After the Silents: “The Scarlet Letter” (1934) with Colleen Moore

Welcome back to After the Silents, where we examine the careers of silent movie stars, directors and technicians after the coming of sound. I asked my backers on Patreon to vote on which film I would review and this was their choice. Yay, democratic trappings on my vile dictatorship!

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Nursery Favorites (1913) A Silent Era Talkie Review

The Edison film company took a stab at talking pictures pre-WWI and we are going to be looking at one of the most famous Kinetophone production. One of over 200 sound films released in 1913 and 1914, Nursery Favorites brings everyone’s favorite Mother Goose characters to life.

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Légende du roi Gambrinus (1911) A Silent Era Talkie Review

Legendary beer king Gambrinus is showcased in this charming sound short from Gaumont. Stencil color adds that touch of class. If you’re not reaching for a beer (real or root) after seeing this, there is something wrong with you.

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After the Silents: Lonely Wives (1931)

Welcome back to After the Silents. This series focuses on the careers of silent movie personnel in sound films and talkie stars who had forgotten careers in the silents. Today, we’re going to be talking about one of the most distinct voices in the history of cinema.

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Cyrano de Bergerac (1900) A Silent Era Talkie Review

Sound AND color in 1900? You’d better believe it! This French short showcases cutting edge technology of its day and is also the only know screen appearance of Benoît-Constant Coquelin (known as Coquelin aîné), the man who created the role of Cyrano de Bergerac on the stage.

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Silents in Talkies: Merton of the Movies (1947)

Welcome to another installment of Silents in Talkies. In this series, I review sound movies that are either about the silent era or that incorporate silent films into their story. I will review the film itself and then briefly discuss whether the film helped or harmed public perception of the silent era. This time, we’ll be looking at a movie that is both a remake of a silent movie and has its story set in the silent era: Merton of the Movies.

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Missing the Silents: “Merton of the Movies” and “Make Me a Star”

Welcome back to Missing the Silents, where we try to learn about lost silent films through their direct remakes. In many cases, the last people to see the films “alive” were the producers and directors of these remakes.

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After the Silents: No Way to Treat a Lady (1968)

When I’m not watching silent movies, I spend a lot of time in the swinging sixties. Sixties movies have this wonderful freewheeling quality but there is still a touch of the old studio class without the overwhelming squareness of golden age films. The film I am reviewing today is one of my all-time favorites, a twisted little black comedy with great acting and zany writing.

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After the Silents: Misbehaving Husbands (1940)

Welcome back to After the Silents, where we take a look at the careers of silent movie people after the talkie revolution. Today, we are going to be defending the reputation of a much-maligned director.

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After the Silents: Walpurgis Night (1935)

Ingrid Bergman is legendary for her Hollywood films and respected for her thoughtful comeback pictures. One aspect of her career that is rarely discussed is the collection of films she made in her native Sweden before becoming an international sensation. Of the six films she made in 1935-1936, only the original version of Intermezzo has been released on DVD in the U.S. Her other films from this period have been passed down to modern audiences in fuzzy VHS.

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After the Silents: Golden Earrings (1947)

Welcome to After the Silents, in which I examine the careers of silent film personnel after the talkies took over.

Today, we are going to be looking at one of the cheesiest films ever to come out of post-WW2 Hollywood. Golden Earrings was a vehicle for Marlene Dietrich and the public ate it up even if the critics sniffed and smirked. It’s an extravagant, exotic confection with a few Nazis thrown in. The golden earrings of the title are not worn by Dietrich but by her leading man, Ray Milland. Interested yet?

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After the Silents: Unconquered (1947)

Welcome back to After the Silents, where we examine the careers of silent movie cast and crew in the sound era. This time, we are going to be looking at a movie with possibly the best poster in the history of film.

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After the Silents: A Face in the Crowd (1957)

Would you like to see a magic trick? I can tell what movies you’ve seen! Here goes:

Andy Griffith is one of the best actors ever to grace the silver screen and he gave one of the best performance of the 1950s.

If your reaction was, “Huh? I mean, he’s charming and all but best actor? And of the 1950s?” then you have never seen A Face in the Crowd, his motion picture debut. It’s also one of the smartest, most underrated films to come out of mid-century Hollywood.

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After the Silents: Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

This is my favorite movie of all time, bar none. Celebrated and studied ever since its initial release, Lawrence of Arabia is the thinking viewer’s epic. It sets the bar high for itself and leaps over with ease. I’m very happy to be sharing it for the My Favorite Classic Movie Blogathon, hosted by Rick’s Classic Film and TV Café in honor of the first National Classic Movie Day. Be sure to read all the posts!

