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Silent movie people are very busy, they have places to go. Sometimes, they leave. Other times, they kick you out. Variety is the spice of life.
Hot beverages keep the world running and that was just as true in the silent era.
One artistic flourish that never ceases to delight in silent cinema is the use of silhouettes. Sometimes, the whole film is told in silhouette and other times it is just a brief sequence. Either way, a please to watch.
Yes, silent movie stars had their fair share of moments that required smirks and giggles and here are a few of my personal favorites.
Silent movies are famous for their passionate love scenes but I am personally rather fond of the adorably direct ways the stars found to flirt with their true loves.
Even silent movies needed to tidy up once in a while…
Nope, nope, nope. Silent stars express their rejection in no uncertain terms.
They’ve had enough and they’re not going to take it anymore!
Today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day and what better way to celebrate this most important occasion than by bringing out some piratical silent movies?
Things get so silly sometimes that you just have to let out a giggle. Silent movie stars excelled in all sorts of expressions but most charming of all, perhaps, is the silent movie giggle.
It’s an essential part of Hawaiian music but the ukulele was so popular on the United States mainland in the 1910s and 1920s that “with ukulele arrangement” became ubiquitous on sheet music of the period. The movies followed right along with major stars strumming the cute instrument. Ukuleles aren’t just mini guitars, the strings are in different arrangements and it creates a different sound!
Well, wouldn’t you?
Silent movie people caused mischief and mayhem in their films, it’s what made them so entertaining. Here are some stars who went the extra mile.
The megawatt smile is pretty much a requirement for a film star but sometimes… Whether for laughs or for menace, some silent stars had smiles that inspire more shrieks than sighs.
Silent movies were like modern films in that there were distinct genres and acting styles that went with them. In the case of melodrama, most audience members understood that it was meant to be over the top. And considering the excesses of modern action films, I don’t think we have any room to talk about realism.
From the very start, motion pictures were pirates and resold. Almost everybody did it and so different studios developed various methods of protecting their intellectual property.
You can watch them in a cave…
Here are some stunning shots from silent films that feature caves of rock and ice.
Royals and their doings were common subjects for silent films but sometimes being king or queen wasn’t quite what you might expect.
Sometimes things have just gone to heck in a handbasket. It happens to all of us, even silent movie stars.
The film industry was around in time to capture some interesting early flight milestones for posterity so let’s get excited about those wacky airplanes and airships!
Silent movies were often shot outside in less-than-ideal circumstances, either by choice, by accident or because it simply could not be avoided. But whether the snow was real or fake, silent movies loved their winter scenes.
Silent movie audiences loved their fairy tales and the era had its fill of the fair folk, particularly the 1910s. Of course, not every fairy was benevolent…
Onions were a controversial subject during the silent era, it seems. They could ruin your workday or cost you your marriage!
Silent movies were far more self-aware than many modern folks realize and they often took audiences backstage for some meta commentary on filmmaking.
Sometimes, things just don’t go well for silent movie stars. Maybe they were bonked on the bean, maybe their horse fails to cooperate. Whatever the reason, they’re just a little woozy.
Silent movie stars were often up to no good and their antics included everything from minor mischief to outright villainy. But what to do if they were caught in the act? The old innocent routine!
Look, it’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s… the star of the movie? Silent film stars knew how to go incognito.
Here’s to you, silent movies! A salute from the major stars of the period. A very literal salute.
Silent cinema is not only flammable, it made use of smoke and fire as a plot device and a showstopper. Enjoy the little firebugs at work!