Review: ‘The Young and the Dead’

A straightforward documentary about the young team that recently took over the venerable Hollywood Memorial Park Cemetery, the resting place for such movie greats as Florence Lawrence (said to have been the first movie star), Rudolph Valentino, Janet Gaynor, Tyrone Power, Cecil B. DeMille, Douglas Fairbanks and Paul Muni. In a rundown and bankrupt state under previous owner, Jules Roth, who refused to allow minorities, including Oscar-winner Hattie McDaniel, to be buried there, the new owners, led by 28-year-old Tyler Cassity, are profiled in a pic that will mean more to Hollywood insiders than to anyone else.

A straightforward documentary about the young team that recently took over the venerable Hollywood Memorial Park Cemetery, the resting place for such movie greats as Florence Lawrence (said to have been the first movie star), Rudolph Valentino, Janet Gaynor, Tyrone Power, Cecil B. DeMille, Douglas Fairbanks and Paul Muni. In a rundown and bankrupt state under previous owner, Jules Roth, who refused to allow minorities, including Oscar-winner Hattie McDaniel, to be buried there, the new owners, led by 28-year-old Tyler Cassity, are profiled in a pic that will mean more to Hollywood insiders than to anyone else.

The affable Cassity and his youthful team are bringing the cemetery into the digital age via mini video bios of stars buried there as well as other techno advances. Material that would have been ideal fodder for a quirky filmmaker like Errol Morris is given a largely uncritical approach. Highlight of the technically well made film is the re-internment of McDaniel almost 50 years after her death in 1952, a ceremony attended by a man who claims to have been the baby the actress nursed in “Gone With the Wind.”

The Young and the Dead

Production

A Tail Slate Pictures production. Produced by Ellin Baumel. Executive producer, Sheila Nevins. Co-producer, Julia King. Directed by Shari Springer Berman, Robert Pulcini.

Crew

Camera (color), Michael Barrow, Sandra Chandler; editor, Robert Pulcini; music, Mark Suozzo. Reviewed at Venice Film Festival (New Territories), Sept. 7, 2000. Running time: 93 MIN.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety

Loading