The Results of the Silents vs. Talkies Tournament

You came, you saw, you voted and now it’s time to unveil the winners! (Spoiler: It was a complete and utter slaughter!)

Granted, this is a silent film blog and so the voters would have been self-selected with a silent film preference but still… wow. Not a single talkie emerged victorious here.

Zorro

78% for the Douglas Fairbanks film and 22% for the Tyrone Power.

I also went for Fairbanks in my Silents vs. Talkies review but it was a close shave since both films are so good.

The Unholy Three

83% went for the silent, 17% went for the talkie.

In my review, I went for the silent too. This one is particularly interesting because the silent and talkie share much of the same cast and almost exactly the same screenplay.

The Blue Bird

74% went for the silent, 26% went for the talkie.

I went for the silent as well (I do actually have talkies win once in a while, honest!) as the plot is not my cup of fairy juice but the cinematography by Maurice Tourneur is unbeatable.

Ben-Hur

72% went for the silent and 28% went for the talkie.

I went for the silent as well and it wasn’t even close. When we talk about how they don’t make ’em like they used to, this is the film we are referring to.

Vintage Sleaze

82% went for West of Zanzibar, 18% went for Kongo.

Being a devotee of Chaney, I went for the silent as well. Did you know the plot was used again for The Shanghai Gesture?

The Lost World

86% went for the silent and 14% went for the talkie and quite right too.

I strongly prefer the silent here as well because the special effects are so much better and the story is much more fun.

So there you have it! We may be singing to the choir but it’s sometimes fun to confirm that the silents really had something going for them.

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8 Replies to “The Results of the Silents vs. Talkies Tournament”

  1. Yes, the results are not surprising. The hardest one for me was The Unholy Three. Ben-Hur was the easiest. I so the talkie version of The Bluebird after I saw the silent version. The talkie put me to sleep. I love both versions of The Lost World, but the silent is better.
    Are you planning on doing this again? It was fun.

  2. Silents win a hands-down victory… of course they do, and Hurrah!

    Am currently doing a chance comparison of FantĂ´mas (the exquisite 1913-14 serial directed by Louis Feuillade) with FantĂ´mas (the 1980 French tv mini-series directed by Buñuel and Chabrol). Am watching 1980 series via MHz Choice, but have only viewed Ep. 1 as of now. Comparison so far is very favorable, but given the 1980 version directors, it might be expected. I’ve seen their first pitch, now for the follow-throughs 🙂

      1. I will! Stumbled on the 1980 FantĂ´mas completely by chance in the tv series add-ons of MHz Choice while looking for old eps of Beck (great Swedish series). I can tell you that Claude Chabrol has the Juve/FantĂ´mas dynamic exactly right in the first episode, L’Ă©chafaud magique (The Magic Scaffold). Good stuff so far, but I’d still vote for Feuillade’s serial because I have a really soft spot for it.

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