The Champion: A Story of America's First Film Town

Directed by Marc Perez

Release: 2014
Runtime: 35
Country: U.S.
Language: English
Director: Marc Perez

When Mark Dintenfass arrived at Fort Lee in 1910, the sleepy New Jersey town was already a favorite location for nickelodeon-era filmmakers. Purchasing land in nearby Englewood Cliffs, Dintenfass founded Champion Studios, and set off a land rush for other studios eager to make silent westerns and Civil War epics on the cheap. Based on the book by Richard Koszarski, THE CHAMPION tells the story of that brief golden age in New Jersey's film history – and a modern-day fight to save the era’s last remaining studios.

This deluxe 2-disc DVD set includes a new 2K restoration of GHOST TOWN (1935) an astonishing and haunting amateur documentary about post-cinema Fort Lee. Disc 1 also features five films made at Champion Studios — thanks to the efforts of the Library of Congress and the Fort Lee Film Commission. Disc 2 includes exciting NJ film rediscoveries — a slapstick comedy from director Mack Sennett, a “melodramatic comedy” starring Madge Kennedy, and the earliest surviving film version of Robin Hood!

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Technical Info

  • Color: Color