Thursday, June 2, 2011

Silver Into Gold (1987)

1 Nomination, 0 Wins

Nomination: Best Documentary, Short Subject

Silver Into Gold, like most Documentary Shorts of the past, is incredibly hard to locate. I contacted the director Lynn Mueller, but the original negative had been lost when the distributor went out of business, and the filmmaker had left filmmaking to work for an educational nonprofit. Luckily, my wonderful local library ( was able to find a copy for me via interlibrary loan from the State Library of Florida. If you're looking for hard to find movies, I recommend you try your local library.

Silver Into Gold is the story of two older athletes who are competing in the World Masters Games: swimmer Gail Roper and long-distance runner Sister Marion Irvine. The film uses a formula that has been used in countless documentaries, in which the lives of various participants are shown as a lead-up to the main event. Silver Into Gold never gets to that main event, depriving the film of any narrative drama. We wait to see what will happen to Roper and Irvine, only to have the film end. This leaves little more than a puff piece, the type which would be shown on ESPN during an event to kill time and create a human interest story. The two protagonists are interesting enough, especially Sister Marion, but once we learn their stories, which don't have much in common beyond the fact that they compete at a more advanced age than we expect of athletes, we aren't left with much else.

Silver Into Gold is inspiring in its message that age, as they say, is just a number, but the film is lacking in narrative drama.

Remaining: 3155 films, 877 Oscars, 5432 nominations (The discrepancy from the last entry is due to my discovery that I had not removed a previously viewed film).