Fun Size Review: The House of Mystery (1923)

While serials have the reputation (sometimes deserved) of being sloppy affairs, this French-Russian series turns the genre into art. Gorgeous cinematography, imaginative stunts, genuine suspense and an enthralling plot lift this serial head and shoulders above the competition.

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“You can’t judge a silent film by today’s standards” or “You want I should be an idiot?”

I wanted to take a minute to discuss a nasty little red herring that shows up now and again in discussions of silent film: the notion that criticizing a silent film from a modern viewpoint is somehow wrong and naughty and will just blow up the earth. (faints) I’ve been wanting to cover this for a while so here goes…

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Theme Month! May 2016: Danger Girls

It’s time to pick a new theme and this month’s is a doozy. We’re going to be celebrating danger girls of the silent era.

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The Prairie Pirate (1925) A Silent Film Review

Harry Carey plays a cowpoke who turns to a life of crime after his sister kills herself. His only clue to the identity of the man who drove her to it is a twisted cigar butt so Harry naturally starts holding up saloons and stealing their ashtrays. Wait, what?

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Your First Year of Silent Films: This is where they slime you with sleaze

Not that there’s anything wrong with that…

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Science proves that silent movies are the most beautiful movies

Okay, so I lied about the “science” part. I think “science” is way overused in clickbait headlines so I used it in my own clickbait headline. Mwahahaha!

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Your handy-dandy road map to Movies Silently

As my site gets bigger, it’s easy for older content to get lost in the shuffle. I have almost 250 silent film reviews and hundreds of other posts besides so I decided to make a list that will help newer readers dig through and find posts that are on the more mature side. Enjoy!

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Poll: Who is the best silent movie cowboy?

The silent era was simply packed with exciting westerns from beginning to end and now you have a chance to tell me which one was the best!

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Fun Size Review: Joan the Woman (1916)

Cecil B. DeMille spent the first two-and-a-half years of his directing career overseeing westerns, romances, comedies, crime dramas and a couple of flicks set in Montenegro but Joan of Arc was the subject of his first true epic.

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A collection of silent movie people getting WAY too excited about illegal activities

Who says crime never pays? They have clearly never seen a silent movie, that’s for sure! This is my collection of silent movie people generally misbehaving and having a good time!

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Suspense (1913) A Silent Film Review

Lois Weber directs and stars in a stylish short of, well, suspense. She is a young mother alone in a remote house trying to fend off a home invasion robbery while her husband listens on the telephone. It’s a Grand Guignol tale of terror and done rather well.

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Your First Year of Silent Films: This is were they go YEE-HAW!

Welcome back to my curated list of silent films selected with the newcomer in mind and designed to be viewed one weekend at a time. This week, we’re diving into a genre that is very much love it or hate it for most viewers.

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Cooking with the (Silent) Stars: Claudette Colbert’s Raw Vegetable Salad

Welcome back! I am cooking up recipes of the silent stars and tasting them from a modern point of view. (I have listed all the recipes I have tested on this dedicated page. Check back often.) Today, we will be testing a recipe from a superstar of the talkies who made a few silents in her youth.

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Movies Silently’s Top Five Silent Musicals (Wait, what?)

It’s no secret that the talkies owe a lot to silent film. Anyone complaining about all the remakes nowadays had better avert their eyes from the so-called Golden Age of cinema because retreads ruled and a good number of them, musicals included, had silent originals.

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Very weird silent movie GIFs (I’m not sure why I made them)

As you probably know, I love silent movie GIFs and I make them all the time. Some of them have become my favorites, used often, while others are just kind of… there.

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Fun Size Review: The Tong Man (1919)

Sessue Hayakawa stars as the San Francisco Tong’s deadliest hatchet man but then he is called upon to assassinate a fellow with an incredibly beautiful daughter. I bet you’ll never guess what happens instead!

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Help Wanted: I’m looking for the most stunning shots in silent cinema

There’s a video knocking around the internet that purports to tell the story of a century of cinema (1915-2015) by showing the best shots of each year. Naturally, there are some issues with the silent era. The main one: booooooooooooring!

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Mabel at the Wheel (1914) A Silent Film Review

Mabel Normand stars as a lively young lady who is dating a race car driver. Charlie Chaplin plays a caddish motorcyclist who decides to rain on the young couple’s parade by kidnapping the driver just before his big race. Well, you can probably guess what happens next based on the title of this film…

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ANNOUNCING the Classic Movie History Project Blogathon 2016!

We’re baaaaaaack! For the third year running, Aurora of Citizen Screen, Ruth of Silver Screenings and yours truly are hosting the Classic Movie History Project Blogathon.

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Seduce me with your silver tongues, silent movie people!

Silent movies used title cards to tell the more complicated parts of their stories, relying on gestures and lip-reading to convey the rest. What about matters of romance? We’re going to be studying smooth-talking of the silent era with an inordinate amount of Wallace Reid.

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Movies Silently’s Ten Most Wanted Silent Films (that still live in vaults)

I don’t know a single single movie fan who doesn’t daydream about films that still exist but have never been released to the general public. We all have our dream list of “vaulties” and this is mine. I hope you enjoy!

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Fun Size Review: Gypsy Blood (1918)

Ernst Lubitsch’s take on Carmen is worth watching for one reason and one reason only. Fortunately, that reason is pretty good. Pola Negri is fierce, flirty and irresistible as the world’s most famous femme fatale.

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It’s Award Season! (And I am answering movie questions!)

I haven’t done one of these in a while so here goes:

I’ve been nominated for a blogging award by two fellow classic film bloggers. The rules say I must answer 11 questions and share 11 facts. I love filling out questionnaires so here goes!

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Upcoming Events: I have cunning plans (and you’re going to love ’em)

A lot of things are in the pipeline right now and so I thought I would do one big post to discuss them all. Enjoy!

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The Return of Draw Egan (1916) A Silent Film Review

William S. Hart is in his comfort zone as an actor and director when he plays a rough, tough outlaw who takes the job of marshal on a lark and ends up falling for the town beauty (Margery Wilson, actress and director). Resident vamp Louise Glaum is on hand as the villainess and a good time is had by all.

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Your First Year of Silent Films: This is where they get weird

Welcome back to my curated list of silent films selected with the newcomer in mind and designed to be viewed one weekend at a time. This week, we’re getting very artistic and weird but don’t worry, it’s going to be fun!

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The Cossacks (1928) A Silent Film Review

I have a bone to pick with this film but I think I’ll have to get in line behind its star, John Gilbert, its screenwriter, Frances Marion, and one of its ex-directors, Victor Tourjansky. MGM’s attempt to simultaneously film Leo Tolstoy and Jules Verne results in a rather uneven picture that plunges into plagiarism. Wheeee!
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Help identify a rare film fragment. Get your detective hats on, movie fans!

Hello, readers,

I’m here to ask for a bit of help. We have a mystery fragment of celluloid film on our hands and I am hoping you will be able to assist in identification. Get on your deerstalker caps, your oversized magnifying glasses and other detective paraphernalia, we are going sleuthing!

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Fun Size Review: The House in Kolomna (1913)

This joyful, sassy romantic comedy is the perfect choice for people who do not usually go in for romantic comedies. A Russian girl named Parasha sneaks her soldier boyfriend (Ivan Mosjoukine) into her house by disguising him as the new cook. Chaos obviously ensues.

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Silent Star of the Month for April 2016

It’s a new month, which means that last month’s featured silent star, Ford Sterling, will be passing the title to a new performer. We’re heading into much more obscure territory with this selection.

This month’s featured star is….

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Celebrate Silent Film