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Wagon Tracks

Wagon Tracks

Blu-ray

Olive Films

1919 / B&W / 1:33 Silent Ap / 64 min. / Street Date January 24, 2017 / available through the Olive Films website / 29.98

Starring William S. Hart, Jane Novak, Robert McKim, Lloyd Bacon, Leo Pierson, Bert Sprotte, Charles Arling.

Cinematography: Joseph H. August

Art direction: Thomas A. Brierley

Titles: Irvin J. Martin

Written by: C. Gardner Sullivan

Produced by: William S. Hart, Thomas H. Ince

Directed by: Lambert Hillyer

Last year we were gifted with an excellent Blu-ray of a silent John Ford western, 3 Bad Men, which turned out to be a satisfying sentimental action tale. This month we get a much older silent western that’s almost as interesting. Its star is William S. Hart, the silent icon most of know through a still of a man in a ten-gallon hat brandishing two pistols in a barroom. Hart frequently played gunslingers, but not always. Olive’s presentation of Wagon Tracks sees him
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

The Story of King Baggot, the First ‘King of the Movies’, Begins in St. Louis

The King Baggot Tribute will take place Wednesday September 28th at 7pm at Lee Auditorium inside the Missouri History Museum (Lindell and DeBaliviere in Forest Park, St. Louis, Missouri). The 1913 silent film Ivanhoe will be accompanied by The Rats and People Motion Picture Orchestra and there will be a 40-minute illustrated lecture on the life and career of King Baggot by We Are Movie Geeks’ Tom Stockman. A Facebook invite for the event can be found Here

Here’s a comprehensive look at the life and career of King Baggot

Article by Tom Stockman

They gathered to see the stars at St. Louis Union Station on Saturday March 25th 1910. President Taft had made a stop near the Twentieth Street entrance ten days earlier, but the crowd this day was much larger. Thousands, mostly excited women wearing ankle-length dresses and waving felt pennants lined up hoping for a glimpse, or perhaps
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

The Final Years of King Baggot – From the ‘King of the Movies’ to Bit Player

The King Baggot Tribute will take place Wednesday September 28th at 7pm at Lee Auditorium inside the Missouri History Museum (Lindell and DeBaliviere in Forest Park, St. Louis, Missouri). The 1913 silent film Ivanhoe will be accompanied by The Rats and People Motion Picture Orchestra and there will be a 40-minute illustrated lecture on the life and career of King Baggot by We Are Movie Geeks’ Tom Stockman. A Facebook invite for the event can be found Here

Here’s a look at the final phase of King Baggot’s career.

King Baggot, the first ‘King of the Movies’ died July 11th, 1948 penniless and mostly forgotten at age 68. A St. Louis native, Baggot was at one time Hollywood’s most popular star, known is his heyday as “The Most Photographed Man in the World” and “More Famous Than the Man in the Moon”. Yet even in his hometown, Baggot had faded into obscurity.
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Long Lost Film Starring King Baggot Discovered by Movie Geek

The King Baggot Tribute will take place Wednesday September 28th at 7pm at Lee Auditorium inside the Missouri History Museum (Lindell and DeBaliviere in Forest Park, St. Louis, Missouri). The 1913 silent film Ivanhoe will be accompanied by The Rats and People Motion Picture Orchestra and there will be a 40-minute illustrated lecture on the life and career of King Baggot by We Are Movie Geeks’ Tom Stockman. A Facebook invite for the event can be found Here

Okay, technically I didn’t ‘discover’ it. I actually bought it off eBay and I guess it wasn’t really lost…but I thought it was so that counts for something!

King Baggot was a silent film star from St. Louis. He was a major player in the early days of silent film, known as the first ‘King of the Movies’ He was the first actor to have his name above a movie
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Academy Award Film Series: It Takes Eastwood to Get Enthusiastic Praise for Derivative, Mostly Predictable Father Figure Melo

'Million Dollar Baby' movie with Hilary Swank and Clint Eastwood. 'Million Dollar Baby' movie: Clint Eastwood contrived, overlong drama made (barely) watchable by first-rate central performance Fresh off the enthusiastically received – and insincere – Mystic River, Clint Eastwood went on to tackle the ups and downs of the boxing world in the 2004 melo Million Dollar Baby. Despite the cheery title, this is not the usual Rocky-esque rags-to-riches story of the determined underdog who inevitably becomes a super-topdog once she (in this case it's a “she”) puts on her gloves, jumps into the boxing ring, and starts using other women as punching bags. That's because about two-thirds into the film, Million Dollar Baby takes a radical turn toward tragedy that is as unexpected as everything else on screen is painfully predictable. In fact, once the dust is settled, even that last third quickly derails into the same sentimental mush Eastwood and
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Long Lost King Baggot Movie From 1912 Discovered by Movie Geek!

