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The Birth of Motion Pictures: Rare Gems from the Earliest Days of Cinema (House With Closed Shutters (1910) / An Unseen Enemy (1912) / The Musketeers of Pig Alley (1912) / Love, Loot & Crash (1912)) (Silent)

A collection of historic motion picture "firsts," includes the premiere appearance of the Gish sisters and the first gangster movie.
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Format:  DVD-R
sku:  ALP 6609D
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DVD Features:

  • From The Samuel M. Sherman Archives
  • Rated: Not Rated
  • Run Time: 55 minutes
  • Video: Black & White
  • Released: July 26, 2011
  • Originally Released: 1910
  • Label: Alpha Video
  • Encoding: Region 0 (Worldwide)

Performers, Cast and Crew:

Starring , , &
Directed by &

Entertainment Reviews:

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The House With Closed Shutters (1910, B&W, Silent): "The man who invented Hollywood," D.W. Griffith, had over 100 shorts to his credit by the time he directed The House With Closed Shutters, in which a sister dons the Confederate uniform of her cowardly brother and races into heated battle, to spare her family disgrace. Griffith's refined technique propels the action forward cinematically, with very few intercards needed. This production features some of his first large scale Civil War battle scenes which would figure so prominently in his 1915 masterpiece, The Birth Of A Nation. Starring Henry B. Walthall, Dorothy West; Directed by D.W. Griffith.

An Unseen Enemy (1912, B&W, Silent): This historic short features the debut motion picture appearance of legends Lillian and Dorothy Gish. A reprehensible maid plots to steal the inheritance of orphaned sisters. Directed by D.W. Griffith.

The Musketeers Of Pig Alley (1912, B&W, Silent): Rival gangs shoot it out in the back streets of New York in America's first mobster picture. Griffith's vivid depiction of the teeming immigrant streets of the Lower East Side and dramatic use of cutting and close-ups to build extreme tension before the climactic explosion of violence, set a template still used today. Starring Lillian Gish, Elmer Booth; Directed by D.W. Griffith.

Love Loot & Crash (1912, B&W, Silent): A crook dresses in drag to land a maid job, in his effort to rob a banker's house. A Mack Sennett classic featuring a 21 year old Charley Chase and uncredited pratfalls by future star Harold Lloyd as the Italian fruit vendor. Starring Charley Chase, Fritz Schade, Harold Lloyd; Directed by Mack Sennett.

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Movie Lovers' Ratings & Reviews:

Customer Rating:
Based on 3 ratings.
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Extraordinary Groundbreaking Films Movie Lover: from BRISBANE, QUEENSLAND AU -- June, 19, 2014

A really "must have" DVD. There may be
only 4 films but each of them are worthwhile.
"The House With Closed Shutters" may have
old fashioned acting with arms flying and
make up gone wrong but it is a very early
Griffith and features (for 14 minutes) a very
complex story. A young man with a fondness
for drink joins the Confederate army but
when picked for a dangerous mission flees
to his home. His sister then dons his uniform
and completes the mission. There is a terrific
scene where sister picks up the abandoned
flag and takes it to the soldiers, very
reminiscent of the "Flag scene" in "The Birth
of a Nation".
"An Unseen Enemy" features the young Gish
sisters in their very first film. They thought
they were being tested, little did they know
they were actually making a movie. Two
young girls are at the mercy of a drunken
maid and her thieving friend who are out
to steal their inheritance. "The Musketeers
of Pig Alley" - what a difference a few months
make to Lillian Gish. In the previous film she
was a frightened girl, now in the same year
she is playing a young wife who catches the
eye of a street tough. This is famous as the
first gangster film with Elmer Booth playing
a very Cagney type gangster role.
"Love, Loot and Crash" is a Mack Sennett
comedy featuring early appearances by Charley
Chase and a very young Harold Lloyd.

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Product Info

  • Sales Rank: 24,056
  • UPC: 089218660992
  • Shipping Weight: 0.25/lbs (approx)
  • International Shipping: 1 item

Film Collectors & Archivists: Alpha Video is actively looking for rare and unusual pre-1943 motion pictures, in good condition, from Monogram, PRC, Tiffany, Chesterfield, and other independent studios for release on DVD. We are also interested in TV shows from the early 1950s. Share your passion for films with a large audience. Let us know what you have.
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