Century Film Project

Celebrating the movies our ancestors loved

Month: October, 2015

The Murderous Corpse (1913)

Murderous CorpseHere at the end of October, I’ve chosen to return to the series I started out with to close out this year’s discussion of the history of horror film. While Fantômas may not meet a strict definition of “horror movie,” the crime serial undeniably influenced the imagery and methods of later horror directors, and titles like “The Murderous Corpse” certainly evoke the conventions of the later genre.

Murderous Corpse1The movie begins by catching us up on the series, telling us that Fantômas (played by René Navarre) destroyed the villa in which he had been hiding, hoping to kill those who were pursuing him, but, of course, the heroic Fandor (Georges Melchior) escaped with minor injuries, from which he recovers in the hospital. Juve (Edmund Breon) is missing and presumed dead. We see a criminal gang at work smuggling, and then Fantômas murders a baroness, cleverly framing the artist Dollon (André Luguet) for the crime. Dollon is mysteriously murdered in prison, but not before the police make a big production of taking his fingerprints and other physical data. Fantômas, with the help of a bribed guard, then removes the body from the prison. This makes it all the more baffling when the dead man’s fingerprints are found at other crime sites! In Juve’s absence, Fandor continues to investigate on his own, while a mysterious lowlife named Cranajour seems to take an odd interest in him, all the while working with the gang of Mother Toulouche, who is clearly in cahoots with Fantômas somehow. Meanwhile (everything in a Fantômas movie is happening “meanwhile”), the banker Nantauil shows up at an important society dance and creeps around the house until he is alone with the hostess, princess Davidoff (Jean Faber), knocking her out with chloroform and stealing her valuable pearl necklace – Nantauil is just another disguise of the master of crime, Fantômas! Naturally, he leaves one of Dollon’s fingerprints on the lady’s neck as a clue, leading to the first indication that a dead man is now a criminal mastermind. Renée Carl, as Lady Beltham, again appears, seeking an audience with the banker Nantauil, and is instructed to transport two pearls and the necklace, using them to attempt to get a ransom from Thomery (Luitz-Morat), the princess’s fiancée. This turns out to be another ruse, allowing Fantômas to murder Thomery, leaving behind another false fingerprint. Meanwhile (once again), Elizabeth, the sister of the dead man (Fabienne Fabrèges) has found a note which appears to outline Fantômas’s insidious plan, and of course she’s being stalked for it. Will Fandor save her? Will inspector Juve be found? Will we learn the secret of Cranajour? Will the police ever figure out how Fantômas has set up the corpse of Dollon?

Murderous Corpse2Well, if you’ve made it this far, you probably know that the answers to all of those questions is, “yes.” trick of making gloves from a dead man’s hands is probably one of the more believable ones Fantômas uses in the series. Cranajour is, of course, Juve in disguise, and for once he actually does look pretty different under the makeup. Fantômas and his gang are able to kill several people and steal a necklace, but overall their operations are curtailed by the good guys, while still allowing him to escape and continue the series another day. This episode is quite long, as long as a standard feature film is today, which is quite a change from the shorter episodes I’ve been seeing from “Les Vampires” lately. It isn’t as laden with iconic imagery, I’ll grant you that, and the absence of Juve seems to leave it without a center to a large degree. Whose story is this? Sometimes it is Fandor’s, sometimes Elizabeth’s, but for the most part is belongs to Fantômas. The camerawork is fairly static in this one, though with somewhat more interesting angles than we see in American studio work of the time. The sets are beautifully decorated and again I find the exteriors exquisite (this may just be because Paris was so attractive in the early twentieth century). I have grown rather fond of the music that Gaumont chose to use from a library as the background score, although I said at first that it was sometimes overwhelming; it is distinctive and playful. The editing is unimaginative and there is a heavy reliance on intertitles and especially close-ups on written documents to keep the audience informed as to what’s going on. Despite some of this clumsiness or seeming-clumsiness, it’s still a fun movie, and I do like Fandor better than his dull counterpart in “Les Vampires.”

Murderous Corpse3That’s all for this year’s Halloween special! Next week, I’ll be back to normal, trying to make up for lost time as we get into Century Awards Season for 1915!

Alternate Titles: Le Mort Qui Tue, Fantômas III: Le Mort Qui Tue, The Dead Man Who Killed.

