A classic and old-timey tale of romance and revenge that has been filmed often but rarely this beautifully. But is it enough?Continue reading “Fun Size Review: Lorna Doone (1922)”
Famed soprano Geraldine Farrar proves she doesn’t need her pipes to be an impressive Carmen. Wallace Reid, in an uncharacteristically dark role, expands his acting chops as a deranged Don Jose.Continue reading “Fun Size Review: Carmen (1915)”
More fun than a barrel of lizards! This is one of the grandest special effects fests of the silent era. The plot involves a group of intrepid scientists who discover dinosaurs on a remote plateau, so you know this will have lots of prehistoric fun.Continue reading “Fun Size Review: The Lost World (1925)”
Pola Negri and Ernst Lubitsch team up once again in the deranged comedy that sends up romance, adventure and Hollywood.
Pola is a bandit girl. Paul Heidemann is a ladykiller army officer. She captures him and steals his pants. He chases her all over a Dr. Suess-ian fortress. Oh, it’s a mad film and it loses its way a bit in its quest to be bonkers but Pola has never been more fun!
How does it end? Hover or tap below for a spoiler.
Read my full-length review here.
If it were a dessert it would be: Trix Cereal Crunch Cake. Loud, zany and slightly psychedelic. May induce headaches on some days. On others, it may be just what the doctor ordered.
Like what you’re reading? Please consider sponsoring me on Patreon. All patrons will get early previews of upcoming features, exclusive polls and other goodies.
Not based on any work by Edgar Allan Poe (despite what some sources may tell you) but a suspenseful tale of madness and murder that Poe would likely have found very much to his taste.Continue reading “Fun Size Review: The Bells (1926)”
Nell Shipman is a woodlands lass who must battle a rather determined stalker who is obsessed with her. Nell fights back with wilderness wiles, assorted firearms and a dog named Wapi. (And behind the camera, she was responsible for much of the film’s tone and content.)Continue reading “Fun Size Review: Back to God’s Country (1919)”
A rare treat from Dorothy Gish’s solo career, as most of her 1910s films are lost and few are available on home media. It’s a story of life in the tenements and it’s all fun and games until someone starts a counterfeiting ring.Continue reading “Fun Size Review: Gretchen the Greenhorn (1916)”
Jimmy Valentine cracks safes for a living. He’s good at it. He likes it. However, the law takes a different view and it’s off to Sing Sing. (Yes, it was shot on location.) Beautifully photographed, as is typical for a Maurice Tourneur production, and the amount of non-glamorized violence may surprise newcomers to 1910s filmmaking.Continue reading “Fun Size Review: Alias Jimmy Valentine (1915)”
William S. Hart gets dark (well, darker than usual) in this western revenge yarn. He is supported by Anna Q. Nilsson, whose sensitive performance does much to enhance the picture.Continue reading “Fun Size Review: The Toll Gate (1920)”
No relation to the Tracy-Hepburn vehicle of the same name but a fun little domestic romp for Cecil B. DeMille nonetheless. Milton Sills and Anna Q. Nilsson deal with her affair while their daughter, Pauline Garon, chases her friendly neighborhood paleontologist (Elliott Dexter), who just wants to put his brontosaurus together.Continue reading “Fun Size Review: Adam’s Rib (1923)”
It’s not just a musical! Kismet was a stage play and a silent film first. This version stars popular theatrical leading man Otis Skinner. It’s surprisingly good (silent Hollywood was rather hit-and-miss with Arabian Nights-style tales) thanks largely to the enthusiasm of Mr. Skinner. The rest of the cast overacts shamelessly but he still manages to steal the show.Continue reading “Fun Size Review: Kismet (1920)”
Really delightful newspaper picture starring Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. (still a teen and trying to forge his own career outside of his father’s gigantic swashbuckling shadow) and directed by Frank Capra, whose career was really firing up.Continue reading “Fun Size Review: The Power of the Press (1928)”
The plot in one sentence: Daddy, buy me a prince right now!Continue reading “Fun Size Review: The Oyster Princess (1919)”
