This fourth volume of rare/lost silent comedy shorts in the Accidentally Preserved series reaches even further into the realm of obscure or hard-to-find titles, sourcing American silent films released to the European home movie market on 9.5mm safety film.
The 9.5mm home movie format was introduced in Europe in 1922 by Pathéscope, just one year before Kodak debuted its 16mm home-use format. 9.5mm film was more compact, and its perforations were down the center of the film, in-between each frame. Pathéscope released silent films on 9.5mm film for both sales and rental from 1922, just a couple years before the Kodascope Library launched, all the way through 1959. Many titles in the catalog were not available from the U.S. 16mm home-use companies, and suriving prints, such as most of the titles offered on this disc, are the only known copies of these films.
The films on the Accidentally Preserved: volume 4 DVD have been sourced from the USC Hugh M. Hefner Moving Image Archive. All films are seen in new digital HD transfers and with piano and organ scores by Ben Model.
Nonsense (1920) - Sid Smith and Jimmie Adams - 22 mins
The Ninety And Nine (1922) - Warner Baxter and Colleen Moore - 10 mins
Meet Father (1924) - Bobby Ray - 10 mins
The Wages of Tin (1925) - Glenn Tryon - 10 mins
Tides of Passion (1925) - Mae Marsh - 21 mins
A Man's Size Pet (1926) - 17 mins
Walter's Paying Policy (1926) - Walter Forde - 22 mins
'Morning, Judge (1926) - Peggy Shaw, Flora Finch - 9 mins
TRT 121 mins - B&W - stereo - 4:3 aspect ratio - unrated - $19.95
produced for DVD by Ben Model/Undercrank Productions, in association with Greenbriar Picture Shows and the USC Hugh M. Hefner Moving Image Archive. Released November 15, 2016
What's in a name? Thousands of films have been preserved by film archives, but because their main titles are missing no one knows what they are. Thanks to the annual Mostly Lost film identification workshop, this is changing. This DVD contains eleven extremely rare films preserved by the Library of Congress that were ID’ed recently — nine silent shorts starring comedians like Hank Mann, Snub Pollard and Jimmie Adams, plus two early sound comedies, one of which is William (Fred Mertz) Frawley’s vaudeville act.
Starting in 2012, the Library of Congress has hosted Mostly Lost, an annual free workshop held at its National Audio-Visual Conservation Center in Culpeper, VA. Attendees range from writers, scholars, archivists, and filmmakers to just plain film buffs and students interested in film or preservation. During the three-day workshop, silent and early sound films are screened that have been unidentified, under-identified or misidentified. All genres of films are shown, including comedies, dramas newsreels and actuality films.
Attendees shout out things during screenings as they recognize them or find them online – anything from car models, city landmarks, actors, production companies or even the title of the film. In addition to films from the LoC’s collection, Mostly Lost features material from other film archives around the world.
This DVD is comprised of a selection of treasures from the Library of Congress' vaults that were identified during the Mostly Lost conferences held 2012-2014
The 9 silent films on the disc feature new piano scores by silent film accompanists Philip Carli, Ben Model, or Andrew Simpson, who also provide live musical accompaniment at all Mostly Lost workshop screenings.
The Nickel Snatcher (1920) - Hank Mann - 9 mins
Fidelity (1911) - Pathé drama - 10 mins
The Paperhanger's Revenge (1918) - Bud Duncan - 11 mins
A Brass Button (1911) - Reliance drama - 12 mins
Jerry's Perfect Day (1916) - George Ovey - 11 mins
One Million B.C. [test footage] (1940) - 7 mins
Ventriloquist (1927)** - William Frawley - 9 mins
Fifteen Minutes (1921) - Snub Pollard - 8 mins
In And Out (1920/21) - Monty Banks - 12 min
Grief (1921) - Jimmie Adams - 8 mins
The Joyride (1928)** - George LeMaire and Joe Phillips - 10 mins
All films silent except where noted by **.
TRT 107 mins - B&W - stereo - 4:3 aspect ratio - unrated - $19.95
produced for DVD by Ben Model/Undercrank Production.
Released March 2016
Available on Amazon.com
Just a few weeks after Charlie Chaplin’s The Kid was released in 1921, 2½ -year-old “Baby Peggy” Montgomery began making comedy shorts for the Stern Bros. Century Film Company. The series, which initially co-starred Baby Peggy with Brownie the dog, had a successful 3-year run and led to her starring in features. The Family Secret (1924) is one of her best feature films, and is presented here in a brand new restoration by the Library of Congress, made from archival 35mm and 16mm elements.
Also on the DVD are two new-to-video and very-rare Baby Peggy shorts and two newsreels of Baby Peggy. All of the films on the DVD are sourced from archival 35mm materials, and are seen in brand-new 2K digital transfers.
TRT 98 mins - B&W - stereo - 4:3 aspect ratio - unrated - $19.95
produced for DVD by Ben Model/Undercrank Productions, in association with Greenbriar Picture Shows.
Released October 2015
Available on Amazon.com
For the first time, a comprehensive selection of Perez's films has been gathered together. Ten films — five made in Italy and five from America — have been carefully chosen from the collections of the Library of Congress and the EYE Filmmuseum (Netherlands), most of them from the only known surviving print. Presented in new HD digital transfers and with new scores by Ben Model, this DVD collection provides a loving and long overdue second look at this original and most neglected of silent clowns.