Director: Louis Feuillade

Camera: Georges Guérin

Cast: René Navarre, Georges Melchior, Edmund Breon, Renée Carl, André Luguet, Jean Faber, Luitz-Morat, Fabienne Fabrèges.

Run Time: 90 Min.

I have been unable to find this for free on the Internet. If you find it, please comment.

The Pillar of Fire (1899)

This may be the last of the nineteenth-century horror films I review – almost certainly it is the last pre-1900 for this year’s history of horror. It is another short by Georges Méliès who, it seems to me, contributed more to the rise of this genre of movie than any of his contemporaries. Of course, there are many lost films from the time, so it’s hard to be certain.

Pillar of FireIn this case, the scene is a diabolical furnace-room, possibly a depiction of Hell, with two gargoyle-like statues in the background. A bright green Devil appears and dances around while stoking the flames in a fire pit. Eventually, a woman rises in a flowing dress and does a Serpentine Dance. She changes color, becoming increasingly red as her dance becomes more strident, and finally she leaps into the air and rises upward as puff of flame and smoke.

Obviously, I’m calling this “horror” because of the Demonic elements, although in fact the girl doesn’t seem scary at all, and is even somewhat angelic in her original white-clad appearance. I think she represents the spirit of the flame. I made note of the colors because, happily, this is one of Méliès’s movies that exists in a hand-painted print, allowing us to see it in its full-color glory. The green and red come through very nicely, and hand-painting works especially well for these examples of Serpentine Dances, which were common in the early film period.

Imdb implies and The Silent Era confirms that this movie is derived from a scene in “She” by H.Rider Haggard, which was itself made into several other movies, with some horror elements (though not usually what people think of as “horror films”). If it is intended to reproduce that scene, several key characters are missing, as well as any other indication of context, but it is possible. The pillar of fire scene in that story comes at the climax, and so, we would see the woman as “She Who Must Be Obeyed” and the dance ultimately causes her death.

Alternate Titles: “La Colonne de feu,” “La Danse du feu,” “Haggard’s She: The Dance of Fire”

Director: Georges Méliès

Camera: Unknown

Cast: Jeanne D’Alcy

Run Time: 1 Min

You can watch it for free: here.

The Birth of a Nation, Part X (The Century Awards: 1915)

The year 1915 represents the transition in my Periodization from the “Nickelodeon Era” to the “Classical Silent Period.” I took this, partly at least, from David Kalat’s description of silent movie history in his commentary to Fantômas, one of the first movies I watched on reviving this project and beginning this blog. But, the more I have watched, the more convinced I have become that 1915 really does represent a profound turning-point, especially in terms of the American film industry. While there are some standout movies from 1914, even some really good American feature-length films, most of what you see from that year still carries the baggage of “early film” and looks slow, stagey, and static by modern standards. This is especially true if we eliminate French, Italian, and Russian films from consideration. In 1915, we start getting feature-length stories that draw us in, give compelling narratives, and use the camera creatively. The best movies of this year can be put up against any but the very best of later work and still come out looking at decent.

Birth_of_a_Nation BerangerTraditional film histories would give most of the credit for this to D.W. Griffith and “The Birth of a Nation.” Everything that came after it was based on it, they’ll tell you, and film, or at least American film, would have remained in its stodgy and uncreative pigeonhole without Griffith and his genius. Folks who’ve been reading this blog for a while know that I regard that narrative with some distrust: it looks to me like at least some of it is because of Griffith’s own (very effective) ballyhoo and hype, and some of it is because for far too long, far too many of the people writing about film in this period had access to far too few movies of the period to make a reasonable comparison. Generations of film students were told by their professors that this was the “best” movie of the period, and, not having seen much else from before 1915 except maybe a Méliès and a couple of Edisons, they pretty much swallowed the standard story and wrote all their books based on it. In the era before home video, it took a lot of hard work to do the kind of research necessary to challenge this view.

Birth of a Nation Sheet MusicAs much as I believe that the traditional narrative deserves debunking, though, it’s possible to go too far. There’s one piece of evidence that any Griffith-fan can call to service that I simply cannot refute: this was a hugely popular film, a “blockbuster” by any standard of judgment, and a tremendous critical success that convinced many skeptics that the motion pictures really were a serious art form. People paid up to $2.00 to see it, as much as they did for live theater events, and they saw it in “traditional” theaters rather than nickelodeons, accompanied by a full orchestra and seated by uniformed ushers. Indeed, I suspect that part of the reason for its popularity and impact is that it drew many casual movie-goers or non-movie-goers to its screenings, who were the more impressed with its spectacle for not being accustomed to how advanced the other movies of the day already were.

