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Forgotten Silver (1995)

TV Movie  |   |  Comedy  |  3 October 1997 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 4,814 users  
Reviews: 49 user | 38 critic

Forgotten Silver is a mockumentary which details the prodigious life of "lost" filmmaker Colin McKenzie and his incredible advances that were lost to history...until now. This supergenius ... See full summary »

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Title: Forgotten Silver (TV Movie 1995)

Forgotten Silver (TV Movie 1995) on IMDb 7.6/10

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2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast overview:
Narrator (voice)
Costa Botes ...
Himself - Film Maker
Marguerite Hurst ...
Himself - Film Historian
Johnny Morris ...
Himself - Film Archivist (as Jonathon Morris)
Himself - Actor / Director
John O'Shea ...
Lindsay Shelton ...
Himself - Miramax Films


Forgotten Silver is a mockumentary which details the prodigious life of "lost" filmmaker Colin McKenzie and his incredible advances that were lost to history...until now. This supergenius filmmaker, posthumously inducted into the pantheon of cinema greats, made incredible advances in filmmaking technology, supposedly making a talkie in 1908 and using color film in 1911, but madness and poverty and the usual industry tolls drove him into obscurity. Written by karina <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




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Parents Guide:






Release Date:

3 October 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Colin McKenzie  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$650,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (DVD)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The interview with Sam Neill was taken during the filming of Cinema of Unease: A Personal Journey by Sam Neill (1995). See more »


Colin's synchronized sound film is supposed to have been released in 1908. If we are to believe that it was the first film to feature synchronized sound, we would have to discard the lesser known, but still earlier work of Arthur Gilbert and John Morland, and others, who had all produced and exhibited sound films at earlier dates. See more »

Crazy Credits

The hoax of this film is carried on into the credits. Cast members Beatrice Ashton (Hannah McKenzie) and Sarah McLeod (Mae Belle) are credited as Research Assistants. Other bit players are credited as research assistants, production advisers, and are otherwise given phony credits. See more »


References The Lost Weekend (1945) See more »

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User Reviews

What is real anyway?
16 December 2004 | by (A loungeroom in Melbourne) – See all my reviews

Documentary is all about taking real life and shaping it into a story. 'Forgotten Silver' suggests that real part doesn't even have to be real, as long as the story's good.

I watched this again tonight - probably the 4th or 5th time I've seen it since it was first screened as an (allegedly) true doco back in 1996. Despite knowing the whole thing was cod, I was quite surprised to find tears in my eyes as NZ pioneer film-maker Colin McKenzie accidentally filmed his own death in Spain, so drawn was I into the story.

Once you strip away the hype over the hoax factor, what's left is just a great story about a struggling film maker facing and almost overcoming insurmountable obstacles to create a work of mad genius. Anyone expecting belly laughs from 'Forgotten Silver' is probably going to be disappointed, because viewed as a story, this isn't a comedy - it's a tragedy. It's no wonder so many people were sucked into believing it when it first screened - the Colin McKenzie saga has an emotional depth which is heartbreaking.

Bonus points for a brilliant musical score, some superb technical effects (especially the corroded, bubbling, self-destructing nitrate film; most filmmakers would have settled for a couple of cliché tramlines to make the footage look old), and the gorgeous Thomas Robbins as Colin McKenzie.

18 of 20 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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