Interesting little espionage picture with Frances Gibson as an agent for the Mexican army and Romaine Fielding as the hapless American soldier who falls for her charms. It’s a very by-the-numbers plot but worth the view just to see Gibson and Fielding in action. (Fielding was voted #1 star in America in a 1913 popularity poll.)
One of only two surviving Theda Bara films made during the height of her vampish fame, this production casts her as the victim of a cad and bounder who persuades her to leave hearth and home. Based on a Victorian drama and stage warhorse.
I was rummaging around with research and stumbled across some rather cute movie-related cartoons. I have no particular insights on them, I just think they’re fun and you might like them. Enjoy!
I know a lot of you have been looking forward to this one! Old Ironsides, beloved adventure film, makes its DVD/Bluray debut after only being available on VHS for years.
This is a bit of a sad topic but every silent film fan has a wishlist of a few (or a lot) of movies that are missing and presumed lost. I want to hear about yours.
I know that movie collecting can be pricey and a barrier to new fans so I like to periodically share all the free goodies that kind archives and collectors share online.
Lots of happenings in the new year and many of them centered on this lil’ site. Let’s dig in!
One of the more delightful comedy features of the silent era, this is also Harry Langdon’s best film. He plays a little Belgian soldier who comes to America in search of his wartime pen pal.
“Welcome to Finland, see our lakes and streams and particularly our thriving industrial production and winter sports!” A government-sanctioned documentary designed to showcase the wonders of this newly-independent nation.
A while back, I asked readers to share their silent movie crushes and a good time was had by all so I am back for a second helping!
I am working on my annual “Top Stars of 100 Years Ago…” article but I thought it would be fun to step further back in time and look at some stars who were considered at least a little famous back in 1912.
I am very excited to say that I wrote an article that was published online by the Smithsonian Magazine’s website. It’s all about the importance of lost silent films and I am pretty thrilled about it.
Complaining about mistakes and plot holes was not invented on Twitter and silent era audiences found much to kvetch about in the new releases of the time. Like this selection of complaints and nit-picks from the January 1919 issue of Photoplay.
This domestic comedy is all about a young couple with an addiction to credit and dancing, surely a timeless plot. As a bonus, the couple is played by Reginald Denny and Laura La Plante, who bring real charm and appeal to their characters.
A pianist’s hands are crushed in an accident but worry not, the fresh corpse of a murderer is on hand to donate brand new ones. I mean, it’s not like stitching on a murderer’s hands will make someone commit murder, right? Right?
One thing I noticed while watching a month of Russian comedy was just how many famous directors started out as actors (Pudovkin, Barnet, Solntseva). And a good number of American directors later became 100% actors. And a few did both at the same time.
We all love a good mystery, right? Well, collector Christopher Bird has some nitrate extracts that he would like us to help him identify. Chris has been really generous about sharing his collection with us via YouTube so this is a chance to do something nice in return.
The new year has kicked off and I have plans! First, let’s talk about your feedback.
Last week, we looked at a 1922 attempt by Motion Picture Magazine to explain the appeal of six male stars. Now we are doing the same in in the ladies division.
Just a quick post today but I wanted to remind everyone that today, for the first time in two decades, an entire year of content has entered the public domain in the United States. The films and books of 1923 are no longer under copyright!
Not directed by Cecil B. DeMille but with many of his trademarks, including love with exotic flashbacks. The plot is absolutely delicious hokum and involves both romance and archaeology.
Gale Henry plays a detective hot on the tail of some thieves who have swiped a secret formula. What ensues is best described as a sort of silent movie Donkey Kong with trapdoors, secret doors and a big tub of water.
Let’s have some fun! I threw together a little name generator designed to produce the kind of names silent actresses sported in the 1910s and 1920s.
December is almost over but we managed to catch four comedies made in Soviet Russia. I thought I take a shot at reviewing the theme month and relive some of the best moments from these fine films.
It’s time for the annual Reader Requests month here at Movies Silently! A few months ago, I asked readers to submit requests and I have selected five films to review throughout January. This is one of my favorite theme months of any given year.
I do enjoy classic “scientific” attempts to explain the very subjective appeal of movie stars and Motion Picture Magazine gave it a whirl in 1922. Why do audiences love particular stars? Could is be something… primal?
Frank Lloyd’s adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic novel is a gorgeous affair with accomplished special effects (William Farnum played both Charles Darnay and Sydney Carton thanks to double exposure), beautiful costumes and suitably lavish sets with cinematography to match.
A movie theater usher named Goga (Igor Ilyinsky) loves Dusya (Anel Sudakevich) but she only has eyes for Douglas Fairbanks and refuses to give Goga the time of day until he becomes a celebrity. Goga vows to become famous if it kills him. It probably will.
What is most interesting about fan magazines is how they are divided between forgotten topics and questions that are hotly debate among silent film fans to this day. A 1925 issue of Photoplay printed some reader opinions and they are particularly interesting so I thought I would share them.
1919 was really a banner year for motion pictures. Naturally, the majority of silent films are lost but just from what survives… wow. So, tell me which 1919 releases you are going to particularly smile about during their centennial year?