Woo Hoo! They just don't make 'em like THIS any more!
Lottie Blair Parker's hit play from 1898 -- originally known in contracted form as, 'Way Down East -- that is, 'Way for Away -- was a moralizing melodrama, ALREADY considered dated by 1920. Indeed, the term "hoary" would even be appropriate. But D.W. Griffith felt so strongly he could make something of it he went all in, paying an astounding $175K for the rights, and spending $700K, all told, to make the film. Contrast with his, "Birth of a Nation", which had a total cost of $112K.
Well, turns out he was right! The film grossed $4.5M -- a major money maker for Griffith, and the 4th highest grossing film of the entire, silent era! Read More
Wow! THIS is why we watch restored classic films!
Douglas Fairbanks' fantasy epic is presented here in a new digital restoration; the first output from the Cohen Media Group's acquisition of the famed Rohauer Film Collection in 2011. This is a new, 2K scan made from two, separate, acetate dup negatives, struck from original nitrate prints in the 50s. The scan has been treated to extensive digital restoration, and digital tinting matching the original print instructions. And the results are flat out terrific! Read More
In the early 20s, Carl Laemmle, Senior's, Universal Pictures was a DISTINCTLY 2nd tier studio. "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" would change all that, but not without a struggle!
It was Lon Chaney, himself, who pushed for the picture to be made; only to run into road blocks and indifference. The general consensus was, Hollywood Studios of the time were incapable of producing such a massively staged, period piece. Read More