Something New (Silent)

Pioneering Canadian actress and filmmaker Nell Shipman stars in this harrowing tale of a woman kidnapped and left for dead by Mexican bandits. With the bonus short 'Trail of the North Wind' (1924).
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Format:  DVD-R
item number:  ALP 7860D
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DVD-R Details

  • Run Time: 1 hours, 20 minutes
  • Video: Black & White
  • Encoding: Region 0 (Worldwide)
  • Released: September 27, 2016
  • Originally Released: 1920
  • Label: Alpha Video

Performers, Cast and Crew:

Directed by &

Entertainment Reviews:


Total Count: 109


User Ratings: 101,231
Rating: 2/5 -- Generally the story swings wildly from preachy to just plain silly. It is truly a story of missed opportunities. Full Review
Nov 28, 2006
Rating: 4/4 -- Mixing mirth with more sophisticated moments, this delightful romantic romp ultimately triumphs primarily because of the easy-going screen chemistry generated by Sanaa Lathan and Simon Baker.
Bean Soup Times
Apr 28, 2007
By and large this is a hollow, laugh-free zone paying lip service to the issue in trite, predictable fashion. Full Review
Time Out
Nov 23, 2006
Rating: C+ -- It's just too bad that this half-realized concept is tethered to an utterly unconvincing, warmed-over interracial romance rooted more in Harlequin fantasy than social realism. Full Review
AV Club
Feb 17, 2006
Rating: 2/5 -- Anyone who finds something new in Something New is obviously looking a whole lot closer than the movie deserves. Full Review
DVD Clinic
May 25, 2006
Rating: B -- ... it's one of the few romantic movies that center around an interracial relationship and keeps it real. Full Review
Reel Talk Online
Sep 12, 2017
Rating: 1.5/4 -- This is an inept and unsubtle romantic fantasy about how black people and white people don't mix. Full Review
Boston Globe
Feb 3, 2006

Description by

Silent film pioneer Nell Shipman (1892-1970) was born Helen Barham in Canada to middle-class parents. Deciding early on that the life of a housewife was not for her, she started performing on stage at 13. Nell soon journeyed to Hollywood, where she began acting and writing screenplays for the major studios. In stark opposition to frail, childlike starlets like Mary Pickford and Lillian Gish, Shipman's sturdy Amazonian physique meant that she often came to the rescue of her male co-stars at film's end. These qualities were on full display in Nell's first big role, Back to God's Country (1919), in which she played a heroic outdoorswoman. The movie was a massive success, in no small part due to Nell's controversial nude scene, one of the first on film (the advertising campaign asked, "Is the Nude Rude?")

Something New (BW, 1920, SILENT): After the success of Back to God's Country, Shipman sought to take total control of her career by writing and directing her own films. She was able to do so with the help of Maxwell Motors, who agreed to finance Something New if it heavily featured their new automobile (primarily remembered today as Jack Benny's method of transportation.) Nell plays a fictionalized version of herself, who while writing her latest screenplay in the Mojave Desert is kidnapped by Mexican bandits. She is only able to escape by traversing down a treacherous hill in her trusty Maxwell automobile. Though criticized by some as being essentially an hour-long commercial, Something New was a hit at the box-office and solidified the reputation of the newly-formed Nell Shipman Productions, Inc. The picture was co-directed by Shipman's husband, Bert Van Tuyle, who also acts as the film's leading man.

The Trail Of The North Wind (BW, 1924, SILENT): In 1922, Nell traveled to Idaho's Priest Lake to film a series of twelve short outdoor pictures for producer Lewis J. Selznick (father of later MGM executive David O. Selznick.) Dubbed "Little Dramas of the Big Places", they starred Shipman as Dreena, a woman of the wilderness who comes to the aid of those in need. The Trail of the North Wind is one of the few surviving entries, and centers on Dreena's struggle to bring a wounded old man home during a brutal winter storm. While filming the "Little Dramas", Bert Van Tuyle became convinced that his wife was cheating on him, and attempted to murder Shipman. Terrified, Nell retreated to New York City with her son, Barry. She would make another film, though Barry Shipman became a prolific screenwriter of westerns and serials for Republic Pictures. Nell Shipman passed in 1970 at the age of 77, her movie career far behind her.


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Product Info

  • Sales Rank: 914
  • UPC: 089218786098
  • Shipping Weight: 0.25/lbs (approx)
  • International Shipping: 1 item

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