Last week, the New York Post ran an article with a headline that claimed, “Millennials don’t really care about classic movies.” Another one for the ever-growing “Millennials are killing _____” collection. However, as I read the article, a few things about the data struck me as sloppy and/or shallow, so I decided that a longer response was in order.
The internet. Ah, yes, the internet. Something that has the potential to be so incredibly smart but there are just days when we need to unplug. So enjoy GIFs of silent movie people disparaging the internet from before there was an internet. And you can enjoy it all on the internet.
Did you know that the moon is covered in cotton wool and breathes fire? If you didn’t then you probably haven’t seen An Excursion to the Moon, a charming little ripoff from the underrated Segundo de Chomon.
It was the best of times… to make a Dickens adaptation! Movies were getting ever bigger in the 1910s and Fox decided to stage its own version of this literary classic about the French Revolution and far, far better things.
Recently, Millennials were accused of not liking old movies and I am working on a more in-depth response but in the meantime, here is a quick comeback for my Millennial readers in the likely event that they are accused of killing classic movies.
A movie about the movies, this film follows Doris Kenyon as she attempts to break into the New Jersey film industry—and is tempted by Robert Warwick to enter a life of sin! Oh my!
The good people at Kino Lorber have invited me to host a giveaway of their brand new Beggars of Life Bluray! I know many of you have been looking forward to this film and now you have a chance to get a free copy.
When there are no spoken lines of dialogue, you have to figure out how to make a spectacular and silent entrance. That’s just what these silent movie fellas manage with assorted techniques employed.
This new restoration of Beggars of Life, a 1928 drama starring Louise Brooks, Richard Arlen and Wallace Beery and directed by William Wellman, has been making the festival rounds but this is you chance to own it. I’ll be going through the contents of this disc and showcasing what it has to offer.
Lupino Lane plays a dapper young gentleman whose father has fallen in love. Since dear old dad doesn’t want look old, he persuades Lane to disguise himself as a child. Need I say that chaos ensues?
It’s ranchers vs. farmers when the local water rights are up for grabs. John Ford’s first feature film stars Harry Carey as a Good Bad Man and Hoot Gibson as his ally.
An early J. Warren Kerrigan vehicle about a rancher whose single daughter will inherit three million dollars if she can produce a marriage certificate. When the daughter refuses to marry, the father resorts to kidnapping. Allan Dwan directs.
I’m back with another glimpse of my, ahem, modest silent film collection. If you want to catch up on other “shelfie” posts, you can find them here.
Without a doubt, this is one of the most anticipated silent film releases of the year. The Murnau Stiftung has restored a German classic, a film that has been universally praised since its was first unveiled in 1925. And then there is the little matter of the music…
As 1917 is the 100th anniversary of the release of Theda Bara’s blockbuster, Cleopatra, and since her films have the worst availability of just about any major star, I thought the subject of ease of access would be an interesting topic.
Director Maurice Tourneur’s technical virtuosity has never had a better showcase… it’s a shame that the story is trite, twee and basically advocates death before upward mobility. Oh well, we can’t have everything.
Douglas Fairbanks plays a New Yorker who is obsessed with the west. When he gets an opportunity to travel to Arizona, the locals decide to play up the wild west element but when a robbery turns real, Doug’s cowboy skills come in handy.
Dancers were featured in the very first projected movie show put on by Thomas Edison. Young ladies twirled across the screen, their skirts hand-painted in cheerful shades. Since dance is such an important element in silent films, let’s take a look at assorted performances.
A Russian ballerina sneaks off to Paris and there she find love and (da da DUM) peril. Alice Brady plays a double role as mother and daughter while Montagu Love provides the peril.
We’re back with another silent era star recipe from Photoplay’s 1929 cookbook. This time around, I’ll be testing a recipe from one of the most famous voices of the sound era. Not many people know that he started in the silents.
Some big news for silent movie fans, so let’s dive right in. We have a lost film found, a whole bunch of Blurays and a cunning plan.
Harry Langdon plays a doughboy who escapes a POW camp while the Germans are “celebrating something or other” and finds himself the last American soldier in Europe. Oh, and he is also the perfect doppelgänger of the nearest king. I smell a Prisoner of Zenda spoof!
Time for another theme month! This time, it’s my annual look at century-old cinema. That’s right, every single movie I review this month will be from 1917.
A jealous husband, a flirtatious wife, a quartet of lusty dinner guests and a shadow puppeteer… This is going to be an eventful evening. The film is a stylized marvel with plenty of the dark stuff we expect in German cinema.
Our Marion Davies cup runneth over with two more titles making their DVD debut this week. In addition to the Bluray release of When Knighthood Was in Flower, Undercrank Productions is presenting two other 1922 Marion Davies vehicles: Beauty’s Worth and The Bride’s Play.
The good news: After years of putting up with terrible pricing and customer service, as well as speeds so slow that my dial-up modem was laughing, I will be dumping my old service and slipping over to (hopefully) better speeds and reliability.
The bad news: It must be installed and I don’t know how long it will take.
There are maybe five or six silent films that are famous enough to be mentioned by Jane Q. Public. Metropolis, Battleship Potemkin, things like that. The list of “essential” silents– the films most silent film fans have heard about– is longer but there is still a long tail of obscure pictures that need advocates to get the word out.
I am definitely one of those “Summertime Blues” kind of people and find it difficult to keep my usual cheery disposition (ha ha) when the sun is shining. Fortunately, I am not alone in this. Here are some silent film stars who are not their normal, chipper selves.
Lon Chaney plays a two-thumbed criminal on the lam who poses as an armless knife-thrower to deflect suspicion. (As one does.) He’s in love with Joan Crawford, who is afraid of men’s arms encircling her. Lon knows a surgeon who can… Yes, the movie goes there.
Murder most theatrical! A major star dies a mysterious death on the stage but when his body is stolen, the case goes cold. Years later, his best friend gathers the entire cast to restage the play in order to unmask the killer but someone wants to make darn sure that the show never goes on and their methods are rather… permanent…