Kevin Brownlow


Hi, guys, we want to. Thank our great sponsor, legion 'em. They are the first fan owned entertainment company. We love working with them. They create really incredible experiences for people if you're someone who wants to feel like you own a piece and our apiece of the industry. It's a great way to do it. They do meet ups all over the country. They have a really cool community going online. I cannot recommend them enough. Go to legion dot com. For more information Harvard buddy, Kevin Brownlow, a household name. If your household habits to include serious film, buffs and silent movie aficionados I was in my teens when his book the parades gone by came out and received widespread acclaim was by any measure a game changer for me, and countless other readers since then Kevin has written other essential books, produced unforgettable, documentaries and restored countless classic films. That's why the academy Motion Picture Arts and sciences presented him with an. Oscar in two thousand eleven unprecedented, but well-deserved recognition for film scholar Jesse and I were on to spend some time with him during a recent trip to Los Angeles from his native England. On Leonard Maltin, and I'm Jesse Maltin. You're listening to Maltin on movies, and our guest today is the esteemed, and I can now say Oscar winning film historian, and filmmaker and author Kevin Brownlow who was visiting Hollywood. And we're very happy to have him here. Welcome kevin. Thank you very much. It's it's a treat to have you here. You've been here for the classic film festival this past weekend as we're recording this and did you have a good time. Very good. Indeed. Yeah. What did you see that? You didn't expect to that that the pleased you that's fascinating Christian trying to click back and hold a sick. Because we had to miss a lotta pictures, which is there are a lot of a lot of choices being honored as part of it. You were getting me Robert Osborne award, which is this is the second year. They're doing that. And being honored means you. No free time is basically how that goes. Yes. I didn't expect to when Harry met Sally to be as good as it was his yes. Brilliant. They're opening night film. And it's very good. Very good. Isn't it and seeing the three of them on the red carpet? They Meg Ryan. And Billy crystal and Reiner were there, and it was just really fun to see. So we'll written. It's so we'll directed by role. Ryan and beautifully photographed. It's a perfect Hollywood picture and really can't be talked. No, it's very good. And and it and it does hold up as thirty years off. Of course, you know. TCI them does and tries to. Honor Hollywood's golden age, but as the years pass, and there's more theaters are considered you were in fewer people alive to represent Hollywood's golden age their window. That's moved later in later. So Harry met Sally when Harry met Sally is only thirty years old. But thirty years is thirty years. That's passage of time. The funny thing is I mean, I'm obsessed by the Hollywood golden age that I regard is twinned teens. But then people say do you go to talking? Sometimes I make them. I like to tell people that I didn't know that films were in color until I was about twelve no clue that color existed for quite a while. Now, the thing is before I let you to get what we call inside baseball. I just want the basics for anyone who doesn't know your backstory where are you from? And what got you into doing what you do because your books I asked my dad when he got your first book, and it's when it was printed fifty years ago, which is crucial for the parades gone by and if you folks listening don't own a copy or haven't read a copy from your local library. Let's say or go get it go do it. You ought to go to pursue one of those avenues all. It will open a window will open a window in the most fascinating and vivid way to the era of silent film. And that's that book did when it came out in nineteen sixty nine, but it's all because I'm too young to have experienced the silent era. But I did I was born in Sussex in England and went to the. Awful education of boarding school. I regard the boarding school. And I went to his Colditz. Believe it on the some boys escaped and had to be rounded up by tradesmen's vans. Back and caned in the topmost coupler of the school building in Kroger Sussex and bought that head Mazda. Did something sensational every third Sunday in the winter knowing that he had tempt to spec from parents visits he showed films, and these were all nine point five, which was the home movie gauge for Europe at that time. And so we saw Chaplin Mishal Harold, Lloyd. We saw snub Pollard, even dramatic pictures. Mute version of the nineteen thirty three all of twist with Dickie more. I became I became a sh. Temporary celebrity in that film because Henry Stevenson played Mr. Brownlow and that the true spin. Benefit benevolent old gentlemen, which I know myself, so eight wasn't immediately the films that caught my obsession. It was the fact that you could show films in your home. I thought you could only see them in concrete bunkers in the high street marked Odeon ABC. And so I beg my parents for a project to say what kind of project say for my tenth birthday. I go to film strip project and a film strip called black beauty, which showed a wholesome. And then the loss of text and the whole also text whole scalloping all standing. Say they made