News from the Silent Movie Front: Kafka, Lost Fay Wray, Crowdfunding Silent Horror, Marion Davies News & New Silent Blus

Lots of wonderful new releases and crowdfunding projects to share with you! I also have a secret project starring an actress who looks suspiciously like Fay Wray.

Four Discs of Kafka’s Moviegoing World

Edition filmmuseum has released a four-disc set of the films that author Franz Kafka saw and wrote about during his lifetime. I am absolutely enraptured with this theme and congratulate the filmmuseum for the brilliant idea. The set is an eclectic mix of Czech, Danish, Italian, French, German, American releases that range in date from 1907 to 1921. The films have new scores by Günter A. Buchwald and Richard Siedhoff.


A Tram Ride Through Prague 1908
First International Competition for Airplanes in Brescia 1909
Italian travelogues 1907-1913
Nick Winter and the Theft of the Mona Lisa 1911
The White Slave 1911
Theodor Körner 1912
Celebrating 300 Years of the Romanov Dynasty 1913
The Other 1913
The Heart Breaker 1913
Daddy-Long-Legs 1919
Táta Dlouhán 1919
Return to Zion 1921
Kafka Goes to the Movies 2002

The set is an all-region PAL DVD and can be ordered here.

Crowdfunding Two Rare Horror Silents

Andrew E. Simpson has launched a campaign to release Whispering Shadows and The Devil’s Assistant on home video. He’s already reached his funding goal but you can still jump in and claim one of the sweet rewards being offered.

I’m just spreading the word about this campaign, so if you have any questions about the project, please contact the organizers directly on their Kickstarter page.

Preorder ZaZa!

As part of their ongoing partnership with Paramount, Kino Lorber has made Gloria Swanson’s 1923 hit ZaZa available for preorder. The film has a street date of June 6, 2017 and will be available on DVD and Bluray. It will be accompanied by a score composed and performed by Jeff Rapsis, who adapted music from the original 1923 cue sheet. ZaZa was a particular favorite of its star and has been almost completely unavailable to the general public since its initial release.

Kino has also announced the release of The Covered Wagon, Old Ironsides, Stage Struck, Manhandled, and It’s the Old Army Game. I will provide Amazon preorder links once they are available. I have also unboxed the new Kino Bluray version of The Sheik, if you’re interested.

Lots of Marion Davies!

Ben Model has announced that in addition to releasing the smash crowdfunding hit When Knighthood was in Flower on DVD/Bluray, his Undercrank Productions will also be releasing Beauty’s Worth and The Bride’s Play on DVD. These discs were previously available only as backer rewards from the Kickstarter campaigns of Edward Lorusso. I will post preorder links once they are available but the estimated street date is autumn of 2017.

Unknown Fay Wray Performance

I won’t be revealing the title or more information for now but you will be seeing an unknown and undocumented Fay Wray performance very soon. Here’s a little taste from the rough transfer, what do you think?

The film is now being professionally transferred and edited and it will have a custom score! (It’s from Christopher Bird’s 9.5mm collection, you’ll recall that he has been generously making his treasures available to us on YouTube.) More details later.


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14 Replies to “News from the Silent Movie Front: Kafka, Lost Fay Wray, Crowdfunding Silent Horror, Marion Davies News & New Silent Blus”

  1. I’ve been ecstatic with the all the silents Kino has released this year. I plan on getting both Sheik/Son of the Sheik at the beginning of next month.

    I’ve been dying for more Gloria Swanson films on BluRay after watching Sadie Thompson which they said is a possible future release. All three of the Marion Davies films all sound interesting. Curse not having more money.

  2. What exciting new to be able to see a silent filmthat Swanson loved and one we mere humans could never see…u til now. Looking forward to hearing about Fay Wray….a Canuck!

  3. Just back from short hiking/camping trip and can hardly wait to tear into the three Movies Silently posts that landed in the email box while away. This one’s a stunner just from a quick look into the visuals!

  4. Couldn’t resist: pre-ordered Zaza and chipped a little in on Whispering Shadows/Devil’s Assistant crowdfunding. Having heard Andy Simpson’s sublime playing at several screenings, am delighted to see he’s spearheaded this Kickstarter campaign. Two new silent horrors for our annual Halloween bash? I’m so in 😀

  5. The three Marion Davies films will mark a first-time DVD/BLU release of the restored WHEN KNIGHTHOOD WAS IN FLOWER which has only existed as a murky old Videobrary VHS print. BEAUTY’S WORTH has also been restored and re-timed and has also been around in a dingy old VHS print. THE BRIDE’S PLAY will have its original tint design reinstated by Ben Model. All three films come from Library of Congress 35MM prints, all three are scored by Ben.

    I had no part in the KNIGHTHOOD project (damn) which will also include some hand-colored scenes to replicate the original release print.

    These three will join SHOW PEOPLE, THE RED MILL, THE PATSY, QUALITY STREET and GETTING MARY MARRIED as available on disk. My other Davies projects ENCHANTMENT, THE RESTLESS SEX and the upcoming APRIL FOLLY are available through me.

    1. Thanks for the additional details! Glad to hear your other Kickstarter projects are available as well. There are always people who miss fundraising campaigns but hope to obtain a copy of the film later. Very much looking forward to April Folly and its accompanying short.

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