I unabashedly loved every madcap, bonkers second of this Russian-themed romance and I think everyone owes themselves at least one viewing. Is it authentic, accurate or logical in any way, shape or form? No, it is not. And that is why it is wonderful.Continue reading “Fun Size Review: Tempest (1928)”
This movie is sick. I’m just getting that out of the way now. All the content warnings in the world. Lon Chaney stars, Tod Browning directs. Could it be anything but twisted? I also kind of love it.Continue reading “Fun Size Review: West of Zanzibar (1928)”
As far as costume swashbucklers are concerned, this is one of the greats. It has everything: fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, chases, escapes, true love, miracles. And all of it anchored by a really excellent performance by leading man Milton Sills, who specialized in these kinds of brawny feats of derring-do.Continue reading “Fun Size Review: The Sea Hawk (1924)”
Rex Ingram and company show us the French Revolution in style! Ramon Novarro (in an exceedingly fine performance) is a vengeful lawyer turned actor turned swordsman turned revolutionary. Busy fellow, yes? Lewis Stone is his wily aristocratic opponent and turns in one of the best performances of his career by playing against type.Continue reading “Fun Size Review: Scaramouche (1923)”
Mary Pickford and Cecil B. DeMille combine forces to make war look like a righteous crusade to save the World’s Sweetheart from the slavering Huns. Uses every propaganda trick in the book and even helps write the book.Continue reading “Fun Size Review: The Little American (1917)”
Restrained and mature vehicle for Pola Negri; she plays a Frenchwoman whose farm is used to house German POW’s and both romance and a conflict of loyalty ensue. The film is helped along considerably by moody cinematography.Continue reading “Fun Size Review: Barbed Wire (1927)”
Hobart Bosworth is the strong silent type as a deep-sea diver. When he refuses to assist a gang of criminals in a con game, they send in one of their own to seduce Bosworth’s impressionable son. Big mistake.Continue reading “Fun Size Review: Below the Surface (1920)”
Very (very, very, very, very) loosely based on the poem Anabel Lee by Edgar Allan Poe, this film tells the tale of a struggling author and his lady fair who are parted by movie-type circumstances.Continue reading “Fun Size Review: Annabell Lee (1921)”
Unjustly obscure, this picture examines gender roles and double standards in post-WWI America. Director William de Mille creates a funny, heartbreaking story of a single woman deemed a “spinster” by the residents of her small town.Continue reading “Fun Size Review: Miss Lulu Bett (1921)”
A new preacher arrives at the sinningest town West of the Pecos. William S. Hart is a gunfighter with a homicidal streak determined to prevent law and religion from taking hold in Hell’s Hinges. There is shooting. So much shooting.Continue reading “Fun Size Review: Hell’s Hinges (1916)”
The Location: Old Dark House.Continue reading “Fun Size Review: The Cat and the Canary (1927)”
Pola Negri is a the Countess. She got dumped right after getting a tattoo of the guy’s family crest. Off she goes to the Midwest to forget. Scandal! Makeup? Tattoos? Smoking? Next thing you know, women will want jobs too!Continue reading “Fun Size Review: A Woman of the World (1925)”
Maharajah Conrad Veidt hires a German architect to design a beautiful tomb for his wife. She isn’t actually dead yet.Continue reading “Fun Size Review: The Indian Tomb (1921)”
Cecil B. DeMille directs a movie about the Russian Revolution. It’s everything you could possibly hope for. That could be my entire review.Continue reading “Fun Size Review: The Volga Boatman (1926)”
People still harbor the incorrect belief that there was a time when movies were “just movies” and didn’t contain political content. Yeah… about that…Continue reading “Fun Size Review: The Inside of the White Slave Traffic (1913)”
Independent filmmaker Oscar Micheaux’s searing portrayal of racism in America is an intense experience and an essential one for any student of film history. Micheaux pulls no punches and covers everything from drawing room racism to lynchings.Continue reading “Fun Size Review: Within Our Gates (1920)”
Lon Chaney plays a heartbroken anarchist in this incredibly curious tale of terrorism and unrequited love. The suits apparently wanted to have their cake and eat it to: a torn-from-the-headlines political story without any actual politics.Continue reading “Fun Size Review: The Ace of Hearts (1921)”