It’s okay, it’s just your imagination. That weird noise? It was the wind. Yeah, the wind. Or a cat. It’s always a cat. Wait a second, I don’t own a cat…. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!
Most newcomers to silent film start out with comedies and there are four comedians who are usually trotted out as the best of the best. The so-called Big Four are indeed wonderful but there are risks.
After incorporating a new theme for my site, I asked my readers to tell me which silent stars they would like to see featured in the top header. You came through with excellent suggestions and I appreciate the assistance!
A Jewish girl falls for an Irish boy, much to the displeasure of both families. Believe it or not, the Irish-Jewish wedding story was a wildly popular trope that was featured in songs, plays and motion pictures. (Harpo Marx described one of these plays as “no worse than a bad cold” and he has a point.)
It’s already February (quite a ways into it, in fact) and it’s time to announce the silent star who will be the featured star. Last month’s silent star was Ivan Mosjoukine and he passes the crown on to….
Lewis Carroll’s iconic book is brought to the screen in this relatively faithful adaptation. Alice spends the film chasing after that evasive white rabbit but ends up meeting a dodo, a psychotic queen and a talking caterpillar. Absinthe is a helluva drug.
Exciting news for Fritz Lang fans! Two of his genre films, Spies and Woman in the Moon, are about to be released on Bluray in North America with sparkling 2K transfers! Both discs will be available for sale on February 23, 2016 but I got an early peek and I’m sharing the experience with you.
Readers in the United States know which big event is in the works this weekend: the fiftieth Super Bowl. But did you know that the big game also can tell us something about film preservation?
Two-fisted Mountie Rance Raine’s brother has been murdered and this means that the culprit must pay. He has a very specific set of skills, a smart dog called Rex and a horse named Starlight. Those flannel-clad baddies are going to wish they were never born.
Pomposity and pretentiousness… Bah! We all hate that! Well, silent movie people were not so fond of it themselves and here some of their methods of dealing with it.
Cecil B. DeMille embraces the Cinderella story– with his own twist, of course. Agnes Ayres plays a beautiful seamstress hired as the bait in a honey trap designed to keep businessman Forrest Stanley at the negotiating table. What he doesn’t know is that she’s really married to a nasty criminal. Since this is DeMille, we also get a fairy tale fantasy sequence with see-through Rococo costumes. Silly but all in good fun.
We have entered the second month of 2016 and it’s a leap year! If I had been smarter, I would have compiled a list of silent films in which a woman proposes to a man but I wasn’t. However, I think you will like what I have in store.
Madge Bellamy plays a circus performer who escapes from her evil step-father into the Canadian wilderness by riding away on her slang-talkin’ elephant named Oscar when the big top is blown down in a freak storm. Once free, she is mistaken for the antichrist and subsequently enslaved by a French-speaking café owner who forces her to pluck geese but everything is okay because she falls for a handsome violinist with only one good foot and a pet rabbit named Napoleon. As one does.
Continue reading The Soul of the Beast (1923) A Silent Film Review
I don’t know about you kids but I am starving? And why is that? I have been reading recipes for the past couple of weeks!
It’s a well-known fact that people in classic and silent movies smoked like trains. It was considered a perfectly acceptable pastime (unless you were a woman) and most people were unaware of the associated dangers.
Welcome back! Today, we’re going to be baking some chocolate cookies from Linda Arvidson, a Biograph actress more famous today for her crumbled marriage than her acting roles. This recipe is from a 1916 charity cookbook. You can catch up on all the taste tests in the series here.
A picture is worth a thousand words? Then a GIF is worth a million! Fans of this site will know that I love me some GIFs but some are particularly useful for snark, social media interactions and just plain fun.
It’s time for a little video rewind! In addition to writing articles about silent movie myths, I cut together little videos that neatly disprove some of the most pervasive and ridiculous myths about silent movies
Continue reading Video: Oh darn those boring silent movies full of damsels in distress
Readers ask me which silent movie is my all-time favorite. This is it. It’s based on a novel by Jules Verne, an undisputed master of adventure fiction. It stars Ivan Mosjoukine, who flourishes in masculine, intense roles. It borrows the army of Latvia for the battle scenes. Come on, you have to see this!
Lon Chaney plays a serial killer with two thumbs on one hand who hides out from the cops by posing as an armless knife-thrower in a traveling circus. He falls in love with Joan Crawford, who is afraid of men’s hands. After strangling her father, Chaney decides to cut off his own arms for real in order to win Crawford’s love, as one does. Chaos ensues. I did not make any of that up.
Continue reading The Unknown (1927) A Silent Film Review
When is comes to silent film sass, no one can beat Clara Bow. Her films were often short on both budget and plot, so Bow had to carry the whole thing through sheer personality. It quite often worked.
It’s a new year and we all know what that means! This is when we travel 100 years back in time to discover the top stars of American cinema.
As you may have noticed, I did a little redecorating. I didn’t actually plan to but while I was previewing a theme, I hit “publish” instead of “preview” and, well, here we are.
Whew! What a great event! A huge thanks to everyone who took part in the Backstage Blogathon, from the wonderful participants to the loyal readers. An especially huge thanks to my co-hostess, Janet of Sister Celluloid. And another big thanks to the unsung blogathon heroes: readers who left encouraging comments or helped promote other participants’ posts on social media. I’m sure all the participants greatly appreciated your generosity.
Welcome to the third day of our celebration of movies about the behind-the-scenes goings on of the entertainment industry. We have had posts about radio, television, dancing, singing and theatrical performances.
Ivan Mosjoukine takes the title role in this biopic of legendary English Shakespearean actor Edmund Kean, whose brilliance on the stage was undercut by his eccentric and self-destructive personal life. Yet another example of the astonishing films being made by the Russian emigres who fled their country’s political turmoil for the relative safety of Paris.
When I’m not watching silent movies, I spend a lot of time in the swinging sixties. Sixties movies have this wonderful freewheeling quality but there is still a touch of the old studio class without the overwhelming squareness of golden age films. The film I am reviewing today is one of my all-time favorites, a twisted little black comedy with great acting and zany writing.
The first day of the Backstage Blogathon had a lot of impressive posts, I must say. Let’s take a gander at all the behind-the-scenes goodies that got covered in loving detail:
The Backstage Blogathon has launched! We already have some wonderful participation and we truly thank you for joining out little shindig. My co-host for the event is Janet of Sister Celluloid, who uses her blog to share her love of classic film in general and velvet-voiced British actors in particular. If you are not following her already, you should start. (Online, that is.)
Welcome back! I am cooking my way through the 1929 Photoplay cookbook (recipes of the stars!) and you are invited to tag along. (I have listed all the recipes I have tested on this dedicated page. Check back often.) Today, we will be testing a recipe from an actress whose career survived the fall of nickelodeons, the coming of sound and a pair of World Wars.