Friday, September 14, 2012

Historic 1911 Silent Film David Copperfield
Released on DVD Celebrating the 200th Anniversary of the Birth of Charles Dickens


The Thanhouser Company Film Preservation, Inc. (Portland, OR) and the Museo Nazionale del Cinema, Torino, Italy, recently announced the release on DVD of the 1911 silent film version of David Copperfield in celebration of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Dickens.

The most ambitious Thanhouser Company effort since its first release in 1910 came with David Copperfield. Thanhouser released the film over the course of three weeks, consisting of one 1,000-foot reel per week, which was based upon Charles Dickens’ 1850 immortal story of an English lad’s tribulation-filled journey to adulthood. The film was photographed in and around New Rochelle, New York, including scenes along the New York Long Island sound. The film was praised by a reviewer in the September 20, 1911 issue of Motion Picture World: “The best ideals and fondest expectations of both the friends of the moving picture and the readers of Dickens have been realized.”

Thanhouser also distributed the film in Europe and a copy of the Italian release of the film was acquired and preserved by the Museo Nazionale del Cinema film library in Torino, Italy in 1955. A new restoration was undertaken in 2012 and a high-quality video transfer was made available to Thanhouser Company Film Preservation, Inc. for this DVD release. This is the first time the film has been made available to the public on DVD.

The DVD also includes an optional commentary track by Dickens scholar Professor Joss Marsh and an additional bonus film, Thanhouser’s 1912 production of Nicholas Nickelby, based upon Dickens’ 1838/1839 serialized novel.

The DVD is $19.95 plus shipping and can be purchased online at or directly from Thanhouser Company Film Preservation, Inc., 8770 NY Kearney Street, Portland, OR 97229. For additional details on this DVD, background on Charles Dickens, Thanhouser’s film realization of David Copperfield, and the restoration by the Museo Nazionale del Cinema, please visit Thanhouser’s website at  

Friday, March 16, 2012

Featured here is a vintage original 41 x 81 in. (104.1 x 205.7 cm.) U.S. three-sheet poster from Harold Lloyd's feature length silent film comedy, Grandma's Boy (1922). This rare three-sheet poster, which is offered by, is a beautiful stone lithograph and is in it's original unrestored condition (in two sections and folded as originally issued).
Grandma's Boy was produced by comedy legend Hal Roach and was originally intended as a serious film. The flashback sequences set during the Civil War were actually the original short film which Lloyd then altered into a comedy by adding various gag sequences. Consequently, Grandma's Boy became Harold Lloyd's first 5-reel feature-length film and marks an important milestone in his long and illustrious career. 

The image on this wonderful original release three-sheet poster features one of the film's key scenes as Grandma (Anna Townsend) asks her grandson (Harold Lloyd) to evict the Tramp (Dick Sutherland) from her backyard. The Tramp has made himself comfortable as he defiantly sits in Grandma's wicker chair and reads her newspaper while Grandma and her boy stand behind him. Lloyd's character lacks the courage to deal with the Tramp, which then forms the basis for the rest of the film's storyline.
Grandma's Boy; Associated Exhibitors; 1922; prod: Hal Roach; dir: Fred C. Newmeyer; cast: Harold Lloyd, Mildred Davis (later Mrs. Harold Lloyd), Anna Townsend, Charles Stevenson, Dick Sutherland, Noah Young, Roy Brooks, Sammy Brooks.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Rare Mary Pickford postcard!

Here is a vintage original 3.5 x 5.25 in. U.S. postcard from the early feature-length silent film drama IN THE BISHOP'S CARRIAGE, released in 1913 by Famous Players Film Corp., starring Mary Pickford

The beautiful color-tinted image features a dramatic scene from the film as Nancy Olden (Pickford) hides behind a door as a policeman tries to protect her from the two men that are gesturing wildly. The caption in the bottom white border reads, NANCY OLDEN'S FATE IN THE BALANCE. On the verso are three short paragraphs describing the production with the Famous Players Film Co. logo beneath them. Also features a rubber stamp in purple ink (AT THE PORTOLA MONDAY), which indicates that this postcard was given out to film patrons as they left the theatre as a "coming attraction" advertisement (similar to a "herald"). This vintage original postcard is uncirculated and in very fine+ condition.

In the Bishop's Carriage was co-directed by two pioneers of film history, J. Searle Dawley and Edwin S. Porter (who directed The Great Train Robbery in 1903), both veterans of the Thomas Edison Studios.

IN THE BISHOP'S CARRIAGE; Famous Players Film Co.; 1913: dir: J. Searle Dawley, Edwin S. Porter; cast: Mary Pickford, David Wall, House Peters, Grace Henderson, George Moss, Howard Missimer, Camille Dalberg, John Steppling.