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Noah's Ark Sails Again On Sunday!


gagman66
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Finally, at long last NOAH'S ARK returns to TCM for this week's Silent Sunday Nights presentation. After drifting on a long hiatus for some 7 years. The broadcast is scheduled to sail in from Mont Ararat at 12:15 AM EASTERN TIME, 11.15 Central MARCH 28.

 

Truly an epic scale production that took around three years to complete. Though restored at UCLA in the late 80's and early 90's, roughly 25 to 30% of the movie is still considered lost today. I am thrilled to see the picture on TCM for the first time in the better part of a decade.

 

The cast includes Mrs. John Barrymore, Dolores Costello, one of the most beautiful actress of the period. Affectionately dubbed as "The Silent Goddess" Handsome and rugged George O' Brien of THE IRON HORSE, and SUNRISE fame, who was nicknamed "The Chest" due to his Herculean physique untypical of the era. Along with Noah Beery (brother of Wallace), as the Villain of two era's.

 

The magnificent sets are highly derivative of director Michael Curtiz earlier 1924 Epic, MOON OF ISRAEL, chronicling the story of Moses. Like that production, NOAH'S ARK was originally planned to be set all in Biblical times, with no Modern Parallel to the Great War. But the film was in an out of production for so long, that changed. The tacked on long after the fact goat-gland dialogue sequences, sadly spoil what could have been one of the great Silent Masterworks in my opinion. As a Silent, the film is riviting and fast paced, but the talking segments slow the plot down to a crawl and add nothing of consequence to the story.

 

Personally, I contend that the highly paid Broadway based voice coach's of the day invading Hollywood deliberately attempted to derail many a successful movie actors career by making them look ridiculous. Dolores Costello's voice has obviously been sabotaged and exploited, because in reality she sounded almost nothing like that.

 

Nevertheless, I am really pleased that TCM programmer Chuck Tabesh was able to finally get this picture back on the schedule. The Flood sequences are truly astonishing in any era of film making. Can't wait to read peoples comments later on. Be sure to set your DVD recorder, or DVR.

 

In a related Note this film was unexpectedly released by Warner Archive on DVD-R only a few weeks ago, one of three long awaited Silent releases. Along with THE MERRY WIDOW (1925), and DON JUAN (1926) It is wonderful see these pictures made commercially available to collectors.

 

 

 

 

 

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Jeff, although I haven't seen the film in the past, some of the sequences were very familiar when I watched the story last night. Then I remembered that you posted clips on CFU, and these were the parts of the story I was remembering. I actually enjoyed hearing both George O'Brien and Myrna Loy in the sound portions, both had excellent voices but only Myrna went on to a big career in sound pictures.

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Karin,

 

Good to find you back on the boards again! I'm so glad that you got to see *NOAH'S ARK* as well. I was worried that you might miss it. Last nights presentation did not have an overture or closing music. I have been told that the brand new Warner Archive DVD-R release does.

 

I can just imagine what Johnbabe would have to say about that guy, who said that Dolores Costello makes Garbo looked like second hand left overs after seeing this film. He would want to hurl darts, if not spears! Ha, Ha, Ha! Anyway, you haven't written much about the movie here yet. Are you going to post a complete review on the Union?

 

Next Sunday, TCM is airing rare fragments in Prime-time from lost films Silents, and early talkies. Including footage from Colleen Moore's *FLAMING YOUTH,* and Clara Bow in Color from *RED HAIR!* Even Chaney's *THE MIRACLE MAN.* This is really exciting. After that is Unseen Cinema and the North American premier of *LIALA.*

 

Here is a new another new still.

 

 

DoloresBounded.jpg

 

*"Sentenced To Death!"*

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Jeff, it is nice to "hear" from you again; lovely colorized photos from the film. I have wanted to see *Noah's Ark* for years and your video clips only hinted at the excellence of the film. Dolores Costello and George O'Brien were both excellent in their roles, but I am baffled why O'Brien wasn't a bigger star in sound pictures. He seems to have faded into B-westerns and then left films all together. I don't plan to write on *Noah's Ark*, I have been a bit preoccupied with a new blog where I recently wrote on *The Enchanted Cottage* with Richard Barthelmess and May McAvoy. I found the film posted on YouTube, and though the print suffers from neglect the story is still beautifully shot and sensitively performed. I'm looking forward to the collection of silent film excerpts, which seems to be a wonderful opportunity to catch a glimpse of some of these lost films.

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Karin,

 

I'm pretty sure that there are much better surviving elements and print materials of the original 1924 Silent version of *THE ENCHANTED COTTAGE* that exist somewhere. As a First National/Inspirational Pictures Silent, it is probably technically owned by Warner Brothers. I will try to get more information. Will be looking forward to reading your review.

 

The Bartthelmess Silent I really would most like to see TCM debut is Alfred Santell's *THE PATENT LEATHER KID (1927).* Richard was nominated for a Academy Award as Best Acor. The film is very powerful and the Road Show edition was restored in 35 Millimeter in 2005. Here is a pick of Richard that you might not have seen.

 

 

 

PHOTO_13441717_66470_8093159_ap.jpg

 

*The Little Shepard Of Kingdom Come (1928)*

 

 

 

 

 

 

I just found out that at Cinefest last week, they ran *THE FLAMING FOREST (1926)* with the original Technicolor scenes reinstated. So I really hope that this will be shown on TCM soon. Here is a quote:

 

 

*"Reginald Barker solidly directed this melodrama of the Canadian North, an action-packed saga of settlers terrorized by a Metis uprising, starring Renee Adoree and Antonio Moreno. Two brief Technicolor sequences were printed in black and white, but we got to see their impressive two-color glory the same night in a video transfer scanned from the original film just the previous week!"*

 

*Christopher Jacobs*

 

And here is another comment about the *FLAMING YOUTH* fragment that we will see on TCM this Sunday during the Fragments-Rarely Seen Treasures" Prime-time Broadcast:

 

*FLAMING YOUTH (1923) fragments This brief chunk of Colleen Moore's most famous lost film, showing her preparing for a big party, and later at the party talking with Milton Sills as the others strip and jump into the pool, really makes one hope the entire feature is someday discovered (especially after seeing this clip at least three or four times in the past year).*

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