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Saved From The Flames - 54 Rare and Restored Films 1896 - 1944
Saved From The Flames - 54 Rare and Restored Films 1896 - 1944
Actors: Josephine Baker, Django Reinhardt, Charles Chaplin, Stan Laurel, Tony Sarg
Directors: Segundo de Chomon, Emil Cohl, D.W. Griffith, Thomas Ince, Mack Sennett
Genres: Drama, Educational
R     2008     7hr 0min

Flicker Alley proudly presents SAVED FROM THE FLAMES, a unique and wonderful collection of 54 rare and restored short films from the inflammable years of cinema. Movies were once made on nitrate film stock, which has a che...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Josephine Baker, Django Reinhardt, Charles Chaplin, Stan Laurel, Tony Sarg
Directors: Segundo de Chomon, Emil Cohl, D.W. Griffith, Thomas Ince, Mack Sennett
Genres: Drama, Educational
Sub-Genres: Drama, Educational
Studio: Flicker Alley
Format: DVD - Color - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 01/22/2008
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 7hr 0min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 3
SwapaDVD Credits: 3
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 19
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Absolutley fascinating treaures!
Timothy Ramzyk | Milwaukee, WI United States | 02/01/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I've gotta share that I've just received one of the niftiest anthologies of historic ephemera in my collection, it's a painstakingly well done three disk set of rare Blackhawk Films nitrate films called "SAVED FROM THE FLAMES". With probably the least pretense I've seen for a volume of priceless "trick films", cartoons, comedies, a pioneering efforts in early sound and color, and just plain fun stuff, this set simply aims to hand our way some gorgeous renditions of very entertaining rarities.

Some of the highlights include a bewilderingly bizarre and fully articulated giant dancing pig form 1907, which would give any Jim Henson creation a run for its money, a "human torso" performing in a 1900 midway freak-show, gorgeous hand-colored Pathe shorts including a variant on TRIP TO THE MOON; AN EXCURSION TO THE MOON, an early experimental synchronized-sound Ko-Ko The Clown short from Max Fleischer, and a pristine Cinecolor restoration of UB Iwerks' surreal BALOONLAND (aka THE PINCUSHION MAN).

All this is the tip of the iceberg in this massive FLICKER ALLEY outing, I just can't recommend his reasonably-priced set enough. If it's any preview of what we can expect from their coming Melies set, were in for another great set as well.

If you like this kind of thing, snap this baby up, you can't go wrong."
Another interesting collection from Flicker Alley
calvinnme | 01/29/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Flicker Alley has been the producer of some interesting silent and early sound packages lately, and this is their latest entry. This is the press release describing the contents:

Flicker Alley's "SAVED FROM THE FLAMES" DVD set is the North American home video premiere of Lobster Films and Blackhawk Films materials previously exhibited as part of the semi-annual live presentation of Serge Bromberg's "Retour le Flamme" in Paris as well as many materials which have rarely been shown before. The DVD edition also includes an illustrated booklet with annotations by film preservationists and historians David Shepard and Serge Bromberg. The DVD content is as follows:

NEW BEGINNINGS: Seven early cinematic experiments of Lumière, Georges Mendel and others, including Cyrano De Bergerac (1900), generally believed to be the first ever film produced with both color and sound.

MAGICAL MOVIES: Five early fantasy and trick films--including a previously-unseen trick film by Georges Méliès, hand-colored films from Segundo de Chomon and Gaston Velle, and astonishing stop-motion animation from 1911.

SEEING THE WORLD: Among the ten films in this section are a transatlantic crossing in a Zeppelin dirigible, a 1925 stencil-colored trek through the Belgian Congo, World War I-era Parisian street kids in Montmartre, a 1916 visit to Los Angeles, a 1927 sound film of pilot Charles Lindbergh embarking on his New York-Paris flight, an early 1930s portrait of New York City's Coney Island, and a promotional film made for Josephine Baker's revue at the Folies-Bergère, Paris.

LAUGHING LIKE WE USED TO: Seven comedies, including four restored from turn of the century Italy and France, a recently-discovered nitrate negative of Charlie Chaplin's first appearance in his "tramp" attire, a frenetic Mack Sennett "gag fest" replete with tin lizzies, and The Pest (1922), starring a pre-Hardy Stan Laurel.

DRAWINGS AND MODELS: Six works of animation: Gaumont's Fantasmagorie (1908); three Fleischer Studios cartoons--Cartoon Factory (1924), Ain't She Sweet (1932), and Play Safe (1936); Ub Iwerks' Balloonland (1935), featuring a new color restoration made from the original negatives; and a filmed performance by puppetry pioneer Tony Sarg.

GRACE NOTES: Rare musical performances: Django Reinhardt with Stéphane Grapelli and the Quintet of the Hot Club of France in Jazz Hot (1939), Duke Ellington and the Cotton Club Orchestra featured in Black and Tan (1929), Louis Armstrong in Copenhagen, 1934, and a 1929 performance from the Utica Jubilee Singers.

