Item #: 889290247988
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  • Documentary (Aspect: 1.33:1)
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    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

    • Release Date: 1912 - 196
    • Runtime: 146:00
    • Genre: Documentary; Drama
    • Language: English
    • Format: DVD-NTSC
    • Screen: 0.16875
    • Aspect: 1.33:1
    • Rating: NR
    • Audio: Stereo
    • Color/BW: Color / BW
    • Special Features: None
    • Copyright: Special Contents of This Edition ©2003 by Film Preservation Associates, Inc. / Blu-ray Publication and Design ©2016 Flicker Alley, LLC
    • Number of Discs: 1
    • Disc Format: DVD-9

    Starring:
    Mary Pickford
    Lionel Barrymore
    Doris Kenyon
    Robert Warwick
    Chester Barnett
    Johnny Hones
    Maurice Tourneur (as himself)
    Vivian Martin
    Alec B. Francis
    Chester Barnett

    Written by:
    Anita Loos (The New York Hat) / Maurice Tourneur and Francis Marion (A Girl's Folly) / Based upon the play by Owen Davis (The Wishing Ring)

    Directed by:
    Thomas Hanlon (Before Hollywood) / D.W. Griffith (The New York Hat) / Maurice Tourneur ( A Girl's Folly and The Wishing Ring)

    Produced by:
    Biograph Company (The New York Hat) / World Film Corporation ( A Girl's Folly and the Wishing Ring)