Acknowledging this fact forces me to admit that the movie must have had an influence: if only because the reality of Griffith’s commercial success after taking what most thought was an insanely expensive risk influenced the way studios responded to other directors who now wanted to make large, expensive feature films. The investment now looked like a good idea, and it has to be said that more studios made more and longer movies after “Birth” came out than they had before it. They also started to push the “genius” and importance of their best directors in their ad copy, following Griffith’s self-promoting example. In other words, reluctantly, I have to admit that, yes, “The Birth of a Nation” is at least partly responsible for the improvement in quality we see in American filmmaking during and after the year 1915. There, I said it: there’s some merit to the traditional narrative after all.

12068530171690234341director chair.svg.medAll of which is a VERY long-winded introduction to my topic: what am I going to do with “The Birth of a Nation” in this year’s Century Awards? It’s a problem I’ve been thinking about all year. I’ve been tempted to just ignore the problem and let it go away, or to write it off as a non-problem. “Birth” came out at the beginning of 1915, and by the end you’ve got movies like “The Cheat,” “Alias Jimmy Valentine,” “Regeneration,” and “Carmen” which clearly trump “Birth” in any technical category. But, is that really fair or accurate?

If the Century Awards represent my attempt to guess what the Motion Picture Academy would have done if it was in existence 100 years ago, “The Birth of a Nation” would have to win hands down. It was the movie on everyone’s lips at the time, it was the holy grail everyone else wanted to recreate, it was huge. It would have swept any awards given by the industry that year or the next. It would have made “Titanic” look like an also-ran. Again, it may not make me happy, but that’s what the historical evidence suggests.

Birth of a Nation3

But, if the Century Awards represent my own growing understanding about film history over time as a result of watching the movies and applying my current awareness and education to make judgment calls, that’s another thing altogether. I gave “Kid Auto Races” an award last year, not because people flocked to see it then, or because critics at the time said much about it, but because 100 years later I can see that Charlie Chaplin’s “little tramp” is one of the most iconic costumes of all time. I can see that “Birth of a Nation” was an over-rated film today, and I can certainly see that it was a hateful and racist production, so why should I feel compelled to give it awards I don’t think it deserves? I have a policy on my goodreads account that I don’t give star-ratings to materials written to promote racist viewpoints, and I can carry that over to this blog as well. “The Birth of a Nation” isn’t going to get any awards from me, whatever contemporary film makers might have done. You want to give it one, start your own blog.

The Red Cryptogram (1915)

This week’s episode of “Les Vampires” is being reviewed as part of the Silent Cinema Blogathon at “In the Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood.” I’m always pleased that film fans are taking the chance to learn about early and silent cinema, and I hope you’ll check out the other entries as well this weekend. For those of you who may be new to this series, the main thing to understand is the the “Vampires” are actually members of a criminal gang called “Les Vampires,” not supernatural undead beings.

Red Cryptogram1This was the last episode of the serial to be released in 1915, so we’ll have to wait a while to see how things develop. It’s also the longest so far, getting back to more the style of full-length serial episode that we learned to expect in Fantômas. It begins with our intrepid hero, the lackluster Guérande (Édouard Mathé), playing hooky and staying home from work on false pretenses. It’s not clear to me whether he does this to try to trick the Vampires, who thought that they had killed him in the previous episode, or just because he wants a day off. He discovers a Vampire watching his apartment, however, and goes out in disguise to a hot new nightclub featuring the act of one “Irma Vep” (played by Musidora, who would be the biggest star to come out of this series), where he watches her sing. She then goes to an after-hours club with an Apache Dance as the floor show and meets with the Grand Vampire (Jean Aymé), who instructs her to retrieve a red notebook that Guérande got from the Grand Inquisitor in the previous episode. Guérande returns home by way of his fireplace, and is shortly thereafter followed by Mazamette (Marcel Lévesque), who passes along a poisoned pen he has stolen from the Vampires.

