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.
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?