The Age of Ballyhoo (1973)

Not Rated   |  Video   |    |  Documentary

The Age of Ballyhoo (1973) Poster

A documentary about the film industry, narrated by 'Gloria Swanson', in the period between World War I and World War II. Included are clips from a variety of films of that period.

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David Shepard


David Thaxton

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8 August 2009 | MartinHafer
| Uninspiring
This is a documentary about the era following WWI and was included on a DVD with the silent film, THE CLINGING VINE. TGHE AGE OF BALLYHOO was narrated by Gloria Swanson and this is odd, as she wasn't even in THE CLINGING VINE, so the tie-in between the two films seems a bit tenuous. It would have seemed to have made a lot more sense to have this documentary bundled with one of Swanson's silent films.

The film is made up of lots of clips from newsreels as well as movies. This didn't work out completely well, as the films were often in terrible shape--grainy and washed out. This could be corrected, to an extent, today but back in 1973 it could not--though I do wonder why they didn't look for better quality film. Additionally, while I have enjoyed some of Ms. Swanson's films, here she is all wrong--with absolutely no energy in the narration--none. Frankly, the script she read and her narration together made me long for the film to end.


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