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Seeking copy of Hollywood Revuew of 1929

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Thelma, Ed,


Sorry for my chiming in so late on this thread. I thought it was all about the MGM Review? What about the Paramount Hollywood review? Has anyone seen it? I'm not so big, on the early talkies, at the end of the 20's, so only a few of those. The Goat-gland's. Yes, I can embrace them.


Here's some random thoughts about a potential 1920's theme month. How about if those long awaited debut's of HER WILD OAT, and the brand new restoration of King Vidor's THE BIG PARADE were both included? I'm getting seriously tired of waiting on THE BIG PARADE, and I want anything with Colleen Moore, so this is high up on my wish list seeing one of her long lost films in pristine condition! It won't be that long it appears and BARDELY'S THE MAGNIFICENT should be ready to go? It is being screened at a couple festivals this Summer.


What ever else that they have got that's newly restored, but we haven't seen yet??? Maybe WINE OF YOUTH, PROUD FLESH, or THE CARDBOARD LOVER? Or how about MAN, WOMAN, & SIN, and LILAC TIME??? A night of Marion Davies, A Night of De Mille, of Clara Bow, Gilbert, and Garbo, and so on? Finally the Photo-play productions version of WINGS! A mixed Flappers, and Vamps night, and so forth?


Yes, by all means get other studio's involved! in addition to Paramount, what about Fox titles like WHAT PRICE GLORY?, SEVENTH HEAVEN, STREET ANGEL, FOUR SONS, and CITY GIRL? Plus THE RIVER reconstruction and more! None of those films have been seen on TCM to date!


As great as all this sounds, it's unlikely to ever happen. We should get eventual debut's of most of these films, but a 1920's movie month? Don't bet on it? In other idea's, I suggested a joint Mary Pickford-Douglas Fairbanks Star Of The Month Tribute a little while back. Maybe 12 films or so a piece of each of theirs? What do you think???

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There is something undeniably sexy about the 1920's. I don't know what it is, but it's there. Silent films I love, but I do feel that, for the most part, they are their own specific art form. They are comparable only to themselves.

Late 20's, early 30's films show movies changing as a format. Film trying to find it's feet through early sound.

But I think the big difference between 1927-29 films and afterwards comes down to this; pre-depression films bask unabashedly in the excesses of the day. It's intangible, but it's there. You can almost taste the attitude of "We're all having a huge party, and it's never going to end" the film makers, actors, techs, public were undoubtedly LIVING at the time. Unbounded enthusiasm.

After 1929, films could still be carefree, but you could feel a temperance in attitude.

Then in the 30's, most films even had a "dark underbelly" element to them.

This is a broad generalization, I know. Of course there are exceptions.

For me, it's not so much something I see or hear, but I feel it. It's not in the script or the image itself. Its visceral.

But I've always had a soft spot for 20's films.

And thank you Thelma for your efforts.


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I disagree. There where many, many dark films made during the 20's. The late 20's in particular. Even in Hollywood. Films like THE DOCKS OF NEW YORK, BEGGARS OF LIFE, and THE GODLESS GIRL, are gritty drama's that paved the way for very similar films in the first half of the new decade. If you ask me many of the pre-codes, often seemed to completely ignor the depression???

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Hey Gagman. I actually somewhat agree with what you said. For me, I have a separate opinion of silents to talkies. I believe that Silents were an extremely sophisticated art form by the late 20's. They told stories and would emote through textures, images, faces eyes, and the better ones often relied on the equally sophisticated audiences they played to. They are an art form "unto themselves", IMO.

Most of the early talkies (full talkies) from the late 20's seem to focus on a lot of "boy meets girl", dance numbers, over the top wardrobes, and such as they figured out how to get more sophisticated.

The twenties lingo...all that stuff.

I do believe a lot of pre-codes of the 30's {particularly Warners} mocked the "rules", but usually wound up with the protagonist "getting theirs".

So for me, Silents don't count in my earlier comparison. Silents were different.