King The Detective And The Smugglers will screen at Super-8 Mummy Movie Madness Tuesday January 6th at The Way Out Club

Okay, technically I didn’t ‘discover’ it. I actually bought it off eBay and I guess it wasn’t really lost…but I thought it was! So that counts for something!

Just when I thought I’d put this King Baggot project to bed… they pull me back in! King Baggot was a silent film star from St. Louis. He was a major player in the early days of silent film, known as the first ‘King of the Movies’ He was the first actor to have his name above a movie’s title and the first actor that people went to see a movie because a certain actor was in it. Between 1909 and 1916, he was known as “The Most Photographed Man in the World” and “The Man Whose Face
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

King Baggot – The Story of the First ‘King of the Movies’ Begins in St. Louis

The King Baggot Tribute will take place Friday, November 14th at Webster University’s Moore Auditorium beginning at 7pm as part of this year’s St. Louis Intenational FIlm Festival. The program will consist a rare 35mm screening of the 1913 epic Ivanhoe starring King Baggot with live music accompaniment by the Rats and People Motion Picture Orchestra. Ivanhoe will be followed by an illustrated lecture on the life and films of King Baggot presented by Tom Stockman, editor here at We Are Movie Geeks. After that will screen the influential silent western Tumbleweeds (1925), considered to be one of King Baggot’s finest achievements as a director. Tumbleweeds will feature live piano accompaniment by Matt Pace.

Here’s a comprehensive look at the life and career of King Baggot

Article by Tom Stockman

They gathered to see the stars at St. Louis Union Station on Saturday March 25th 1910. President Taft had
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Sliff 2014 – Tumbleweeds (1925) Screens at The King Baggot Tribute November 14th

Tumbleweeds will screen Friday, November 14th at Webster University’s Moore Auditorium as part of The King Baggot Tribute at the St. Louis International Film Festival. It will be preceded by a 35mm showing of the 1913 version of Ivanhoe featuring live music by The Rats and People Motion Picture Orchestra and an illustrated lecture on the life and career of King Baggot by We Are Movie Geeks own Tom Stockman. Tumbleweeds will feature live piano accompaniment by Matt Pace

William S. Hart (1864-1946) was the first great star of the movie western. Fascinated by tales of the Old West, Hart actually acquired Billy the Kid’s six-shooter and was a friend with legendary lawmen Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson. He entered films in 1914 where, after playing supporting roles in shorts, achieved stardom as the lead in the western The Bargain. Hart was particularly interested in making his westerns realistic and
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Sliff 2014 – A Look at Ivanhoe from 1913 Starring King Baggot – Screens November 14th

“Gurth the Swineherd , do you not recognize me?”

Ivanhoe ! My young master”

It’s been said that 75% of all silent films are lost – scrapped for their silver nitrate content, destroyed by fire, left to decompose, or simply abandoned by an industry so lacking in foresight that it neither knew nor cared about their own products value to the future. In the case of the silent films that St. Louis native King Baggot starred in, that number is closer to 99%. Baggot likely appeared in over 300 films during his most active period 1909 to 1916, mostly one-reelers (1000 feet of film running around 16 minutes). When Cinema St. Louis and I teamed up to plan the King Baggot Tribute night coming up November 14th, we knew we wanted to show one film featuring one of his performances and another that he directed. We chose to represent his directing career with the 1925 western Tumbleweeds starring William S. Hart.
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

From the ‘King of the Movies’ to Bit Player – the Final Years of King Baggot

The King Baggot Tribute will take place Friday, November 14th at Webster University’s Moore Auditorium beginning at 7pm as part of this year’s St. Louis Intenational FIlm Festival. The program will consist a rare 35mm screening of the 1913 epic Ivanhoe starring King Baggot with live music accompaniment by the Rats and People Motion Picture Orchestra. Ivanhoe will be followed by an illustrated lecture on the life and films of King Baggot presented by Tom Stockman, editor here at We Are Movie Geeks. After that will screen the influential silent western Tumbleweeds (1925), considered to be one of King Baggot’s finest achievements as a director. Tumbleweeds will feature live piano accompaniment by Matt Pace.

