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"Pioneers: First Women Filmmakers"

In the early decades of cinema, some of the most innovative and celebrated filmmakers in America were women. Alice Guy-Blaché helped establish the basics of cinematic language, while others boldly continued its development: slapstick queen Mabel Normand (who taught Charlie Chaplin the craft of directing), action star Grace Cunard, and LGBTQ icon Alla Nazimova. Unafraid of controversy, filmmakers such as Lois Weber and Dorothy Davenport Reid tackled explosive issues such as birth control, abortion, and prostitution. This crucial chapter of film history comes alive through the presentation of a wide assortment of films, carefully curated, meticulously restored in 2K and 4K from archival sources, and presented with new musical scores.



Review: Kino -  Region 'A' - Blu-ray

Box Cover


CLICK to order from:

Distribution Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
  Blu-ray One (of 6)

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 49,181,052,110 bytes

Sample Feature Size: 5,062,063,680 bytes

Video Bitrate: 17.49 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video / 24 fps


NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Sample Blu-ray Bitrate:




Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / DN -2dB


English intertitles


Complete List of Directors and Films Included:


Mixed Pets [AM], Alice Guy Blaché, 1911, 14.1 min.
Tramp Strategy [AM], Alice Guy Blaché, 1911, 12 min.
Greater Love Hath No Man [AM], Alice Guy Blaché, 1911, 16.25 min.
Algie the Miner [AM], Alice Guy Blaché, 1912, 10 min.
Falling Leaves, Alice Guy Blaché, 1912, 11.75 min.
Little Rangers, The, Alice Guy Blaché, 1912, 11.5 min.
Canned Harmony, Alice Guy Blaché, 1912, 16 min.
Fool and His Money, A, Alice Guy Blaché, 1912, 10.75 min.
High Cost of Living, The, Alice Guy Blaché, 1912, 14.5 min.
* Coming of Sunbeam, The [AM], Alice Guy Blaché, 1913, 11.25 min.
* Burstup Homes' Murder Case, Alice Guy Blaché, 1913, 14.75 min.
* A House Divided, Alice Guy Blaché, 1913, 13.2 min.
Matrimony's Speed Limit / NYWIFT, Alice Guy Blaché, 1913, 14 min.
Ocean Waif, The, Alice Guy Blaché, 1916, 36.3 min.
Colleen Bawn, The, Gauntier, Gene (sc), 1911, 35 min.
On the Brink, Lois Weber, 1911, 12.5 min.
* Cricket, The, Wilson, Elsie Jane, 1917, 12 min.
Introduction to Series, approx 13 min.
Alice Guy-Blache documentary, approx 10 min.
About the Restorations, approx 7 min.


From Death to Life, Lois Weber, 1912, 13.75 min.
Fine Feathers, Lois Weber, 1912, 15 min.
Rosary, The, Lois Weber, 1913, 14.5 min.
Suspense, Lois Weber, 1913, 11.25 min.
Lost By a Hair, Lois Weber, 1914, 4 min.
Hypocrites, Lois Weber, 1915, 51.5 min.
Sunshine Molly, Lois Weber, 1915, 31.5 min.
Idle Wives, Lois Weber, 1916, 23.5 min.
* Too Wise Wives, Lois Weber, 1921, 69.5 min.
What Do Men Want?, Lois Weber, 1921, 40.75 min.
Lois Weber documentary, approx 12 min.


* Hazards of Helen Ep. 09: Leap From the Water Tower, Helen Holmes, 1915, 11 min.
Hazards of Helen Ep.13: The Escape on the Fast Freight*, Helen Holmes, 1915, 11.25 min.
Hazards of Helen Ep. 26: Wild Engine, The, Helen Holmes, 1915, 10.5 min.
* Purple Mask, The; Episode 5, Part 1, Grace Cunard, 1917, 13 min.
Purple Mask, The: Episode 12 (Vault of Mystery), Grace Cunard, 1917, 19.5 min.
Purple Mask, The; Episode 13, Part 1 (The Leap), Grace Cunard, 1917, 10.5 min.
A Daughter of "The Law", Grace Cunard, 1921, 21.75 min.
Eleanor's Catch, Madison, Cleo, 1916, 13.25 min.
49 - '17, Baldwin, Ruth Ann, 1917, 70.25 min.
Caught in a Cabaret, Mabel Normand, 1914, 23.5 min.
Mabel's Blunder, Mabel Normand, 1914, 16.5 min.
Mabel and Fatty's Wash Day, Mabel Normand, 1916, 13 min.
* Mabel Lost and Won, Mabel Normand, 1915, 13.5 min.
That Ice Ticket, Gibson, Angela Murray, 1923, 10 min.
Ethnographic Films, Hurston, Zora Neale, 1929, 12.5 min.
Mabel Normand documentary, approx 7 min.
Serial Queens documentary, approx 7 min.


