Dante’s Inferno (extract)
Although there was an Italian feature in 1909 and an American version by Fox in 1924, this extract is likely to be from the Italian feature of 1912. It represented a significant stage in the development of cinema, in the move from one and two-reelers to feature films. It contained the first full-frontal male nudity on screen and was the year’s box-office sensation in Britain in 1913. See the devil’s naked victims writhing in chains and steam.
Italy. 1912. Standard 8mm. Silent. 18fps. 13 mins.
The Mad Lover
Before she became the Queen of the Serials in 1914, Pearl White starred in over a hundred one-reelers such as this tale of madness and love.
USA. Crystal Films. 1913. Standard 8mm. Silent. 18fps. 10 mins.
The Desperate Scoundrels
This Keystone comedy was originally released as a two-reeler in July 1915 as ‘Dirty Work in a Laundry’. Ford Sterling stars as a rather wet villain. Complete with a hectic car chase and the Keystone Cops.
USA. Mack Sennett. 1915. Standard 8mm. Silent. 18fps. 12 mins.
A Submarine Pirate
A rare opportunity to see Charlie Chaplin’s brother Syd in a complete two-reeler with a somewhat daring use of that frightening new World War One invention the submarine. Supervised by Mack Sennett.
USA. Triangle Film Corp. 1915. Standard 8mm. Silent. 18fps. 30 mins.
Harold Lloyd, Bebe Daniels and Snub Pollard star in this film shot mainly in Griffith Park. Bored office worker Harold feels he would rather be chasing girls than being stuck in the office. Escaping, he helps Bebe Daniels get rid of an unwanted suitor. Produced by Hal Roach.
USA. Rolin Film Co. for Pathé. 1919. Standard 8mm. Silent. 18fps. 12 mins.
A change of gauge to Super 8 for:
Gertie the Dinosaur
The prehistoric heroine of the first animated cartoon was created by Winsor McCay in 1909 and the film was re-shot in 1914 by John F Bray (negatives would wear out after a hundred copies). I’ve seen three different versions, and this one has the most dinosaur action. I’ve added a soundtrack with the kind of ‘lantern slide lecture’ that would have accompanied the film.
USA. Winsor McCay. 1909/14. Super 8. Sound. 18fps. 10 mins.
Les Hallucinations du Baron de Münchausen
This trick film by Georges Méliès features the nightmares experienced by the Baron after an excessive meal. Watch out for the stunning Spider Woman. With a soundtrack compiled partly from 78rpm discs.
France. Star Film for Pathé. 1911. Super 8. Sound. 18fps. 10 mins.