Last week, we talked about silent movie disappointments, films that we hoped would be good but turned out to be awful or at least meh. This time, we’re going in the opposite direction.
There’s a quiz going around social media that determines your age by the movies you watch. Of course, the age seems to top out at 59 (boo!) and there aren’t all that many classic films so… Let’s do this properly!
Director Alice Guy’s tearjerker short about a little girl trying to save her older sister still earns more than a few sniffles today.
In a bid to make his wife, Constance Talmadge, sorry for neglecting him, Harrison Ford (not that one) fakes an affair but the whole thing backfires and he is divorced in a flash. And so you’re probably wondering how he ended up hiding in the wardrobe in his wife’s bedroom… (Yes, it’s one of THOSE plots.)
I’m back with another peek into my silent movie collection, a selection of honest-to-goodness Americana this time around. If you want to catch up on other “shelfie” posts, you can find them here.
I’m based in California, so while these films might be region-free, they are quite possibly region 1 or region A. Readers living outside the region will need to check their equipment before purchasing.
Welcome back! I have been cooking my way through the 1929 Photoplay cookbook but I sometimes take detours. In this case, I will be preparing a recipe from the 1925 collection Favorite Recipes of Famous Women and the star in question is probably more famous today for her proximity to her co-star.
You’ve been looking forward to this silent film forever, you can’t wait to see it. At last, you get an opportunity and… meh. Or, worse, feh.
Lots of new releases (and a few titles I just plain missed the first time) on the horizon, so let’s get down to business!
Mr. Flip is a series of sketches that all revolve around the same theme: Ben Turpin annoys, gropes or otherwise harasses women trying to do their jobs and the women retaliate with the items they have to hand: the manicurist stabs him in the backside with scissors, the bartender squirts him with seltzer, the waitress smashes a pie into his face, etc.
A young courting couple get pulled into a bizarre scheme when they are asked to borrow the identities of their friends to help close a business deal. The main draw of the thing is a very young (and still relatively unknown) Rudolph Valentino.
The megawatt smile is pretty much a requirement for a film star but sometimes… Whether for laughs or for menace, some silent stars had smiles that inspire more shrieks than sighs.
I’m cooking my way through the 1929 Photoplay Cookbook and you are invited to come along! This time, we’ll be sampling a recipe from a star who was defined by her birthplace more than her personality.
I am working on a project (honestly, when am I NOT working on a project?) and I want to include a list of essential silent films. As the list should reflect more universal taste and because I will just put down a bunch of Ivan Mosjoukine films if left to my own devices, I am asking for your help.
It’s time for my annual celebration of films that are observing their centenary this year. Yes, it will be all 1918 all the time in these parts!
A British adaptation of an eighteenth century play with powdered wigs and lace cravats aplenty. Oh, and a very young Basil Rathbone as the resident cad, bounder and rogue.
Thomas Hardy’s novel comes to the screen with the added prestige of both location shooting and the cooperation of the author himself. A rare look at the work of British director Sidney Morgan.
This is a second peek behind the curtain. I’m going to talk about how I go about researching and reviewing films. You can read about how I select films for review here. Enjoy!
It’s no exaggeration to say that the home video boom is responsible for a whole generation of silent film fans. As my recent survey shows, the vast majority of the readers of this site rely on home video to see silent films.
I’m at it again! More silent movie-related swag for your enjoyment and approval. This time, I tackle the important question of IT.
I have goodies! Well, one goodie but it’s a pretty good goodie. A copy of Southern Belle To Hollywood Hell: Corliss Palmer and Her Scandalous Rise and Fall by Jennifer Ann Redmond and it can be yours!
Silent movies were like modern films in that there were distinct genres and acting styles that went with them. In the case of melodrama, most audience members understood that it was meant to be over the top. And considering the excesses of modern action films, I don’t think we have any room to talk about realism.
A wastrel is ruining his family with his free-spending ways and it looks very much like he dates women who show their ankles. However, he falls asleep in the family portrait gallery and his ancestors climb down from their portraits to set him straight.
A young knight returns from the Crusades and finds himself entangled in some rather nasty business when rival knights go on a kidnapping spree. Fortunately, he has some help from King Richard and Robin Hood.
We sometimes think of ourselves as terribly modern and sophisticated but it is always appropriate to remember that silent era audiences were pretty darn sharp themselves. Photoplay had a regular feature that allowed readers to write in with complaints about tropes, mistakes and annoyances at the movies.
A couple of very interesting happenings in the world of early/silent film, both of which promise a slight rewriting of film history.
Hi there! As of this time yesterday, I had absolutely no thoughts of getting a kitten but here I am.
From the very start, motion pictures were pirates and resold. Almost everybody did it and so different studios developed various methods of protecting their intellectual property.
Ukrainian author Nikolai Gogol’s gloriously funny story about a disembodied nose would seem to be unfilmable and yet the husband-wife animation team of Claire Parker and Alexander Alexeieff managed to create a brilliant silent short.
Oscar Wilde meets Ernst Lubitsch in this witty society comedy. Lubitsch’s decision to jettison Wilde’s dialogue may raise some eyebrows but the Wilde spirit is intact and smart performances from Irene Rich and Ronald Colman are the icing on the cake.