When The Clouds Roll By (Silent)

An amazingly intelligent and hilarious surreal comedy starring Douglas Fairbanks. The first film directed by Victor Fleming ("Gone With The Wind" and "The Wizard Of Oz".)
When The Clouds Roll By (Silent)
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Format:  DVD
sku:  ALP 6433D
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DVD Features:

  • Rated: Not Rated
  • Run Time: 1 hours, 8 minutes
  • Video: Black & White
  • Released: September 28, 2010
  • Originally Released: 1919
  • Label: Alpha Video
  • Encoding: Region 0 (Worldwide)

Performers, Cast and Crew:

Starring , , &
Directed by
Music by

Description by OLDIES.com:

Diabolical Dr. Metz shocks his colleagues by announcing that he plans to sacrifice the life of a healthy human in his latest experiment. He has selected Daniel Boone Brown, an average American as his guinea pig and by using "modern methods" of mind control, plots to drive the young man to suicide. Dr. Metz secretly meddles with Brown's life causing him to lose his job, his girl, his health and finally his sanity. Teetering on the brink of self-destruction, Brown reaches deep into the resources of the human spirit, in a desperate attempt to survive.

A lost gem, When The Clouds Roll By features dazzling surreal dream sequences and special effects, including a well-executed "walking on the ceiling and walls" episode which predates Fred Astaire's reprise of the stunt in 1951's Royal Wedding by decades. The spectacular flood finale utilizes fantastic miniatures to great effect, providing a stupendous climax unrivaled in its day.

From his humble start in the silent era as an assistant cameraman, Victor Fleming debuted as a director with 1919's When The Clouds Roll By. He went on to direct numerous towering Hollywood classics, his most spectacular year 1939, when he helmed both The Wizard Of Oz and Gone With The Wind. Other notable productions include Treasure Island (1934), Captains Courageous (1937), Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde (1941) and Joan Of Arc (1948).

Product Description:

As Daniel Boone Brown, Douglas Fairbanks, the most popular star of his day, unwittingly becomes the subject of a psychoanalytic hypnosis experiments, resulting in the extensive athletic stunts for which Fairbanks was famous. Brown blames the hypnosis on a ring and tosses it aside. The ring is promptly picked up by the woman (Kathleen Clifford) who will become Brown's sweetheart, but only after a villain (Frank Campeau) is overcome, many stunts are performed, and numerous comedic obstacles have been surpassed. This slapstick farce stands among Fairbanks's funniest films.

Plot Synopsis:

Daniel Boone Brown (Douglas Fairbanks) is a regular Joe who works in his uncle's brokerage firm. When Brown unwittingly becomes the subject of a psychoanalyst's hypnosis experiments, he is subjected to all sorts of athletic stunts that put his job at stake. Brown blames his poor luck on a ring, which he tosses aside. Lucette Bancroft (Kathleen Clifford) recovers the ring and, with it, Brown's heart. But Bancroft already has a suitor--a villain (Frank Campeau) scheming to gain possession of her father's oil properties. Brown chases his competitor down and recovers the girl, but a flood of biblical proportions washes the two lovebirds from their train car. When the storm blows past, Brown is seen perched in a tree while Bancroft floats by on the roof of a house, their love waiting in the wings. The film is chock full of the magnificent stunts for which Fairbanks was renowned, including a hysterical slow-motion chase that remains one of the finest silent slapstick sequences ever filmed.


Production Notes:

  • WHEN THE CLOUDS ROLL BY was one of Douglas Fairbanks's first comedies for United Artists, the company he founded with Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, and D.W. Griffith. It was also the feature-film debut for director Victor Fleming (GONE WITH THE WIND, THE WIZARD OF OZ).
  • Psychoanalysis was a fresh import to the U.S. when Fairbanks decided to lampoon the emerging field. For many audience members, WHEN THE CLOUDS ROLL BY would serve as their foremost introduction to Freud's brainchild.
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Firsts Movie Lover: from Brick, NJ, USA -- May, 12, 2011

First time a movie character walked on the ceiling. First time psychoanalysis became a topic for a movie plot. And the first time Fairbanks got to show off his athletic talents. This movie is amazing. If you've never seen a silent movie, make this your first! Since I like to listen to my own music while watching silent movies, I can recommend the following for this one: Metallica's "Master of Puppets"; Breaking Benjamin's "Phobia"; Tools "Anima."

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Product Info

  • Sales Rank: 9,048
  • UPC: 089218643391
  • Shipping Weight: 0.25/lbs (approx)
  • International Shipping: 1 item

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