Fun Size Review: Parisian Love (1925)

Parisian Love 1925 Clara Bow Silent Movie Review
Clara was a very busy woman.

Clara Bow is the only thing that makes this faux French romance worth seeing. A gangster gal with a heart of pyrite, Clara’s boyfriend is kidnapped by an eccentric rich guy who is determined to make an honest man of him. Clara responds with staging a seduction of her own. None of this is as fun as it sounds. A low budget bore but Clara is a gem.

parisian-love-clara-blow-1925-silent-movie-bye-bye [toggler title=”How does it end? (click here for a spoiler)” ]Clara gets shot by her old gang on her wedding day (to the rich guy) but her old boyfriend recognizes her, there are tidy divorces and she turns out to be an aristocrat who was kidnapped as a baby and all ends with champagne and roses. Or something.[/toggler]

If it were a dessert it would be:

(via tasteofhome.com)
(via tasteofhome.com)

Faux Chicken Nuggets. Chicken or cake? Well, guessing is all the fun! Looks like one thing on the surface, is another inside. Guaranteed to disappoint or weird out anyone who tastes it.

You can read my full-length review of the film here.

Recommended

Fun Size Review: The Adventures of Prince Achmed (1926)

Adventures of Prince Achmed 1926 Lotte Reiniger

Pioneering animator Lotte Reiniger creates an elaborate shadow world based on the Arabian Nights. A pastiche of fairy tales, the story is told using silhouette animation, most of it done by Reiniger herself in a small home studio. One of the most breathtakingly beautiful films of the silent era and an epic testament to Reiniger’s vision and talent.

[toggler title=”How does it end? (click here for a spoiler)” ]Our hero saves his love, his kingdom, his family and generally gets the fairy tale ending we expect.[/toggler]

adventures-of-prince-achmed

If it were a dessert it would be:

(image via realsimple.com)
(image via realsimple.com)

Oatmeal Lace Cookies. Delicate, yet homespun.

Click here to read my full-length review.

Recommended

Fun Size Review: Manhandled (1925)

manhandled

Gloria Swanson sheds glamor for a stick of chewing gum. She plays a shop girl who feels neglected by her inventor boyfriend so she gets her kicks posing as a Russian countess. Unsavory men start sniffing around and Gloria has to beat them off with a club. That or smack her gum at them.

manhandled-1924-gloria-swanson-silent-movie-gum-chewing

Needless to say, chaos ensues. Swanson’s return to her comedy roots is a pleasant and unpretentious little romance that plays to her strengths.

[toggler title=”How does it end? (click here for a spoiler)” ]Gloria’s boyfiend thinks she is cheating and dumps her but all is forgiven when he realizes how much she loves him. Oh, and he becomes a millionaire with his inventions.[/toggler]

If it were a dessert it would be:

gum
(via rachaelray.com)

Homemade chewing gum. We’re taking something back to where it began!

You can read my full-length review here.

Recommended

Fun Size Review: Cyrano de Bergerac (1925)

cyrano

One of the most popular and witty plays of the nineteenth century gets the silent treatment– and the stencil color treatment! This Italian-French co-production is possibly the most beautiful silent film ever made. Its costumes and sets are glorious but it also has a talented cast to give this beauty some brains. I dare say that most of us know the tale of the large-nosed Cyrano, who pines for Roxane. No surprises here but a masterful bit of historical film-making.

Stencil color in all its glory
Stencil color in all its glory

[toggler title=”How does it end? (click here for a spoiler)” ]Roxane finally realizes that Cyrano has loved her for years… but he is mortally wounded and dies in her arms. Pass the hankies.[/toggler]

If it were a desert it would be:

macarons

An assortment of Macarons. Colorful, lovely and always in style.

Click here to read my full-length review.