up for it. When I was living. I go to Pat the scope ace it had a handle on the side and two films one Disney. Mickey Mouse, black and white and the neighbor of you spit hit nineteen thirty five. So that wasn't enough. And I went into the streets of London to track down what I knew would be there in that little piles of films fitted my projector, but had been abandoned because television was coming in the early fifties. And the first time I struck it. Rich was in Chappel fake street famous Sherlock Holmes, and it was a pile of films which turned out to have star the following celebrities of the silent era. Douglas, Fairbanks senior Basie love and William. Hot. You could hardly do better. Could you on what? And what gays are we talking also nine point five nine online point five. Now that gates was never really introduced here in the United States did have film aches and no Pathak's. I'm sorry. Phil makes was a film festival. Pathak's was the American nine point five, and they had pictures with Douglas MacLean, for instance, which we never had in Europe, Johnny Hines just as well. We didn't have in your. So it would be interesting to see if there any nine five collectors left. I don't know I I've acquired some just for the novelty of having them, but the more popular medium here. Besides sixteen millimeter was eight millimeter. Oh, yes. I couldn't eight minutes. Well, that was the that was the gateway drug eight millimeter. What what excited me was the quality the pictorial quality of nine five, which has the picture size of sixteen millimeter. But the Spurs hotels are in the middle. That's dangerous. If you have an accident because the clo- TEZ picture down the middle. But if you've careful you got the most beautiful could get them as beautiful results, and the first film. I shaved my parents was cold the first man, which was an incorrect title. I knew that. Because what my mother shrieked as soon as came on. Douglas, Fairbanks, and even I'd heard of Douglas Fairbanks, and I got very excited about having a Fairbanks film, and I wanted to know more about it. So I went to the library. I expect to find book which fellow pinned to picture from film and had a paragraph describing which is ridiculous because it was only one film book in the entire library. I took it down it fell open. This a picture of my film? There was a description, but iris Barry about how this was called American, aristocracy and CS First, great success at finance triangle. And that film had the most extraordinary effect on my career because I discovered the British Film Institute, I could find the cost and director, and I showed showed shade. And I then joined as an office boy at documentary company, and they kept saying if you need an actor Cole, the Al Pokka agency and having a one track mind, I'll polka Albert s Palko was the villain in my film, which was set during the Mexican revolution. And he was a gum runner. So I thought well I'll ring now Pokka and to my delight he had an American accent. I said Mr. pocket does the name Douglas, Fairbanks mean anything to you. He said Jesus Christ. I directed him. I said what did you direct the black obliged? Yes. Sculler swashbuckling. Unbelievable. So he I tell you your how old by this time. I was seventeen. By the time. I I was an office Moy, and he said bring it over. So I took the projector of his office in Mayfair and ran it on his wall, which incidentally was lined with graphs of the black pirate beautiful beautiful photographs and he was so tickled by what he sold that. He got his wife in Iran it again and the wife arranged an evening at which his top clients would be invited. A he was an agent by now he was an accusation t- came over lost all his money in the crash came to the to England and worked FOX England and made quota quickies the which was a bit of a comedown after the black pirate say setup agents agency and discovered we're should act borough. Anyway, among the people he was invited for this evening was Clive brook hardy Kruger Trevor Howard, and I just extraordinarily and it became a regular feature. I would have a silent film evening at our parkas, and we'd have all sorts of fascinating American, visiting filmmakers who were very impressed with the silence. I showed Robert wise. I remember people like that who are working over there. So it had an enormous affect an owl would ring me up and say Kevin Zao king Vidor, Hyde Park hotel, tell him I sent you. So I hope Lova with a huge portable on hardly portable tape recorder. The size of this table and king veto would suddenly be there in the lobby talking about one of the tightness of. Silent film and beyond several decades on one of the great directors who ever lived, absolutely. And and you got to meet him. And he told me something about direction which really stood Mike excitement to become a director. He said I didn't say very much to John Gilbert on the big parade. I just thought it and to my amazement Gilbert reacted. It was like a love affair. Oh, what a what a thing to say. It's added to the magic of picture making not that. I thought I'd have become a director. Because that time I was told the average age directors was fifty seven and I was now eighteen on. I thought I couldn't wait. So I started to knapik on sixteen millimeter, which took it was about will to in it too long to make the world will to fight. So we live a look at. That became your your first feature