The Classic Movie History Project Blogathon: A Little Appetizer


Update: Read a list of posts and participants here.

Less than week to go before the start of the Classic Movie Project Blogathon! Ruth of Silver Screenings had the idea of posting an appetizer. That is, an introduction to our era that will whet everyone’s appetite. I will also be giving you some details on what the participants will be covering in their posts.

But first, another announcement:

The roster for this event filled up very, very fast. Every single slot was claimed within 36 hours. I know a lot of amazing bloggers were not able to take part so I talked it over with my co-hostesses and we agreed that we would host this event again with an expanded year range. More slots to fill, more fun to be had!

I will send out word when the next edition of this event is ready for launch. If you would like to be informed, please send me over your email and I will be sure to send you a little note when the time arrives. I’m not sure when it will be exactly but most likely in a year’s time.

And now, here are the years, a few events to give you the flavor of the period and the blogathon participant!

Carmen, one of 14 DeMille-directed films released in 1915 (via Wikipedia)


The Lusitania is torpedoed, poison gas employed on the battlefields of WWI and Italy leaves the Triple Alliance. Babe Ruth debuts and D.W. Griffith’s racist epic, The Birth of a Nation, is released.

Movies Silently (that’s me!) will cover the year by discussing the 14 (!) crowd-pleaser films that Cecil B. DeMille directed in 1915.


The Battle of the Somme, the Easter Rebellion and General Pershing in Mexico. Jazz is getting started and the first PGA tournament is held.

Big V Riot Squad is going to take us through the twelve months of comedy with 1916, A Funny Year.


The U.S. enters WWI, Mata Hari is executed and the Russian Revolution begins. The first Pulitzer Prizes are awarded and the first New York Times op-ed is published.

A Person in the Dark is going to give us Chaplin Mutuals, Cleopatra and the films of Mary Pickford!

Mabel Normand’s 1918 comedy was her biggest hit. (via Nitrateville)


The Russian royal family is executed, the Kaiser abdicates and Gandhi begins his campaign of non-violent resistance. The Spanish Influenza pandemic kills millions.

A Small Press Life is going to discuss Mabel Normand’s hit Mickey and much more!


The Great War has ended at last but fascism is on the rise. United Artists is founded. Dial telephones are introduced in the U.S.

Totally Filmi is going to beckon us out of Hollywood with a review of the work of Dadasaheb Phalke, the father of Indian cinema.

One of the most famous of all silent films. (via


Women can now vote in the U.S. but they can’t buy alcohol. No one can. This is Prohibition! The League of Nations is founded. Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks wed.

Durnmoose Movie Musings is going to show us 1920 with significant births and hits like The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, The Mark of Zorro and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.


Vitamins D and E are discovered. The Fatty Arbuckle scandal explodes, women swoon for The Sheik and Chaplin releases The Kid.

Silent Volume is going to treat us to four reviews of silent works from Germany, Sweden and the U.S.


Lincoln Memorial and coal miners strike. Nanook and Nosferatu, von Stroheim fired by Irving Thalberg, William Desmond Taylor murdered.

Family Friendly Reviews is pulling out all the stops with an epic examination of the year in film.

A Woman of Paris was a major artistic risk for Chaplin. (via


Warren G. Harding dies and Calvin Coolidge becomes president. Wallace Reid passes, the Hollywood sign is built and DeMille releases his first version of The Ten Commandments.

The Filmatelist is going to discuss the films Charlie Chaplin released and his transition from shorts to features.


The first Winter Olympic Games, J. Edgar Hoover appointed head of FBI, Lenin dies, Stalin wins the power struggle to succeed him. MGM forms, CBC Film Sales becomes Columbia Pictures.

Nitrate Glow will cover the hits and misses for the year.


Scopes Monkey Trial, Mein Kampf, KKK march in Washington. Court ruling kicks AT&T out of radio, Mrs. Dalloway and The Great Gatsby published. Potemkin, Phantom and The Big Parade.

Crítica Retrô is going to be covering the greatest hits of the year from around the world!


The world mourns both Rudolph Valentino and Harry Houdini. This is the last complete year of the silent era. Winnie the Pooh is published and the first woman swims the English Channel.

Silent Film Buffa is going to cover this year by examining the work of Alfred Hitchcock.

Son of the Sheik 1926, Rudolph Valentino, Vilma Banky
Valentino’s final film. The silents survived him by just one year.


You can read about the next years on the roster at the website of my co-hostesses, Silver Screenings and Once Upon a Screen. The event launches on January 12. I hope to see everyone there!

Timeline Sources:

Digital History

Timeline of the 20th Century


AMC Filmsite

History Orb

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