Recommended

Fun Size Review: Gretchen the Greenhorn (1916)

gretchen the greenhorn

A rare treat from Dorothy Gish’s solo career, life in the tenements is all fun and games until someone starts a counterfeiting ring. Dorothy plays a cute little number from the Netherlands, who falls for a nice Italian boy. That’s all well and good but Eugene “Friar Tuck” Pallette is lurking about, the foul counterfeiter! Light as a feather but highly enjoyable.

gretchen-the-greenhorn-1916-dorothy-gish-silent-movie-hand-kissing

See how cute?

[toggler title=”How does it end? (click here for a spoiler)” ]The nasty counterfeiters kidnap Gretchen but the police save the day and it all ends with a wedding.[/toggler]

If it were a desert it would be:

snickerdoodle

A Snickerdoodle. America and the Netherlands can do great things when they join forces.

You can read my full-length review here.

Recommended

Fun Size Review: The Wizard of Oz (1925)

wizard of oz

This movie should come with a warning label. It is bound to offend the following people:

  • Oz fans
  • Silent movie fans
  • Carbon-based life forms

It definitely lives up to its reputation as the Plan 9 of silent cinema. Unfunny, racist and decidedly un-magical, this turkey has to be seen to be believed. But I don’t recommend it.

[toggler title=”How does it end? (click here for a spoiler)” ]I honestly do not know. I mean, they leave the castle and then the movie just kind of stops.[/toggler]

If it were a dessert it would be:

(via allrecipes.com)
(via allrecipes.com)

Kitty Litter Cake. I am sure there are people on this planet that find it funny but I certainly would not like to spend much time with them.

You can read my full-length review here.

Availability

Fun Size Review: The Power of the Press (1928)

power of the press

One of the earliest Frank Capra movies that is really a Frank Capra movie. Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. (still a teen at the time) is a cub reporter who must solve a murder, romance a girl, expose political corruption and win his job back. He also has a thing or two to learn about journalistic ethics and car chases. One of the most enjoyable films of the late silent era with both director and star showcasing their considerable talents.

[toggler title=”How does it end? (click here for a spoiler)” ]Doug, Jr. tracks down the real killers and, after a wild car chase, wins both job and romance.[/toggler]

If it were a dessert it would be:

 

(via phamfatale.com)
(via phamfatale.com)

Chocolate Pistachio Mini Cream Pies. It’s not epic but the flavor combination is classic and most everyone will love it.

Read my full-length review here.

Recommended

Fun Size Review: The Doll (1919)

doll

Ernst Lubitsch wows again with a surreal bit of comedy concerning a determined bachelor who buys a doll to pose as his wife, thus avoiding actually having to marry. The only problem is that the doll is a live woman, comedy star Ossi Oswalda. So we have a woman posing as a doll posing as a woman. Raucous, joyous and more than a little strange, this early Lubitsch is an unparalleled delight.

[toggler title=”How does it end? (click for a spoiler)” ]Our bachelor finally figures out that Ossi is real and falls in love with her, which is very convenient as they are already married.[/toggler]

If it were a dessert it would be:

via sweetsugarbelle.com
via sweetsugarbelle.com

Robot and Sprocket Cookies. Who says machines can’t be cute and tasty?

Read my full-length review here.

Recommended

Fun Size Review: Alias Jimmy Valentine (1915)

alias jimmy valentine

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. Valentine talks his way out of prison by pretending to be honest… and then discovers that he enjoys the honest life! Unfortunately, the law has not forgotten him. Beautifully photographed but the plot often veers in odd directions. Surprisingly violent. Well-made but not a masterpiece.

[toggler title=”How does it end? (click here for a spoiler)” ]Jimmy uses his safecracking skills to save a kid and the law is so impressed that he is let off the hook, free to marry his lady fair.[/toggler]

If it were a dessert it would be:

(via Katie's Something Sweet)
(via Katie’s Something Sweet)

Vanilla Macarons with a Dark Chocolate Filling. Dainty exterior with a rather dark center.

Read my full-length review here.