it happened here. But now I haven't finished landed on little interjection. Yes. Here comes a film cold. Little mother. I thought oh, this is going to be really soppy. People told me the silent films were very soppy badly made badly graft in Barra Singley badly acted and I was finding all the time the complete opposite beautifully fair to grow brilliantly act anyway, so this one stop by see love and was cracking drama about. It's funny how Mexico figures in always pictures on the Mexican border a father with six children holes is against an attack by Mexican bandits. And they see love when my father was crazy Bessie love and Broadway. Melody he kept talking about that. So it was a sound film. Didn't interest me. I was walking home. And I passed the embassy theatre Swiss cottage, and they just put up new playbills, and among the also rans the bottom was Bessie love. And I thought how extraordinary Multan actress would steal his name is famous name from old Hollywood, I told my father of I've seen these said, we'll have you thought it might be the this. Well, I said good God, though, the embassy this has nothing to Broadway. You know in Hollywood, he said le- leave a letter. So I did I rotary note. And I got one in return. And it said, yes, I'm the the Bessie love from Broadway. Melody, and your film was made by Sydney, Chester Franklin in one thousand nine hundred sixteen for Mr. Griffiths company. And I'd like to see it could I bring my daughter. Well, we lived in a flat, which costs two pounds a week Grint. So it indicates how what a stage it was in off to the wall bits of the ceiling kept falling down. And we really wasn't a place for a Hollywood star. But we did our best to clean it up. And my ally was sh- wintom because it was winter. My mother put up a heavy curtain on the dole to keep the drafts out which we thought would they appealing to see and she turned up on time. Follow the both are upstairs, and we opened the dole and the pelmet fell on top of both her and tote. And I was died of shame. But then I heard a giggle underneath Bessie. Love photographs hysterical. So we'd made a friend in the most unexpected way. And I knew it till the end of life often gave shows in her because she was a stage actress, although she didn't Sunday Bloody Sunday. Is a door and so on, but she was primarily a stage actress, and I'm we ran these nine five films on the wall of the. Dressing room in the face as she was in how tell us again, we're by this time now where you continued to find an acquire these prints. Well, nineteen fifty eight went to Paris. I was taken to Paris as a treat, and I discovered the fleamarket men in the flea market. There was a stole run by two ladies, and they had all these wonderful nine point five films in metal containers which finally enough or called cassettes. So this was the twenties cassette revolution. And I saw one coal Napoleon, and I had already foreshadow for shadow foreshadow already. A quad two reels on the the English version, and I felt this must be the French version. So I bought they were held together by string very crude. But I bought them and tend to be whole real of the relationship of Napoleon Ajay's Athene, which is fascinating beautifully done. How much would you pay for for these? Yeah. I was just thinking what did I pay for them is suppose, the quivalent to fifty cents something like that? Plo little tiny real. It wasn't an expensive Hobie that was an advantage because had managed by that first group on my weekly pocket. Monday of ten shillings. But then it got incredibly expensive the is. But then on American collector came to England carrying projector. Can you believe it? He must've thought we were very. Behind the times, come from the new world to show, you this magical device will as a matter of fact, you're right. That's sort of thing he said and he had with him, which he was willing to sell to me for two pounds real a coat a scoop print of the great western epic the covered wagon made in nineteen Twenty-three three by James Cruze photograph by Cal Brown taken from the camera negative by the Kodak corporation because they wanted people to rent their pictures, therefore they decided to make them look as good as they possibly could. And I found myself watching silent films as they looked originally. I was astounded. I knew they were good. But. But. And the covered wagon was simply magnificent. And that started me collecting on sixteen millimeter, and it grows. Ooh, there's another size and some of those some of those KOTA scopes were even tinted. Oh, this was tinted. Yes, sunshine, they call that tint, we was some shine all the way through even the night seat was saving money boroughs. The show at homes, which was the Universal Studios version of coda scoop were again from the camera negative, but individual shots were tinted if necessary and the first one of those I got was from library in the Coventry, and I was almost going to skip it because it was cold the goose woman, I thought who would want to film about him goose spoon. But then I they amazingly included the cost which is very unusual. Normally, the only actor you ever gotten list from libraries was chaplain. So here I had Jack Pickford. Constance Bennett, Louise, dresser Gustaf on scientists. So I thought what? So I bought it. And that changed my life again because I as a filmmaker at been desperately trying to move away from the studio lit