Before Hollywood There was Fort Lee, N.J.: Early Moviemaking in New Jersey
 
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Before Hollywood There was Fort Lee, N.J.: Early Moviemaking in New Jersey

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Before Hollywood There was Fort Lee, N.J.: Early Moviemaking in New Jersey
 

This enormously interesting DVD, produced in cooperation with the Fort Lee Film Commission, is perhaps the most detailed look we shall ever have at early Fort Lee film production, a center of the American film industry when Hollywood was still orange groves. Thomas Hanlon's 1964 documentary Before Hollywood There was Fort Lee, New Jersey uses rare still photographs, almost-complete versions of such films as Edison's Rescued from an Eagle's Nest (1907) and Biograph's The Curtain Pole (1909) and poignant footage from 1935 of the great glass studios in ruins to show the rise and fall of silent filmmaking in the village on the Hudson.

D.W. Griffith's location work in Fort Lee is represented by The New York Hat (1912), featuring Mary Pickford and Lionel Barrymore.

Maurice Tourneur's 1917 feature A Girl's Folly, had not been rediscovered when Hanlon's film was produced, but it's a movie about filmmaking in Fort Lee which uses the then Peerless Studio as background. The whole thing ties together with a pleasant little story co-authored by Tourneur and Frances Marion, then just starting her spectacular screenwriting career.

Director Maurice Tourneur is further represented by an enchanting hour-long feature of 1914, The Wishing Ring, taken in the village environs as well as in the Paragon Studio. What historian Kevin Brownlow has called "its freshness and impish vitality" is hardly diminished by nine decades, and artistically this may be the most accomplished film produced anywhere in the world by 1914. Variety wrote that "the whole atmosphere of the tale is light and as graceful as a minuet and colored with the nicety of a pastel." The tinted print has a charming digital stereo score by the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra.

Before Hollywood There was Fort Lee, New Jersey (Abridged for This Edition)

Year: 1964
Length: 40 minutes
Director: Thomas Hanlon

The New York Hat
Year: 1912
Length: 16 minutes
Starring: Mary Pickford, Lionel Barrymore
Director: D.W. Griffith
Story by: Anita Loos
Produced by: Biograph Company
Photographed by: G.W. Bitzer
Music by: Robert Israel
Film material courtesy of the Mary Pickford Foundation

A Girl's Folly (Abridged for This Edition)
Year: 1917
Length: 30 minutes
Starring: Doris Kenyon, Robert Warwick, Chester Barnett, Johnny Hones, and Maurice Tourneur (as himself)
Director: Maurice Tourneur
Scenario by: Tourneur and Francis Marion
Produced by: World Film Corporation
Photographed by: John van den Broek
Music by: Robert Israel

The Wishing Ring
Year: 1914
Length: 60 minutes
Starring: Vivian Martin, Alec B. Francis, Chester Barnett
Director: Maurice Tourneur
A Shubert Feature, based upon the play by Owen Davis
Produced by: World Film Corporation
Photographed by: John van den Broek
Music: Compiled by Rodney Sauer and Susan Hall; Music Performed by the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra

Format: NTSC

Produced for DVD by David Shepard
From the Blackhawk Films Collection
Presented by Flicker Alley



Cast:
Mary Pickford, Maurice Tourneur, Lionel Barrymore

Title #453455
Format: DVD-R