An example; Murnau's "Sunrise" is a much better film than any full talkie made from say...1928-1930, at least, wouldn't you agree? Because, IMO, silents by that time were far more sophisticated than just getting a camera and microphones, and filming "a play" with sound.

And, of course, I have some kind of thing for that whole "flaming youth" generation. I believe that reckless optimism is all over the early talkies.

So again, for me, silents stand alone, something different.

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Good discussion guys.... and yes, Jeff, PARAMOUNT ON PARADE exists...


I think in the late 20s there was a crop of incredibly sophisticated, edgy dramas... films that were beautifully made. You've mentioned many of them already. There were also many stars at the very peak of their fame and talent. The only thing missing was "music."


While many of the early musicals and revues seem very creaky now (crude technology, styles of music, dancing, etc.) several of them remain enjoyable. THE BROADWAY MELODY and HOLLYWOOD REVUE OF 1929 are 2 of the best.


It's easy to make fun of these early efforts, but it must be remembered this was all new.Someone else here mentioned that HOLLYWOOD REVUE was filmed mostly in the wee hours, and many of the stars were making OTHER films during the day. The grueling schedule, late hours, new technology, etc must have been terrifying. Plus many of these MGM stars had little or no stage training or real singing/dancing training


As I said before the "Singin' in the Rain" number is a wonder. The choreography (with the rain effects) is simple but effective, the song is a classic, and Cliff Edwards and the Brox Sisters are terrific. This number alone secures a place in Hollywood history for this film. Many make fun of the numbers done by Joan Crawford and Marion Davies (at 2 AM!) and even the Shakespeare scene by Norma Shearer and John Gilbert, but I find them all quite charming.


HOLLYWOOD REVUE OF 1929 earned huge box office receipts and an Oscar nomination for best film. The film boasts, along with a ton of stars, some great musical numbers and comedy, 2-strip Technicolor sequences (almost all of which survive), special effects (Bessie Love makes her entrance from Jack Benny's pocket), and a whole new film genre--the revue.

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Thelma... you want art deco? You gotta see CAMILLE, the 1921 film starring Alla Nazimova and Rudolph Valentino.... while the story has been altered quite a bit, the set design is truly magnificent and unlike anything you've ever seen. Even the great Nazimova's hair and clothing designs are art deco!


Also.... the silent films offer a rare window in what our country looked like in the teens and 20s. I think it's just fascinating to watch a film like BROWN OF HARVARD and actually see what Harvard and Cambridge and Boston looked like in the mid-20s. Also watching a film like 1919's THE ROARING ROAD and seeing Wallace Reid zoom around Santa Monica on rural dirt roads shows just how much this country has changed. The DeMille dramas like WHY CHANGE YOUR WIFE and DON'T CHANGE YOUR HUSBAND are great examples of interior and clothing design as we moved away from pre-War Victorian frills.

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Yes... Nazimova was very cutting edge in her tastes and used Natacha Rambova (wife of Valentino) as a designer on several films.. Her SALOME is also an eyeful.


What I notice in these great old films is that at least architecturally, the cities we see in silent films look very much like the cities I remember from the 50s, before "urban renewal" destroyed so much of our architectural heritage.


And as for "interiors," I really love the "arts and crafts" look we see in so many 20s films.... all very stylish again!

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A slight correction, MYSTERIOUS ISLAND is a part talkie. It has a couple of talking sequences, but for the most part is a silent film. It was origianlly released in two color Technicolor, but only survives in black and white. This would be a great candidate to colorize. The current quality of colorization lends itself nicely to the look of two color Technicolor.

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POP is a 100% talkie. Among the neat bits in the film are Nancy Carroll singing "Dancing To Save Your Sole" on an enormous shoe box with the Abe Lyman Orchestra. Also Clara Bow sinig "True To The Navy" It at one time had two ciolor technicolor scenes in it, but to my knowledge, they doid not survive. The print I taped fom Z channel in the late 80s did not have the finale ("Sweeping The Clouds Away") in color (which it should have been).

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