MTR.2011.2 Mountaineers Film Collection, Charles Perryman Newsreels

Digitization of these films was made possible by a grant from the Brunhilde Wislicenus Fund of The Mountaineers Foundation.

Charles Perryman was a Selznick newsreel cameraman in the 1920s. These films were donated to The Mountaineers by Perryman's grandson, Steve Turner. The films are on a single large reel (16mm safety film, mostly silent, 900ft+). This reel appears to be a print (not original film). It contains several formats. Some segments have only one line of sprocket holes, while other segments have two rows. A few segments have optical sound, but most are silent. Note: A second, small reel was included with this donation. It contains a 16mm negative of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge collapse.

"God Bless America"

Inspirational feature by News of the Day. Music by Irving Berlin, sung by Kate Smith. Optical sound. Length about 2 minutes. Patriotic scenes and Americana. (There is a brief scene of flower fields below Mount Rainier. Another scene shows Glacier Peak in the North Cascades viewed from Miners Ridge. The foreground meadow is completely filled with sheep!) At the end of the film is a message urging viewers to contribute to the Red Cross.

Newsreel Section

Except for the 1922 Mt Rainier film, it is hard to know which scenes in these newsreels were shot by Charles Perryman. These films (except for the Mt Rainier film) were all transferred to digital format at the 16mm sound film speed (24 frames/sec). Since most of these films are silent (probably filmed at 18 frames/sec), they run faster in these videos than they should. The films are listed below in the same order they were on the film reel. For video clips, click the entry in the Title column, below.

Denver Sleet and IceunknownSilent13 sec.-
Doug Fairbanks patronizes bars at Hollywood ball gameunknownSilent43 sec.Gymnastic maneuvers.
Menacing flood bursts dike near Kent, WAunknownSound43 sec.Includes sound commentary.
Theda Bara takes first swing at golf ballunknownSilent45 sec.Hollywood femme fatale.
Lloyd George threatens to quitunknownSilent14 sec.British prime minister.
Smith Tower parachute jumpunknownSilent36 sec.One-armed daredevil Mink De Ronda.
Swimmer dares death in Sunset FallsunknownSilent47 sec.-
Tuna fish leap at fishermen in rush for hooksunknownSilent1+ min.Film has vertical roll problem.
Charles Lindbergh's trans-Atlantic flight1927Silent35 sec.No titles or captions.
Mount Rainier first winter ascent1922Silent5 min.Charles Perryman accompanies French climbers.
Shaft at Kitty Hawk dedicated to Wright brothers flightunknownSilent35 sec.-
Indians and rodeo scenesunknownSilent1 min.No titles or captions.
Tacoma Narrows Bridge collapse1940Silent2+ min.Well-known scenes of "Galloping Gertie."

"Tillie's Punctured Romance"

This silent film is introduced as part of a history of the movie industry. The film was made in 1914 and features Charlie Chaplin, Marie Dressler (playing Tillie Banks) and Mabel Normand (playing Charlie's girlfriend). Here is a short summary from "Charlie talks wealthy farmer's daughter Tillie into eloping with him (and taking her father's money). In the city Tillie gets drunk and lands in jail while Charlie runs off with her money and his old girlfriend Mabel. Later Charlie reads that Tillie (now working as a waitress) has inherited the estate of her multi-millionaire uncle. Charlie dumps Mabel and talks Tillie into moving into her uncle's villa, and Mabel arranges to become a housemaid there. The uncle (never really dead) returns and summons the police to have them all thrown out." This film takes up about 40% of the reel. (I don't think it is the complete film.)

(Film notes and video clip by Lowell Skoog.)