The Old Swimmin' Hole (Silent)

Charles Ray stars in this artistic silent portrayal of a day in the life of a simple schoolboy in a rustic town. A glimpse into an almost-forgotten past that few now can remember.
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Format:  DVD-R
item number:  89HWY

DVD-R Details

  • Run Time: 59 minutes
  • Video: Black & White
  • Encoding: Region 0 (Worldwide)
  • Released: February 20, 2024
  • Originally Released: 1921
  • Label: Alpha Video

Performers, Cast and Crew:

Starring , , &
Directed by

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Description by

A glimpse into a nostalgia-soaked past that few now can remember. In a rustic town with no name, a boy named Ezra passes his time fishing at the old swimming hole and dreaming about Myrtle, the pretty girl in his class. When passing notes in school doesn't work, he decides to take her on a boat ride. This arouses the jealousy of another classmate, "Skinny" (who is anything but) and soon Ezra is nursing a broken heart. But perhaps the girl in class he always ignored, Esther, is the one he's been searching for all along...

In a daring move for 1921, The Old Swimmin' Hole uses no intertitles, creating a languid, dreamlike atmosphere akin to the later The Last Laugh (1924) from Germany and even Andy Warhol's experimental films from the 1960's. Leading man and producer, Charles Ray, was briefly one of the biggest box-office draws of the Silent Age, but his star fell almost as quickly as it rose. Plucked from obscurity, the former extra's starring role in Thomas H. Ince's The Coward (1915) led to a seemingly never-ending run of comedies where Ray played small town country boys, of which many true film historians consider The Old Swimmin' Hole to be the best. Wearying of the repetition, Ray tried something different with the self-financed historical drama The Courtship of Myles Standish (1923). The film was a major flop, and was notoriously parodied by 'Snub' Pollard as The Courtship of Miles Sandwich (1923). Afterwards, Ray only survived in Hollywood with the help of Ince, his original patron, and eked out a meager living from bit parts. Better roles in the sound era, like Just My Luck (1935), gave Ray hope for a comeback, but this never materialized. Charles Ray died in 1943 at the age of 52 from an impacted tooth that became infected, largely forgotten by Hollywood. Laura La Plante, on the other hand, is well-remembered for the "old dark house" thriller The Cat and the Canary (1927). The storyline of this film bears no similarity to the later The Old Swimmin' Hole (1940) directed by Robert F. McGowan, though it's equally recommended.

This product is made-on-demand by the manufacturer using DVD-R recordable media. Almost all DVD players can play DVD-Rs (except for some older models made before 2000) - please consult your owner's manual for formats compatible with your player. These DVD-Rs may not play on all computers or DVD player/recorders. To address this, the manufacturer recommends viewing this product on a DVD player that does not have recording capability.
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Product Info

  • Sales Rank: 162
  • UPC: 089218858597
  • Shipping Weight: 0.19/lbs (approx)
  • International Shipping: 1 item

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