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The Sounds of the Silents in Britain$
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Julie Brown and Annette Davison

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199797615

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199797615.001.0001

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Edmund Meisel’s “Visual Sound” in The Crimson Circle (1929): The Case of the Vanishing Part-Talkie

Edmund Meisel’s “Visual Sound” in The Crimson Circle (1929): The Case of the Vanishing Part-Talkie

Chapter:
(p.283) 15 Edmund Meisel’s “Visual Sound” in The Crimson Circle (1929): The Case of the Vanishing Part-Talkie
Source:
The Sounds of the Silents in Britain
Author(s):

Fiona Ford

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199797615.003.0016

In August 1929, British Talking Pictures released a part-talking feature called The Crimson Circle. This early British sound feature was a re-working of the German silent film Der rote Kreis (directed by Friedrich Zelnik in 1928). Recorded using a sound-on-disc process, the rejuvenated Crimson Circle had dialogue sections (directed by Sinclair Hill) interspersed within a synchronised soundtrack of music and sound effects devised by the Austrian composer Edmund Meisel, notorious for his propulsive accompaniment to the German release of Battleship Potemkin (Sergei Eisenstein, 1926). Neither the print nor the discs from The Crimson Circle are known to survive, but aspects of the lost soundtrack can be glimpsed from surviving documentary evidence and by comparison with Meisel’s extant film scores and soundtracks.

Keywords:   Edmund Meisel, The Crimson Circle, Sinclair Hill, Edgar Wallace, British Talking Pictures, British International Film Distributors, Wembley studios, part-talking, sound-on-disc, Film Society

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