With the long-awaited release of The African Queen on DVD this week, film buffs can check another prominent title off their want lists. That’s the good news…but there are still a surprising number of movies from every decade of the 20th century that aren’t commercially available.
The most surprising titles? Two winners of the Best Picture Academy Award—in fact, the only two not—
The Norma Talmadge Collection (Kino)
The Constance Talmadge Collection (Kino)
Two of the most popular female stars of the 1920s are all but unknown today—sisters Norma and Constance Talmadge. In recent years some of their long-unseen features have been restored by the Library of Congress, using 35mm materials from the Rohauer collection, and now four of those films have been released on DVD by Kino. The Norma Talmadge disc includes Kiki (1926) and Within the Law (1923), while the Constance Talmadge disc features a pair of films costarring Ronald Colman, Her Night of Romance (1924) and Her Sister from Paris (1925).
As a longtime 3-D aficionado, my two favorite shots from the “golden age” of stereoscopic moviemaking (that is to say, 1953) have always been the paddle-ball man in House of Wax and the mad doctor (Phil Van Zandt) who extends a hyper-long hypodermic needle toward the camera in The Three Stooges’ short Spooks. By constructing an absurdly long prop needle...
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