Party Like it’s 1908! The Cubs won the World Series! Here’s what was going on in movies the last time that happened.

I’m not a real sports watcher but, like much of the world, I was charmed by the idea of the Chicago Cubs finally winning the World Series. Last night, the Cubs declared victory after a nail-biter game 7 and walked away as champions. The last time they accomplished this? 1908.

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Join me on a secret government mission! (Okay, it’s actually identifying mystery stills but I got your attention, right?)

The Library of Congress needs our help and since they do so much for film preservation, it’s only fair that fans of classic cinema would pitch in. What do they need? Our braaaaaaaains!

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Silent Films: A Quick Guide for the Perplexed (Frequently Asked Questions Answered!)

I like to read reviews of silent films that were written by people who are unfamiliar with the art. It helps me remember what it was like to be a newcomer, which things seemed confusing or odd to me. On that note, I have decided to post a quick and handy answer to some common questions.

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Silent Movie Costumes: How to dress like the real heroes, heroines & villains of silent films

While some silent movie costumes are imaginative and undeniably awesome, a good number are chintzy, cliched and reveal the fact that the designers and wearers have never, ever seen a silent movie. (Don’t believe me? Google “flapper costume” and see what sequined, beplumed nonsense comes up.)

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In which I bust a minor myth that has been annoying me for a while (yes, it involves train tracks)

Okay, so readers of this site know that the fastest way to get me annoyed is to claim that silent films were filled with women tied to tracks. I have debunked this myth again and again and again but then an offhand remark in the New York Times sends silent movie fans back to mythbusting square one. Sigh.

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Cossacks and Crinoline: Creating the perfect opening scene

The time has come, the walrus said, to talk about opening scenes, those iconic moments that kicked off great films. Star Wars (1977) started things off with a literal bang, its heroes on the run from a gargantuan, relentless enemy. Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) kept its bangs in check until the end of the scene and contented itself with a rusty windmill and three bored killers. Yojimbo (1961) set the stage with Masaru Sato’s cocky score and a shot of Toshiro Mifune’s shoulders swinging as he walked down a dusty road.

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Silent Movie Myth: Everything you know about silent film villains is wrong

Ask the average person to describe a silent movie villain and you’ll probably hear something like this:

“Big, curly mustache, black top hat, black cape. Always terrorizing damsels.

The thing is, they’re describing Snidely Whiplash and Professor Fate, both of whom were created decades after the silent era. Time to smash some myths!

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Cooking with the (Silent) Stars: Claudette Colbert’s Raw Vegetable Salad

Welcome back! I am cooking up recipes of the silent stars and tasting them from a modern point of view. (I have listed all the recipes I have tested on this dedicated page. Check back often.) Today, we will be testing a recipe from a superstar of the talkies who made a few silents in her youth.

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