A romanced story of Attila the Hun, from when he lost his parents in childhood until his death. Attila is disclosed as a great leader, strategist and lover and the movie shows his respect ... See full summary »
Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa (Antonio Banderas) finds himself without adequate funding to finance his war against the military-run government. He also finds himself at odds with the Americans because of the Hearst media empire's press campaign against him. To counter both of these, he sends emissaries to movie producers to convince them to pay to film his progress and the actual battles. Producer D.W. Griffith (Colm Feore) becomes interested and sends Frank Thayer (Eion Bailey) with a film crew to develop film reels. Thayer becomes horrified and fascinated by the bandit. He finds an enigmatic individual that is both ghoulishly brutal and charmingly captivating. The resulting film became the first feature length movie, introducing scores of Americans to the true horrors of war that they had never personally seen. Thayer sold the studios on making the film despite their concerns that no one would sit through a movie longer than 1 hour by convincing them that they could raise the ... Written by
John Sacksteder <email@example.com>
WILHELM SCREAM: At 8:56 when Frank Thayer (Eion Bailey) is looking through his binoculars at a Federale being killed by thrown dynamite. See more »
Griffith is shown to be making a short western in New York in 1914. It is a very cloudy and overcast day. In reality, Griffith has already moved his stock company out to California by then, plus he would have known not to shoot on such a cloudy day (there would not be enough light for the exposure). He also did not film any westerns in 1914, and would have been at work on Battle of the Sexes (1914) at this time. See more »
"On a Tree by a River a Little Tom Tit"
from "The Mikado"
Written by William S. Gilbert and Arthur Sullivan
Performed by John Reed, the Royal Philarmonic Orchestra and D'Oyey Carte Opera Company
Courtesy of Decca Music Group Limited See more »
Five for the entertainment spectacle in this TV movie that idealises Hollywood when it was not even in California and still had its studios in New Jersey, just near the investors in Wall Street. It's a cracking piece of film-making, and the pecuniary motives of the 1914 producers are frankly enough portrayed, plus the cynical motives of Wall Street financiers are mocked, if weakly. The script even admits that the studio sold out the truth in its trashy, commercialised exploitations of the Pancho Villa armed insurgency.
But not another five for the deception that lies within. This film comes with the blithe implication that Hollywood could make such a film today, about insurgents rising up against the property hierarchy, when such a thing is unthinkable. If there existed before World War One a raffish romanticism about remote uprisings, and a willingness to cheek the mainstream media, that spirit is now as departed as the silent picture.
It is as vanished as the archive copies of the original Pancho Villa silent-features, which were doubtless destroyed once the campesinos had been pacified and all trace of Pancho Villa, their hero, could be quietly wiped from the public record, something that happened in Mexico (and doubtless on Wall Street) as the film has the grace to admit.
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