7.5/10
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Silent Britain (2006)

Not Rated | | Documentary | TV Movie 31 May 2006
A documentary about the early years of silent films made in Britain. Showing that it wasn't just a few, easily dismissed comedies, but many high quality films including some very popular ... See full summary »

Director:

David Thompson

Writer:

Matthew Sweet
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Matthew Sweet Matthew Sweet ... Himself - Presenter
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jack Cardiff ... Himself
Ian Christie Ian Christie ... Himself
Bryony Dixon Bryony Dixon ... Herself
Michael Eaton Michael Eaton ... Himself
Frank Gray Frank Gray ... Himself
Alfred Hitchcock ... Himself (archive footage)
Joan Morgan Joan Morgan ... Herself (archive footage)
George Pearson George Pearson ... Himself (archive footage)
Mabel Poulton ... Herself (archive footage)
Chrissie White ... Herself (archive footage)
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Storyline

A documentary about the early years of silent films made in Britain. Showing that it wasn't just a few, easily dismissed comedies, but many high quality films including some very popular comedies and some fine dramas. Matthew Sweet shows through examples how the art and even the language of film was developed by some of these pioneers working in Britain. Written by Steve Crook <steve@brainstorm.co.uk>

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Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

Not Rated
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Details

Official Sites:

BBC Four [UK]

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 May 2006 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Connections

Features Rescued by Rover (1905) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Informative and Enthusiastic Overview of the Silent Era in Britain
1 October 2009 | by CineanalystSee all my reviews

Matthew Sweet presents a chronological overview of the silent era in Britain, from the inventors of the medium who worked in England to the surrender to talkies by 1930. Along the way, Sweet succeeds in dismissing views that Britain was mostly lacking quality productions during the silent era. Sweet does, however, reinforce, by the amount of time he devotes, the history that the UK was the most ahead of the curve in the beginning, roughly from "Rough Sea at Dover" (1895) to "Rescued by Rover" (1905), went into commercial decline with the Great War, and saw an artistic peak of the medium at the end of the 1920s. Perhaps, the beautiful films of the late 1920s in Britain (as elsewhere) hasn't always been recognized, with the exception of those made by Alfred Hitchcock, but that's been changing thanks to historians like Sweet and this program's producer David Thompson.

If you want to purchase this show on DVD, for instance, and regions aren't an issue for you, then get the American Kino one, where it is included with "A Cottage on Dartmoor" (1929); it's better than the short film included on the British DVD. After all, the best and worst part of "Silent Britain" is that it garners interest in these films by showing clips and discussing them: some of them are accessible even on home video, but others are mostly hidden in the archives or lost entirely.


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