Here’s a look at the final phase of King Baggot’s career.

King Baggot, the first ‘King of the Movies’ died July 11th, 1948 penniless and mostly forgotten at age 68. A St. Louis native, Baggot
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

The King Baggot Tribute Nov. 14 – Silent Film Star From St. Louis to be Honored at Sliff

The most popular film actor in the world 100 years ago was a St. Louis native. Literally the first “movie star”, King Baggot was the first actor to have his name above the title and his stardom marked the first time that audiences went to see a movie because a certain actor was in that film. Born in St. Louis in 1879 and raised in a house on Union Boulevard, King Baggot attended CBC High School and at one time worked for the St. Louis Browns in ticket sales. Baggot was tall and handsome, a blue-eyed Irish boy with a distinctive white streak through his dark hair and the subject of much adoring fan mail. It’s hard to overestimate just how popular King Baggot was in his prime. He was heralded as “King of the Movies,” “The Most Photographed Man in the World” and “The Man Whose Face Is As Familiar
See full article at WeAreMovieGeeks.com »

Huston to Follow Heston as Ben-Hur Casting Announced

Jack Huston cast in 'Ben-Hur' remake? 'Boardwalk Empire' actor to follow in the footsteps of Ramon Novarro and Charlton Heston Jack Huston, best known for playing World War I veteran-turned-bootlegger-cum-assassin Richard Harrow in the HBO series Boardwalk Empire, may star in the latest Ben-Hur "remake," to be jointly produced by Paramount and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. I have "remake" between quotes because officially this fourth big-screen version of the semi-biblical epic (more on that below) isn't an actual remake of either the multiple Oscar-winning 1959 Ben-Hur or its 1925 predecessor, but a direct adaptation of former Civil War general Lew Wallace's 1880 bestselling novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ, which happens to be conveniently in the public domain. Timur Bekmambetov, whose credits include the Angelina Jolie-James McAvoy thriller Wanted and the supernatural cult classic Night Watch, has been attached as director of what is in fact A Tale
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Gardner, Crawford Among Academy's Career Achievement Award Non-Winners

Honorary Award: Gloria Swanson, Rita Hayworth among dozens of women bypassed by the Academy (photo: Honorary Award non-winner Gloria Swanson in 'Sunset Blvd.') (See previous post: "Honorary Oscars: Doris Day, Danielle Darrieux Snubbed.") Part three of this four-part article about the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Honorary Award bypassing women basically consists of a long, long — and for the most part quite prestigious — list of deceased women who, some way or other, left their mark on the film world. Some of the names found below are still well known; others were huge in their day, but are now all but forgotten. Yet, just because most people (and the media) suffer from long-term — and even medium-term — memory loss, that doesn't mean these women were any less deserving of an Honorary Oscar. So, among the distinguished female film professionals in Hollywood and elsewhere who have passed away without
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

The 62nd San Sebastian Festival Will Dedicate a Retrospective to the Filmmaker Dorothy Arzner

As the only woman to carve out a professional career as a director in Hollywood’s Golden Age, Dorothy Arzner (1897-1979) was one of a kind in the history of American cinema. During its 62nd edition, the San Sebastian Festival will pay homage to the work of Arzner, today considered a pioneer in women’s incorporation to the film industry, proclaimed as a filmmaker of strong style and personality for which she earned undeniable prestige within the Hollywood studio system.

Born in San Francisco but raised in Los Angeles, Dorothy Arzner’s parents ran a café popular with the famous actors and movie directors of the time, including Charles Chaplin, William S. Hart and Erich von Stroheim. Having obtained a degree at the University of Southern Carolina and after a stint as an ambulance driver in World War I, Arzner began a career in the world of journalism. However, introduction by a mutual friend to the director William C. de Mille (brother of the famous Cecil B. DeMille) was to forever change the direction of her life: following a visit to a film studio, she decided to become a film director. Her first work in the film industry was as a stenographer at the Players-Lasky studios (later to become Paramount), transcribing film scripts. Her skills and strong nature opened the way to works of greater responsibility: script writer, script girl and, finally, editor. It was there in the editing room that Arzner earned her excellent reputation i n the Hollywood movie industry, working on 52 films and assiduously collaborating with the filmmaker, James Cruze. In the famous motion picture starring Rudolph Valentino, Blood and Sand (1922), apart from her brilliant editing work, Arzner helmed the second unit crew for the bull-fighting scenes. She also worked as a script writer on some of Cruze’s films.

