Author Archives: Janelle Vreeland

Sherlock Found – The Rediscovery and Restoration of a Piece of Film History

Sherlock Found – The Rediscovery and Restoration of a Piece of Film History The year is 1916. The Chicago-based Essanay Film Manufacturing Company is, arguably, at the height of its powers. Just the year before, they had counted Charlie Chaplin … Continue reading

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Bengals on the Big Screen – Bringing the Zoo to the Silent Screen

Bengals on the Big Screen – Bringing the Zoo to the Silent Screen Founded in 1868, the Lincoln Park Zoo is one of the oldest zoos in the United States, and remains a special place for Chicagoans. Its history and … Continue reading

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The World’s Most Daring Drivers (and Cameramen)

The World’s Most Daring Drivers (and Cameramen) May 31 marks the 104th anniversary of the first Indy 500 race. While it may be difficult to imagine turn of the century cars taking on such an intense endurance test, it’s possible … Continue reading

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From Frazer to Fairbanks to Flynn – Robin Hood in Film (Remakes and the Early Days of Film, 5)

  From Frazer to Fairbanks to Flynn – Robin Hood in Film As recently as 2010, the character of Robin Hood appeared on the silver screen to steal from the rich, give to the poor, and chase Prince John from … Continue reading

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Chariot Races and Copyright Infringement: A Tale of Ben Hur (Remakes and the Early Days of Film, 4)

  Chariot Races and Copyright Infringement: A Tale of Ben Hur In 1907, the state of the American film industry was rather poor and was still, largely, in its infancy. D.W. Griffith had just joined the industry as an actor, … Continue reading

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Two Orphans, Three Studios, Four Films (Remakes and the Early Days of Film, 3)

  Two Orphans, Three Studios, Four Films: A Brief History of The Two Orphans From the time it was translated into English in 1874, “The Two Orphans” was a successful, well-known play in the United States. The story of orphaned … Continue reading

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Nevermore! Eclair and Essanay Pursue ‘The Raven’ (Remakes and the Early Days of Film, 2)

  Nevermore! Eclair and Essanay Pursue ‘The Raven’ As recent as 2012, Edgar Allan Poe has been portrayed in a medium which he never lived to see. His works and his life have provided ample material for film. In fact, … Continue reading

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Reboots and Reels: Remakes and the Early Days of Film (1)

  Reboots and Reels: Remakes and the Early Days of Film Remakes, reboots, and reimaginings seem to have flooded the film industry in recent years. Superhero and comic book-based films seem to be most susceptible to most reimaginings and reboots, … Continue reading

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Murder in the Windy City: The Story Behind “Chicago”: The Chicago Silent Era (Part 8)

  Murder in the Windy City: The Story Behind “Chicago” The story of Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly has been told time and time again in the form of musicals, Broadway shows and films, but it began as a play … Continue reading

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The Diamond from the Sky: American’s Crown Jewel: The Chicago Silent Era (Part 7)

  The Diamond from the Sky: American’s Crown Jewel The serial film was nothing new when the American Film Manufacturing Company released “The Diamond from the Sky” in 1915. In fact, just months before, the Thanhouser Film Corporation had wrapped … Continue reading

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