The Oyster Princess (1919) A Silent Film Review

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.

Continue reading “The Oyster Princess (1919) A Silent Film Review”

Silent Movie Myth: Tied to the Railroad Tracks

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.

Continue reading “Silent Movie Myth: Tied to the Railroad Tracks”

Silent Movie Bookshelf: Motion Picture Photography by Carl Louis Gregory

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.

Continue reading “Silent Movie Bookshelf: Motion Picture Photography by Carl Louis Gregory”

Silent Movie Bookshelf: Motion Picture Directing by Peter Milne

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.

Continue reading “Silent Movie Bookshelf: Motion Picture Directing by Peter Milne”

The Little American (1917) A Silent Film Review

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. 

Continue reading “The Little American (1917) A Silent Film Review”

Silent Movie Bookshelf: Classics of the Silent Screen by Joe Franklin

Ok, first thing’s first. The “research assistant” for this book was esteemed silent film historian William K. Everson so we know that we are in good hands. This is yet another long out-of-print book that I added to my collection. It’s pretty easy to find a used copy online for just a few dollars. I highly recommend that you do just that. This book is ideal as your first-ever silent movie book.

Continue reading “Silent Movie Bookshelf: Classics of the Silent Screen by Joe Franklin”

Silent Movie Bookshelf: From Caligari to Hitler by Siegfried Kracauer

A psychological history of the German Film, if you want the full subtitle. I love silent German cinema; I admire its fierce creativity and its willingness to take crazy risks. And there is also, of course, Conrad Veidt. But enough of that. How is the book? Well, the title is certainly provocative enough.
Continue reading “Silent Movie Bookshelf: From Caligari to Hitler by Siegfried Kracauer”

Silent Movie Bookshelf: The Complete Films of William S. Hart by Diane Kaiser Koszarski

This is how the (movie) west was won!

William S. Hart was one of the most popular western stars of the silent era. Though his films have a low loss rate, relatively few of them are available on home media. This book is valuable because it is the closest we may ever get to some of Hart’s more obscure titles. It also happens to be the gold standard in the “complete films of” book genre.

Continue reading “Silent Movie Bookshelf: The Complete Films of William S. Hart by Diane Kaiser Koszarski”