The tenacious artist pressed Paramount to let her direct a film, threatening the studio bosses with the acceptance of an offer from their rivals at Columbia. Finally, she made her directorial debut on Fashions for Women (1927), and the following year became the first woman ever to direct a talkie, Manhattan Cocktail (1928). Arzner went on to helm another 15 films in the 30s and early 40s, working with some of the greatest Hollywood stars like Clara Bow, Katharine Hepburn, Fredric March, Rosalind Russell, Claudette Colbert, Maureen O'Hara and Joan Crawford in comedies and dramas powerfully focused on women characters: The Wild Party (1929), Anybody's Woman (1930), Sarah and Son (1930), Honor Among Lovers (1931), Working Girls (1931), Merrily We Go to Hell (1932), Christopher Strong (1933), Nana (1934), Craig's Wife (1936) and The Bride Wore Red (1937).

In 1933 she became the first woman member of the Directors Guild of America and indeed remained its only female associate for several decades. She also went down in history as the inventor of the first boom mike for having used a microphone attached to a fishing rod when filming the early talkies.

Although she gradually fell from prominence, Arzner’s career was championed in the 60s by the feminist movements and she received several tributes, including one by the Directors Guild of America in 1975. Today her filmography is not only newly appreciated as an extremely unusual exception in the history of American film, but also for its intrinsic values. Arzner left her mark through a series of movies of refined visual style that questioned the traditional sexual roles of the time and the part played by woman in society or which, according to certain critics, introduced veiled lesbian undertones to the rigid Hollywood structure of the moment.

The retrospective dedicated by the San Sebastian Festival to Dorothy Arzner will be organized in collaboration with Filmoteca Española. The cycle will be complemented with a publication on her figure and work.
See full article at Sydney's Buzz »

North American Film Distribution System Game-Changer: Billy Jack

Billy Jack’: Tom Laughlin helped to revolutionize Hollywood’s film distribution system (See previous post: “Tom Laughlin: ‘Billy Jack’ Actor and Director, Robert Altman Difficult Star Dead at 82.”) Featuring the titular hero as a semi-mystical figure who, with a mixture of steely determination and purposeful violence, helps to rescue wild horses from becoming dog meat and allows an independent school to continue operating at an Indian reservation in Arizona — against the wishes of white reactionary bigots and ruthless capitalists — Billy Jack was a box office disappointment when released by Warner Bros. at, in Tom Laughlin’s words, "porno houses" (and drive-ins) in 1971. (Photo: Tom Laughlin in Billy Jack.) Unhappy with the studio’s handling of his film, Laughlin sued Warners. In May 1973, following a settlement with the studio, he began self-distributing Billy Jack at small-town movie theaters throughout the United States. He hired marketing expert, former United Artists honcho,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Spaghetti Western Screenwriter Who Helped to Launch Eastwood's Movie Career Has Died

Clint Eastwood Western persona co-creator dead at 87: Luciano Vincenzoni (photo: Clint Eastwood in ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’) Screenwriter Luciano Vincenzoni, whose nearly five-decade career included collaborations with Mario Monicelli, Pietro Germi, and Sergio Leone, died of cancer on Sunday, September 22, 2013, in Rome. Vincenzoni (born on March 7, 1926, in Treviso, near Venice) was 87. In the late ’50s, Luciano Vincenzoni co-wrote Mario Monicelli’s The Great War / La Grande guerra (1959), a humorous (if overlong) World War I comedy-drama starring Vittorio Gassman and Alberto Sordi as reluctant conscripts that earned a Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award nomination and the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival (tied with Roberto Rossellini’s Il Generale della Rovere). Vincenzoni was also partly responsible for the screenplay of two well-regarded Pietro Germi movies: the omnibus comedy of manners The Birds, the Bees and the Italians / Signore & signori (1966), featuring Virna Lisi and Franco Fabrizi,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

