Silent Movie Women Smashing Up the Joint

Lately, there has been a minor online debate as to whether a woman in a floor-length gown can command a fleet. This is particularly silly when you consider exactly how much silent movie women accomplished in fluffy dresses, corsets and high heels.

Union spy Anna Q. Nilsson manages to sabotage a strip of railroad track in The Confederate Ironclad whilst wearing a slightly toned-down version of an 1860s frock.

Read my review here.

Released on DVD as part of the out of print Treasures from American Film Archives box set. Also available for free and legal streaming courtesy of the National Film Preservation Foundation.

Geraldine Farrar’s peasant garb may not be all that impressive but she is not to be trifled with in Joan the Woman.

Read my review here.

Available on DVD.

Florence Lawrence does pretty well for herself in full renaissance regalia in The Taming of the Shrew.

Read my review here.

Available on DVD.

Ossi Oswalda brings a modern frock to the party in The Oyster Princess, one of the most delightful silent rom-coms ever made.

Read my review here.

Available on DVD.

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8 Replies to “Silent Movie Women Smashing Up the Joint”

  1. It’s amazing what these women did in those down-to-the-floor gowns. Some, however, broke their necks when they caught a foot up in the hem. I’m thinking of course of Florence Lawrence – and all to rescue a man from a burning building!

  2. I love all of these! Big, big love in particular for Ossi Oswalda’s wanting to smash the whole house with joy. Atta Girl!

    I see from your Twitter feed that you have now progressed (?) from sinus infection to a cold. Ugh! If you’ll entertain a suggestion, “feed a cold, starve a fever” may be in order. Pho, hot and steamy, and plenty of rest (not always easy to achieve). That’s all I’ve got, except hoping you feel better very soon 🙂

  3. women know how to work around the confines of their dress. I love seeing these spitfires in action. My mom just passed away on the 15th and she was amazing. She was part of the German resistance movement and she planted TNT under the bridges to stop the German army from advancing and she did this in a dress!

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