A great many silent era stars, directors and other personnel enjoyed long careers after the talkies arrived, a fair number stuck around long enough to be television stars. Due to its anthology format, a new cast every week, The Twilight Zone was an unusually rich showcase for silent talent. (I have already discussed Joseph Schildkraut’s appearances on the show.)Continue reading “Silent Stars in the Twilight Zone: Ernest Truex”
Welcome back! In this series, I discuss the careers of silent movie personnel during the talkie era. In this case, director Henry Hathaway, who worked his way up from chair boy (more on that later) and assistant director in the silents to major studio director in the talkie era. The film in question is Rawhide, a relatively underrated western with more in common with gangster films than other oaters.
It’s time for another episode of After the Silents, where I examine the careers of silent film personnel in the talkie era. Today’s film is a low-budget turkey but it has more silent veterans than you can shake a stick at. (And stop shaking sticks at people, it’s rude.)
Welcome back to After the Silents, where we examine the careers of silent movie personnel after the transition to sound. This time around, we’re going to be reviewing a post-WWII domestic comedy about a boarding house in New York. One of the tenants is played by Leatrice Joy, a huge favorite around these parts.
Welcome to a new variation of After the Silents, in which I examine the careers of silent movie personnel in the sound era. For this outing, I’m going to be periodically sharing my reviews of Twilight Zone episodes that feature veterans of the silent era. Today’s guest of honor is a personal favorite of mine: Joseph Schildkraut.
Welcome back! In this series, I discuss the careers of silent movie personnel during the talkie era. Today, our subject is a favorite movie from my childhood: The Great Race.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.)
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.
Continue reading “After the Silents: The Maltese Falcon (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.
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.
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.
Another little pre-Code wonder is the subject of today’s review. Tell me if this plot sounds familiar:
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.
What do you think of when you hear the name William Castle? Classic chillers? Clever marketing gimmicks? If you asked a movie-goer in the forties, though, they would have thought of mysteries.
In the forties, Castle was known as a B director who could get films done on-time and on-budget. His output varied during this decade but two series kept cropping up on his resume: The Whistler and The Crime Doctor. Both were low-budget films series involving amateur sleuths and both featured former silent leading men: Richard Dix and Warner Baxter, respectively.
This is wonderfully entertaining film for all the wrong reasons. Here is what we are in for:
Humphrey Bogart plays a zombie doctor who must steal the blood of the living so that he (and his white rabbit!) can survive. Also, he has wire spectacles and a skunk stripe in his hair.
Let’s dust off a pre-Code mad scientist picture. And, as an added bonus, let’s choose one filmed in two strip Technicolor and directed by Michael Curtiz, of Robin Hood, Casablanca and Mildred Pierce fame. Even better, let’s choose one that has horror veteran Lionel Atwill and scream queen Fay Wray.