Well, you can’t accuse silent films of being all romance and honey, right? William Boyd has just saved Elinor Fair from being shot (he was supposed to do the shooting). She asks him why he saved her. He is not too happy with the situation so his answer is a bit brusk.
I mean, here he was, minding his own business, starting the Russian Revolution and now he’s stuck with some Czarist dame. See, the problem is that she is just too good at moisturizing and exfoliating and her skin was too nice to put a bullet hole through. It strikes me that perhaps the other Czarists should have considered some mud packs and body butters. It would have saved a whole lot of them from being shot.
(This is from Cecil B. DeMille’s 1926 hit The Volga Boatman.)
I love Hermann Thimig’s prissy character in The Doll. Uses for this GIF are infinite, yes?
A big part of Mary Pickford’s appeal was her way of taking realistic little moments from everyday life and turn them into amusing touches for her films. In this case, it’s the loose lock of hair that gets in the way just when you get your hands wet.
This is from A Romance of the Redwoods.
Louis Wolheim is one of my favorite silent character actors and he is hilarious in Tempest. This is his reaction when he sees that his best friend (John Barrymore) has found love– at the most inconvenient time possible.
Love this eye roll!
Run in and do this, gestures and all! Extra points if you actually wear the kerchief. Even more if you put on a Russian accent. Unless you really are Russian. In which case, carry on.
(The White Army was the Czarist side in the Russian revolution. The Red Army was, of course, the Bolshevik side.)
Disclaimer: Obviously, this is me being goofy. If you actually run into Starbucks and do this, you are on your own. Don’t call me from the funny farm for help, is what I’m saying.
This is a scene from The Volga Boatman.
I have branched into television! Action show 24 reimagined as a 1927 serial.
I must ask for more indulgence than usual with this poster. It is highly unlikely that top-tier actors would consent to appear in a serial. This is make-believe so I hope you forgive me. Rugged Milton Sills is just so perfect for the part! The bad guys won’t stand a chance and, best of all, he can act!
Continue reading “Silent Take: “24” circa 1927″
More from The Doll! This time, poor Ossi is being used as a coat rack but she isn’t going to stand for it!
I have to say, Ossi’s aim is excellent considering that she can’t see Hermann Thimig.
Poor Dr. Caligari. He goes to all the trouble of finding a sleepwalker, figures out how to control him, sends him out to kill people– But nooooooo, the somnambulist changes his mind at the last second. I mean, Cesare had one job. One!
Bedbugs are back in the news but never fear! Buster Keaton seems to handle the situation quite well in The Play House.
It’s baaack! Another modern movie re-imagined as a silent. This time, it’s The Princess Bride and it is taking a little trip back to 1928. If you have only seen Mary Astor and William Powell in the talkies, you may be interested to know that in the silents, she was often the dainty princess and he was often a sneering villain. Douglas Fairbanks Jr. did not try his hand at swashbuckling until 1937’s Prisoner of Zenda (Astor was in that one too) but I crave your indulgence because I think he is a perfect Westley.
Continue reading “Silent Take: The Princess Bride circa 1928”
Cecil B. DeMille was known to use… odd romantic gestures in his films. In this case, Elinor Fair is groovin’ to some boatman music supplied by William Boyd and her fiance, Victor Varconi, is jealous. So what does he do? Make his hands into earmuffs, of course. And she is fine with it. In fact, she thinks it’s pretty wonderful.
The Volga Boatman is stuffed with moments like this, which is why I love it so.
To honor the start of the William Castle Blogathon, I made this GIF from The Tingler. The titular nasty is loose in a silent movie theater that just happens to be playing Tol’able David, one of my favorite movies. This is the iconic scene in which the Tingler crawls in front of the projector. Brrr! Scary puppet!
You can read the roster of entries here and here. And be sure to look for mine on August 2. And you can read my review of Tol’able David here. The Tingler does overcrank it so that everything is a bit manic looking.
Ossi Oswalda continues her mechanical maiden impersonation in Lubitsch’s comedy classic The Doll. This time, she is introducing herself.
Come on, admit this would be really fun to do sometime…
About 73% of the fun in The Volga Boatman comes from the overblown intertitles. In this case, William Boyd (yes, that William Boyd) is leading a Bolshevik uprising (this was back when a Hollywood hero could lead a Bolshevik uprising) and he is calling on his followers to storm the castle. (Have fun with that!)
