7.5/10
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Forgotten Silver (1995)

The film deals with the career of a supposedly forgotten pioneer of international cinema, Colin McKenzie, who was allegedly born in rural New Zealand in 1888.
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2 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Jeffrey Thomas ... Narrator (voice)
Costa Botes Costa Botes ... Himself - Film Maker
Marguerite Hurst Marguerite Hurst ... Herself
Peter Jackson ... Himself
Leonard Maltin ... Himself - Film Historian
Johnny Morris Johnny Morris ... Himself - Film Archivist (as Jonathon Morris)
Sam Neill ... Himself - Actor & Director
John O'Shea John O'Shea ... Himself
Lindsay Shelton Lindsay Shelton ... Himself
Harvey Weinstein ... Himself - Miramax Films
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Storyline

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 <KtheCrtitic@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

New Zealand

Language:

English | Cantonese

Release Date:

3 October 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Colin McKenzie See more »

Filming Locations:

New Zealand

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Box Office

Budget:

$650,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,740, 3 October 1997

Gross USA:

$26,459
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (DVD)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of Colin MacKenzie's "innovations" in this film is the first feature length film, which he makes in 1908. It was not until after the completion of this film that another, The Story of the Kelly Gang (1906), resurfaced and was discovered to be the real title holder for "first ever feature length film". See more »

Goofs

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

The hoax of this film is carried on into the credits. Cast members Beatrice Ashton (Hannah McKenzie) and Sarah McLeod (Mae Belle) are credited as Research Assistants. Other bit players are credited as research assistants, production advisers, and are otherwise given phony credits. See more »

Connections

Spoofs Battleship Potemkin (1925) See more »

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User Reviews

 
What is real anyway?
16 December 2004 | by pastonSee all my reviews

Documentary is all about taking real life and shaping it into a story. 'Forgotten Silver' suggests that real part doesn't even have to be real, as long as the story's good.

I watched this again tonight - probably the 4th or 5th time I've seen it since it was first screened as an (allegedly) true doco back in 1996. Despite knowing the whole thing was cod, I was quite surprised to find tears in my eyes as NZ pioneer film-maker Colin McKenzie accidentally filmed his own death in Spain, so drawn was I into the story.

Once you strip away the hype over the hoax factor, what's left is just a great story about a struggling film maker facing and almost overcoming insurmountable obstacles to create a work of mad genius. Anyone expecting belly laughs from 'Forgotten Silver' is probably going to be disappointed, because viewed as a story, this isn't a comedy - it's a tragedy. It's no wonder so many people were sucked into believing it when it first screened - the Colin McKenzie saga has an emotional depth which is heartbreaking.

Bonus points for a brilliant musical score, some superb technical effects (especially the corroded, bubbling, self-destructing nitrate film; most filmmakers would have settled for a couple of cliché tramlines to make the footage look old), and the gorgeous Thomas Robbins as Colin McKenzie.


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