Recommended

Fun Size Review: A Romance of the Redwoods (1917)

romance of the redwoods

Mary Pickford and Cecil B. DeMille combined forces for the first time in this romantic melodrama and the results are mixed. Elliott Dexter is a bandit. Mary Pickford is a little lady. Can they find love? Well, you know they can but what comes first is a rather dark and brutish wooing with a dollop of sleaze. Dexter plays the Good Bad Bad Man a little too well but the film is not without its pluses and the cinematography is lovely.

If it were a dessert it would be:

(via wikiHow)
(via wikiHow)

A Dirty Girl Scout. What else could it be?

Read my full-length review here.

Recommended

Fun Size Review: The Winning of Barbara Worth (1926)

 winning of barbara worth

A western. Starring Vilma Banky and Ronald Colman. Only in the silents, eh? This is the story of how water was brought to the Imperial Valley and it also concerns the romance of Vilma’s Barbara. She just can’t decide between Ronald Colman and Gary Cooper. Poor lamb. I am sure a large section of the audience would kill for that plight. Well-produced but rather bloated. The climactic flood is justly famous.

If it were a desert it would be:

(via Pillssbury)
(via Pillssbury)

Lemon Curd Jumbo Pie Cupcakes. Very bright, very yellow, a bit overdone but generally a good thing.

You can read my full-length review here.

Recommended

Fun Size Review: Lorna Doone (1922)

lorna doone

A classic tale of romance and revenge set in Restoration Scotland. Sumptuously directed by Maurice Tourneur and starring the popular Madge Bellamy and John Bowers, the story manages to both drag and move too quickly. It’s gorgeous to look at but ultimately a bit of a bore. Worth seeing for the cinematography. And no, cookies do not figure into the plot at any point.

If it were a dessert it would be:

(via the Food Network)
(via the Food Network)

Chocolate Chip Shortbread. The lily is thoroughly gilded, painted and otherwise over-buttered.

Read my full-length review here.

Recommended

Fun Size Review: Tempest (1927)

tempest 1927John Barrymore takes a stab at the Russian romance and the result is one of his best silent films. He’s a hardworking sergeant, Camilla Horn is a snotty princess. I think everyone will be able to connect the dots. Louis Wolheim steals the show as Barrymore’s best friend. A troubled production, the film went through many, many actors, directors and writers. The finished product proved to be worth the effort.

**not a Shakespeare play**

If it were a dessert it would be:

via epicurious
via epicurious

Twelve-Layer Mocha Cake. Complicated and contains a lot of ingredients… but it works!

You can read my full-length review here.

Availability

Tempest isavailable on DVD and via streaming with both original and modern scores.

Fun Size Review: Her Night of Romance (1924)

her night of romanceConstance Talmadge is an heiress who means to evade fortune hunters. Ronald Colman is a penniless aristocrat in need of a rich marriage. I think we all know where there is going. They end up having to fake being married. Now we really know where this is going. Colman is charming, if hampered by not being able to employ his famous velvet voice. Talmadge mugs a bit but does all right. A romantic comedy by the numbers.

If it were a desert it would be:

airheads
Still kinda like them.

Airheads. Light and not terribly memorable.

You can read my full-length review here.

Fun Size Review: The Hessian Renegades (1909)

hessian-renegades1776! Spies! Hessian aggression! And all in a tidy, one-reel package. Mary Pickford plays a Colonial miss who helps get a message past some very determined redcoats after her brother (a messenger/spy) is killed. Not a masterpiece from director D.W. Griffith (who was in his second year on the job) but fast and amusing. Plus, we get to see Pickford disguise herself as an enemy soldier. That’s worth something, right?

If it were a dessert it would be:

(via Munchkin Munchies)
(via Munchkin Munchies)

Disguise cookies. Little trifles but amusing and ideal for budding spies.

You can read my full-length review here.

