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The Golden Twenties
The Golden Twenties
Genres: Documentary
NR     2006     1hr 45min

The Twenties was one of the liveliest decades of the 20th century. Vintage newsreels and movie clips take you on an amazing journey from the end of World War I to the start of the Great Depression. See breakthroughs in a...  more »


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Movie Details

Genres: Documentary
Sub-Genres: Documentary
Studio: Passport
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 04/04/2006
Release Year: 2006
Run Time: 1hr 45min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 2
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Fine documentary of The Golden Twenties
Matthew G. Sherwin | last seen screaming at Amazon customer service | 07/28/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The Golden Twenties provides us with two videos on one DVD that document very well the experiences of Americans and to some extent people in foreign countries during the 1920s. The footage at times is rather overexposed--even in an introductory clip from 1950 that introduces the first documentary entitled The Golden Twenties. The other documentary, entitled The Remarkable Twentieth Century: The 1920s, includes priceless recent color interviews with historians who help us understand the 1920s even more. Great!

The primary documentary is entitled The Golden Twenties. The Golden Twenties meticulously examines life in America during the 1920s. The footage is wonderful to behold even if it's grainy at times. We learn of the relief Americans felt after World War I, which at the time was referred to as "The War To End All Wars." People celebrated in Times Square and Germany was blamed for the war. People began to celebrate and let their hair down--and thus the roaring twenties began.

The film shows us the flapper fads; the dance marathon fads; the incredible accolades people gave to Charles Lindbergh after he flew from New York to Paris; the heroic status of Babe Ruth; the stardom of the great lover named Rudolph Valentino and the advent of radio, the automobile and "talking pictures." Moreover, women finally get the right to vote in free elections; and young ladies called "flappers" were able to express themselves as women much more openly in society without shame or embarrassment.

At the same time, however, we get reminders that the 1920s weren't all gravy. The Florida real estate boom went bust before the stock market did; and a biology professor was put on trial and convicted for the "crime" of teaching Darwin's theory of evolution. We also see footage documenting the rising influence of organized crime in the arenas of illegal alcohol, speakeasies and prostitution; and the vast corruption of the Harding administration becomes exposed. Whew!

The second documentary gives us a video billed as a bonus feature although it lasts almost as long as the main video. This second film is entitled The Remarkable 20th Century: The 1920s. As I mentioned above, here we get not just footage from the times but also recent interview clips with historians who give us valuable insight into what was going in during the 1920s. We also see more of a world view of events during the 1920s. We see the birth of The Nazis in Germany; the fear of foreigners taking American jobs leading to immigration quotas; the rise of Stalin in the former Soviet Union as well as the rise of other dictators in China.

I realize it may well appear that I've given everything away--but you must watch the two videos on this DVD if you wish to gain a superior understanding of the 1920s. I did not give everything away--I assure you of that!

I highly recommend this for history buffs and people who want to study early 20th century history. This will also help our generation to understand our ancestors' experiences as they lived through these times.
Too darn FAST!!!
Annie Van Auken | Planet Earth | 04/15/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)

"As is typical of PASSPORT VIDEO, their twin documentary offering entitled THE GOLDEN TWENTIES has a constant on-screen watermark located at screen's lower right.

The first film, a 1950 March of Time documentary called A CHRONICLE OF AMERICA'S JAZZ AGE is dubbed from well-worn, unrestored stock. It demonstrates all too clearly how NOT to make a documentary.

Blaring music annoys instantly, its incessant jolly screeching competes with several departmentalized narrators. Vintage silent footage is shown at 24 fps and look ridiculously fast. Silent movies were designed to be projected at varying speeds and not necessarily the sound-era standard. Frames Per Second were labeled on their storage canisters, and although modern audiences have come to accept these laughably overspeeded movies, it's not how they were intended to be seen.

One would hope the "bonus" program, Episode 3 from a recent series hosted by an unwell-looking Howard K. Smith entitled THE REMARKABLE TWENTIETH CENTURY, wouldn't repeat the same projection speed error, but that hope is forlorn. Although the music track is properly subdued, films again are distortedly RAPID even if they do seem in better viewing condition. At least this one has a single narrator with a pleasant voice (instead of an overloud tag team), and he doesn't need to shout to be heard over "background" din, as with that March of Times thing.

Both works "headline" a decade's worth of history, spending little time on any one subject. The newer piece has a good balance of American and world history, a definite plus, therefore "Remarkable 20th Century" rates 4 stars, while the older "Jazz Age" piece gets only 2 for being so darned assaultive on the senses. That averages out to THREE STARS."