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Before the Nickelodeon: The Early Cinema of Edwin S. Porter (1982)

This documentary is produced by one of the world's foremost authorities and biographers of ad feedback

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Title: Before the Nickelodeon: The Early Cinema of Edwin S. Porter (1982)

Before the Nickelodeon: The Early Cinema of Edwin S. Porter (1982) on IMDb 6.4/10

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Blanche Sweet ... Narrator (voice)
Jay Leyda Jay Leyda ... Reader - Thomas A. Edison (voice)
Rob Issen Rob Issen ... Reader - Corbett-Courtney Fight (voice)
Robert Sklar Robert Sklar ... Reader - Porter's Naval Record (voice)
Robert Rosen Robert Rosen ... Reader - Vitascope's First Night (voice)
Mitchell Kriegman ... Reader - 'Kiss' Review (voice)
Peter Davis Peter Davis ... Reader - Eden Musee / War Films (voice)
D.A. Pennebaker ... Reader - Film as a Visual Newspaper (voice)
Milos Forman ... Reader - The Biddle Brothers (voice)
Warren Leight ... Reader - Terrible Teddy (voice)
Rick King Rick King ... Reader - Sampson-Schley Controversy (voice)
Anthony Potter Anthony Potter ... Reader - Fighting the Flames (voice)
Louis Malle ... Reader - Melies Catalogue (voice)
Robert Altman ... Reader - 'Jack And The Beanstalk' Promo (voice)
Jim Walton Jim Walton ... Reader - 'Jack And The Beanstalk' (voice)


This documentary is produced by one of the world's foremost authorities and biographers of Edwin S. Porter. Since little is known of Porter's personal life, the emphasis here is on his technique and contributions to the art of the cinema. This film also serves as a documentary on the origins of the American cinema; Porter's work is showcased in the context of the whole American cinema of his day, from mutoscope parlors to the advent of the projected image. Written by Thomas McWilliams <tgm@netcom.com>

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An Age of Innovation. An Era of Idealism. The Time When American Movies Were Born.







Release Date:

October 1982 (USA) See more »

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Pretty dry - for film history buffs only
23 July 2000 | by mandzirmSee all my reviews

For anyone with a strong interest in film history, this is very worthwhile; there is much footage here you probably haven't seen and won't see anywhere else. It's interesting to see Porter's contributions to early cinema. It's also a curious puzzle why the inventor of many early film techniques would be content to let his craft to stagnate, allowing the film industry to pass him by.

The presentation is pretty dry, however - like something designed for the classroom.

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