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Before the Nickelodeon: The Early Cinema of Edwin S. Porter (1982)

This documentary is produced by one of the world's foremost authorities and biographers of Edwin S. Porter. Since little is known of Porter's personal life, the emphasis here is on his ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Narrator (voice)
Jay Leyda ...
Reader - Thomas A. Edison (voice)
Rob Issen ...
Reader - Corbett-Courtney Fight (voice)
Robert Sklar ...
Reader - Porter's Naval Record (voice)
Robert Rosen ...
Reader - Vitascope's First Night (voice)
Mitchell Kriegman ...
Reader - 'Kiss' Review (voice)
Peter Davis ...
Reader - Eden Musee / War Films (voice)
...
Reader - Film as a Visual Newspaper (voice)
...
Reader - The Biddle Brothers (voice)
...
Reader - Terrible Teddy (voice)
Rick King ...
Reader - Sampson-Schley Controversy (voice)
Anthony Potter ...
Reader - Fighting the Flames (voice)
...
Reader - Melies Catalogue (voice)
...
Reader - 'Jack And The Beanstalk' Promo (voice)
...
Reader - 'Jack And The Beanstalk' (voice)
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Storyline

This documentary is produced by one of the world's foremost authorities and biographers of Edwin S. Porter. Since little is known of Porter's personal life, the emphasis here is on his technique and contributions to the art of the cinema. This film also serves as a documentary on the origins of the American cinema; Porter's work is showcased in the context of the whole American cinema of his day, from mutoscope parlors to the advent of the projected image. Written by Thomas McWilliams <tgm@netcom.com>

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An Age of Innovation. An Era of Idealism. The Time When American Movies Were Born.


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October 1982 (USA)  »

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Connections

Features Corbett and Courtney Before the Kinetograph (1894) See more »

Soundtracks

A Bird in a Gilded Cage
(©1900)
Written by Harry von Tilzer
Performed by Joan Morris and William Bolcom
Courtesy of Nonesuch Records
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Pretty dry - for film history buffs only
23 July 2000 | by (Anchorage, Alaska) – See all my reviews

For anyone with a strong interest in film history, this is very worthwhile; there is much footage here you probably haven't seen and won't see anywhere else. It's interesting to see Porter's contributions to early cinema. It's also a curious puzzle why the inventor of many early film techniques would be content to let his craft to stagnate, allowing the film industry to pass him by.

The presentation is pretty dry, however - like something designed for the classroom.


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