'Treasures 5: The West, 1898-1938': Kenneth Turan's DVD pick
If you love movies, chances are you love the western, but even devoted western fans will have a lot of new material to get excited about in "Treasures 5: The West, 1898-1938," the latest in a series of collections put together by the National Film Preservation Foundation.
This three-disc set showcases more than 40 films, including early items recently discovered in New Zealand, some of which have never been seen before. There is great travelogue footage, including some shot on an early color process called Prizma color, but there are also features that emphasize how the real West and the movie West fed each other.
So we see real outlaws like Al Jennings playing themselves in reenactments; an early film by Broncho Billy Anderson, perhaps the first cowboy star; and even a delightful Clara Bow feature called "Mantrap."
It's unusual, informative, and a great deal of fun.
-- Kenneth Turan
Photo: Pedro León demonstrates his skills in "How the Cowboy Makes His Lariat" from 1917 and part of "Treasures 5: The West, 1898-1938." Credit: Bray Studios