look in the fifties Hollywood films. Had to be flooded it in order to be shown at drive ins, and it was so unrealistic. I couldn't bear it compared to the silence, which were impure Chablis lit and very realistic in many cases and this one reproduce daylight interior perfectly. Something that I didn't think was possible. Also, it had the look of of oil lamp in the shack that the goose woman who was a opera star on her. Who was a drunken and lived in this shack with a bunch of geese around. Like, you do for the quality was absolutely mesmerizing and the performance by Louise dresser. So impressed me I wrote to Louis dresser. And I got months and how much she had my Clarence Brown who directed it. And this of course, I thought well, I suppose if one was working on a dissertation about a literature, great figures of literature in America, you could go and meet some of them. And I thought why not and without park telling me who is in town and finding a whole loss of silent films stars like Bessie love had moved to England and stayed there during the blitz in. I hope they must've fold England a marvelous placed to stay while they were being bombed every night. Absolutely amazing, but baby Daniels. Aben Lund exactly that they live there throughout the blitz and BB Daniels was the first to entertain the troops in Normandy after d day. Maybe Daniels who had been Harold Lloyd's leading lady in the teens in the teams of the twentieth century. Yeah. Became a big star paramount and ended up in Rio Rita, and Ben Lyon was Mina stop that he was a big hit in Hell's Angel Howard Hughes. Great epoch and they were radio a very popular radio series. And they were always making jokes about Hollywood and Hells Angels and rear eater. See part of part of what I'm always fascinated by. And where you and my dad are similar is the ability to reach out the way that you did when he told me that when my dad says, yeah, I used to use the New York phone book, and you just reach out to somebody that that's part of what makes this story. So incredible. Is that you could get to them will the fact that you say. In nineteen sixty eight I was supposed to make a film in Prague with my partner film, making partner, Andrew mullahs. And I we would do to start in a couple of weeks. And I felt let's take a break have a holiday my wife, and I went on holiday to Ireland when I came to Shannon airport. The newspapers all had pictures of Russian tanks in Prague. But I just been with Andrew been making a film about occupation. I said let's go and find out what it's like at first hand. And meanwhile, I'll go to the Russia the press check archive and see what they got. And what they got was the curator's favourite American silent film, and it was paramount cold it stop love, which was the. The Adum title. It was a drama documentary and flashy style about the mountain people of North Carolina. So guess what? The title was in in check. But translated the title was in the glens of California. And I couldn't believe this is a long lost film. I got extremely excited wrote an article about it for a little film magazine in England. I rather pompously entitled how could we forget a film like this? And I was back in America. I got a call from the museum of Malmo. The question was simple. It's called Brown still alive. And I said if he had if he was I know about it. So there I thank God another phone call from a collector called George Mitchell. Nothing to do with the camera inventor, George j Mitchell was an intelligence officer in the United States army. They'd run him to he said, Kevin. I don't have time to devote to this. But I did do one thing. I took the telephone looked him up. And he's there. Oh my God. He gave me a gift so off I went to the address and they. The landlord said, oh, you've just misdemeanors moved with his wife to north Hollywood Glamour's. So great. It's not in the phone yet. He doesn't have a forwarding address. I'm stuck for six weeks. Hunted down Cal Brown. I was being driven around. Hollywood Ivan literally see old man on the sidewalk. I'd get out. My say we you in motion pictures that invariably they'd say no is on the stock market now. Nineteen twenty nine. So we went to extremes involved David Shepherd. I remember and he went down to the motor. License department, even that was the extremes winter. And I remember I was interviewing a great cameraman Jones sites with Rex Ingram. And I was the American Film Institute. I kept getting interrupted people Balji into the room in the middle of a he was a bit shaky very old and very nice. But could be thrown by what was then the telephone starts ringing again again, and again, please and mend interview was over. I say I'm so sorry. But what what was it? He said, oh, are you interested in call Brown? David emphasis run through with his address. So that night, my wife, and I drove your little folks volume rented to north Hollywood and found the house. And luckily, there was a light in the window. So knocked on the door. Nobody sit in I kick the Bill Agnew toss. I have stopped you for months, sir. Let me in. As long as leaving. And I looked through the window. And I saw the most extraordinary site. I saw a motion picture credits of a motion picture present being projected backwards. No. What do you call it up the opposite way round? Yeah. And so I realized somebody must be watching television, and it's reflected in the picture on the wall, and