Forgotten Silver (1995)

TV Movie  |   |  Comedy  |  3 October 1997 (USA)
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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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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 <>

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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

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Technical Specs


| (DVD)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


According to the DVD commentary by Costa Botes, one shot from 'Salome' showing dozens of extras fighting on the palace steps swallowed almost half of the film's overall budget, even though digital compositing was used to make it seem like the size of the set and number of extras were much greater. 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

Thanks to The New Zealand Film Commission for supporting the restoration of "Salome" See more »


Spoofs Battleship Potemkin (1925) See more »

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User Reviews

Truly a masterful work
27 January 2003 | by (Järvenpää, Finland) – See all my reviews

After the notorious splatter period and of course massively praised "Heavenly creatures" - his very first motion picture with a slightly more serious look and feel, the insane New Zealander Peter Jackson directed "Forgotten silver" with Costa Botes. So far it is definitely one of the most ingenious projects of his whole career.

"Forgotten silver" (just like Woody Allen's classic "Zelig") is filled with silly, senseless and absurd ideas and details to make it all sound a bit too suspicious to be actually true but not enough to make it completely unbelievable either. Actually I've seen real-life documentaries that are even harder to swallow than this. The big joke is that even if it sounds unbelievable it's a documentary and you have to believe it because documentaries always tells you the truth. If you can't trust a documentary then what is there left to trust in the world?

So Peter Jackson once again did something highly forbidden and un-ethical and made a documentary that's only a one big, dirty lie. The dedication Jackson and Botes had just to tell a story of a fictional person is certainly something incredible and respectable. Swindle it may be, but nevertheless from the opening scene when Peter Jackson tells about his amazing discovery of Colin McKenzie's lost film footage to that last picture of McKenzie filming himself using a mirror "Forgotten silver" is a terrific and fascinating story and truly a first-rate documentary. 10/10.

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