Red CryptogramThe next day, Irma Vep arrives and applies for a job as a maid. She tries to poison Guérande, but he figures it out and drinks water instead. Now, a message comes for Guérande’s mother (who he lives with, remember), telling her that her brother was in an accident and she should come quickly to the country. Guérande suspects something and advises her to take the pen along. He continues working on decoding the mysterious notebook. A Vampire sneaks into the house with the help of Irma Vep, but Guérande shoots them both. While he goes to summon a police officer, the two “bodies” manage to escape – Irma had filled his gun with blanks! Of course, when the mother gets to her destination she is kidnapped by Vampires, who try to get her to write a ransom note to her son. She gets out her pen, and uses it to kill the man holding her captive. She runs outside and flags down the first car to make good her escape. the Grand Vampire and Irma Vep return to the hideout, and recognize the pen, which tells them that there is an infiltrator in the organization, but not who it is.

Irma Vep

Irma Vep

For people not accustomed to the serials of Louis Feuillade, this may all seem a little strange, not least because the episode doesn’t end in a cliffhanger, but this was standard for serials at the time. Each episode was more or less self-contained, and had a resolution, or partial resolution, at the end. We still don’t know what the significance of the red notebook is, and obviously Irma Vep and the Grand Vampire are still at large, but for the time being Guérande and his mother are in no immediate danger. There were some things that took me by surprise, though. For one thing, I nearly knocked myself out I slapped my forehead so hard when the name “Irma Vep” was decoded. I’ve known about Irma Vep for twenty years, even though I’d never seen this serial, and it never occurred to me it was an anagram for anything. Och! Meanwhile, Guérande continues to be a total panty-waist. Not only does he fail to rescue his own mother, he spends most of the movie in bed pretending to be sick! I don’t even think Feuillade wanted us to like this guy. Mazamette and Musidora are, ultimately, in too little of the movie to make up for it. And the usual logical inconsistency: if the gun was firing blanks, why didn’t the Vampires just overpower Guérande and force him to show them the notebook instead of escaping? Why bother putting blanks in the gun at all, instead of just taking out the bullets? I know, this is part of the fun, I should really just relax.

Silent Cinena BannerDirector: Louis Feuillade

Camera: Manichoux

Starring: Édouard Mathé, Musidora, Jean Aymé, Marcel Lévesque, Florense Simoni

Run Time: 40 Min

You can watch it for free: here (no music), or here (with music).

Great Train Robbery (1903): The Trailer

Hi folks, and welcome to my contribution to the Classic Movie Blog Association’s “Plains, Trains, and Automobiles” blogathon. I’m a little excited about this one, because I made a movie! Well, kind of. What I made was a new, high-powered trailer for the very old movie “The Great Train Robbery.” My idea is that this will be the kind of action-trailer that would actually get an audience that “doesn’t like old movies” excited to see one of the blockbusters of the past. I tried to do it exactly in the style of a big-budget action movie trailer. Did I succeed? Scroll down and judge for yourselves.

A word about copyright: I own this trailer, although of course the movie “The Great Train Robbery” is in public domain (as are all other films I used for clips) and people can do whatever they want with it. The music is originally from “Russian Sailor’s Dance” by Gliere, arrangement and foley by Toby Chappell. I fully encourage you to share this on your blog, twitter, facebook, whatever (let’s see it go viral), but please link back to the Century Film Project if you share it.

Planes Trains Automobiles

The Deadly Ring (1915)

For my “feature” this week, I’m returning to the series “Les Vampires” by Louis Feuillade, a crime-drama that served as his follow up to “Fantômas.” I’m a bit embarrassed to call it a “feature,” though, given its short running time. I’ not certain whether the relative brevity of the chapters in “Les Vampires” versus “Fantômas” was a result of budget cuts due to the curtailing of the French film industry during the First World War, or whether these were artistic decisions made by Feuillade. Since this episode and the previous one were apparently released on the same day, it could be that they were meant to be shown together.

Deadly RingAt any rate, the movie does have quite a bit to it, given the time it takes to watch. It opens on an exclusive Paris gentleman’s club, wherein a Count Noirmoutier (Jean Aymé) reads in the paper about the relationship between the heroic newspaperman Guérande (Édouard Mathé) and a ballet star named Marfa Koutiloff (Stacia Napierkowska). He then purchases a ring from a nervous fellow who warns him that one scratch from it could be deadly. Then the count heads over to Marfa’s dressing room, where she is being interviewed by Guérande and dressed by her maid. Guérande discreetly leaves and the count offers her the ring “as a token of my affection…with honorable intentions…and absolute respect.” Marfa agrees, and insists he put it on her finger, which he does a bit forcefully. Once he leaves, she complains that her finger is hurt and removes it. Then her curtain call comes and she rushes out to the stage, after donning huge batwings. Her dance as the enormous bat is one of the most iconic images of the film, but it doesn’t last long before she collapses from the poison o the ring. Guérande notices the count fleeing the scene and suddenly recognizes him as Dr. Nox (why didn’t he know him in the dressing room? Never mind.)

