Silent Era Information*Progressive Silent Film List*Lost Films*People*Theaters
Taylorology*Articles*Home Video*Books*Store*Search
 
 
Silent Era Home Page  >  Home Video  >  Forgotten Silver
 
Silent Era Films on Home Video
Reviews of silent film releases on home video.
Copyright © 1999-2017 by Carl Bennett
and the Silent Era Company.
All Rights Reserved.

Forgotten Silver
(1997)

 

This documentary about the largely unknown New Zealand silent era filmmaker Colin McKenzie was made in 1995 by directors Costa Botes and Peter Jackson, who is the director of The Frighteners (1996) and The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings (2001), after Jackson discovered a cache of McKenzie films in the shed of a family friend, McKenzie’s widow.

Originally made for New Zealand television, this documentary is full of surprises and revelations about the driven young man who built his own home-made camera at twelve years old, made his own filmstock, and developed an early color film process.

Also covered is McKenzie’s early partnership with his brother Brooke, their early experimental synchronized sound process, and McKenzie’s professional relationship with the tremendously unfunny comedian Stan ‘The Man’ Wilson, producer Rex Solomon of Majestic Lion Pictures, and the Palermo brothers. But much of the documentary covers McKenzie’s struggle to make his historical epic masterpiece, Salome.

The documentary includes interviews with studio executive Harvey Weinstein, film historian Leonard Maltin and actor Sam Neill, who comment on Colin McKenzie’s contribution to film during the silent era. Viewers will be fascinated and dumbfounded at the recounting of the achievements of the photographer of the first true flight of man and inventor of the steam-powered motion picture camera.

This, at times hilarious, mockumentary was a modest success at its almost convincing silent era footage that was originally shot in color and made to look like decomposing nitrate prints, its authoritative interviews with industry professionals, and its incorporation of real historical events. But how could anyone be fooled by some of the outrageous claims made of behalf of the ficticious McKenzie? Take a look at the film. If you believe it, get angry. If you don’t believe it, have a great laugh. — Carl Bennett
coverAnchor Bay Entertainment
2004 DVD edition

Forgotten Silver (1997), color and black & white, 70 minutes, not rated.

Anchor Bay Entertainment, unknown catalog number, unknown UPC number.
Full-frame 4:3 NTSC, one single-sided, single-layered? DVD disc, Region 1, ? Mbps average video bit rate, ? kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo sound, English intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, chapter stops, standard DVD keepcase, $19.98.
Release date: 26 December 2004.
Country of origin: USA
This new edition of the silent film spoof hasn’t been viewed.

We expect this edition to be of similar quality to the previous disc (noted below).

 
USA: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 1 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.com. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
 
Canada: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 1 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.ca. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
coverFirst Run Features
2000 DVD edition

Forgotten Silver (1997), color and black & white, 70 minutes, not rated.

First Run Features, unknown catalog number, UPC 7-20229-90954-9.
Full-frame 4:3 NTSC, one single-sided, single-layered DVD disc, Region 1, 6 Mbps average video bit rate, 224 kbps audio bit rate, Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo sound, English intertitles, no foreign language subtitles, chapter stops, standard DVD keepcase, $24.95.
Release date: 19 December 2000.
Country of origin: USA

Ratings (1-10): video: 9 / audio: 8 / additional content: 7 / overall: 7.
The disc’s supplementary section includes commentary by director Costa Botes, a documentary on the making of the film, “Behind the Bull,” which notes the unbelievably angry reactions to the TVNZ premiere, and deleted scenes.

This out-of-print edition has been replaced by the Anchor Bay edition noted above.

 
USA: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 1 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.com. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
 
Canada: Click the logomark to purchase this Region 1 NTSC DVD edition from Amazon.ca. Your purchase supports the Silent Era website.
 
 
Silent Era Home Page  >  Home Video  >  Forgotten Silver
 

SUPPORT SILENT ERA
USING THESE LINKS
WHEN SHOPPING AT
AMAZON

AmazonUS
AmazonCA
AmazonUK

Sherlock Holmes (1916) BD/DVD Combo

Silent Era Ads
Early Women Filmmakers: An International Anthology (1902-1943). Films by Alice Guy Blaché, Lois Weber, Germaine Dulac and more!
 
PREORDER
from Amazon

Early Women Filmmakers BD/DVD Combo

Behind the Door BD/DVD Combo

Steamboat Bill Jr/College on Blu-ray

General/Three Ages on Blu-ray

Wagon Tracks on Blu-ray

Children of Divorce BD/DVD Combo

*