What were people watching a century ago? We’re going to take an entire month to explore this topic. This month, every film I review will have a 1916 release date.
The Library of Congress needs our help and since they do so much for film preservation, it’s only fair that fans of classic cinema would pitch in. What do they need? Our braaaaaaaains!
It has been a while since I posted a news update but lots of exciting things are happening– especially on the silent movie Bluray front!
Tarzan’s very first film appearance, this movie stars Elmo Lincoln, silent movie strongman and THE Tarzan to movie audiences until Johnny Weissmuller showed up.
René Clair’s first film as director, this is a quirky little science fiction comedy about a mad scientist and a special ray that freezes the entire city of Paris. All of it except for the very top of the Eiffel Tower and the night watchman sleeping there. What will he do now that he is the king of a frozen city?
So many silent movies, so little time. Lots of good stuff to share this time! Here are my latest silent movie acquisitions on DVD and Bluray.
Silent movies are often portrayed as scratchy, jittery things with warped ragtime piano playing in the background. In reality, silent films were meticulously crafted, as beautiful today as they were when they were first released.
Thought lost for decades, this romantic melodrama of the Balkan Wars is the second and final collaboration between leading lady Blanche Sweet and director Cecil B. DeMille. The production was marred by personality conflicts, illness and a tragic accidental death but the film itself is a scrumptiously sleazy little slice of hokum.
I like to read reviews of silent films that were written by people who are unfamiliar with the art. It helps me remember what it was like to be a newcomer, which things seemed confusing or odd to me. On that note, I have decided to post a quick and handy answer to some common questions.
John Ford’s final western comes to Bluray and we’re going to be taking a look at it! Saddle up, pardners.
Arrrr, mateys! Piratical goings-on meet the Jazz Age in this perfectly deranged comedy. Rod La Rocque is the descendant of a famed pirate who must marry or lose his inheritance. Mildred Harris is an heiress who has the only copy of a will written on her back. Snitz Edwards is in pursuit armed with a sponge. Told you it was nuts.
A band of intrepid dreamers design and build a spaceship with the goal of an exploratory mission to Mars. What they discover is a shockingly peaceful culture for a planet named after the god of war. This pacifist film is often called the first space opera.
I don’t know about you but I have a bad case of the blahs. It has been one of those blah weeks and I haven’t recovered from the blahness of it all. Silent movie stars had the same problem sometimes.
While some silent movie costumes are imaginative and undeniably awesome, a good number are chintzy, cliched and reveal the fact that the designers and wearers have never, ever seen a silent movie. (Don’t believe me? Google “flapper costume” and see what sequined, beplumed nonsense comes up.)
Welcome back to the test kitchen! I am cooking my way through Photoplay’s 1929 cookbook but today, we’re taking a little detour. I’m going to be preparing a 1916 recipe inspired by one of the most popular leading men of the 1910s.
Summer is winding down and not a moment too soon! I could use a few dark and stormy nights. To that end, here are six creepy silent films to set the mood for a night of rain, lightning and… murder.
An aggressively unfunny “comedy” with just two claims to fame: it features a very young Joan Crawford (with her own eyebrows!) and it is the picture that got William Wellman fired from MGM. Frankly, I don’t blame them one bit.
Please excuse the tardiness of this. I have been meaning to post it for a while but couldn’t find a hole in my schedule. Anyway, better late than never. Behold my loot!
A group of intrepid explorers blast off for an anthropomorphized moon but find more than they bargained for when they meet the moon’s residents, acrobats and ballerinas. If all of this sounds suspiciously close to Méliès, that’s because it is a ripoff of same by Pathé.
Continue reading An Excursion to the Moon (1908)
I have discovered that generally speaking, people who write about the movies (film bloggers and/or professional critics) generally handle the real world one of three ways.
There are alphabet books in every flavor, why should silent movies be left out of the fun?
Today marks the 50th anniversary of Star Trek’s network debut and I knew I had to do something to celebrate. What better way than to reimagine it as a silent film? (Don’t answer that!)
Welcome back to Missing the Silents, where we try to learn about lost silent films through their direct remakes. In many cases, the last people to see the films “alive” were the producers and directors of these remakes.
Hey there! As a change of pace, I am going to answer some questions about movies, television, life, the universe and everything.
Continue reading Hello, Sunshine! Trivia, quiz and an award
Fritz Lang’s classic thriller, Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler, has made it to Bluray and we’re going to take a look at the details. As you probably know, Mabuse was a sensation and Lang would go on to direct sequels in 1933 and 1960.
Jules Verne’s legendary nautical science fiction tale was adapted in grand style by Universal, complete with underwater photography and billed as the “First Submarine Photoplay Ever Filmed” by the proud studio.
Continue reading 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1916) A Silent Film Review
Rudolph Valentino? Louise Brooks? Richard Barthelmess? Clara Bow? Who are the silent stars who make your heart skip a beat?
It’s a new month and August’s featured star, Mona Palma, will pass the crown to a new performer. This month’s star was one of the big success stories of the sound transition.
Welcome back! I’m cooking my way through Photoplay’s 1929 star recipe cookbook and you’re invited to join me. This week, an appetizer from an elegant leading lady.
On September 8, 1966, a little science fiction show called Star Trek made its network debut. What does this have to do with silent films? Not much at all but the fiftieth anniversary of Star Trek is too important to pass up!