The 110th Anniversary of The Great Train Robbery
Moving images changed with the debut of The Great Train Robbery in December of 1903. Produced by Thomas Edison, inventor of many audio and visual playback machines, the film began to shift the focus from novelty films such as Carmencita to plot-based cinema.
The Great Train Robbery was one of the first crime dramas and archetype of the western genre. The film introduced moviegoers to robberies, chase scenes, and gun shoot-offs. The film was also one of the first to incorporate a full cast of actors and to shoot on-location.
Most of the films preserved at the National Archives were produced by government agencies. Yet The Great Train Robbery was produced by the Edison Company. This raises the question, how did it get here?
Learn the answer - and more background to The Great Train Robbery at our Media Matters blog: Media Matters » The Great Train Robbery
A Vintage Fashion Flashback from the Women’s Army Corps for Fashion Week!
In 1970, the Army began using a series of three training films produced for the Women’s Army Corps (WAC). The third film in the Military Etiquette and Grooming series, The Pleasure of Your Company (1970), covers many pressing fashion & etiquette questions for WACs watching the film, including:
- Can I wear a mini skirt and jewelry when out of uniform?
- Who opens the door first when not in uniform?
- If I go out on a dinner date, who orders? (Hint: It’s not the lady!)
- How should I introduce my date to the Chaplain and his wife? (Hint: Gentlemen are always presented to ladies!
- Which fork should I use first?!? (Um, you get the picture.)
The Pleasure of Your Company, stands as an artifact of an American military and society that were to undergo sweeping changes over the following decade. By the end of the 1970s, the WAC would be integrated into the rest of the Army and society would be on its way to treating women much differently in the workplace. Sometimes it’s easy to forget how far we have come until we take a look back at the films of the past.
The March (1963, Restored)
To mark the 50th anniversary of the The March for Jobs and Freedom, the National Archives’ Motion Picture Preservation Lab completed a full digital restoration of James Blue’s monumental 1963 film. The original negatives assembled by James Blue were scanned and three months were spent restoring defects in the image and enhancing the audio track.
For more information please visit the National Archives Media Matters Blog:
Making the March and Protecting Your Past: The Preservation and Restoration of The March
On August 28, 1963, hundreds of thousands of people participated in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The event included performances by Marian Anderson and Bob Dylan, and speeches from John Lewis and Martin Luther King, Jr.
To mark the 50th anniversary of the March, the National Archives Motion Picture Lab completed a full digital restoration of the James Blue’s 1964 film, The March, produced for the USIA. Using Blue’s original negatives, staff restored defects in the image and enhanced the audio track. The film documents the event from its preparations through Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.
You can view the documentary in its entirety on our YouTube Channel: http://ow.ly/ok5Tr
Do you remember the 1963 march, and do you plan on participating in the 50th anniversary celebrations today?
Protecting Your Past–It’s What We Do Here: The Preservation and Restoration of The March
The March, the James Blue film documenting the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, was released to countries around the world in 1964. Despite this wide reach, the film remained out of the American public eye for decades. That is, until August 1st, 1986 , when Congress passed HR 4985 instructing “the Archivist of the United States to provide for the distribution within the United States of the USIA film “The March.”
To read more about The Preservation and Restoration of the March, visit NARA’s Media Matters blog!
The National Archives is screening the digital restoration of The March at the Archives building in Washington, D.C. at noon August 26th – 28th in the McGowan Theater and will make the restored version available for viewing online.