|Index||5 reviews in total|
This short was included with the DVD set for "The Jazz Singer"--with two of the three DVDs containing wonderful extras about early sound films. This 1943 short essentially covers most of the material that is covered more in depth and in a more interesting manner in "The Dawn of Sound: How Movies Learned to Talk"--a truly wonderful 85 minute film about the history of sound films. This short is only about 20 minutes and seems a bit rushed and superficial--but it does show a few really nice clips from the earliest sound films--more even than were in "The Dawn of Sound". My advice is that if you must see one film, see "The Dawn of Sound" but if you are a crazy film nut like me, see them both--they are both exceptionally interesting and important films.
This Warner two reeler account of the introduction of sound emphasizes
their contribution - the inevitable Jazz Singer clip - and features
such novelties as Gary Cooper doing Sergeant Yorke dubbed into
It's one of the more interesting products of one time editor Hollingshead's short subjects division. Killers of the Swamp and their sports shorts are left in it's dust.
Thrirty years later director Negulesco had totally forgotten any participation.
This line is to make up length.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
There was plenty of music to choose from for this 1943 retrospective on the advent of "talkie" motion pictures by Warner Brothers, a studio that never tires of tooting its own horn. Even if there were ethnic Germans high up on the studio flow chart hellbent on including a tune from the "Vaterland," they could have chosen something from Ludwig Von Beethoven. But no, the folks putting this otherwise informative piece together just had to settle on highlighting (between "The Yankee Doodle Boy" and "You're a Grand Old Flag") the New York Philharmonic Orchestra belting out the "Overture from Tannhauser" by Richard Wagner, the very music reputedly the inspiration for a chap named Adolph Hitler to cram six million Jewish folk into cattle cars, railroad them halfway across Europe, and murder them with poisonous gas AT THE VERY MOMENT that our American G.I.'s were being slaughtered all over Europe in their valiant and ultimately successful effort to liberate the Death Camps from all the Wagner vinyl record-spinning commandants and human vivisectionist mad scientist doctors. Way to go, Warners!
This Warner Bros. documentary short tells of their contribution to sound films which started with late sibling Sam's championing the Vitaphone process which contributed to the development of The Jazz Singer's success and the first all-talking picture Lights of New York of which a pertinent clip is shown. I'll just now say that this was quite an educational experience even though it was biased toward this particular studio's efforts. I'd now like to move on to another short on The Jazz Singer DVD that's not listed on this site: The Voice from the Screen. Hosted by Edward B. Craft, executive vice president of the Bell Telephone Laboratories, Inc., he presented before the New York Electrical Society on Oct. 27, 1926, the Vitaphone method of recording sound for film that-as filmed here-now looks very boring especially when there no cuts or different camera angles depicted even when having a director demonstrate filming the guitar-and-ukulele singing duo of Witt & Berg. At least that same duo is later in close-up when singing their next song. That one gets a two while the other short's rating is above...
Voice from the Screen, The (1926)
* 1/2 (out of 4)
Historically important yet deadly dull documentary was made by Vitaphone and Warner so that they could explain how they were going to add sound to movies. The man talking and explaining all of this is deadly dull, which leads to a pretty boring short but he also explains everything in circles, which makes the information quite confusing as well.
Finding His Voice (1929)
** 1/2 (out of 4)
Co-directed by Max Fleischer, this cartoon short has an animated figure learning how to speak on film. Once again, the main purpose here is to explain how sound has been added to film and this one here is pretty entertaining and it also doesn't take itself too serious, which makes it easier to understand.
Voice That Thrilled the World, The (1943)
*** (out of 4)
Documentary short about how sound came to movies and what it has led to. This Warner short features clips from many of their films and really centers on Yankee Doodle Dandy since it had just won the Oscar for Best Sound. We also get clips from The Jazz Singer, Don Juan and The Lights of New York, which was the first all talkie.
OK For Sound (1946)
** 1/2 (out of 4)
Documentary covering the 20th Anniversary of sound films once again shows clips from all the big movies and tries to explain why sound was so important. The documentary loses points for making fun of the silent film but this was the attitude of the time, which is why so many silent films are now lost.
When the Talkies Were Young (1955)
*** (out of 4)
Documentary taking a look at the early sound pictures from Warner. The film shows off all of Warner's hot stars including Cagney, Tracy, Robinson, Davis and Stanwyck. This is basically a long trailer compilation but they do pick out some good and so far unavailable titles on DVD.
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