Flashbacks purports to be a feature-length documentary of the British and American film industries, from the earliest "magic lantern" experiments to the present day. Precious little new information is offered in the course of the film's two hours, however. Instead, producer C. B. Cochran prefers to trot out random filmclips that were already overly familiar to audiences via their exposure in previous documentaries and newsreels. Still, it must have been fascinating for the old-timers in the crowd to renew their acquaintances with such past favorites as Sarah Bernhardt, John Bunny and James O'Neill. Oddly, the film never touches upon the single most revolutionary development in films: the advent of talking pictures.
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