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.
My goal this month is to take a look at the sort of films typical American audiences were enjoying 100 years ago. The sort of thing great-grandpa would take great-grandma to on a date– assuming her parents allowed her to go to such wild entertainments as the motion pictures.
We’re going to get as close as we can to a weekend night at the movies circa 1916 with plenty of stars and and genres to choose from.
Will you be reviewing Intolerance?
Several people have asked me this but the answer is the same: no. First of all, it doesn’t really represent a typical movie of 1916. Second, I don’t have much patience for D.W. Griffith’s sniveling. Third, it’s tortuous to get through. (There! I said it!)
But don’t worry, as I stated above, there will be plenty of star power this month! I can promise a little Chaplin, a little Fairbanks and a bit of Talmadge plus some pictures from more forgotten stars. I tried to vary the genres as much as possible and to include a range of studios. Oh, and we’ll be watching films from both the east and west coasts of the United States.
- Not sure about the big stars of 1916? Here’s my post on the topic!
- If you want an idea of what I have chosen before, here are my selections for 1914 and for 1915.
For your reading pleasure, here are 1916 silent films that I have already reviewed. It’s quite a variety, from Hollywood features to European productions to independent film. I am sure you will find something to enjoy! I have marked particular favorites with an *
Flirting With Fate: Douglas Fairbanks tries to put out a hit on himself… and then changes his mind!
The Devil’s Needle: A drug melodrama starring Norma Talmadge and Tully Marshall.
The Heart of a Hero: A romance of the American Revolution with really stellar production values.
Behind the Screen: Charlie Chaplin’s spoof of movie making and its eccentricities.
The Vagabond Prince: A kind of gender-reversed Roman Holiday with Dorothy Dalton and H.B. Warner.