A European-style fairy tale with just a pinch of science fiction, this picture is especially notable because it was the debut picture of Madeline Brandeis. She also produced the film and all at the age of twenty-one.Continue reading “The Star Prince (1918) A Silent Film Review”
Abortion, birth control and eugenics. Just a few of the light topics covered in this 1916 film directed by Lois Weber. Innocent days of early film? I think not! And, yes, you did read that right. Eugenics.Continue reading “Where Are My Children (1916) A Silent Film Review”
And then Mommy kissed Daddy, and the angel told the stork, and the stork flew down from heaven, and put the diamond in the cabbage patch, and the diamond turned into a baby!Continue reading “The Cabbage Patch Fairy (1900) A Silent Film Review”
Rin-Tin-Tin stars as the leader of a wolfpack (!) who helps a baby Charles Farrell stake out his borax claim. Location shooting and finecinematography elevate this doggy vehicle.Continue reading “Clash of the Wolves (1925) A Silent Film Review”
The Hal Roach team went serious with this western starring Rex the Wonder Horse and Charley Chase (as Charles Parrott) as the reluctant villain.Continue reading “King of the Wild Horse (1924) A Silent Film Review”
An early animal-related tearjerker featuring a blind man and his faithful poodle. The French production was exported to the international market.Continue reading “The Faithful Dog; or, True to the End (1907) A Silent Film Review”
A crook with heart of gold is released from prison and reunited with his beloved German Shepherd, Strongheart. When he runs across a lady jewel thief, he finds himself being drawn back into the criminal underworld.Continue reading “The Return of Boston Blackie (1927) A Silent Film Review”
Cecil Hepworth once again shows off his skill with animal stars in this little crime picture about a genius pony who saves his gamekeeper friend from poachers and their hammy spaniel. It doesn’t get much better than this.Continue reading “A Friend in Need (1914) A Silent Film Review”
Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy play a recent arrival from Scotland and his uncle, respectively, who run into difficulty when the former’s kilt meets a strong breeze. Can uncle succeed in putting pants on Philip?Continue reading “Putting Pants on Philip (1927) A Silent Film Review”
Poverty, college, sororities, shoplifting… Those last two topics aren’t often associated with silent film but they are the main subject of this Norma Talmadge short film. Norma’s a poor but well-connected student who can’t keep up with the lavish spending of her sisters. Next step: crime.Continue reading “The Helpful (?) Sisterhood (1914) A Silent Film Review”
Harry Carey plays a western sheriff who heads to San Francisco to collect his inheritance. While there, he falls in love with a sexy cat burglar (Lillian Rich) and infiltrates her gang so that they can get hitched, as one does.Continue reading “Soft Shoes (1925) A Silent Film Review”
Alice Guy directs a domestic comedy about jealous spouses and their attempt to live together using the silent treatment.Continue reading “A House Divided (1913) A Silent Film Review”
A man strikes down his brother in a fit of rage and things are looking bad… until a burglar conveniently shows up to have the crime pinned on. The one time having your house robbed is convenient…
Gilbert Anderson was better known as Broncho Billy but he hangs up his spurs in exchange for some lockpicks in this drama about a burglar and an abusive husband.
Mr. and Mrs. Sidney Drew are at it again in this newly-discovered domestic comedy about a tattletale husband and the way the women in his life punish him for his snitching ways.
One of only two surviving Theda Bara films made during the height of her vampish fame, this production casts her as the victim of a cad and bounder who persuades her to leave hearth and home. Based on a Victorian drama and stage warhorse.
“Welcome to Finland, see our lakes and streams and particularly our thriving industrial production and winter sports!” A government-sanctioned documentary designed to showcase the wonders of this newly-independent nation.
A pianist’s hands are crushed in an accident but worry not, the fresh corpse of a murderer is on hand to donate brand new ones. I mean, it’s not like stitching on a murderer’s hands will make someone commit murder, right? Right?
Gale Henry plays a detective hot on the tail of some thieves who have swiped a secret formula. What ensues is best described as a sort of silent movie Donkey Kong with trapdoors, secret doors and a big tub of water.
A movie theater usher named Goga (Igor Ilyinsky) loves Dusya (Anel Sudakevich) but she only has eyes for Douglas Fairbanks and refuses to give Goga the time of day until he becomes a celebrity. Goga vows to become famous if it kills him. It probably will.
American businessman Mr. West (Porfiri Podobed) has business in Russia but is terrified of the Bolsheviks. A gang of confidence tricksters (led by Vsevolod Pudovkin) use this paranoia to their advantage and try to drain him dry. A broad farce from Lev Kuleshov.
The title character (played by Cannes-honored director and onetime Queen of Mars Yulia Solntseva) is the object of affection for three very different men: a silly bookkeeper, a handsome cameraman and an American businessman in Russia.
A country girl heads to Moscow with a few possessions and a duck. When she is hired by a couple determined not to pay union wages, the stage is set for a mini revolution.
This towering cinematic achievement is easily one of the greatest examples of silent era hokum that I have ever experienced. Joseph Schildkraut and Norma Talmadge are star-crossed lovers in Northern Africa wearing very silly clothes. I am entranced.
Robin Hood, Robin Hood, riding through the glen… Or in this case, running through the glen and getting arrested a lot. A loose and chipper adaptation of the popular legend from Fort Lee, New Jersey.
Tom Mix plays a Pony Express rider who takes a job leading a wagon train—which is promptly massacred. His workplace evaluation is not going to be pretty. Bessie Eyton and Red Wing are on hand as the women who love Tom, incompetence and all.
Norma Talmadge married in haste to Eugene Pallette and now she repents in leisure while he spends his nights with a showgirl and contemplates becoming a bank robber. So, maybe marriage counseling won’t be enough here…
Anita Garvin and Marion Byron star as a pair of struggling singles whose double date doesn’t go as planned when it turns out the guys in question are a pair of, well, tights. The quest for ice cream descends into a signature Hal Roach tit for tat battle. Chaos ensues, is what I’m saying.
A penniless nobleman decides to venture out into the wide world when a troupe of itinerant actors spend the night at his chateau. Chaos ensues, of course, and there is plenty of fencing, fighting, revenge, torture, chases, escapes and true love.
Mutt and Jeff find themselves in pursuit of the Phantom, a non-corporeal trickster who leads them on a very strange chase.