Friday, July 30, 2010

The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923) Lon Chaney, Victor Hugo

Director: Wallace Worsley
Producer: Carl Laemmle

Early adaptation of the novel by Victor Hugo starring Lon Chaney.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Nosferatu (1922) F.W. Murnau, Bram Stoker

Director: F.W. Murnau

Originally released in 1922 as Nosferatu, Eine Symphonie Des Grauens, director F.W. Munarau's chilling and eerie adaption of Stoker's Dracula is a silent masterpiece of terror which to this day is the most striking and frightening portrayal of the legend.

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Haunted Castle (1896) Georges Melies

Director: Georges Méliès

The original French title is Le manoir du diable.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Scarlet Street (1945) Fritz Lang

Director: Fritz Lang
Producer: Fritz Lang, Walter Wanger
Production Company: Universal Pictures

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Salt Of The Earth (1954)

Tells the tale of a real life strike by Mexican-American miners. The story is set in a remote New Mexico town where the workers live in a company town in company owned shacks without basic plumbing. Put at risk by cost cutting bosses, the miners strike for safe working conditions. As the strike progresses the issues at stake grow beyond that, driven by the workers' wives. At first the wives are patronized by the traditional patriarchical culture, however they assert themselves as equals and an integral part of the struggle, calling for improved sanitation and dignified treatment. Ultimately, when the bosses win a court order against the workers preventing them from demonstrating gender roles reverse with the wives taking over the picket line and preventing scab workers from being brought in while the husbands stay at home and take care of house and children.

This film was selected for the National Film Registry in 1992 by the Library of Congress. It became public domain after its copyright was not renewed in 1982.

"Salt of the Earth" was produced, written and directed by victims of the Hollywood blacklist. Unable to make films in Hollywood they looked for worthy social issues to put on screen independently. This film never would have been made in Hollywood at the time, so it is ironic that it was the anti-communist backlash that brought about the conditions for it to be made. In many ways it was a film ahead of its time, mainstream culture did not pick up on its civil rights and feminist themes for at least a decade.

Director: Herbert Biberman
Producer: Independent Productions / International Union Of Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Que Viva Mexico (1931) Sergei Eisenstein, Upton Sinclair

Director: Sergei Eisenstein

Sergei Eisenstein shot Que viva México! in Mexico in 1931 at the height of the Great Depression. The courageous financiers of this project were the author Upton Sinclair, his wife Mary Craig and a small group of their friends. They had great difficulties in keeping the production going; the economic crisis forced Sinclair to call a halt to it in early 1932. Shooting was stopped with most of the work completed; only one episode could not be filmed. At the same time Josef Stalin insisted on Eisenstein's return to the Soviet Union.

Eisenstein left Mexico with Sinclair's promise in mind; that all the negatives would be send to him to enable the final editing of the film in Moscow. Sinclair tried several times in vain to transfer the film footage to Russia, but the Soviet Film Industry was instructed not to import the film. Eisenstein had been denounced both as a political renegade and as a Trotskyite, which was, in the eyes of Stalin, a serious offence. Preventing Eisenstein from finishing his Mexican film was Stalin's punishment. Consequently Eisenstein was left without film work for several years and started teaching at the State Film School. The Stalinist propaganda, which heaped all the blame on Upton Sinclair for the tragic end of Que viva México!, prevailed.

Two films utilizing Eisenstein's film footage were made with Upton Sinclair's permission: Thunder over Mexico made in 1933 by Sol Lesser and Time in the Sun, made by Mary Seton in 1939/40. Thanks to the foresight of Sinclair, who in the 1950s deposited the unedited materials of Eisenstein's film with the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the subsequent work of Jay Leyda to make them accessible, all is not lost. We are sure that seventy years of archival care and investment in preserving the essence of this film will eventually result in an authentic reconstruction of this lost film.

Many film-historians are convinced that Que viva México! is one of Eisenstein's greatest films. Que viva México! stood at the crossroads of Eisenstein’s artistic development and at a crucial point in the evolution of the art of the cinema. This work deserves more than any other to be taken out of the archives, to be appreciated by a new generation! It is a treasure waiting to be discovered.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Storming of The Bastille July 14. 1789

Orphans of the Storm (1921) D.W. Griffith, Lillian & Dorothy Gish

Director: D.W. Griffith

Henriette and Louise, a foundling, are raised together as sisters. When Louise goes blind, Henriette swears to take care of her forever. They go to Paris to see if Louise's blindness can be cured, but are separated when an aristocrat lusts after Henriette and abducts her. Only Chevalier de Vaudrey is kind to her, and they fall in love. The French Revolution replaces the corrupt Aristocracy with the equally corrupt Robespierre. De Vaudrey, who has always been good to peasants, is condemned to death for being an aristocrat,

Bastille Day Fireworks on the Eiffel Tower

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Liberation of Paris (1944) in Color

1944. The Liberation of Paris, with General DeGaulle and General Bradley. American 16mm Kodachrome film.

Soundtrack by Alec Harrison (Sailing) added (Demo Only) in 2009 by ROMANO-ARCHIVES.