there was a little bell. So I took a little bell thing. And we're actively rang it rang in Ventura shuffle shuffle shuffle door open. Very oh lady. Way on my said dismissed Akal Brown available. How you find us? And she went to see if he'd see me, and it was exactly as though he'd been waiting months for me to arrive, and he's just went straight into the story of joining killer McCullough at the point where Hollywood Boulevard and Sunset Boulevard. Meet where the Kenema color studio was changing over to the DWI Griffith studio and Carl Brown as a boy of seventeen I think as I was was hired by Kim McCullough, and they were going to go bust due to an English all suit, and he was going to be the cameraman to the greatest cameraman ever been a bit, sir. The greatest director ever DWI Griffith. So it worked out then. Well, that's what that's incredible. And you and you brought Carl Brown into the limelight as it were by not only interviewing him. But by. Encouraging him to write his own book. His own story. His own incredible story. Adventures with DWI Griffith. Yeah. Didn't file a restraining order a win all the way around. And he he didn't stop the he wrote the paramount adventure, which was about the making the covered wagon. But there was a flow the publisher who put out ventures d w Griffith cut out the middleman. Now, I was the editor of the first one didn't need any aging, really. But it was much too long. And there was sixty thousand words about Kenema color, priceless. Historical stuff, but the public could do without its and could start when he joins Griffith. Now that was easy, but the publisher insisted on me being not involved and the Browns sends the chapters into them, and they didn't know what was important historically. What wasn't that? They go thing about the are buckle chapter. They were convinced by somebody who read it some historian in the east coast that it was incorrect, and it turned out. Yes. Call Brown was actually away shooting a film when they're buckled event happened, and although he'd worked with him on several pictures, he didn't have he he was he didn't do any research. He used his own memory, but his memory was flawed. And so they refuse to publish the paramount adventure, and it still unpublished and Brown even did one on monogram where he ended up. Working. So it's it's a loss. But he was a missed remarkable man, and you can see him in the Hollywood series if they ever allow that to be shown that we were talking about better here. I. What inspired you to come to Hollywood for the first time, and you know, ahead of your trip beforehand who you might get to see. Will add started finding for instance, Percy moment, great silent actor and the. I did articles for amateur cine world amateur moviemaker on these survivors of the silent era in England. So, but it wasn't that era that got make to America. It was unfortunately, I have to admit it was a girl. Any different come on. This is like a slacker Hollywood film. I've found a an American actress coal Sloane Shelton and full madly. And when TWA announced if you went to America for three weeks, you could travel for one hundred seven pounds return, then I put all savings. I've got into going over. And luckily, she was tied up in rehearsals. A lot of time kidding me spare time to go. I looked again in the phone book crew who's around Greenwich Village, where she lived, and I found James Morrison who'd been an actor leading actor in vita graph at in the very primitive period and again the door. I was delighted to sit down and talk and showed me a still of how vita graph had insisted on using something called the ten foot line. And the ten foot line was. Placed as white tape across the studio floor and use the actor must not go over it or he goes out of focus, and I e he even had one with a ten foot line running through a battle scene. And he was charming and in full of information. And I thought this is heaven, you know, what more could you also? Said not had the next trip. I determined to get the Hollywood and Americans have a habit when they get it's tourists in London. And they meet someone they like it's next time you marry gotta to stay with us and somebody deals somebody did that for me, and he lived in the house of a famous silent film direct to. So when I go to New York, I rang him up an Opus Dei didn't expect. His offer to be taken up and he said. My mother-in-law stay. So I couldn't go. The Botts collectible David Bradley who lived in the hills, the top of north crescent heights boulevard. He's saved my bacon. He wasn't actually this is roommate Tom Webster who had instructions drive me around. I mean, that's perfect doesn't it? And I could look at his collection, which was gigantic probably the largest private collection of silent and early sound films anywhere. So again, you lucked out. So there I'm sitting by telephone looking over beautifully lit, boss Angeles thinking, I could see anybody. What about Buster Keaton and Bradley gave me the name of his agent the agent game in the name of Keaton's agent. And the Keaton's agents said don't tell him I told you, and he voice the how. And he handed it to his wife to organize. And we drove down to Woodland Hills was ways how ranch was the C called it. And the door was opened an enormous great what sort of dog was Saint Bernard. Save an Elmo is called. I couldn't get in. And they couldn't get out and. Mrs Keaton said