8.3/10
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3 user 15 critic

Saving Brinton (2017)

In rural Iowa, a beloved history teacher uncovers the century-old showreels of one of America's first motion picture impresarios and sets out to premiere the films at the world's oldest continuously operating movie theatre.
2 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Michael Zahs Michael Zahs ... Himself
Serge Bromberg ... Himself
Greg Prickman Greg Prickman ... Himself
Kathryn Fuller-Seeley Kathryn Fuller-Seeley ... Herself
Rick Altman Rick Altman ... Himself
George R. Willeman George R. Willeman ... Himself
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jan Boland Jan Boland ... Herself
Carey Bostian Carey Bostian ... Himself
John Dowdall John Dowdall ... Himself
Harvey Solberger Harvey Solberger ... Himself
Mitch Thompson Mitch Thompson ... Himself
Elaine Zahs Elaine Zahs ... Herself
Julie Zahs Julie Zahs ... Herself
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Storyline

In rural Iowa, a beloved history teacher uncovers the century-old showreels of one of America's first motion picture impresarios and sets out to premiere the films at the world's oldest continuously operating movie theatre.

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Genres:

Documentary

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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 June 2017 (USA) See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,690, 17 September 2017, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$47,419, 16 August 2018
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Runtime:

Color:

Color
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User Reviews

 
A story about preserving history
23 June 2018 | by Red-BarracudaSee all my reviews

This documentary centres on Michael Zahs, who is a historian and collector from Iowa who came into possession of some ancient films which once belonged to the cinema exhibitors Frank and Ina Brinton, who operated over one hundred years ago. These films became known as the Brinton Collection and they contained many old movies long believed to be lost, including work by the most important early film-maker, the one and only Georges Méliès. The documentary looks at both these films, Zahs himself and the Iowa community he is from.

I have seen a good number of silent movies from the earliest years of cinema and always marvel at the trick photography and invention which are a core feature. Méliès films in particular showcase visual invention by the bucketload. So, from the perspective of this alone, Saving Brinton is a very worthwhile film. Many of the recovered films are really rather beautiful, especially when presented in their original colour tinted glory. Any fan of cinema history should spend a little time checking these out to see how it all began. As a film itself, the documentary is admittedly a little bit lacking in focus, with no real sense of narrative urgency. There is no build up to a finale where we finally see the films themselves and I think a little more emphasis on the drama of the story would have served it well and improved it. Nevertheless, this still remains a very interesting little doc about a fascinating man and some glorious old, no longer lost, films.


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