16 mm silent movie, Eugene W. Castle, 1941.
Eugene W. Castle was the first to spot the potential of film for home use. He was a San Francisco newsreel cameraman and newspaper reporter before founding Castle Films in 1924 and moving his business to New York in the 1930s.. After originally producing business and advertising films, in 1937 Castle moved into 8 and 16 mm home movies, buying home-movie rights for newsreel footage, old stage shows and cartoons from several animation studios.
Eugene W. Castle's first home movie was a newsreel of the Hindenburg, the Zeppelin that caught fire in 1937 in New Jersey. Then Castle launched his News Parade series, a year-in-review newsreel; followed by travelogues in 1938, sports films, animal adventures, and 'old time movies'. The films were sold at camera shops, in department stores, and by mail order. During World War II Eugene W. Castle produced numerous documentary and training films for the U.S. armed services.
What’s unusual about this film here, Russia Stops Hitler, is the fact that it’s made before the US and the Soviet Union officially became Allies in early 1942.
Castle sold his business in 1947 to Universal, in 1977 Castle Films finally changed to Universal 8, but video finally brought the end of the home-movie film business in 1984.
Eugene W. Castle (1897-1960)