Monday 23 June 2014

The Amazing Years of Cinema - "The Westerns"

The Amazing Years of Cinema, "The Westerns," is narrated by Douglas Fairbanks Jr. The one documentary was split into three parts for loading efficiency in the days of lesser bandwidth.


Unknown said...

Henry, only for you would I watch a 25-minute documentary which starts slowly, with slow music and slow speech.

It turned out to be fascinating, not so much because of the history and historic photographs of the farm named 'Hollywood' and the first film studio, the Black Mariah, but because it had excerpts from so many movies.

-parts of the first filmed western from 1898
-The Great Train Robbery, which was the first movie to join shots to tell a continuous story
-The Easterners from 1907, made after Vitagraph found westerns to be more popular than Shakespeare
-A Squaw's Love
-canoeing across strong water in Seminole Sacrifice
-The Poisoned Flume, made after independents were hounded out of eastern USA by Edison's motion picture company trust
-The Massacre which cemented California as the centre of the motion picture industry.

The silent black and white movies have had sound added, mostly gunshots, and they are enormously energetic, amazing to watch.

Phil said...

This is an awesome series that I had the good fortune to view on U.S. cable via the Discovery Channel back in the summer of 1988. I'm so glad that it hasn't been totally forgotten, however it was sadly never released on VHS or DVD (it was released in Japan on laserdisc in 1987). There's a similar series that I stumbled on to a few summers ago (it's what spurred my memories of "The Amazing Years of Cinema") entitled "Silent Revolution: What Do Those Old Films Mean?" which, thankfully, at least made it to VHS (see

Thank you very, very much for posting some comments about this wonderful series that chronicled the early days of film making.