It’s early Lubitsch but his touch is there, right down to the clever intertitles. After all, this is what every father says when he is sending off his only child, right?
Background: In The Doll, dollmaker Hilarius has just inadvertently sold his daughter to a customer. She was taking the place of a broken model for a demonstration but Hermann Thimig was so pleased that he bought the mechanical woman on the spot. Obviously, chaos ensues.
This is just how it is done. No ifs, ands or buts about it.
Caligari co-star Lil Dagover later said that Conrad Veidt did not break character during the shoot and lurked through the hallways of the studio startling people. He said he did it for a better performance. but you can’t tell me he wasn’t having just a bit of fun playing the ghoul and scaring his friends.
Lupino Lane is at it again! This time, he is a less-than talented operatic soprano. The zoom effect just cracks me up. This is yet another persona he adopted for the comedy short Only Me.
Lane made a successful talkie transition but his stage work is supposed to be his best. A pity we cannot see it now but this will do nicely.
(He’s a cousin of Ida Lupino, by the way.)
Ossi Oswalda is posing as a mechanical doll and is it ever hungry work! No one can see her eat (she is a doll) which explains her frantic face stuffing.
This GIF is from Ernst Lubitsch’s 1919 charmer The Doll.
I just thought I would have some fun with Photoshop. Here is my idea of The Dark Knight if it had been made in 1926. What’s your take? Who is your silent movie cast for The Dark Knight?
Continue reading “Silent Take: The Dark Knight circa 1926”
There are times when you’ve just go to bluff your way through a bad situation. Answering the door with your face covered in pie is not one of those times.
This comes from the climax of Show People. Marion Davies delivered the offending pie.
Maybe I’m the only one who found this funny. Who knows? Anyway, the top GIF is from The Volga Boatman (1926) and the bottom one is from The Ten Commandments (1956). 30 solid years of sore necks for the ladies.
I wish I could come up with a more clever description. But the plain description is pretty great.
Continue reading “Marion Davies hitting Billy Haines with a tiny parasol, Animated GIF”
There’s a reason why long dresses with trains have lost favor with the general public. Lupino Lane once again takes aim at impractical fashion in Only Me.
Continue reading “Hey, Cinderella, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, THIS is why we don’t wear princess dresses! Animated GIF”
Think of the arguments you can win with this GIF! Haven’t we all felt this way at one time or another? James II certainly felt this way in Lorna Doone.
Continue reading ““I have wasted my praises on a clown.” Animated GIF”
Bebe Daniels is the hypochondriac heiress of Feel My Pulse. Her uncle advised her to have adventure and romance. She ended up battling rum runners (led by William Powell!) and single-handedly saving the life of dishy undercover reporter Richard Arlen. But she also read his column and, well, he kind of dissed her in it. Said she was pretty but dumb. So she is not overly inclined to consider him the Romance of her adventure.
Continue reading “Bloggers take note: Do not insult potential romantic partners online! Animated GIF”
The cape is out of favor for everyday wear with just about everyone except those select few who wear masks or spandex as part of their day job (or who are trying to throw a pesky ring into an active volcano). The Incredibles showed us how capes can be dangerous. Lupino Lane shows us how capes can just be silly.
Continue reading “Hey Superman, Batman, Zorro, THIS is why we don’t wear capes! Animated GIF”
Ronald Colman is attempting to explain his nocturnal home invasion to an incredulous Constance Talmadge.
I think I will try this excuse next time I am in the doghouse.
Continue reading “I’m not responsible for my actions Animated GIF”
This is how I react to those four words, how about you? What terrible news does this GIF symbolize for you? Let me know!
(Actually, Constance Talmadge was startled by Ronald Colman in Her Night of Romance but let’s have a bit of fun!)
Continue reading “The internet is down! Animated GIF”
Okay, here’s a little bit of advice for Ronald Colman: If you are posing as someone’s doctor, don’t diagnose. Just don’t do it. Especially if you have been, er, examining a hypochondriac heiress and have just told her she will live. Who know what she will do! Her Night of Romance continues…
Continue reading “Madam, control yourself! Animated GIF”
Ronald Colman has had a few in Her Night of Romance. And he just sold his house. And the new occupant has taken residence. And it’s Constance Talmadge, whom he has just dumped.
Continue reading “I’m not as think as you drunk I am, Animated GIF”