A Modern Photoplay for the New Era, as Illustrated in 1914

Both viewers and filmmakers in the 1910s were well aware that movies were turning a corner and becoming THE popular entertainment of the general public. Naturally, many debates as to how to move forward were underway. Probably the most famous and important was the question of censorship but other issues were also controversial.

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The First White House Motion Picture Show? Teddy Roosevelt Rides to the Rescue

When discussing The Birth of a Nation, one defense that sometimes crops up is that the film is significant because it was the first film screened at the White House. The main problem with this claim is that it is demonstrably false. Cabiria was screened for Woodrow Wilson the year before and the circumstances under which he saw Birth are quite shady. (I cover the details in my extensive article.)

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Silent Stars as Archetypes: A 1922 Explanation of the Appeal of Will Rogers, Wallace Reid, Rudolph Valentino and More

I do enjoy classic “scientific” attempts to explain the very subjective appeal of movie stars and Motion Picture Magazine gave it a whirl in 1922. Why do audiences love particular stars? Could is be something… primal?

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Readers of 1925 Debate the Merits of Rudolph Valentino, Ramon Novarro and an Arbuckle Comeback

What is most interesting about fan magazines is how they are divided between forgotten topics and questions that are hotly debate among silent film fans to this day. A 1925 issue of Photoplay printed some reader opinions and they are particularly interesting so I thought I would share them.

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100 Years Ago, Here Are Even More Cliches and Mistakes That Annoyed Moviegoers

Why Do They Do It? was a regular feature in Photoplay Magazine that allowed readers to write in with complaints about tropes, mistakes and annoyances at the movies.

These selections are from the September 1918 issue and feature complaints about the weather, stockings and day-for-night shooting. My comments follow in italics, the header text was part of the original publication. As always, I will make a note if the film in question is currently available on home video.

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Cooking with the (Silent) Stars: William Boyd’s Salad Bowl with Anchovies

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 a 1950 recipe book that Bebe Daniels co-authored entitled 282 Ways of Making a Salad and it features recipes from both British and American stars. The star in the case was a silent veteran who was one of the first and biggest television stars at the time.

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