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.
The anarchic Onésime is back and this time he enters a marriage lottery. Chaos ensued, obviously, with our hero escaping his intended via bicycle.
Max Linder and his wife quarrel and he is left to his own devices. Alas, keeping house is not nearly as easy as he imagined and chaos ensues in this cute domestic comedy.
Louis Feuillade didn’t just make serials and this short is a showcase for child comedian Bout de Zan. The plot is very much what it says on the tin. Boy meets elephant, boy steals elephant, boy and elephant terrorize streets of Paris, as one does.
Continue reading “Bout de Zan Steals an Elephant (1913) A Silent Film Review”
Rich kid and racecar driver Reginald Denny is late to his own wedding and that’s just the start of his problems. Well and truly dumped by Gertrude Olmstead, he heads out to California and the auto races being held there.
Maggie, the eldest daughter of a successful boot merchant, decides that she will not go quietly into spinsterhood and instead marries one of her father’s bootmakers and goes into business for herself. Based on of the most delightful comedy plays England has produced.
A rather strange film about a yachtsman who discovers that the woman he loves is about to marry another… so he bandages his face and tricks her into marrying him instead? Mm-kay. This is one of those Sheik pictures, isn’t it?
Harold Lloyd is terrified of women but makes up for it by writing about his romantic conquests conquering vamps and flappers with skill. (In his own mind, anyway.) Then he meets a real, honest-to-goodness Jobyna Ralston and falls head over heels. Can he overcome his girl shy ways and find true romance?
David Balfour (Raymond McKee) sets out to claim his inheritance in 18th century Scotland but his greedy uncle has other ideas. One kidnapping later, David finds himself on the run with a Jacobite rebel (Robert Cain). One of those weeks, apparently.
Two children have a sick kitten but they know exactly how to cure what ails it. A very sweet little British short that makes good use of this new-fangled “close-up” thing.
Opera legend Enrico Caruso tried his hand at being a movie star in this film. He plays two roles: a penniless sculptor and a famous opera singer.
William S. Hart remakes one of his earlier short films as a feature and relocates it to the Canadian wilderness. You’re not going to believe this but he plays a rough and brutal man who finds his heart thanks to a good woman.
In a bid to make his wife, Constance Talmadge, sorry for neglecting him, Harrison Ford (not that one) fakes an affair but the whole thing backfires and he is divorced in a flash. And so you’re probably wondering how he ended up hiding in the wardrobe in his wife’s bedroom… (Yes, it’s one of THOSE plots.)
A young courting couple get pulled into a bizarre scheme when they are asked to borrow the identities of their friends to help close a business deal. The main draw of the thing is a very young (and still relatively unknown) Rudolph Valentino.
Thomas Hardy’s novel comes to the screen with the added prestige of both location shooting and the cooperation of the author himself. A rare look at the work of British director Sidney Morgan.
A young knight returns from the Crusades and finds himself entangled in some rather nasty business when rival knights go on a kidnapping spree. Fortunately, he has some help from King Richard and Robin Hood.
Oscar Wilde meets Ernst Lubitsch in this witty society comedy. Lubitsch’s decision to jettison Wilde’s dialogue may raise some eyebrows but the Wilde spirit is intact and smart performances from Irene Rich and Ronald Colman are the icing on the cake.
A short dance film from pioneering director Alice Guy. A young woman dances through feathery snowflakes in what was once on fourth of a four-part dance of the seasons.
Rather Dickensian even for Dickens, the grim novel Nicholas Nickleby gets the movie treatment in this two-reel Thanhouser adaptation.
Stan Laurel pokes fun at the ever-popular Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, terrorizing the English urban landscape with a pea shooter, a party streamer and a finger trap.
Real footage of Captain Robert Falcon Scott’s tragic attempt to reach the South Pole, as well as some of the first moving pictures taken of Antarctica’s wildlife form a rare and fascinating documentary.