U.S. Intellectual History Blog

For the Love of Film III: Epilogue

Farran Smith Nehme, aka the Self-Styled Siren and one of the co-sponsors of the annual For the Love of Film film-preservation blogathon, in which this blog participates (most recently last May),  announced today that we can now all enjoy the object of this year’s fundraising effort.  The surviving three reels of the six-reel silent The White Shadow (1924) will be streaming online for free for the next two months. The film, directed by Graham Cutts, is especially significant as it is the first surviving film on which Alfred Hitchcock is credited (he worked as assistant director, art director, editor, and writer on the movie).

Thanks to our readers who donated to this effort during this blog’s participation in For the Love of Film III last May. And thanks, too, to those among my fellow bloggers who took part.  It’s a fun event and it’s great to see such a concrete outcome!

Some more information on the film itself and the preservation project from the National Film Preservation Foundation’s Annette Melville (via the Self-Styled Siren) can be found below the fold:

The opening three reels of the six-reel feature were uncovered in 2011 during research by the NFPF to identify American silent-era titles held by the New Zealand Film Archive…The film was preserved at Park Road Post Production in New Zealand under the supervision of the NZFA and the Academy Film Archive of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

    The White Shadow will be presented for free streaming, with the following extras:     · Program notes about the film by David Sterritt     · Newly recorded musical score created by Michael M. Mortilla who, with Nicole Garcia, reprises the performance from the gala premiere at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2011     · A short bio of the New Zealand projectionist, Jack Murtagh, who salvaged the film     · Slide shows about the film’s discovery, the New Zealand Film Archive, and the Academy Film Archive

    The 43-minute presentation, which will run two months, is made possible by contributors from around the world. “Not everyone has the ability to attend the special screenings of The White Shadow in Los Angeles, Washington, or New York,” said Jonathan Marlow, co-founder of Fandor, the curated on-demand movie service that is donating webhosting for the event. “We’re thrilled to play our part in making this fascinating discovery available everywhere.” Fandor’s gift matches cash donations raised through the Internet fundraising drive organized by the 2012 “For the Love of Film” Blogathon, spearheaded by Marilyn Ferdinand, Roderick Heath, and Farran Smith Nehme. The campaign mobilized support from more than 100 film fans across five continent

    Almost everybody loves Hitchcock movies. We went one better. We helped get one back in front of thousands of viewers for the first time in decades. No modesty here: This film is online because we worked our tails off to help get it there.

Once again, I’m so glad that the USIH Blog could play a small part in getting this to happen!

And enjoy The White Shadow!

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