Dawson City: Frozen Time


Action / Documentary / History

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh100%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright69%
IMDb Rating7.6101963


Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN

Top cast

Charles Chaplin Photo
Charles Chaplin as Self as The Lone Prospector
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
900.59 MB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
2 hr 0 min
P/S ...
1.85 GB
English 2.0
23.976 fps
2 hr 0 min
P/S 1 / 5

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by jboothmillard7 / 10

Dawson City: Frozen Time

I always look forward to the latest entries into the book 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die, to tick off the ones I've already seen and look into the ones I haven't, in the latest edition this was the only one I had missed out on, and I couldn't wait to watch it. Basically it explores the history of Dawson City, Canada, deep in the Yukon territory, located about 350 miles south of the Arctic Circle. It sees the creation of the town during the Klondike Gold Rush, the area was an important hunting and fishing camp for a nomadic First Nation tribe known as Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in, then transformed into a gold mining town near the end of the 19th century. The town was settled in 1896 upon the discovery of gold in its creeks, the gold rush brought 100,000 prospectors to the area that year, the same year the world was introduced to commercial cinema with the advent of new large-scale projectors, and the "movie theater". The first transparent and flexible film base material was celluloid, they were then manufactured on a nitrate film base, both materials were highly flammable and difficult to extinguish. Estimates say that 80-90% of silent films have been lost over time, in 1929 Dawson City was forced to hide many original film stocks, when there was a possibility they would be destroyed. In 1978, Dawson City became a talking point once again, when 533 silent film reels, thought to be lost, were discovered buried in a former swimming pool or hockey rink. These films contained silent films and newsreels, archival footage, interviews and historical photographs, and also rare footage of historic events, including the including the 1919 World Series (the annual championship series of Major League Baseball (MLB) in North America). Extensive work was carried out to clean and rescue as much of this footage as possible. The story of Dawson City and its history, and the discovery of the lost film, is told through the silent footage found, and established silent classics (including The Gold Rush, starring Charlie Chaplin),accompanied with text and an original music score by Alex Somers. This film is very well edited, the footage used really brings to life what is happening, the music used fits very well, and it makes you feel like you are watching a classic silent movie, a wonderfully atmospheric and most interesting silent documentary. Very good!

Reviewed by gbill-748776 / 10

Fascinating, but not focused

A documentary that tries to do just a little too much. The story itself is fascinating - the discovery in 1978 of a trove of lost silent films preserved in the permafrost of Dawson City, Canada. To me, the 'star of the show' in the documentary needs to be the films, and I would have liked the focus to be there, after an introductory explanation of context. Instead, director Bill Morrison rewinds us all the way back through the history of Dawson, from its founding, the Yukon gold rush, and the subsequent changes to the town over the years. He also takes us through various news stories and social movements from the 1910's and 1920's, as they relate to footage that was discovered.

I like history and some of this was interesting to me, and at its best he matches photos to footage (for example, a socialist agitator being deported back to Russia). At its worst he gets into minutiae of Dawson's history, and instead of just showing some number of the silent films fragments themselves with explanation of the actors, attempts to match footage to what people in the present are talking about. For example, one of the discoverers of the trove says he had to call someone up to come have a look at it, so as he's describing that, we see footage of someone on the phone in an old movie. The background music is awfully eerie and odd in places too. It was interesting enough to watch and a lot of research and care went into the production, so depending on your interests, you may like it better.

Reviewed by mozartsw2006-784-2207795 / 10

Fascinating Images, Great History, however

This is my first review of any film or documentary on IMDB. I just felt I had to say something about this documentary, which I viewed last night (9/9/18) on Turner Classic Movies. As I say in my title, I was fascinated by the photographs and the recovered film that has been expertly restored by Canadian and American film preservation experts, and we should all be grateful for their skill and determination to accomplish this task. I'm also grateful for the filmmakers to bring this important story to light. Perhaps it will inspire others to become preservationists, to search for lost films, or just to appreciate the films we have. HOWEVER.......I must mention two things that caused me to lower my rating of this film. 1) The interminable use of the "Ken Burns effect" (panning and scanning of the still photos). At the thirty minute mark of the film, I had to take a dose of Dramamine to prevent motion sickness. I believe that the filmmakers were attempting to pay tribute to "City of Gold" (1957),an important documentary about the Yukon. A tribute is commendable, but I believe in this case it was taken to distracting, unnecessary lengths. 2) The musical score. I have been watching all types of films for over 45 years, literally thousands, and I can truthfully say that I have never heard a worse film score than this one. This so-called ambient music was totally unsuited for this film. This noise should be called ambien music, because it could make someone want to reach for a bottle of that drug and consume the entire contents.

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