This is a clip from the ROMANO-ARCHIVES' new website "Unknown World War 2 in Color"-"WW2 Europe" section.


Visit also:

Fall Of Paris (1943) Frank Capra

From "Prelude To War," directed by Frank Capra.

In World War II, the Battle of France, also known as the Fall of France, was the German invasion of France and the Low Countries, executed on 10 May 1940, which ended the Phoney War. The battle consisted of two main operations. In the first, Fall Gelb (Case Yellow), German armoured units pushed through the Ardennes, to cut off and surround the Allied units that had advanced into Belgium. The British Expeditionary Force (BEF) and many French soldiers were evacuated from Dunkirk in Operation Dynamo. In the second operation, Fall Rot (Case Red), executed from 5 June, German forces outflanked the Maginot Line to attack the greater French territory. Italy declared war on France on 10 June. The French government fled to the city of Bordeaux, and France's main city of Paris was occupied by the German Wehrmacht on 14 June. On the 17 June, Philippe Pétain publicly announced France would ask for an armistice. On 22 June, an armistice was signed between France and Germany, going into effect on 25 June. For the Axis Powers, the campaign was a spectacular victory.

France was divided into a German occupation zone in the north and west, a small Italian occupation zone in the southeast, and an unoccupied zone, the zone libre, in the south. A rump state, Vichy France, administered all three zones according to the terms laid out in the armistice. In November 1942, the Axis forces also occupied the zone libre, and metropolitan France remained under Axis occupation until after the Allied landings in 1944; while the Low Countries remained under German occupation until 1944 and 1945.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Franklin D. Roosevelt's Fireside Chats (1933-1938)

These clips deal with the New Deal. They include six of Franklin D. Roosevelt's Fireside Chats on the economic policy for fighting the Great Depression. All clips are somewhat edited partial Universal Newsreels. In these recordings Roosevelt reads shortened versions of the speeches. The full texts can be found here:

And, the achievements of the Roosevelt administration are discussed in this film:

And, a discussion of the Roosevelts compared to recent politicians is found here:


Fireside Chat 2. Outlining the New Deal Program. Sunday, May 7, 1933

Fireside Chat 4. On the Currency Situation. Sunday, October 22, 1933

Fireside Chat 5. Review of the Achievements of the Seventy-third Congress. Thursday, June 28, 1934

Fireside Chat 6. On Moving Forward to Greater Freedom and Security. Sunday, September 30, 1934

Fireside Chat 7. On the Works Relief Program. Sunday, April 28, 1935

Fireside Chat 12. On Economic Conditions. Thursday, April 14, 1938

Best regards
Eva Vikström, Stockholm in August, 2007

Producer: Universal Studios

Franklin D. Roosevelt - Freedom From Fear (1933)

"Let me assert my firm belief, that the only thing we have to fear, is fear itself."

This version above is the best quality I could find online.

Poor quality clip cuts off ending. Sorry, but still not a bad 8-9 seconds.

This one has full sound, but fuzzy picture.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Fall of the House of Usher (1928) Jean Epstein, Edgar Allan Poe

Director: Jean Epstein

English dubs over French cards in this haunting version of Poe's classic tale. A stranger called Allan (Charles Lamy) goes to an inn and requests transportation to the House of Usher. The locals remain reluctant, but he gets a coach to transport him to the place. He is the sole friend of Roderick Usher (Jean Debucourt), who leaves in the eerie house with his sick wife Madeleine Usher (Marguerite Gance) and her doctor (Fournez-Goffard). Madeleine is the beloved muse and model and is being painted by Roderick. When she dies, Roderick does not accept her death, and in a dark night, Madeleine returns.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Charlie Chaplin's "The Immigrant" (1917)

Charlie Chaplin's 61st Film Released June 17, 1917.

The Immigrant (also called Broke) starring the Charlie Chaplin Tramp character as an immigrant coming to the United States who is accused of theft on the voyage across the Atlantic Ocean, and befriends a young woman along the way. It also stars Edna Purviance and Eric Campbell.

According to Kevin Brownlow and David Gill's documentary series Unknown Chaplin, the first scenes to be written and filmed take place in what became the movie's second half, in which the penniless Tramp finds a coin and goes for a meal in a restaurant, not realising that the coin has fallen out of his pocket. It was not until later that Chaplin decided the reason the Tramp was penniless was that he had just arrived on a boat from Europe, and used this notion as the basis for the first half. Purviance reportedly was required to eat so many plates of beans during the many takes to complete the restaurant sequence (in character as another immigrant who falls in love with Charlie) that she became physically ill.

The scene in which Chaplin's character kicks an immigration officer was cited later as evidence of his anti-Americanism when he was forced to leave the United States in the 1950s. The film has been selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Man With A Movie Camera (1929) Dziga Vertov

Dziga Vertov's Man With A Movie Camera is considered one of the most innovative and influential films of the silent era. Startlingly modern, this film utilizes a groundbreaking style of rapid editing and incorporates innumerable other cinematic effects to create a work of amazing power and energy. Film pioneer Dziga Vertov uses all the cinematic techniques available at the time - dissolves, split screen, slow motion and freeze frames.