Marcel Perez: The International Mirth-Maker is a companion book to the DVD, written by noted silent comedy historian Steve Massa, and published by Undercrank Productions. The book examines the life and career of perhaps the best silent film comedian whom no one's ever heard of. One of the founding fathers of film comedy whose career spanned the silent era as a comic, director, and writer, Marcel Perez is a missing link between the early European and American cinemas, and in the book author Steve Massa follows his work, and also explores the very beginnings of film comedy. Tracking Perez's career through industry trade journals and film fragments from archives all over the world, Massa also includes a detailed filmography and lavishly illustrates with more that 50 rare photographs.
Published February 2015.
Available on Amazon.
The films are hilarious, full of cartoony and surreal settings and slapstick, and have a circus influence. This DVD contains 8 of the best of the surviving Musty shorts, seen for the first time ever on video in new HD transfers from master material preserved by the Library of Congress, and featuring brand new musical scores by Ben Model.
Be sure to pick up the companion guide by Steve Massa with detailed film notes and history on the series and a complete Musty filmography. The booklet even fits inside the DVD case for handy reference!
Curated by Steve Massa and Ben Model
117 mins - B&W - stereo - 4:3 aspect ratio- NTSC - region 0 (all-regions)
Released April 2014.
Available on Amazon.
These films have been preserved by the Library of Congress and have never been available on video. New musical scores for all six films have been composed and recorded by Ben Model.
During the 1930s and 1940s companies like the Kodascope and Universal Show-At-Home libraries made 16mm copies of silent movies for people to rent and watch at home. It was like Netflix for the art deco era. Because these movies were on 16mm safety film, many of them have outlived the original 35mm nitrate prints of silent films that are now lost or extremely rare. It's as if these movies were...Accidentally Preserved.
Renowned silent film accompanist/historian Ben Model has taken nine of the rare and lost silent films in his 16mm collection and produced this Accidentally Preserved DVD, bringing these rarities to a new audience in new HD digital transfers. Each film on this DVD has a new musical score by Ben Model performed on piano or theatre organ. Unavailable to the public for decades, these delightful comedy shorts -- as well as the lost, unknown Elgin Watch factory film -- return to screens to entertain us once more.
Be sure to pick up the new companion guide, Accidentally Preserved: notes on the films, published by Undercrank Prods. and available exclusively on Amazon! The booklet, written by Steve Massa and Ben Model, contains background info on the films and fits perfectly inside the DVD case.
Renowned silent film accompanist/historian Ben Model has taken eight more of the rare and lost silent films in his 16mm collection – plus one from the collection of film archivist Dino Everett – and produced this 2nd Accidentally Preserved DVD, bringing these rarities to a new audience in new HD transfers. Each film on this DVD has a new musical score by Ben Model performed on piano or theatre organ. Unavailable to the public for decades, these delightful shorts return to screens to entertain us once more.
Monty Banks wants to be like his hero Charles Lindbergh, and will do anything to learn to fly a plane. After building his own doesn't go so well, he winds up enlisting in the Army. During basic training, Monty falls in love with the Colonel's daughter (played by a young Jean Arthur), tangles with a mean drill sergeant (Kewpie Morgan) and is mistaken for a visiting French dignitary. But eventually Monty winds up in a plane and wins the big Army-Navy air polo match!
On May 20, 1927 Charles Lindbergh successfully performed the first transatlantic solo flight, captivating the nation, if not the world. Two months later, motion picture trade papers announced that comedian Monty Banks’ next feature-length comedy would be An Ace in the Hole — which was released on December 5, 1927 as Flying Luck. This aviation-inspired comedy was the last produced of a string of Monty Banks features made 1924-27.
Monty Banks entered films in 1916 and, after supporting other comedians for a few years, had a successful series of starring shorts from 1920 to 1924. Banks is probably best known for the climactic reels of his thrill comedy feature Play Safe (1927), which were featured in Robert Youngson's compilation movie The Days of Thrills and Laughter (1961).
Flying Luck capitalizes on the 1927 airplane craze and co-stars a young Jean Arthur (Easy Living, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Shane). This extremely rare silent film has never been available on home video, and is seen here in a transfer from a rare, vintage 35mm nitrate print.
BONUS: This DVD includes 40 minutes of newsreels covering Lucky Lindy’s infamous flight from New York to Paris from "weeklies" (newsreels) produced by Kinograms, the William J. Ganz Company and Pathé News.
100 mins, B&W, unrated; stereo - NTSC - 4:3 aspect ratio
Produced for video by Bruce Lawton and Ben Model
Released March 2014
Available on Amazon.
Johnny Hines made fifteen starring features between 1923 and 1928, most of which were released either independently or through First National. While Johnny Hines is not as well known today as Chaplin, Keaton or Lloyd, his films — most of which were directed by his brother Charles — kept movie fans laughing while they were waiting for the next release from silent comedy’s luminaries.
This edition of THE CRACKERJACK features a brand-new piano score by renowned silent film accompanist Ben Model. This video edition was mastered from a vintage 16mm print which shows some wear and which may be missing a scene or two; new intertitles have been created to replace missing ones.
67 mins - B&W - stereo - 4:3 aspect ratio - NTSC - region 0 (all-regions)
Released February 2013
Available on Amazon.