If you think modern moviegoers invented cinematic nitpicking, you are in for a shock! Photoplay Magazine had a regular feature on reader complaints and they are great fun to peruse. Here’s the collection from August of 1919.Continue reading “These Were the Movie Errors, Tropes and Eccentricities That Annoyed Viewers in August of 1919”
One thing I always find fascinating is to study the best films according to silent era critics and audiences and then compare their choices to what we like today. Are you ready to see which ten pictures from 1922 were voted best by the critics? The Film Daily Year Book has the list so let’s dive in!Continue reading “The Best Films of 1922 According to Critics of the Time (and All of Them Are on Home Media!)”
Maybe I am just out of touch but lately there seems to be an upswing in tribalism among silent film fans. What do I mean by this? You’re bopping along, minding your own business, savoring some love for a particular silent era talent when suddenly, the conversation shifts to bashing a perceived rival.Continue reading “On Zero Sum Games: Silent Film Favorites and Cults of Personality”
We have so many goodies in the pipeline! Three popular favorites are getting sparkling new releases.Continue reading “News from the Silent Movie Front: Rudolph Valentino, Alice Guy and Conrad Veidt”
Famed soprano Geraldine Farrar proves she doesn’t need her pipes to be an impressive Carmen. Wallace Reid, in an uncharacteristically dark role, expands his acting chops as a deranged Don Jose.Continue reading “Fun Size Review: Carmen (1915)”
An opera adaptation starring a ballerina set in Naples but shot in Chicago. The silent era, ladies and gentlemen! Ballet superstar Anna Pavlova made her screen debut in this Universal epic about love, revolution and trunk hose.Continue reading “The Dumb Girl of Portici (1916) A Silent Film Review”
More fun than a barrel of lizards! This is one of the grandest special effects fests of the silent era. The plot involves a group of intrepid scientists who discover dinosaurs on a remote plateau, so you know this will have lots of prehistoric fun.Continue reading “Fun Size Review: The Lost World (1925)”
We’re in for a treat, a look at a new restoration of Fragment of an Empire, a 1929 Soviet drama directed by Fridrikh Ermler. A collaboration between the EYE Filmmuseum, Gosfilmofond of Russia, and the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, this restoration combines materials held by EYE and the Cinémathèque Suisse to create the most complete version of the film available in decades.Continue reading “Unboxing the Silents: Fragment of an Empire on Bluray from Flicker Alley”
So, I have been playing around in old movie magazines and noticed that there were some amusing publicity stunts that I thought would be fun to share. Today, it’s the limerick contest!Continue reading “Silent Movie Marketing: Limerick Contests”
Okay, so it’s been quite a time. My dog, Douglas Fairbanks, is pretty much a toddler: everything goes into his mouth and his face goes into everything. Well, that got him in trouble last night. Long story short, I spent quite a long stretch at the veterinarian today, which threw off my schedule completely.Continue reading “Silent Movies vs. Small Dog Adventures”
Pola Negri and Ernst Lubitsch team up once again in the deranged comedy that sends up romance, adventure and Hollywood.
Pola is a bandit girl. Paul Heidemann is a ladykiller army officer. She captures him and steals his pants. He chases her all over a Dr. Suess-ian fortress. Oh, it’s a mad film and it loses its way a bit in its quest to be bonkers but Pola has never been more fun!
How does it end? Hover or tap below for a spoiler.
Read my full-length review here.
If it were a dessert it would be: Trix Cereal Crunch Cake. Loud, zany and slightly psychedelic. May induce headaches on some days. On others, it may be just what the doctor ordered.
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The mutiny on the Potemkin is dramatized for the screen nearly two decades before the famous Eisenstein picture. The production is French and what it lacks in authentic detail, it more than makes up for with enthusiasm.Continue reading “Revolution in Russia (1905) A Silent Film Review”
Not based on any work by Edgar Allan Poe (despite what some sources may tell you) but a suspenseful tale of madness and murder that Poe would likely have found very much to his taste.Continue reading “Fun Size Review: The Bells (1926)”
The Influenza Pandemic of 1918 remains one of the most deadly pandemic in recent history. Millions lost their lives and as a precaution, moving picture studios temporarily halted operations.Continue reading “The Lighter Side of a Pandemic: Rube Goldberg, Influenza and the Movies”
It may seem counter intuitive for a movie with no audible dialogue to be quotable but silent film fans know that title cards contain some of the snappiest writing around. So, in the name of Beanie Walker, let’s share some favorites!Continue reading “What’s Your Favorite Silent Movie Quotation?”