Recommended

Fun Size Review: The Bells (1926)

bellsNot based on any work by Edgar Allan Poe (despite what DVD cases may tell you) but a suspenseful tale of madness and murder. Heavily influenced by German cinema. Lionel Barrymore is a tormented murderer while a pre-fame Boris Karloff is on hand as the Caligari-esque investigator. Well-made but marred with weak motivations. Worth seeing for Barrymore and Karloff.

If it were a dessert it would be:

(via allrecipes.com)

Pumpkin Dump Cake. While tasty enough in its own right, it relies on mixes and processed foods instead of its own ingenuity.

You can read my full-length review here.

Fun Size Review: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1920)

dr jekyll and mr hyde

John Barrymore rocketed to super-stardom with his bold double performance in this horror classic. Chews scenery and throats with equal relish. Perhaps a bit too much at times. He is ably supported by Martha Mansfield (Jekyll’s fiancee) and Nita Naldi (Hyde’s mistress). The makeup is justly famous, as are the spectacularly creepy visual effects.

If it were a dessert it would be:

(via lemondropfoodie.blogspot.com)

Dark Chocolate Oreo Cupcakes. It’s a cookie! It’s a cupcake! It’s light! It’s dark! One thing’s certain: it’s a classic.

Read my full-length review here.

Fun Size Review: The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)

Cabinet of Dr. Caligari Poster

One of the most influential and popular silent films, Caligari is also spectacularly weird entertainment. From the expressionist sets to the powerful acting to the slippery plot, this film is a unique experience from beginning to end. Often imitated, always references but never equaled.

If it were a dessert it would be:

(via marthastewart.com)

Black Lagoon Cocktails. Dark, mysterious and more than a little disturbing. May mess with your head.

Read my full-length review here.

Fun Size Review: Oh Doctor! (1925)

oh-doctor

Reginald Denny plays a hypochondriac who is being bilked out of his inheritance by swindlers. Things go awry when Denny falls for his pretty nurse (Mary Astor) and becomes an adrenaline junkie in order to impress her. What if he dies before the swindlers can collect? Hilarious situation comedy and charming lead actors make this a forgotten gem.

If it were a dessert it would be:

(via tasteofhome.com)

Soda Cracker Chocolate Candy. Seems safe enough for an invalid but packs a sugary punch.

Read my full-length review here.

Fun Size Review: Don Juan (1926)

don juan

John Barrymore is the famous lover who likes his ladies in both quality and quantity. He genuinely falls for Mary Astor’s virginal damsel and ends up incurring the wrath of the Borgias. The costumes are a visual banquet of the gorgeous and the bizarre. The famous duel is worth the price of admission but there is a lot of hamminess and overwrought love-making to get through as well.

If it were a dessert it would be:

(via seriouseats.com)

A 27-Layer Rainbow Cake. Quantity and variety but maybe a bit too much.

Read my full-length review here.

Fun Size Review: The New York Hat (1912)

new-york-hat

It’s the story of an impoverished teen, a kindly minister, gossipy neighbors and a $10 hat. Griffith spins an alluring confection of small town America that both satirizes and celebrates the culture. Lionel Barrymore and Mary Pickford are excellent as the innocent pair who find themselves the subject of slander.

If it were a dessert it would be:

(via allrecipes.com)

Strawberry Cheesecake Bites. Short, sweet, classic.

Read my full-length review here.

Fun Size Review: Friends (1912)

friends

Henry B. Walthall is a slick miner. Mary Pickford is the local lady of the evening. Lionel Barrymore is Henry’s rootin’-tootin’ pal. Both guys like Mary but who will win the day? This is a short subject from D.W. Griffith extolling the virtues of male friendship. Some very fine acting from Mary.

If it were a dessert it would be:

(via justapinch.com)

Gold Rush Cake. There’s gold in them thar hills.

Read my full-length review here.

Fun Size Review: Scaramouche (1923)

scaramouche poster

Rex Ingram and company show us the French Revolution in style! Ramon Novarro (in his best-ever performance) is a vengeful lawyer turned actor turned swordsman turned revolutionary. Busy fellow, yes? Lewis Stone is his wily aristocratic opponent. Witty and with atmosphere to spare, one of the finest action epics of the silent era and certainly the most beautiful.

