Shelfie: Shakespeare, Sherlock Holmes and the Headless Horseman

I’m back with another peek into my silent movie collection, a selection of mysteries and programmers this time. If you want to catch up on other “shelfie” posts, you can find them here.

I’m based in California, so while these films might be region-free, they are quite possibly region 1 or region A. Readers living outside the region will need to check their equipment before purchasing.

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100 Years Ago, Here Are Even More Cliches and Mistakes That Annoyed Moviegoers

Why Do They Do It? was a regular feature in Photoplay Magazine that allowed readers to write in with complaints about tropes, mistakes and annoyances at the movies.

These selections are from the September 1918 issue and feature complaints about the weather, stockings and day-for-night shooting. My comments follow in italics, the header text was part of the original publication. As always, I will make a note if the film in question is currently available on home video.

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Cooking with the (Silent) Stars: William Boyd’s Salad Bowl with Anchovies

Welcome back! I have been cooking my way through the 1929 Photoplay cookbook but I sometimes take detours. In this case, I will be preparing a recipe from a 1950 recipe book that Bebe Daniels co-authored entitled 282 Ways of Making a Salad and it features recipes from both British and American stars. The star in the case was a silent veteran who was one of the first and biggest television stars at the time.

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Poll: Which Silent Films Deserve to Remain?

Silent Film Twitter was recently in a tizzy (I was as tizzed as anyone) about an article that suggested most of the best silent films survive so why shed tears for lost films? This is, of course, all kinds of weird (I would have thought the recovery of lost films would be the least controversial topic for this prickly fandom) but it did give me an idea for an absolutely evil and ruthless poll.

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After the Silents: Rawhide (1951)

Welcome back! In this series, I discuss the careers of silent movie personnel during the talkie era. In this case, director Henry Hathaway, who worked his way up from chair boy (more on that later) and assistant director in the silents to major studio director in the talkie era. The film in question is Rawhide, a relatively underrated western with more in common with gangster films than other oaters.

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