Last week, I asked you, readers, to choose November’s theme and one choice was the favorite by far!Continue reading “You Chose My Theme Month! In November, We’re Lost and Found”
You say you want a revolution? Well, I have a nice little month planned for you! Revolutions, uprisings, mutinies and general unruliness will be the order of the day.Continue reading “Theme Month! August 2019: The Peasants Are Revolting! And They’re Rebelling Too!”
Nell Shipman is a woodlands lass who must battle a rather determined stalker who is obsessed with her. Nell fights back with wilderness wiles, assorted firearms and a dog named Wapi. (And behind the camera, she was responsible for much of the film’s tone and content.)Continue reading “Fun Size Review: Back to God’s Country (1919)”
Norma Shearer takes on two roles in this mild-mannered “how the other half lives” picture: Molly the lady of the night and Florence, a judge’s daughter and demure as can be. Naturally, both young ladies fall for the same fella but who will win his heart?Continue reading “Lady of the Night (1925) A Silent Film Review”
A rare treat from Dorothy Gish’s solo career, as most of her 1910s films are lost and few are available on home media. It’s a story of life in the tenements and it’s all fun and games until someone starts a counterfeiting ring.Continue reading “Fun Size Review: Gretchen the Greenhorn (1916)”
The podcast is back and I am joined by special guest David L. Gill. The subject: silent film music, the good and the bad.Continue reading “The Third Movies Silently Podcast with David L. Gill”
One of the most under-discussed aspects of silent films by non-nerds is how wonderfully, on-purpose weird they were. I personally can’t get enough of the eccentric plotting, visuals and humor of some silent era films and I have a feeling some of you feel the same way.Continue reading “What’s Your Favorite Wild, Weird, Random Silent Film?”
I keep saying this: silent era audiences were alert, smart and they were quick to say something when met with a cliche or a mistake in a film. What these people could have done with Twitter is terrifying to consider.Continue reading “These Were the Errors and Tropes That Annoyed Moviegoers Exactly 100 Years Ago”
The idea of having a famous person endorse a product existed before movies, of course, but motion picture stars were in a unique position to make various consumer goods attractive to their fans. After all, who better than a glamorous, curly-haired film star to sell this new-fangled “shampoo” stuff?Continue reading “How Famous Silent Stars Kept Their Hair Beautiful (and Earned Some Cash as Spokesmodels)”
Jimmy Valentine cracks safes for a living. He’s good at it. He likes it. However, the law takes a different view and it’s off to Sing Sing. (Yes, it was shot on location.) Beautifully photographed, as is typical for a Maurice Tourneur production, and the amount of non-glamorized violence may surprise newcomers to 1910s filmmaking.Continue reading “Fun Size Review: Alias Jimmy Valentine (1915)”
A U.S. Army lieutenant stationed at a frontier fort decides to battle his boredom constructively by holding up the stagecoach for a giggle. Things take a serious turn when the stage is held up for real. That’ll teach him.Continue reading “Ranson’s Folly (1926) A Silent Film Review”
Lots of really exciting releases on the horizon, so I wanted to share the news with you.Continue reading “News from the Silent Movie Front: Josef von Sternberg, Alfred Hitchcock and More on Bluray”
I asked for my readers to suggest theme months for November and I have narrowed the list down to four selections. So let’s vote on this and see where it leads!Continue reading “Poll: Vote for a Theme Month!”
Well, the results are in and we have a winner in the Silent Swashbuckler Tournament!Continue reading “And the Champion Silent Swashbuckler is…”
I was flipping my way through some fan magazines when I found a brief series in which film stars shared their funniest stories in 1923 issues of Motion Picture Magazine. Well, that certainly deserves to be shared so here we are!Continue reading “Five Silent Movie Stars Walk Into a Bar… A Collection of Treasured Jokes from Film Favorites”