Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Hindle Wakes |
Actors: Estelle Brody, John Stuart, Norman McKinnel, Marie Ault, Humberston Wright
Director: Maurice Elvey
Genres: Art House & International, Drama
Factory girl Mary Hollins decide to take a vacation and becomes entangled with the son of a factory owner, with shocking results.
Milestone Films Has Done It Again. Simply Exquisite!
Chip Kaufmann | Asheville, N.C. United States | 04/16/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When it comes to quality silent film releases on video, Milestone Films has been second to none in recent months. First there was LEGONG: DANCE OF THE VIRGINS, then the restored version of PICCADILLY along with Mary Pickford's LITTLE LORD FAUNTLEROY and now this. The British film HINDLE WAKES is a masterpiece. It shows fully what the silent cinema was capable of when all the necessary elements were in place. Based on a famous play about life in the Lancashire mills (the title refers to vacation time for mill workers in a small town), it was a British version of A DOLL'S HOUSE which scandalized audiences in 1912 with its plucky heroine who defied convention and was determined to live her life her way. The storyline is traditional soap opera. A mill foreman's daughter has a romance with the mill owner's son and the problems and conflicts it has on their respective families.
What made the play important was the statement that women had the right to choose their own lives. What makes the film a masterpiece is its use of documentary style footage of the mills and the vacation spot Blackpool (a British version of Coney Island) to highlight and emphasize the lives of the characters and the conflicts they face. It's like a silent film version of ANGELA'S ASHES. The photography is absolutely astonishing as it creates images that linger in the mind long afterwards (especially the Blackpool scenes). This is one of the greatest virtues of silent cinema. The acting from the leads down to the smallest parts is flawless drawing us into the characters and not allowing us to let them go. Rarely have I seen such a perfect balance between the acting and the technical aspects of a silent film. It is simply exquisite. HINDLE WAKES was obviously a big influence on King Vidor's THE CROWD which came out a year later.
High praise should also be given to In The Nursery, the British group who scored the film. It is among the best modern scores that I have ever heard accompanying a silent film and easily the best to incorporate a synthesizer. There is also a traditional piano score by Philip Carli which is also quite good on its own terms. The British Film Institute restored this movie in 2001. If you're a fan of dramatic silent films (as opposed to silent comedy) then it doesn't get any better than this. Thanks again to Milestone Films for giving us yet another high quality little known silent film."
One of England's important silent films
Barbara (Burkowsky) Underwood | Manly, NSW Australia | 04/22/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's nice to experience the life and culture in another country for a change, and "Hindle Wakes" gives us a poignant feel for society in Lancashire, England a century or so ago. Brilliant camera work and direction give us glimpses into the lives of two classes: the cotton mill factory workers and the wealthy upper class, and what happens when the son of a wealthy family has a holiday romance with a factory girl. The story moves along quite slowly, with dramatic events unfolding only near the mid-way point, but the focus is on surroundings, characters and atmosphere. The scenes at the amusement park where the casual romance begins are very impressive and really involve the viewer, especially on the Big Dipper ride. Then we get to know the characters and their attitudes, especially as the secret romance is revealed and the emphasis turns to drama as this revelation causes turmoil in three different families, with the climax being the decision by the factory girl in question. Today we might wonder what all the fuss is about, but "Hindle Wakes" was an important film in its time, as was the play on which it was based, making a statement about the attitudes towards women and their status in society. In fact, I found it more of a women's liberation statement, which was already an issue in those days under very conservative Edwardian society. It is still quite relevant and interesting for us today however, and the excellent cinematography of "Hindle Wakes" makes it very good viewing even for those not so familiar with silent films. Apart from all these aspects, this is also an excellent DVD all round with the film wonderfully restored by the British Film Institute, which has produced many other fine quality films as well, and Milestone has given us the choice of two soundtracks: the traditional piano score or a pleasant modern soundtrack for a nice change. As if this is not enough, there is bonus material such as stills and information on the 1912 play on which "Hindle Wakes" was based, so all up, an excellent DVD well worth having."