Things to Do on a Date (According to Silent Films)

So you’ve got this great date lined up but then your plans fall through. What to do? Never fear! Silent movies have great ideas for romantic days and nights out. (But don’t try this at home. Seriously. Don’t.)

Perform acrobatic feats on the edge of the Grand Canyon! Granted, this will require some travel but the trick worked for Douglas Fairbanks in A Modern Musketeer. (The young lady is Marjorie Daw, his most frequent female co-star in the 1910s.)

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Proclaim yourself the monarch of pickles! Just don’t get above yourself and wallop your date, as Mary Pickford is doing to Buddy Rogers in My Best Girl.

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Take your date to inflict bloody vengeance upon your mortal enemies. Granted, this is not for everyone but it worked pretty well for John Gilbert and Virginia Brown Faire in Monte Cristo. Of course, both of them had a beef with the baddies.

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Avoid the watchful eye of your homicidal father. Again, this one is rather specific but it will add a certain spice and excitement to your relationship. The dad in Sweet Alyssum is Tyrone Power, Sr., possessor of splendiferous eyebrows.

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Canoodle until you’re interrupted by the town character. Ivan Mosjoukine and Alexandra Goncharova are doing pretty well for themselves in The Peasants’ Lot but their neighbor has other ideas. Oh well. The peasants’ lot indeed.

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Dump your date and go out with your chauffeur. Or Uber driver, I suppose, in modern parlance. That’s what Leatrice Joy does when Conrad Nagel tries to leave her dangling in Saturday Night.

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