oh been trying to get hold of you key in Busta had a job, and he was trying to get in touch to put it on another day. That'll thank God. I didn't leave my phone number. And so I came in and and there was gunfire. The whole room was shaking with gunfire. Keaton watching a western in a lower part of the room. There was a a huge picture of our buckle. The only time I ever saw this on the walls of anybody and. I thought knowing what happened to him that he would be old man sitting in the corner muttering about his bad luck. And I turn the volume on my tape recorder, flat out thinking, huge going to talk like this and steady. Tom the needle. Yes. Yes. He couldn't be more a Commodore in talking about his how he did it and it was magic exit magic. And then he had little heed Bill to a bar tiny bar with a swing swing tolls for just a tank for the beer, but there was made to look like the entrance to a bar. And I wish I'd seen these train which ran round the raunch. And of course, every time you saw someone they said go to see dot don't, of course. Yeah. Yeah. To what she say. I will go wherever you you. Tell me where hit it and also Jason Allahu brook in the east who worked who represented many of these people like Priscilla dean, and so on gave me a lot of addresses to to stop me off. But it was got. It was exciting. Twenty eight I interviewed in two three weeks, the three eggs I had in Hollywood turn to data. And regional Dinnie. Now original Denny was a damn good comedian completely forgotten though. Maybe you remember him as a Shakespearean actor with John Barrymore in Romeo, and Juliet and other things he was. A big comedian with universal often with Laura the plant. Do you know he was the inventor of the drone? He had a multiple shop very popular hobby show how to shop. Yes. Hollywood yet. And that's how a lot of older people who grew up here that I've met. No, the name not from his film career from the from that hobby shop I saw a chain of restaurants called on. I thought that. If only he's doing really well from selfish. He didn't he didn't want to see the films because he was a shame to them. Because of what the way the television treated silent films. When television started and David Bradley had a beautiful print of Skinner's dress suit, which is delicious picture directed by William Seitis, starring co-starring laurel plant, and he took the risk and invited his family over to Brad his place to see it. And they were in. And he was he didn't know us that good wonderful. It's all the names you're saying are somewhere in my house. So I'm thinking of the giant Reginald Dennie poster. It's just what of you going supposed to. Which one twenty four she for rolling home. Oh, go to have a gigantic photo of fatty arbuckle in the backyard. So this giant screen print thing. So. So you you not only acquired the memories the recollections 'cause you also. Infused them with. With enthusiasm for their own work that. Yeah. But this didn't always work. There was one director Bradley had one film of his was absolutely terrible. And the poor director was really crushed. But that was at Kohl's. I check it ahead of time. But they was strange things happened. I was a had a date with one of the Duncan sisters at the mosque is club. And she stood me up. And I was sitting in the four in the lobby surrounded by the pictures of the pre poss- presidents of the mosques club. And there was an old lady. And she was looking fixedly at one. And she said who's that? And I said, that's Fred nibble. She did a double take said, you shouldn't know that. You're too young. I said, but I'm fascinated by silent film directors, and she did another double. Take said, I'm married to one. But you wouldn't have heard of him chose henna berry who just happened to play ABRAHAM LINCOLN in the birth of a nation gone onto directing mind, the directing career Fairbanks and people like that. I said I'd love to meet him. She fixed it up for the next day and was December the worst storm imaginable. The roads are awash, but who can Joseph henna berry with total recall. I ask him one question and he gave me a four hour answer. So he henna berry pulled out stills all a lost Valentino film that he directed. Call the sainted devil with Nita Nolte and Helen Dowell g and he had made Valentino work twenty four hours. So that he had a really haggard look, and these still showed it would be wonderful to find the film least this. This was something and his memories to they've they've how held up very well. I haven't found a mistake in anything. He said or anything made up is just a most remarkable, man. And. With with the most wonderful memories. Eat worked with Griffith on as an assistant director to on them. Intolerence all the mother on the laws. He called it. Which is just one of the sequences in intolerance. One of the the time that I was taken aback was ringing very little known actress Dorothy Phillips, and she says rather haughtily I have the time inclination to talk to. And it's maddening because last year at porno need silent film festival they showed one of her husband's pictures, Allen hall by his name was and she was the star of it. And we still know very little about Dorothy Phillips that was rather sad. But on the whole they were the most remarkable people I've ever met an it was a tremendous privilege. What comes through in your book, which was the media result of those those encounters parades gone