Starting about a year ago, I have been collaborating with collector Christopher Bird on some rare silent film releases. The plan is simple: he has the prints, I have the platform and the public gets to enjoy films that have been unavailable or hard to see for decades.
Screenwriter Peter Milne (whose credits include Footlight Parade and Gold Diggers of 1935) compiled a list of the best-directed silent films back in 1922. It’s an opportunity to step back in time and into the mind of an industry professional judging these films when they were new.
Who were the biggest movie stars a century ago? Are they still famous or have they fallen into complete obscurity? Today, we’re going on a whirlwind tour of two movie magazine popularity contests. We’ll be discussing the biggest stars of 1917 with research, films and GIFs. Ready?
Winter is well and truly upon us and, after wishing for cold weather all summer, we are now wishing for the warm weather to come back for a while. (At least that’s how it is in my neck of the woods, your mileage may vary.) Well, let’s employ some psychological warfare and think ourselves warm!
Last week, we starting going down a 1922 list of films compiled by screenwriter Peter Milne for his book on motion picture directing. Let’s continue our examination of that list. As you may recall, Milne picked some fairly famous fare to start things out. Well, things are about to get more obscure. I’m excited!
Whether we admit it or not, we all view older entertainment through the lens of the modern world in which we live. (People who think they avoid this are, frankly, deluding themselves.) This is why it’s so valuable to read the accounts of viewers who saw these films when they were brand new. And not just critics, everyday people from as many walks of life as possible.
We have the benefit of 20/20 hindsight when we discuss silent films. Most silent stars are no longer with us and we have the privilege of examining their careers from beginning to end. Well, today we have a chance to go back in time to the height of the silent era and see what the stars considered to be their best work at the time.
2016 proved to be a great year for silent movie fans who rely on home video to see new films. A generous selection of rare and obscure movies were released for all to enjoy and I am going to share my personal favorites.
Well, we’ve taken a look at my very favorite things of 2016, now it’s time to look at the things that annoyed the almighty heck out of me. The worst movies, performances, etc.
2016 has been a busy year and it’s time to go over the ups and downs of the last twelve months. This is my first year-in-review post and I will be covering happy topics first. I reviewed sixty-three silent films this year, bringing my total to 289 individual film reviews. Naturally, I have some favorites in the bunch and I’m sharing them now. Enjoy!
What’s better than a silent movie? A free silent movie! Many loaded talkie DVDs and Blurays include related silent movies as extras. These films are often rare and/or unavailable from any other source and usually feature first-rate scores too. The problem? When the title isn’t on the cover, it may be hard to track down which disc has what. That’s where my list comes in. I am sharing some real hidden gems buried in the “extras” menu.
Since everyone seemed to enjoy my last gift guide (box sets for the film snob who has everything), I thought I would share another list of silent movies. This time, it’s all about love! Romantic silent movies and box sets that will make hearts go pit-a-pat.
When I posted my list of ten silent films living in vaults that I was eager to see released, I just had the vague hope that I would get to watch them one day. Not even a year has passed and I have already seen three of them!
Movie buffs are tough to shop for, let’s be honest. They either already own everything or are holding out for a new restoration. Well, I’m here to help. Here is my selection of ten impressive silent film box sets that will win over even the pickiest cineaste.
Summer is winding down and not a moment too soon! I could use a few dark and stormy nights. To that end, here are six creepy silent films to set the mood for a night of rain, lightning and… murder.
There are alphabet books in every flavor, why should silent movies be left out of the fun?
I don’t know about everyone else but I am incredibly suggestible when it comes to movies. If a character is eating ice cream, I want some. If a character listens to jazz, it puts me in the mood to hear some as well. And if a character is hot and sweating… Oh dear, it makes summer unbearable.
It’s summertime in California and the weather looks like this:
It’s list time! We’ve already covered the five silent films that I consider to be the worst and least enjoyable. In short, silent films that I wish had been lost. Now we’re going in a slightly different direction. The films on this list are just as bad but they are also entertaining as heck. Whether it’s hilariously inept acting, bizarre title cards, weird stories or some combination, these movies will have you laughing through the groans.
It’s no secret that the talkies owe a lot to silent film. Anyone complaining about all the remakes nowadays had better avert their eyes from the so-called Golden Age of cinema because retreads ruled and a good number of them, musicals included, had silent originals.
I don’t know a single silent movie fan who doesn’t daydream about films that still exist but have never been released to the general public. We all have our dream list of “vaulties” and this is mine. I hope you enjoy!
In 1939, Hitchcock was asked to list his ten favorite films and he obliged with a very interesting selection. Not only were the films considerably happier and more innocent than what we think of as Hitchcockian fare but they were also 90% silent. Ha! Take that, talkies!
Happy anniversary to me! Movies Silently is seven years old this March and so I thought you might enjoy a little trip back in time with a tour of my first five silent movie reviews.
Welcome back to another silent movie list! This time, I will be sharing six movies that manage to get both love and humor to fit into the story.
As you probably have guessed, I like to mix things up on the site every now and again. I think you’ll like what I have in store this time.
It’s a new year and we all know what that means! This is when we travel 100 years back in time to discover the top stars of American cinema.
Silent movie fans spend considerable time and energy explaining that, yes, silent films are a unique and important form of artistic expression. But what about direct remakes? Silent films often shared source material with sound films and newer technology means a better movie, right?
Looking for silent film recommendations but tired of the same old same old? This is the list for you! We’re going into uncharted territory with a selection of undeservedly obscure silent films that all but guarantee you a delightful evening’s entertainment.
It’s time for the boys! Today, I am going to be sharing my five favorite silent movie actors. These are the actors who consistently entertain and impress me.