PERSUADE ME: Eleven films designed to influence, including a vintage promotional film of a French-dubbed Laurel & Hardy, theatrical advertisements featuring Michel Simon and Jacques Tati, a 1938 George Pal puppet animation, three WW-II era musical shorts, two political campaign films, and the National Film registry selection Master Hands, a paean to the 1936 Chevrolet automobile.

TELL ME A STORY: Narratives from 1912-1913: D.W. Griffith's "For His Son", Lois Weber's "Suspense", and Thomas Ince's "The Heart of an Indian", all mastered from beautiful 35mm film elements.

Don't expect this set to be as flawlessly put together as the National Film Archives' Treasures series. The films have been digitally cleaned up some, but not completely restored such as the NFA sets have been. It's still an interesting collection though."
Sand Flea Press | Los Angeles, CA United States | 04/23/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)


Fans of Prince Ranian wil cherish a 1900 film of human torso "Kobelkoff," showing off his unique dance stylings.

"Danse Serpentine," "The Talion Punishment," and "Kiriki" feature breathtakingly beautiful coloring by hand and stencil.

In the delightfully funny "Excelsior," Melies materializes a giant lobster (seventy years before "Multiple Maniacs"), among other magical feats.

"Over the Top" documents a trip across a snowy mountain range by a group of madmen in a 1915 Buick, a feat to daunt Werner Herzog.

"The Dirigible Los Angeles" documents the majestic airship's trip from Germany to the U. S.

"The Fireman of the Follies-Bergere" resembles a fifties Nudie movie: some slob wanders around and imagines naked ladies in every nook and cranny of Paris. At one point a priest is transformed into a nude, starting rumors of Bunuel's involvement! Notable only for a forgotten dance routine by Josephine Baker, allowed to retain her top.

"In The Land of Pygmies and Giants," a documentary on the Belgian Congo, is prettily stencil-colored but depressingly condescending and not recommended to those who are sensitive to elephant slaughter.

"The Pest," a Stan Laurel comedy, features a cameo by the Hats Off/Music Box stairs (or are those the "An Ache In Every Stake" stairs?) and will teach you a politically incorrect term for the Brazil nut.

The Fleischers are represented by several films, from the Screen Song "Ain't She Sweet?" featuring a charming pre-alcoholic Lillian Roth and lots of bouncing black cats, to "Play Safe," from their bland and cutesy period, with some great 3-D technicolor effects.

We have several musical shorts, documenting the Utica Jubilee Singers, Louis Armstrong (in 1934, performing "I Cover The Waterfront," "Dinah," and "Tiger Rag"), and Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grapelli (performing "J'attendra" in 1939, in a short which unfortunately wastes half its brief running time explaining what jazz is before getting to the musical number!). Less important musicians are showcased in three WWII soundies; William Frawley in "The Yankee Doodler," the Smoothies and the Cappy Barra Harmonica Boys in "Rosie the Riveter," and Ray Noble in "Dear Arabella."

A 1936 MGM promo reel is hosted by Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, and James Finlayson! They are dubbed into French, but with their own wordless exclamations intact; it amounts to a brief Laurel/Hardy/Finlayson short you've probably never seen!

A few familiar titles - "Kid's Auto Race," "Black and Tan" with Duke Ellington, Ub Iwerk's Cinecolor "Balloonland" - are here reproduced from original negatives, and presumably look as good as they ever will.

Chuck Jones, Yip Harburg, and UPA rally support for FDR in the stylish "Hell Bent for Election" (if you vote Republican you'll soon be selling apples on a street corner for Hoover), while MGM undermines Upton Sinclair's gubernatorial campaign in the fake newsreel, "California Election News #2" (Sinclair is supported by twitchy foreigners).

"Philips Broadcast of 1938" is one of George Pal's most beautiful works.

D. W. Griffith's "For My Son" is a 1912 morality drama that prefigures the later drug scare exploitation cycle. A doctor invents a cocaine laced soft drink, "Dopokoke" (!), "For That Tired Feeling," only to see his son fall victim to soda pop addiction!

In "Suspense," cinematically sophisticated for 1913, writer/director/star Lois Weber is menaced by a sandwich-purloining, knife-wielding tramp; Lon Chaney is rumored to be an extra, but I must have blinked.

And more! Overall, "Save from the Flames" at least as resourceful and engaging a collection as the American Film Archives compilations. There are no commentaries; the accompanying booklet tells how the films were rediscovered, but otherwise adds little to the discs."
Priceless films saved.
Gary H. Geivet | Kernville, CA | 03/01/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I certainly welcome any and all efforts to save and preserve films that have historical value, and that will soon be lost. There is something fascinating about watching these images of a long ago world--and knowing that practically every person you see is no longer alive.

If you are at all interested in history and films, then these are for you. Right price, and excellent production values, etc.

Gary H. Geivet"