Pola Negri’s bandit girl leads her men on a raid but they end up completely wasted on stolen wine. Being a resourceful girl, Pola is determined to bring them all home again.
Pola Negri stars as Rischka, the wildcat of the title. She is the leader of a gang of bandits. Their latest victim is Alexis, a caddish military officer on his way to his new post. Rischka and Alexis embark on a mad courtship leaving chaos in their wake. Director Ernst Lubitsch creates onscreen havoc that has rarely been equaled since.
Continue reading “The Wildcat (1921) A Silent Film Review”
Pola Negri’s feral little bandit girl in The Wildcat wants to get married. However, she has beaten up the boys in her gang once too often and so she only has one taker… and he is terrified!
White Almond Flower (Clarine Seymour) is a flapper-ish island girl who just can’t choose between a sickly missionary (Creighton Hale) and an atheist beach bum (Richard Barthelmess). Will WAF be “civilized” or will she be free to continue her moonlight idolatry? D.W. Griffith directs this tale of religion, the nature of civilization and shimmy-shimmy shakes.
Continue reading “The Idol Dancer (1920) A Silent Film Review”
Clarine Seymour has found drunk-as-a-lord Richard Barthelmess on the beach. Her daddy is tired of her always bringing things home so Clarine must ask for permission to keep her new pet.
Ossi Oswalda’s character is an, um, eccentric young lady with violent habits. She smashes vases, mirrors, heads when she is happy, sad or in love. In this case, she is thrilled that her daddy has promised to buy her a prince to marry.
Ossi is practicing her maternal skills for her upcoming marriage to a German prince. Of course, where to powder the baby is not as obvious as one would think…
Ossi’s father is the Oyster King of America and she has decided that she deserves nothing less than a European prince. Nucki is the penniless prince in question but a few cases of mistaken identity later, all plans are in shambles. Hidden amongst the the wacky hijinks is some pointed social commentary courtesy of director Ernst Lubitsch.
Poor Prince Nucki (Harry Liedtke) comes to in a strange room and is confronted by something that is most definitely not his. Where are his pants anyway? Zany romantic comedy from Ernst Lubitsch. This is one of the funniest intertitles, in my opinion. Enjoy!
So Big (1924)
Status: Presumed Lost
Here is what Photoplay magazine had to say about the film and Colleen Moore’s performance:
Note: This article covers the origins of the trope, how it erroneously became associated with silent films and why the myth persists. For more details on the actors involved, the Snidely Whiplash connection and examples of this trope subverted, check out my follow up article. You can also check out real footage and vintage images in my video response.
Yup, I went back to the Beloved Rogue well one more time. John Barrymore has just been catapulted into Paris (don’t ask) and has landed in the room of Marceline Day.
By now we have covered acting, screenwriting and directing of the silent motion picture. What’s left? The shooting, of course! How were motion pictures photographed during the silent era? This book answers all your questions. In fact, it is by far the most technical (and thickest!) volume in the series.
This is a review of the box set itself, look for reviews of the individual films down the road.
I came across this caricature by de Bru in Photoplay magazine. How many movie stars of 1928 can you identify without peeking at the legend?
Unfortunately, many films of the silent era have been lost. This new series is going to list some of the more interesting ones. We are going to start with a comedy from the late silent era.
Pola Negri hits it out of the park in this late silent war drama. She is a French farmer whose land is converted into a POW camp during WWI. Her hatred of Germans is slowly melted away by her discovery of common humanity… and by Clive Brook, a handsome prisoner. First class story of love and tolerance.
Continue reading “Barbed Wire (1927) A Silent Film Review”
We can name the top stars of 10, 20, 50, 70 years ago. But what about 100?
Pola Negri (1897-1987)
Country of birth: Poland
Birth name: Apolonia Chalupiec
So far the 1922 motion picture correspondence course has covered acting and screenwriting. But what about that man (or woman!) with the megaphone? Directing movies also has its own volume in the series and it by far my favorite. The writing is smart and flippant, just the sort of prose to make you feel very 1920-ish indeed.
Colleen Moore (1899-1988)
Country of birth: USA
Mary Pickford joins the war effort in this collaboration with director Cecil B. DeMille. One woman, two armies, oh dear. Pickford plays Angela, an American girl so patriotic that she contrived to be born on Independence Day. However, she is in favor of outsourcing her love life: her two suitors are French and German respectively. But then that pesky war starts, both men are called up to serve and Angela must choose her side.
Joseph Schildkraut (1896-1964)
Country of birth: Austria
This GIF sums up everything I like about John Barrymore’s swashbucklers. He was an incredibly handsome leading man and respected actor who was not afraid to act in a manner befitting a Wascally Wabbit.
Another day, another book from the New York Institute of Photography’s correspondence course for all would-be participants in the silent film industry. This 1922 book explains how to write for the movies.
And now for something a little different. This book was published in 1922 as a textbook in a correspondence course from the New York Institute of Photography. The series promised to teach the reader everything they needed to know in order to join the film industry. This volume covers the art of acting.
This was the first book on silent cinema that I ever bought. I couldn’t have asked for a better introduction. Film historian Kevin Brownlow has proven to be one of the strongest advocates for silent cinema and, as it turns out, he is a heckuva writer too.
So, what kind of silent movie fan are you? In my experience, they usually come in three varieties:
There is only one thing I love more than a good silent movie: A good Conrad Veidt movie. And if it is a Conrad Veidt silent movie…
Welcome to the very first Theme Month here at Movies, Silently! The theme for March 2013 is “I Loved a German”