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Dickson Experimental Sound Film (1894)

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The sound has been found in the form of an old Edisonian recording cylinder. The cylinder was repaired, then Walter Murch ACE MPSE synced the film to the correct music in (I believe) 2002. Total running time is approximately 17 seconds.

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(uncredited)
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Title: Dickson Experimental Sound Film (1894)

Dickson Experimental Sound Film (1894) on IMDb 6.8/10

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Cast

Uncredited cast:
William K.L. Dickson ...
Violinist (uncredited)
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Storyline

The earliest extant sound film. William K.L. Dickson stands in the background next to a huge sound pickup horn connected to a Thomas Edison phonograph recorder. As he plays a violin, two men dance in the foreground. This film was made to demonstrate a new Thomas Edison machine, the Kinetophone. These machines were Kinetoscope peepshow viewers mated with Thomas Edison wax cylinder phonographs. But the Kinetophone never caught on and this film was never released. The film still exists, but the phonograph soundtrack has been lost. Written by Steven W. Siferd <ssiferd@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Short

Certificate:

Not Rated
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Details

Country:

Language:

Also Known As:

Dickson kísérleti hangosfilmje  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(2003 release)

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film was never released commercially. See more »

Quotes

Man: Are the rest of you ready? Go ahead!
See more »

Connections

Edited into Visions of Light (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

The Chimes of Normandy
(1877) (uncredited)
(Originally called "Les cloches de Corneville (The Bells of Corneville)"
Written by Robert Planquette
Small section played on violin by William K.L. Dickson
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Might be the first sound experience on film but it's not the real thing
25 December 2011 | by (São Paulo, Brazil) – See all my reviews

Good film historians are right in not calling this experiment as the first sonorous picture. It's just like flight of Icarus, it's a almost there kind of thing. And I wonder who watched this back in 1894 since this wasn't released at all.

The sound of a violin is the one featured here and it was captured by a cylinder, most precisely an Edisonian recording cylinder, that was repaired and synced by the great editor Walter Murch (of "Apocalypse Now" fame). 17 seconds of a guy playing a violin and two other guys dancing together, cheek to cheek, enough reason for much controversy among dull viewers. The whole discussion about them is pointless, just look at the time this was made, things were different and even now there's nothing wrong with that.

We can't possibly know if what Murch made in 2002 was close to the effect the unknown director made in 1894 but what we have is an incredible sound perfectly matched with the images, and this was way before "The Jazz Singer" (1927) placed his mark on films as the first talkie.

It's just an experiment, a trying and a good one. 7/10


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