If this gig doesn't work out, maybe they're hiring at Disney.

If this gig doesn’t work out, maybe they’re hiring at Disney.

The second act of this episode begins with Guérande pursuing Nox in a taxicab, only to be seized by a gang of Vampires in their Fantômas-like costumes. He is then taken to a secret hideout where orders are passed along from the Grand Vampire that he is to be held there until the Grand Inquisitor comes to interrogate him at midnight. At dawn, he will be executed before the Black Council. The loyal Vampire who is left to guard him quickly becomes overheated in his costume and removes his mask. It is Mazamette (Marcel Lévesque), Guérande’s co-worker from the previous episode! Now that he has a “man on the inside” as it were, things start looking up for Guérande. He has Mazamette undo his bonds, and attempts to flee. However, the door is bolted from outside. So, they wait until the Grand Inquisitor shows up and jump him, putting a hood on him and leaving him in Guérande’s place. The next morning, the Black Council arrives to witness the deed, but before they can start, there is a police raid, led by Guérande, who wants to catch the Grand Vampire. However, they all know a secret way out, and they shoot the Grand Inquisitor before they go. The police unmask the dead man and find that it is a prominent judge of the Supreme Court. Fortunately, the Vampires now think they have assassinated Guérande, so he can continue to investigate them without fear of reprisal.

Deadly Ring1This is a fun episode, but again, somewhat less exciting than the Fantômas movies. At first, when Marfa was introduced as Guérande’s fiancée, I thought maybe we were starting to overcome some of his milksop tendencies from the previous episode, but apparently she’s just a “beard.” Anyway, so far as we know at this point, she’s dead, so the point is moot. One thing I don’t think I’ve mentioned before is that the artist Edward Gorey referred to Feuillade as one of his major influences, especially in the book Ascending Peculiarity. That Vampire Dance sequence was one of the first times I really sensed this influence in watching a Feuillade film – perhaps because the detailed backdrop looked like a background to a Gorey drawing. There’s a closeup when Marfa begins to falter in her dance, but in general the camera is fairly static and most of the story is shown in long- to mid-shot. I rather liked the touch that the reason for assembling the Black Council was to implicate all of the gang leaders in the murder together, so that no one would be “clean” should anyone try to betray the rest. Criminals just don’t go in for elaborate schemes like that in the movies anymore.

Alternate Titles: “The Ring that Kills,” “Les vampires: La bague qui tue”

Director: Louis Feuillade

Camera: Manichoux

Starring: Édouard Mathé, Jean Aymé, Stacia Napierkowska, Marcel Lévesque

Run Time: 15 Min

You can watch it for free: here (no music) or here (with music)

The Temptation of Saint Anthony (1898)

Another somewhat dubious entry in my history of horror, this may be more rightly thought of as a religious film. Still, in the cases of “The Astronomer’s Dream” and “The Devil and the Statue,” I have included movies with nearly identical plotlines, simply less overtly Christian themes, so it only seems right to include it.

Temptation of St AnthonyIt begins with Saint Anthony in a cave, with only a bible, a skull, and a massive crucifix for company. A toga-clad woman appears on the altar and touches Anthony, who recoils. Other women appear before him, but he remains steadfastly disinterested. He does, however, kiss the skull, which of course turns into a woman. Soon, three women are dancing around him and his few possessions have disappeared. Finally, when a woman appears in the place of Christ on the cross, it seems that all is lost, but an Angel appears and Saint Anthony turns to pray to him. He banishes the women. Saint Anthony has resisted temptation.

