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When the Talkies Were Young (1955)

Approved | | Short, History | 29 April 1955 (USA)

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Warner Brothers looks back to the early days of talking pictures. Dwight Weist narrates film clips from five movies: "Sinner's Holiday," introducing James Cagney with a glimpse of Joan ... See full summary »

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Cast

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Dwight Weist ...
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Storyline

Warner Brothers looks back to the early days of talking pictures. Dwight Weist narrates film clips from five movies: "Sinner's Holiday," introducing James Cagney with a glimpse of Joan Blondell, "20,000 Years in Sing Sing," with a young Spencer Tracy and a younger Bette Davis, "Five Star Final," with Edward G. Robinson and a cameo from Boris Karloff, "Night Nurse," starring Barbara Stanwyck with a small role for Clark Gable, and "Svengali," with John Barrymore and Marian Marsh. Each movie is summarized and each star celebrated for work early in the history of sound cinema. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Short | History

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Approved | See all certifications »
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29 April 1955 (USA)  »

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1.37 : 1
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Quotes

[last lines]
Narrator: The heart of Svengali, only mortal after all, gives out. And as he dies, the voice of Trilby is still forever in this poignant moment from the days when the Talkies were young.
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Connections

Features Five Star Final (1931) See more »

Soundtracks

Ben Bolt (Oh Don't You Remember)
(uncredited)
Music by Nelson Kneass
Lyrics by Thomas Dunn English from his poem
Performed by Marian Marsh
Clip from Svengali (1931)
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User Reviews

Jazz Singer Disc 3
27 February 2008 | by (Louisville, KY) – See all my reviews

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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