What’s Your Favorite Silent Film Intertitle?

Silent films are most associated with their title cards, though not every silent film had them and some directors tried to use as few as possible. Still, let’s go for the art’s signature element and share our favorites.

Me? I like fun and jazzy title cards. Beanie Walker of the Hal Roach lot always had some winners. But since I love murder mysteries, this is my current fave. It’s from You’d Be Surprised with titles by Robert Benchley and Ralph Spence.

And the runner-up is this gem from The Cruise of the Jasper B with titles by John Krafft:

As always, there are no wrong answers and the goal is to have fun sharing. Maybe you like pun-filled cards or lyrical ones or zippy one-word ones. Looking forward to your choices!

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15 Replies to “What’s Your Favorite Silent Film Intertitle?”

  1. The first time I saw Metropolis, I remember being startled by Freder yelling “MOLOCH!” I had never seen an intertitle quite like that before. Still sticks in my mind.

      1. Haven’t played croquet in years but yeah, it’s a great little game 😉

        Re: getting married- from The Docks of New York… “if any of you eggs know why these heels shouldn’t get hitched, speak now or forever after hold your trap!”

  2. From the Fatty Arbuckle/Buster Keaton short Moonshine – “Look, this is only a two-reeler. We don’t have time to build up to love scenes.”

  3. The cup runneth over in ‘The Sentimental Bloke,’ but here’s the couple’s first date, a visit to the theatre:

    “Fair Juliet, she gives ‘er boy the tip
    Sez she; don’t sling that crowd o’mine no lip
    An’ if you run agin a Capulet
    Jist do a git”

  4. Oliver Hardy as Charley Chase’s lazy brother-in-law in Isn’t Life Terrible? proclaims (to get out of work) through intertitle, “My heart. It’s beating.”

    Since seeing that years ago, my daughter and I use it when we want to get out of doing something. So, it is my favourite.

  5. That’s easy! Douglas Fairbanks won me over with this serenade to his would-be lover in THE MARK OF ZORRO:

    :”If this could be –
    The high Sierras would I level to your feet –
    The wild waves on Capistrano’s shores should pay you homage –
    I’d make the desert a million roses yield – to die in shame before your beauty –
    If this could be!”

    Try using that for your next sure-fire pickup line.

  6. “Couldn’t she get drowned?” with the word ‘drowned’ dissolving, from Sunrise.

    Another one that, for some reason, got stuck in my mind: “Parlez-vous Français, Chevrolet Coupé?” from The Big Parade.

  7. Two come to mind: “I was decent until I married” from “The Docks of New York” and “Harness my zebras, gift of the King of Nubia” – “The King of Kings”

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