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After the Silents: The Monster Walks (1932)

Welcome to After the Silents, in which I explore the careers of silent film performers and crew after the talkies took over. Put on your rain gear, kids, because it’s going to be a dark and stormy night.

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After the Silents: The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming (1966)

Welcome to After the Silents, where I examine the careers of silent era talent in the talkies. This time, I am going to be heading a little further ahead in time than usual in order to talk about one of the cutest comedies ever to be nominated for best picture.

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Missing the Silents: London After Midnight and Mark of the Vampire

Hello and welcome to a new series! As you may already know, a good number of silent films have been lost, some of them quite famous. However, many of these films were remade as talkies. Some of the remakes even used the original silent as reference material before it was lost. Missing the Silents is going to focus on these remakes and examine how they can help us imagine what the original might have been like.

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After the Silents: Vanity Fair (1932)

Vanity Fair is one of the most enduring classics of English literature. It’s been a century and a half since it was published and readers have still not tired of the adventures of Becky Sharp.

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After the Silents: Peter Pan (1960)

I’ve never made any secret of the fact that musicals are… well, let’s just say that we don’t get on as well as one might expect. Point of fact, given the choice between having to watch a musical and having to sit through an Adam Sandler movie… I would take the musical but it would be close!

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Silents in Talkies: Hugo (2011)

Welcome to another installment of Silents in Talkies. In this series, I review sound movies that are either about the silent era or that incorporate silent films into their story. I will review the film itself and then briefly discuss whether the film helped or harmed public perception of the silent era.

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After the Silents: The Glass Key (1942)

While I am not a noir expert by any means, I do like to watch something from the seedy side of Hollywood on occasion. The Glass Key is a kind of pre-noir hybrid that boasts some impressive acting and manages to stay fairly faithful to its famous source material. (As much as the Motion Picture Production Code allowed, anyway. Or didn’t. It’s amazing how much the movie got away with.) Dashiell Hammett is my favorite hard-boiled writer and I am delighted to be reviewing one of the best adaptations of his work.

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After the Silents: Francis X. Bushman on TV

The 1950’s were the dawn of the television age and this new form of entertainment was so different from silent films that we sometimes forget that barely two decades had passed since the last major American silents were released. (Chaplin’s 30’s work being the notable outlier.)

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After the Silents: The Maltese Falcon (1931)

I love a good mystery and Dashiell Hammett is one of my very favorite authors in the genre. His twisty plots, crisp prose and colorful casts keep me hungry for more. Hollywood fell for Hammett in a big way and created very successful adaptations of The Thin Man, The Glass Key and, of course, The Maltese Falcon.
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After the Silents: The Hard Hombre (1931)

Poverty row. That phrase gets thrown around a lot but what does it mean? Basically, poverty row studios were smaller concerns that specialized in producing inexpensive motion pictures. Both faded stars and fresh-faced up-and-comers would cycle through, making movies on the quick and cheap.

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After the Silents: Man Hunt (1941)

Here’s a good rule of thumb for all you would-be classic Hollywood heroes: If you are a professional hunter and you run into a dapper fellow who claims to be your biggest fan, run. He will always turn out to be a sociopath bent on hunting… you.

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After the Silents: Warlock (1959)

I am very happy to be writing about one of my favorite westerns. I am not an enormous fan of the genre but what I like, I really like.

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Silents in Talkies: Hollywood Cavalcade (1939)

Welcome to another installment of Silents in Talkies. In this series, I review sound movies that are either about the silent era or that incorporate silent films into their story. I will review the film itself and then briefly discuss whether the film helped or harmed public perception of the silent era.

This time around, Alice Faye and Don Ameche play the leads in movieland’s love letter to itself, Hollywood Cavalcade.

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After the Silents: The Most Dangerous Game (1932)

Another little pre-Code wonder is the subject of today’s review. Tell me if this plot sounds familiar:

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After the Silents: The Walking Dead (1936)

Boris Karloff is, of course, best known for his monstrous roles in films like Frankenstein and The Mummy. While his big break came in the talkies, Karloff was quite active in silent films as well. The Walking Dead came along after Karloff had found fame playing assorted creepy characters. While not his most famous film, it contains one of his best performances.

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Silents in Talkies: Three Amigos (1986)

Well, this has been on my chest for a while. Welcome to my new series. I am going to be reviewing talking pictures that are either about the silent era or that incorporate silent films into their story. I will review the film itself and then briefly discuss whether the film helped or harmed public perception of the silent era.

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