A 'Hollywood Hero' Remembered

‘Hollywood Hero’ John Dewar remembered (photo: Anthony Slide wearing Tom Mix’s hat in 1976) Perhaps I have been around too long, but as I grow older I grow despondent that those who contributed so much to film history in the past are forgotten, with others often coming along and taking claim for their achievements. One such Hollywood hero is John Dewar, whom I met when I first came to Los Angeles in 1971. He was a curator in the history department at the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History and introduced me to the museum’s treasures relating to film history, acquired before the creation of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art — at a time when both institutions were housed together simply as the Los Angeles County Museum. Back in the mid-1930s, it was Ransom Matthews, head of industrial technology at the Museum, who had started collecting such materials.
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

The Forgotten: It's a Barnum & Bailey World

  • MUBI
Cinema Circus is clearly a product of the great, yet under-reported MGM peyote-poisoning of 1937—how else to explain its baffling, surreal, Technicolor, grotesque yet undeniable existence? It is a chilling documentary record of some things that were performed in front of a camera, once upon a time.

A man in a gruesome Joe E. Brown mask is helped from his leering false-face, revealing another leering false face, that of Lee Tracy, who attempts to justify what we are about to see as the realisation of a long-cherished dream, although the exorcism of a recurring nightmare would be at least as plausible.

Big top performers will trot out their tricks in brief visual bits, watched by earnestly faking-it movie "stars," few now recalled in the contemporary pantheon: Olsen & Johnson, the Ritz Brothers, Leo Carillo...

Meanwhile, more hideous outsized masks are sported, embodying movie stars too authentically famous to be roped into
See full article at MUBI »

Martin Scorsese/Hugo Subject Georges Méliès Movies: Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum

Several shorts directed by film pioneer Georges Méliès, played by Ben Kingsley in Martin Scorsese's well-received Hugo, will be featured throughout January 2012 at the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum's Edison Theater in Fremont, Calif. The Méliès screenings will be held at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 7, 21, and 28. On Jan. 7, the Edison Theater will show Méliès' 1910 short The Doctor's Secret prior to the main feature, the William S. Hart 1916 classic Western Hell's Hinges, which also features Clara Williams (excellent in the highly recommended The Italian) and Louise Glaum, a film vamp who four years later would star in Sex. Musical accompaniment by Frederick Hodges. On Jan. 21, the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum will celebrate "seven years of showing great films" with a screening of future two-time Oscar winner Lewis Milestone's 1928 The Garden of Eden. The romantic comedy stars one of the great beauties of the silent era, Corinne Griffith,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Cinecon 2011 Movie Schedule: East Side, West Side; Practically Yours; Stronger Than Death

Claudette Colbert, Alla Nazimova, Marion Davies, Charles Boyer: Cinecon 2011 Thursday September 1 (photo: Alla Nazimova) 7:00 Hollywood Rhythm (1934) 7:10 Welcoming Remarks 7:15 Hollywood Story (1951) 77 min. Richard Conte, Julie Adams, Richard Egan. Dir: William Castle. 8:35 Q & A with Julie Adams 9:10 Blazing Days (1927) 60 min. Fred Humes. Dir: William Wyler. 10:20 In The Sweet Pie And Pie (1941) 18 min 10:40 She Had To Eat (1937) 75 min. Jack Haley, Rochelle Hudson, Eugene Pallette. Friday September 2 9:00 Signing Off (1936) 9:20 Moon Over Her Shoulder (1941) 68 min. Dan Dailey, Lynn Bari, John Sutton, Alan Mowbray. 10:40 The Active Life Of Dolly Of The Dailies (1914) 15 min. Mary Fuller. 10:55 Stronger Than Death (1920) 80 min. Alla Nazimova, Charles Bryant. Dir: Herbert Blaché, Charles Bryant, Robert Z. Leonard. 12:15 Lunch Break 1:45 Open Track (1916) 2:00 On The Night Stage (1915) 60 min. William S. Hart, Rhea Mitchell. Dir: Reginald Barker. 3:15 50 Miles From Broadway (1929) 23 min 3:45 Cinerama Adventure (2002). Dir: David Strohmaier. 5:18 Discussion
See full article at Alt Film Guide »
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