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
Yesterday, I had to answer a lot of darn fool questions about silent movies and so I thought it would be fun to re-post these video responses. Enjoy!
“Silent movies are boring.” We hear this even from people who like classic black and white movies. But what is the real story?
(Scroll to the bottom for a list of where the clips are from.)
What is the “iconic” image of silent films? A dastardly villain imperiling a damsel, of course!
Wait, it isn’t? Nope. Silent movie women were considerably bolder and more empowered than most modern people give them credit for. Video evidence:
Footage Used (Boring Silent Movies):
The evidence footage is taken from a selection of American films of the 1910s and 1920s, representing the “prime” years of the silent feature film as popular entertainment.
“Great pals.” | A Woman of the World
Cocaine | The Mystery of the Leaping Fish
“Great singer.” | The Garden of Eden
“I want my pants!” | Beyond the Border
The ladies duke it out | Carmen
“I’m sex appeal.” | Eve’s Leaves
“I air a lady!” | Heart o’ the Hills (and yes, that is a very young John Gilbert)
Shake your booty | Skinner’s Dress Suit
Footage Used (Damsels):
Footage for this video was taken from films produced in the United States, France and Germany from 1908-1929. They cover a wide variety of genres and most feature superstar actresses of the time.
Lap sit, hand kiss, gunshot | The Wildcat (1921)
Fight you want, chair smash, riot | The Godless Girl (1929)
Coat grab | Her Night of Romance (1924)
I will shoot | Back to God’s Country (1919)
Pump you full of rocks, jailbreak | M’Liss (1918)
Rope swing | Sparrows (1926)
Archery | Intolerance (1916)
Fire ax | Feel My Pulse (1928)
Slap, slap, shove | The Musketeers of Pig Alley (1912)
Tackle, escape, bounce, block | The Burning Crucible (1923)
Stair shove | Parisian Love (1925)
Picture frame | The Taming of the Shrew (1908)
Stab | The Strong Man (1926)
Smoking, pillow toss | The Dream (1911)
(My voice has been questionable for the past year or so but I hope to produce some new videos soon.)