Produced by the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum and written by Lon and Debra Davis, Flicker Alley presents This is Francis X. Bushman, an original documentary that utilizes numerous still images, rare materials from the silent era, and never-before-seen film clips to chronicle the life and career of one of the silver screen’s most prolific and fascinating stars; American actor and director, Francis X. Bushman.
Famous for his performance as Messala in the silent epic Ben-Hur (1925), Bushman's legendary career spanned six decades with over 200 film credits to his name. Narrated by the actor’s grandson, Academy Award–winning film technician Chris Bushman, and, courtesy of remastered audio recordings, by Francis X. Bushman himself, this engaging documentary aims to shine a light on one of the earliest and most sought-after Hollywood “megastars” in history.
Featuring an original score by Frederick Hodges and Richard Chon, this publication also includes four bonus films; The Thirteenth Man (1913), rescued by Serge Bromberg and restored by the Academy Film Archive, Dawn and Twilight (1914) & Two Men and a Girl (1911) courtesy of the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum, and The Marriage Clause (1926), directed by Lois Weber.
This is Francis X. Bushman is the inaugural title in Flicker Alley’s new “Flicker Fusion” series, a new publication line that brings new projects, lesser known rarities, and archival restorations to light. With a nod to the steady stream of images that motion pictures utilize in creating the magic of moving images, our “Flicker Fusion” series will be an on-going way to offer high quality, pressed Blu-ray Disc publications at an affordable price, with more titles to be announced soon.
Bonus Materials Include:
Why Francis X. Bushman? – Video introduction by Lon Davis discussing the forty-year journey of bringing Francis X. Bushman’s story and legacy to fruition.
The Thirteenth Man (1913) (fragment) – A one-reel drama starring Francis X. Bushman, derived from existing 35mm materials. Musical score compiled and arranged by Frederick Hodges.
Dawn and Twilight (1914) – A complete one-reel Essanay drama featuring Francis X. Bushman, restored from a rare 8mm print, derived from 35mm materials. Musical score provided by Frederick Hodges and Richard Chon.
Two Men and a Girl (Love Conquers All) (1911) – One of the earliest uncovered films of Francis X. Bushman’s career, from 16mm materials provided by the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum.
The Marriage Clause (1926) (fragment) – Produced by Carl Laemmle and directed by Lois Weber, this backstage drama starring Francis X. Bushman and Billie Dove is presented from a surviving 16mm abridgment from the Library of Congress collection.
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (1925) Trailer – Original promotional trailer for the film Francis X. Bushman would become best known.
Suspense: “The City That Was” (1957) – A CBS radio drama about a murder set in old Hollywood, narrated by Francis X. Bushman.
Image Gallery – Slideshow presentation featuring seventy-two rare images of Francis X. Bushman, covering his entire life.