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)”
Mary Pickford stars in this Frances Marion-directed war picture about an Italian woman who falls in love with a shipwrecked American during WWI but everything is not as it seems.Continue reading “Fun Size Review: The Love Light (1921)”
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.