Where Are My Children?, Lois Weber, 1916, 65 min.
Her Defiance, Madison, Cleo, 1916, 21 min.
When Little Lindy Sang, Warrenton, Lule, 1916, 10.25 min.
Curse of Quon Gwon: When the Far East Mingle with the West, Wong, Marion E., 1916, 35 min.
Scandal (aka Scandal Mongers), Lois Weber, 1916, 35.5 min.
Dream Lady, The, Wilson, Elsie Jane, 1918, 53.75 min.
* Something New, Shipman, Nell, 1920, 56.75 min.
Social Commentary, approx 12 min.


Risky Road, The, Park, Ida May, 1918, 2 min.
Bread, Park, Ida May, 1918, 16 min.
Salome, Nazimova, Alla, 1923, 71.5 min.
Red Kimona , Davenport Reid, Dorothy, 1925, 77 min.
* Motherhood: Life's Greatest Miracle, Lawrence, Lita, 1925, 59.25 min.
Linda, Davenport Reid, Dorothy, 1929, 73.25 min.


Call of the Cumberlands, The, Ivers, Julia Crawford, 1916, 64 min.
* Broadway Love, Park, Ida May, 1918, 61 min.
Back to God's Country, Shipman, Nell, 1919, 73.5 min.
Song of Love, The, Marion, Frances, 1923, 81 min.
The End of an Era, approx 10 min.


Mastered from 2K & 4K restorations of more than 50 films.
Expanded edition from DVD
Features, shorts, fragments.
80-page booklet with essays and photos.
Musical scores by Renee C. Baker, The Berklee Silent Film Orchestra, Makia Matsumura, Maud Nelissen, Dana Reason, Aleksandra Vrebalov, and others.


Blu-ray Release Date: November 20th, 2018





NOTE: These Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.


ADDITION: Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray (November 2018):  We were intrigued by this release as soon as it was announced as a 'Kickstarter Project' and partnership with The Library of Congress.




We have pioneer female directors with a full selection of their work in 1080P 24fps, mastered from 2K & 4K restorations. We were treated in 2017 to Flicker Alley's Early Women Filmmakers 3-disc Blu-ray (Reviewed HERE) also with work by Alice Guy-Blaché, Lois Weber and others. However, this Kino set has double the content with six dual-layered Blu-rays digging deep into the archive covering more than 50 films; fragment, shorts and full features ranging from the years 1911 to 1929.


There is a brief text screen description, providing background (see samples below) and source information where applicable. Obviously, the quality varies with mild to moderate damage and fragments in most of the very early films. We accept this for appreciating the ability to be able to see the film and in high definition, in these varying degrees to decay, or not at all. The damage for some can have segments of being quite extensive but they still held the essence of the original presentation. Some silent films have tints and there overall 'feel' has a magical quality as if stepping back in time. Brilliant stuff!


The audio is in lossy Dolby with new musical scores by Renee C. Baker, The Berklee Silent Film Orchestra, Makia Matsumura, Maud Nelissen, Dana Reason, Aleksandra Vrebalov, and others. They sound quite clean, appropriately flat but even augmenting the film experiences. These are English intertitles and the 6 Blu-ray discs are coded region 'A' (stated on the case box.)


Extras include an 'Introduction to Series', a Alice Guy-Blache documentary, 'About the Restorations', a Mabel Normand documentary, a Serial Queens documentary, audio commentaries for select films etc. with input by Shelley Stamp, author of Lois Weber in Early Hollywood, and Reclaiming the Archive: Feminism and Film History, Cari Beauchamp, author of Without Lying Down: Frances Marion and the Powerful Women of Early Hollywood First Edition), Karen Ward Mahar (author of Women Filmmakers in Early Hollywood (Studies in Industry and Society), George Willeman of the Nitrate Film Vault, Anthony Slide (author of Silent Players: A Biographical and Autobiographical Study of 100 Silent Film Actors and Actresses) and others and there is an 80-page booklet with essays and photos etc. included in the package.

This is, obviously, geared toward Silent Era fans but has the cache of any individuals interested in early women filmmakers - especially Alice Guy Blaché, Lois Weber, Helen Holmes and Mabel Normand! This is nirvana for keen purchasers ready to immerse themselves in a blossoming new expression started over 100 years ago. To those even remotely interested - Kino's 6 Blu-ray package is strongly recommended!

 Gary W. Tooze



 Some of the Titles

Sample - Description



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Box Cover


CLICK to order from:

Distribution Kino - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


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Gary Tooze