by is your enthusiasm your palpable enthusiasm, and you and you paint the whole portrait Justice, you're doing for us. Now, you paint the picture of what it was like how you came to meet them how they received you. And so it's it's a human story is not like a dry history of silent film. It's it's it's very immediate. And I. That's what was part of what was so appealing about that book, and that gave it a wider audience than. Typical film book might have had. And when that book came out, I remember reading a review of it in life magazine. I mean, the most popular American magazine of its day devoted page or or so to that book. It was greeted with a great. Wait a claim and. And it became a your calling card for for quite a while. And it still is as far as I'm concerned with the book came about. Because I tell a fib every time I rang people up I say, I'm writing a book about the silent. Iheartradio actively you had to actually write the book. Well, don't happen. In an interesting way. We had film historians in England who didn't try very hard. And there was pictures printed in some magazine, which showed de-deputy Griffith standing in the basket of a balloon with his arm outstretched. If you looked at the picture on cropped, you'd notice the basket of the balloon was on the ground. However, they came to the conclusion that that was how d w Griffith managed to photograph. The most astounding seen probably in entire silent era, which was the camera coming out of the clouds sinking over Babylon right down to the dancing girls, or whatever it was happening on the ground and then doing it in reverse. I mean at -solutely astounding they didn't have to do that. They have to work at hard a postcard. View of the sense would have your Joe drums, but it's. And there is no fish graph of how they did it. And I met alum doin-, and I told him that intolerance for shot that a captive balloon fell about said, listen, this is how it was done. I was at finance. I was an engineer. I had been an engineer and Mr. Griffith wanted to know, what is the most sensible way of shooting that scene. And so he drew for me a picture of a siege. Tower mounted on a huge platform mounted on bogies on mining rails in the center of the siege. Tower was an elevator. And as a single grip could push full. It was so beautifully constructed. And the elevator came down down down. And you saw this gigantic set in in a way that you would never. F forget and then just for good value. He did it in reverse the other way. So it annoyed male lot. When just recently a book arrived on the British market about film history. And it said the scenes of Babylon tolerance for photograph from captive Balu. And so it goes as how parkas it to me. There are more hoses and there are more horses asses in the world and the raw horses. He's not wrong. While we're on the subject of woods, the way these people talked it magical. I mean, you enjoy the thirties and forties rapid fire. Dahlak this this this this this is the people they got it from for instance, in England if you ask a cameraman, oh all the lights hot. He will tell you. You're. Yeah. If you ask one of these fellows as I did. He said hot you could lie to cigar on the beam at one hundred yards. Furnace to it's fully you just repeat all this. I didn't praise gone by that done it all. And then you got to revisit so many of these people when you made your thirteen part. Yes, circus loss here is they wouldn't let you see because the rights are too cumbersome and expensive to clear speech that you made when you received your Academy Award. And every single I wish every studio head every person could hear and see because it's true writes, it just it prevents us from seeing experiencing so much and there's just no need. There's just no need. Absolutely. Why they got paid the first time they could do nothing in fact to produce a came up off to that speech and said, I'll do it. They didn't they didn't if I had all the promises. On my mantelpiece, you'd think it was Christmas. But we have to we have to live in hope. Yeah. We have to live in hope that just just as discoveries continued to be made. Just as you know, films continue to be unearthed that we thought would be lost forever. What is what I thought was going to be a threat the digital invention? In fact, has proved the most marvelous Boone because start love the print from Czechoslovakia was an insufferable. I mean, I've found it hard to look at it myself. But let me Mulbah, plus the has turned it into something that you would not think had needed restoration. It looks so good, and they did the same to resist to the Lubich picture with Mary Pickford and Owen another one forbidden paradise Lubich with Poland agrees, Catherine the great using telephones and rushing around in motorcars in the eighteenth centuries and areas, and that was ghastly. And they made the most beautiful restoration of it. So this hope it drives us nuts. Because people have this thing about I'm a purist. I only watched film. Well, that's foolish because the truth is you want the best version, surely if you're showing someone for the first time if they've never seen it, then you think will I want them to see the best way possible. Because then they might watch more. If it looks terrible. They're not gonna do that. I've I it's rare for us to meet an archivist who ever says something like, oh, no, no, simply must be film. Because as I say