If it were a dessert it would be:

(via pbs.org)

Mille Crepe Cake. Dozens of small, perfect details add up to an epic whole.

Read my full-length review here.

Fun Size Review: A Modern Musketeer (1917)

modern-musketeer

Douglas Fairbanks is a human hurricane in this action-comedy. Obsessed with adventure novels and too wild for his home in Kansas, he finds adventure and romance in Arizona. Villain to vanquish? Check! Damsel in distress? Check! Things to leap from? Check and check! Fairbanks’ stunts are fun and his personality is first rate! The Grand Canyon scenery is an added bonus. Lightweight but well worth the view.

If it were a dessert it would be:

(via ghirardelli.com)

Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans. A bundle of energy wrapped in a sweet package.

Read my full-length review here.

Fun Size Review: The Mark of Zorro (1920)

mark of zorro poster

Zorro slashes his Z onto the silver screen for the first time and Douglas Fairbanks is the man who created the role. Funny, energetic and jam-packed with clever stunts. An ideal lightweight action/comedy and a perfect introduction to Fairbanks.

If it were a dessert it would be:

(via bhg.com)

Mocha Tres Leches Cake. Caffeinated, wildly popular and with a somewhat complicated pedigree. But nothing can change the fact that it is delicious!

Read my full-length review here.

Fun Size Review: The Sea Hawk (1924)

sea hawk poster

The New World doesn’t have a monopoly on piracy, as this film shows. Starts out as an Elizabethan romance and then takes a wild turn toward Algeria and the Barbary pirates. Milton Sills owns the hyper-masculine lead role, Wallace Beery chews scenery as an unscrupulous skipper and Enid Bennett is the charming leading lady. Full-size ships, battles and duels make this film epic in every sense of the word.

If it were a dessert it would be:

(via Sweetapolita)

Neapolitan 5-Layer Cake. Distinct layers combine into an elegant and harmonious whole.

Read my full-length review here.

Fun Size Review: The Prisoner of Zenda (1922)

(via Silent Hollywood)
(via Silent Hollywood)

Buckles get swashed in a lavish manner. Lewis Stone plays an Englishman who must take his look-alike cousin’s place in order to save the throne, etc. etc. Ramon Novarro steals the show as a deranged dandy. Has fine passages but also has some incredibly boring stretches. Lavish direction from Rex Ingram and some first-rate performances make this one worth seeing,

If it were a dessert it would be:

(via The Guardian)

Devonshire Splits. Old-fashioned, polite, attractive and ever so slightly dull. Still pretty enjoyable, though.

Read my full-length review here.

Fun Size Review: The Wildcat (1921)

wildcat

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. A little too mad, in fact. But Pola has never been more fun!

If it were a dessert it would be:

(via Pillsbury)

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.

Click here to read my full-length review.

Fun Size Review: The Little American (1917)

Little American

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. Hampered by thin characters and some pretty bad performances. Pickford does what she can but there are limits. Everyone involved deserves better.

If it were a dessert it would be:

(via Wikipedia)

Candy Cigarettes. Seemed like a cute idea at the time but was possibly harmful and definitely antiquated.

Read my full-length review here.

Fun Size Review: Barbed Wire (1927)

Pola Negri Barbed Wire Publicity

Restrained and mature vehicle for Pola Negri, a criminally underrated actress. She is a Frenchwoman whose farm is used to house German POW’s and she finds herself falling for one of them. Negri and Clive Brook both give sensitive performances as the rarest of movie creatures: star-crossed lovers who are also capable of acting like adults. A forgotten treat. Highly recommended, especially if you have never seen one of Pola’s films.

If it were a dessert it would be:

(via allrecipe.com)

Blackberry with Red Wine Sorbet. Mature, perhaps a little dark but still a pleasure.

Click here to read my full-length review.