TemptationofSaintAnthonyAlthough Saint Anthony is not threatened with horrific images, it is clear that his soul is in peril throughout this movie, and that his opponents (the women) have supernatural powers to mobilize against him. The movie also has a kind of esoteric meaning – anyone who has attempted meditation knows how readily distractions, like the toga-ed women in the movie, will appear to break one’s discipline. I suspect, however, that audiences at the time may have regarded this as a somewhat daring, even shocking film, since Georges Méliès’s movies up to this point had not dealt with “sacred” material, and it was being shown in a music hall surrounded by magic acts and dancing girls, making it a questionable context and medium for such a subject. Given the “low-brow” connotations of the art form, it was a while before passion plays started to be shown on film in churches, and even then it was somewhat controversial. Méliès recycling a plot from his trick films in a religious context was also probably pretty chancy stuff.

Director: Georges Méliès

Camera: unknown

Cast: Georges Méliès

Run Time: 1 Min 10 secs

You can watch it for free: here.

The Astronomer’s Dream (1898)

Back to the nineteenth century and Georges Méliès in my ongoing history of the horror film. By 1898, his trick films are becoming more elaborate and sophisticated, although this has much in common with the movies we’ve been seeing from him so far.

Astronomers_DreamHere, a man in a typical wizard’s outfit is nodding while he studies in his observatory. The Devil appears and seems to be threatening his slumbering form, until a woman wearing a lunar symbol on her head banishes him. The astronomer gets up and draws on his chalkboard, but the figures come to life. Then, various objects, beginning with the chalkboard suddenly disappear. He tries to observe the moon through his telescope, but instead of the moon looking bigger, suddenly it appears in his room, and it has a mouth which eats the telescope! Some children dressed as clowns come out of the mouth, but the astronomer throws them back in. He tries to fight it off, but it leaps back out of range, and every object he tries to throw at it disappears. It turns into a crescent moon, with a woman reclining on it, he makes her come closer with the telescope and tries to embrace her, but then she flies up through the ceiling. Another woman appears on the crescent, and he tries to speak to her but suddenly a wall appears in the window. He tries to break it down but suddenly the giant moon is back and it swallows him whole. It chews him up and spits out the pieces, including his severed head. The Devil comes out of the mouth and gloats, picking up the head. Now, the lunar goddess reappears and again smites the Devil, putting the astronomer back together and restoring normalcy to his observatory.

Image from Silents, Please!

Image from Silents, Please!

Clearly, this one has a lot in common with “The Alchemist’s Hallucination,” but it is longer and more elaborate, and arguably more coherent. The lunar theme is maintained, and the general trajectory of the story is a kind of battle between good and evil, represented by the goddess and the Devil. We also get a kind of primitive gore effects, in seeing the astronomer dismembered by the moon, although it is done in a non-bloody manner that probably pleased most children. Most of the effects are achieved via the stop trick, there’s no magnification or double exposure that I recall. The other major effect is the woman flying directly upward, presumably on wires. The presence of the Devil also adds a traditional “horror” element, although again, he is more of a clown than a monster.

Alternate Titles: Le Reve D’un Astronome, A Trip to the Moon, La lune à un mètre

Director: Georges Méliès

Camera: Unknown

Cast: Georges Méliès

Run Time: 3 Min, 15 secs

You can watch it for free: here (no music) or here (with music)

Fantomas Index

Fantomas_1916I have created this page to act as a listing for all reviews of the Fantômas serial.

D.W Griffith: Years of Discovery, Flicker Alley/Createspace version (1909-1913)

Years of DiscoveryShortly after this blog began, I reviewed a DVD collection of D.W. Griffith movies that was (and is) readily available through Interlibrary Loan, originally released through Image Entertainment. However, it is out of print, and thus unavailable to many of you who lack access to a well-funded library system (or who, for reasons I cannot fathom, eschew libraries), unless you want to comb the internet for a used copy. Thus, you may have to settle for this version offered through Flicker Alley’s “MOD” (Manufactured on Demand) service, produced through Createspace, the makers of fine books which are completely plagiarized from Wikipedia articles. These DVDs are by no means as good as the original release. They lack the informative commentary track of the original release, as well as any other special features. Indeed, they lack certain features some of us have come to expect on DVDs, like, oh, a menu for instance. These are simply “plug-and-play” DVDs which autoplay the entire set of movies from the beginning every time you put them in. At least each movie is its own chapter, so it isn’t too hard to navigate to a particular one. The image clarity is very good, although for some reason on my set the image insisted on creating a black box around the whole thing that shrank it down without actually changing the aspect ratio.

In short, this collection in its present form is adequate, but hardly great. Hopefully one day the full functionality of the original will again be available for purchase, through one medium or another.

Find it, and other Flicker Alley MOD offerings: here.