Movies about movies have always been popular and this film holds particular interest because it contains numerous scenes of motion picture production in Fort Lee, New Jersey. It also is a rare look at Doris Kenyon in a starring role with the added bonus of Leatrice Joy in a supporting role.Continue reading “Fun Size Review: A Girl’s Folly (1917)”
Pola Negri and Ernst Lubitsch teamed up for the first time in this curious mashup of Orientalist melodrama and romantic comedy. While the screenplay doesn’t always do its cast favors, Negri’s charisma is undeniable.
Not the famously lost Theda Bara vehicle but still quite interesting in its own right. Star Helen Gardner wielded enormous creative control and even designed her own costumes.
Exactly what it says on the tin and that’s the problem: garters and failed engagements were hardly scandalous by the mid-1920s. The idea that Charles Ray would move heaven and earth to retrieve a garter he gifted to Gertie (Marie Prevost) was seen as a bit of a stretch even during the film’s initial release.
Interesting little espionage picture with Frances Gibson as an agent for the Mexican army and Romaine Fielding as the hapless American soldier who falls for her charms. It’s a very by-the-numbers plot but worth the view just to see Gibson and Fielding in action. (Fielding was voted #1 star in America in a 1913 popularity poll.)
One of the more delightful comedy features of the silent era, this is also Harry Langdon’s best film. He plays a little Belgian soldier who comes to America in search of his wartime pen pal.
This domestic comedy is all about a young couple with an addiction to credit and dancing, surely a timeless plot. As a bonus, the couple is played by Reginald Denny and Laura La Plante, who bring real charm and appeal to their characters.
Not directed by Cecil B. DeMille but with many of his trademarks, including love with exotic flashbacks. The plot is absolutely delicious hokum and involves both romance and archaeology.
Frank Lloyd’s adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic novel is a gorgeous affair with accomplished special effects (William Farnum played both Charles Darnay and Sydney Carton thanks to double exposure), beautiful costumes and suitably lavish sets with cinematography to match.
A strangely sunny adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s famous tale, this Thanhouser production stars future director James Cruze as the title characters and Florence La Badie as his lady love.
Douglas Fairbanks plays a city boy who dreams of the rootin’ tootin’ wild west and gets his wish when the citizens of an Arizona town decide to indulge his fantasies in hopes he will finance a new road through town. Continue reading “Fun Size Review: Wild and Woolly (1917)”
Two women and one man are stranded on a lifeboat in the middle of the ocean and as they drift, they think about their lives and how they ended up where they are. Out of that simple premise director Mario Peixoto creates one of the most impressive independent films ever created.
Mack Sennett’s winning duo of Arbuckle and Normand were dispatched to interact with the ongoing exposition in San Diego and chaos ensued, naturally. Arbuckle’s flirty ways anger Normand and she’s not someone you want to get angry.
Few directors have a feature debut as promising as John Ford’s. While the story isn’t much to write home about, Straight Shooting has gorgeous cinematography, good acting and a showdown that remains one of the best in the history of westerns.
One of the first comedy stars and one of the first movie stars, period, Max Linder was still going strong in the 1920s and this droll comedy was released for the American market. What it lacks in consistency (it feels like three shorts stitched together) it more than makes up for with the personality of its star.
This production’s main claim to fame is that it was shot on location in Egypt and the Holy Land pre-WWI and the scenery is admittedly impressive but there are other interesting features.
One of the better silent Our Gang comedies, this cute little short features the kids stumbling into a crook’s hideout. The villains try to scare the tykes away by faking a haunted house and hilarity ensues.
If you like a little humor with your dead bodies (and who doesn’t?) then this mystery comedy is for you. While it doesn’t reach the heights of Paul Leni’s work in the genre, it does have one ace up its sleeve: Raymond Griffith.
This solo comedy from Snub Pollard is delightfully strange and displaying that light Hal Roach touch that comedy fans know and love. Pollard is probably most famous as Harold Lloyd’s sidekick but he does pretty well for himself in the starring role.
Can Charles Ray make the baseball team? If you’ve seen any sports movie, you know the answer.
Charley Chase wants to marry Martha Sleeper but first he has to finagle his way out of an arranged marriage… to Martha Sleeper. Chase feigns insanity and terrorizes the neighborhood, including Oliver Hardy.
This is possibly one of the most beautiful films William S. Hart made and so it is appropriate that it is also the first Hart film available in HD. The cinematography and gorgeous tints are absolutely breathtaking.
Lon Chaney plays a ventriloquist-turned-criminal mastermind who robs from the rich with help from his sideshow pals. Just as bonkers and just as much fun as you might imagine.
A flirty wife. A jealous husband. A band of lusty pals. A sinister puppeteer. What could possibly go wrong? And remember, this is a German film so the answer is pretty much everything. Murder most Teutonic.
In 1910, the Seine river flooded and Paris found itself looking more like Venice. Fortunately, nobody died in this disaster and film crews were on hand to capture surreal images of flooded streets.
Independent filmmaker Oscar Micheaux takes on religion in this melodrama. Only a handful of his films are extant and this is one of them. It’s also of particular interest because it stars Paul Robeson in dual roles as a scheming fake minister and a shy suitor.
Georges Méliès presents the story of a homicidal gentleman with a suspiciously-hued beard. This is a pretty gory take on the infamously gory fairy tale, though are some signature moments of Méliès lightheartedness.
Director Alice Guy’s tearjerker short about a little girl trying to save her older sister still earns more than a few sniffles today.
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 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.