13 min.)
    A young farm woman dreams of a better life.

    Poor Mrs. Jones! (1926, 46 min.)
    Why wives should stay on the farm.

    Offers Herself as Bride for $10,000 (1931, 2 min.)
    Novel approach to surviving the Depression.

    Program 3: Toil and Tyranny

    Uncle Sam and the Bolsheviki-I.W.W. Rat (ca. 1919, 40 sec.)
    Anti-union cartoon from the Ford Motor Company.

    The Crime of Carelessness (1912, 14 min.),
    Management’s version of the Triangle Factory fire.

    Who Pays?, Episode 12 (1915, 35 min.)
    A lumberyard strike brings deadly consequences.

    Surviving reel from Labor’s Reward (1925, 13 min.)
    The American Federation of Labor’s argument for „buying union.“

    Listen to Some Words of Wisdom (1930, 2 min.)
    Why personal thrift feeds the Depression.

    The Godless Girl (1928, 128 min.)
    Cecil B. DeMille’s sensational exposé of juvenile reformatories.

    Program 4: Americans in the Making

    Emigrants Landing at Ellis Island (1903, 2 min.)
    Actuality footage from July 9, 1903.

    An American in the Making (1913, 15 min)
    U.S. Steel film promoting immigration and industrial safety.

    Ramona: A Story of the White Man’s Injustice to the Indian (1910, 16
    Helen Hunt Jackson’s classic about racial conflict in early
    California, retold by D.W. Griffith and starring Mary Pickford.

    Redskin (1929, 82 min.)
    Racial tolerance epic, shot in 2-color Technicolor at Acoma Pueblo and
    Canyon de Chelly.

    The United Snakes of America (ca. 1917, 80 sec.)
    World War I cartoon assailing homefront dissenters.

    Uncle Sam Donates for Liberty Bonds (1918, 75 sec.)
    ` Patriotic „striptease“ cartoon.

    100% American (1918, 14 min.)
    Mary Pickford buys war bonds and supports the troops.

    Bud’s Recruit (1918, 26 min.)
    Brothers learn to serve their country in King Vidor’s earliest
    surviving film.

    The Reawakening (1919, 10 min.)
    Documentary about helping disabled veterans to build new lives.

    Eight Prohibition Newsreels (1923-33, 13 min.)
    From Capital Stirred by Biggest Hooch Raid to Repeal Brings Wet

    The National Film Preservation Foundation, the nonprofit organization
    created by the U.S. Congress to help save America’s film heritage, is
    the charitable affiliate of the National Film Preservation Board of
    the Library of Congress. Since starting operations in 1997, the NFPF
    has helped save more than 1,100 films at archives, libraries and
    museums across 41 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia.

  2. dvdbiblog sagt:

    Hello Craig,

    thank you for this posting!

    dvdbiblog (Peter)

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