when you love something you want it to withstand the test of time my resume. A few days ago on a screen which horrified me because I shot the first half of the film on sixteen millimeter and the size of it is is about your thumbnail the size of the frame and look at that screen. What how why is it do, you know, the don't green that the no large should airy large stra log chances to New Orleans, but it looked great. Didn't it? Thanks to the digital revolution. Yeah. Exactly. And all the old cameraman is we used to call them. Now cinematographers directors of targeting, but all the old cameraman I ever met. We're always looking to the future. There were always interested in the newest technology. They were not backward thinkers, they were not stuck in their set in their ways, they were wide open to new ideas and. One could learn from that could do worse than to adopt that attitude and. You haven't certainly and you've used technology to help you in in your your documentaries, and then your magnificent title sequences in your document. Oh, they would dumb by most of them are done by barrier ridden of Thames television, and well in I was absolutely amazed. What he what he did? And he did all the animation. Including the pulling ice of the intolerance sets. And. Yeah. Genius stuff. Kevin. We're at the mercy of the clock. And we're with Harold Lloyd clinging dangling here now, but but we cannot let you go without at least a little chaplain just a little bit of chaplain because when you made your documentary and David Gill made your documentary, unknown Chaplin. You. You recreated something none of us, including you, whatever have thought possible. Thrilling? So watch Charlie Chaplin develop some of his films right in front of your eyes. Using his out tape. Thrilling only word is thrilling was it was it that to you. Oh, can you imagine? And it was a wicked pirate who owned. Yes. Yes. Raymond robot a great steer to give the devil his due. I would have anything to do with him. I was to pure. He wouldn't have anything to do with me because I was a collector David gale every month. Made it his duty to meet, Raymond. Rowe her and row house was so grateful. He started talking, and he heard that we had found one or two rolls of film in the chaplain volt and he said how many cans did you find and David said, oh, I think about who is fifteen paps. This is at all he said got more than that. And David said, you call than that of what he says, I got more than that of unknown Chaplin footage. It took eighteen months for David to persuade Rojo to round them all up in France and ship them in a massive pen technical mature arrived in Dover with more canned rusty cans, and I'm ever seen in my life. And I wasn't allowed to be the because I was a collector and there were three hundred. Thousand fees of chaplain outtakes and four hundred thousand of Sydney Chaplin outtakes. And I was present when they were all delivered to a laboratory, and we started to look at them. I'm a hot sank was all original negative said that you couldn't recognize anybody except chat with a white massage. And it hurts the is to concentrate along on the stuff, but then it became so absorbing we went through the whole thing. And in the end, David did the most sensible thing, we just looked at each other and thought nobody's alive from this periods. And they're not gonna talk about it. What have we got? What do we do with it? And he said, let's join it all up because it was a total jumble. Join it all up in slate. Order and chaplain didn't have the normal method of slate. One take one slate one take two's slate one take three he just went one two three four and Europe's a six hundred even you know, where you were say he put them in order, and the result was we began to see the development and the program began to make itself. It's it's one of the greatest things I've ever seen in my entire life. And it has been released here in the states on DVD. Oh miracle. So it does. I don't remember. But I was scanning online this morning. They're still copies to be found copies to be had of unknown. Chaplin do whatever you have to do folks to sell a child. It's fine. And there's so much more. We could talk about that will have to wait for another. Visit at another time. Thank you. Kevin. Thank you very much for having me was lovely talking to you. Well, vice versa. And God bless you. So Jesse where can people follow us? You are at Leonard Maltin. And I am at Jesse Maltin on Twitter and Instagram, and you can always go to Leonard Maltin dot com for movie reviews in book, roundups and all kinds of good stuff. And there's a special tab now on the homepage of Leonard Maltin dot com. Formosan fists Maltin says taking place may tenth through twelfth at the theater in Hollywood. And he had all the information. You need we are so excited because our very own film festival. We're showing fairly recent films has twenty years or so especially just talking to Mr. Brownlow. We've also got a lot of shorts vintage shorts and cartoons and some from archives and some some the not have been projected on a big screen and a long time. So so it's the best of both worlds. Right. We love to see. You there Maltin on? Movies is sponsored today by legion. M the first fan owned entertainment company. They've got a lot of good stuff going on. And you can learn about it at legion m dot com.

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