ANNOUNCING the Classic Movie History Project Blogathon 2016!

We’re baaaaaaack! For the third year running, Aurora of Citizen Screen, Ruth of Silver Screenings and yours truly are hosting the Classic Movie History Project Blogathon.

Classic movie fans are often huge history nerds in the bargain and what better way to celebrate our twin passions than to hold a blogathon?

While the last two events have been about chronology, this year we are focusing on specific aspects of classic film that are particularly juicy: The System, The People and The Films.

Be sure to sign up early! Our last two years were jam-packed with great participants and topics went fast!

The shindig runs August 5-10, 2016.

NEW! Short Version! (Streamlined!)

We’ve divided the event into three sections.

Movies Silently: The Systems

How movies are made!

Silver Screenings: The Films

The movies themselves!

Once Upon a Screen: The People

The folks who made the movies!

Pick your section or sections, tell us what you want to cover and you’re all set!

We also each chose some categories within our sections to start your creative juices flowing but, please, feel free to think outside the box. As long as your topic has to do with making movies, movies themselves or the people who made movies, we want you aboard!

Rules! (Because what do you think we are? Anarchists?)


  • Posts can be from the dawn of cinema until 1975.
  • No duplicates.  No duplicates.
  • No reprints
  • We’d be forever grateful if you’d leave the details of your chosen topic and the category it belongs in on the corresponding host blog as listed below.  And link to that blog in your post to keep thing orderly.  We’ll see how that goes!  FYI – the category and topic you choose determine the date to post by.
  • Feel free to be imaginative – pictorials, videos, podcasts and other multimedia items are A-OK with us.
  • This is an international event, posts on both Hollywood and foreign cinema are most welcome.
  • To join us in this historical endeavor simply contact any one of your friendly hosts and we will add you to the roster.  Please be sure to include the address of your blog, the section and topic you have chosen and the title or general nature of your topic.
  • See those banners down there? Don’t you want one? Or two? Please include a banner on your blog and in your submission to help us promote the event.


Please send a link to the hostess you “belong” to on the appropriate day. Early posts are A-okay. We’ll assign you a day unless you specify.

The System | Day 1: August 5 (Movies Silently)

Movies Silently | Albatros!: The Mad Cinematic Adventures of Russians in Paris

Silver Screenings | Why the Studio System worked in spite of itself

Sister Celluloid | MGM hiding the Gable/Crawford Affair

The Films | Day 2: August 6 (Silver Screenings)

Silver Screenings | A half-baked defense of the Code

Cinematic Catharsis | Fact or Fiction? Nanook of the North

The People| Day 3: August 7 (Once Upon a Screen)

Cinematic Scribblings | French New Wave

In the Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood | DW Griffith’s Influence on Hollywood and The Barrymores

The System | Day 4: August 8 (Movies Silently)

Movies Silently | Of Cossacks and Crinolines: The Brilliant Ballroom Scene of Michael Strogoff

The Last Drive-In | Jerry Goldsmith’s Scores

The Films | Day 5: August 9 (Silver Screenings)

The Last Drive-In | Keep Watching the Skies: Iconic Sci-fi of the 1950s

Moon in Gemini | Why “Duck Soup” Failed

Little Bits of Classics | Difficulties in Shooting Chaplin’s “The Circus”

Back to Golden Days | “Trail of Lonesome Pine” & 3-Strip Technicolor

The People | Day 6: August 10 (Once Upon a Screen) | The Young Acting Family (Loretta, Polly Ann, Georgie Belzer & Sally Blane)

B Noir Detour | Fritz Lang

More Details on the Sections (because we’re classy like that)

These are sub-topics that are designed to inspire you, get your creative juices flowing. THEY ARE NOT REQUIRED. If you already have a smashing idea, feel free to skip this section.

THE SYSTEM (Hosted by Movies Silently, that’s me!)

You can write about how movies are made (editing! costume design! special effects!) or how they were marketed. Studio publicity could be pretty nutty!


And what about those cover-ups to keep the stars safe from scandal. Have I said too much? (Shhhh!)


That Hollywood look! Or is it Berlin? Paris? Tokyo? Why not talk about movie clothes? On the screen, at the Academy Awards or on the red carpet, we want to hear about the dresses, darn it!

THE FILMS (Hosted by Silver Screenings)


Cover any film from the dawn of time to 1975! What about those pre-code pictures? Oh, you naughty boy! Animation deserves attention too. Tell us about Walt Disney, Chuck Jones or Lotte Reiniger’s brilliant animated pictures!


Not every film was a success. What about infamous disasters and bombs? We want to know! Or the magical color films of every era! Enchant us with The Wizard of Oz or A Trip to the Moon.

THE PEOPLE (Hosted by Once Upon a Screen)


Who made the movies? We want to hear about the groundbreakers, the bold trailblazers! What about the big stars? What did they do before they were stars?


Hollywood has always been about family connections. Why not cover the Laemmles, the Barrymores or the Gishes? Foreign stars were regularly imported and Hollywood performers ventured abroad. Tell us their stories.


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19 Replies to “ANNOUNCING the Classic Movie History Project Blogathon 2016!”

  1. Very excited to see this happening again! I probably cannot participate directly, but will follow along and maybe pop my head in a little bit indirectly. Will explain more later.

    Bonne chance!

  2. I would love yo recount the MGM Publicity Department’s exasperated attempts to keep the years-long affair between the married Joan Crawford and equally wed Clark Gable under wraps… would that do for the Publicity section? And welcome back my dear!!

  3. Signing up the blog for the highs, lows, in betweens, and almosts in the Young acting family. (Loretta, Polly Ann, Georgie Belzer, and Sally Blane.)

  4. Right away I was attracted to the idea of writing about a movie disaster. I found a list of famous box office bombs and was SHOCKED to find Duck Soup among them! Definitely would like to tackle the reasons why it failed in its time.

  5. Hi, Amanda from Old Hollywood Films.

    I would like to write about the star machine — how the studio system created, marketed and then discarded stars. I believe this would fall under the system portion of the blogathon.


  6. Hi Fritzi,

    Can I change up my entry a little bit? I just finished re-reading the closest thing to Joan’s autobiography and would like to write about that. So I guess that would now fall under “People” instead of “The System”. Would that be okay?

    Warmest wishes, as ever,


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