Mary Pickford’s dark, rotting slice of Southern gothic is one of her finest films. It is also the last time she would play a child, one of her filmmaking signatures, and so it marks the end of an era but what a way to go.Continue reading “Fun Size Review: Sparrows (1926)”
This sci-fi comedy from the Edison film company follows a chemist who has invented reverse gravity and ends up on Mars. Don’t you just hate it when that happens?Continue reading “A Trip to Mars (1910) A Silent Film Review”
I am quite tickled about this particular theme because in addition to loving silent films, I am a huge science fiction fan, lifetime Trekkie, the lot. This month will be candy to me, basically.Continue reading “Theme Month! September 2019: Silent Science Fiction”
Director Mel Brooks makes a silent movie about a director named Mel making a silent movie. You have to admit that’s pretty meta.Continue reading “Fun Size Review: Silent Movie (1976)”
Well, I asked and you answered and now I am going to share the results with you. Where in the world are the readers located?Continue reading “Where in the World Are You? Readers Share Their Locations”
Every so often, I run into cute marketing gimmicks for silent films and I like to share them. This one was a giveaway held by a theater showing the Harold Lloyd picture Grandma’s Boy.Continue reading “Marketing the Silents: The Great “Grandma’s Boy” Sugar Cookie Giveaway”
I am so excited about this particular unpacking, let me tell you! I have been wanting a decent copy of Hitchcock’s silent Blackmail for the North American market for years and it’s here at last.Continue reading “Unboxing the Silents: Blackmail on Bluray (yes, the silent version too!) and Murder!”
Harry Carey is a soft-hearted sheriff who switches identities with an incarcerated criminal so that said criminal’s pretty sister (Mildred Harris, yay!) will not know of her brother’s disgrace. Before you can say “Luke and Leia” poor Harry has fallen for his “sister” and all sorts of complications follow.Continue reading “Fun Size Review: Beyond the Border (1925)”
It was the best of times… You get the idea. 300+ pages of French Revolution drama by Dickens squished down to twenty minutes by the Vitagraph film company.Continue reading “A Tale of Two Cities (1911) A Silent Film Review”
One of the most popular and witty plays of the nineteenth century gets the silent treatment– and the stencil color treatment! This Italian-French co-production is possibly the most beautiful silent film ever made. Its costumes and sets are glorious but it also has a talented cast to give this beauty some brains.Continue reading “Fun Size Review: Cyrano de Bergerac (1925)”
I thought it would be fun to poll everyone and discover where silent movie fans are located. We’re going pretty basic here, just a poll by continent. Feel free to share more info in the comments (specific country, etc.) if you feel comfortable but it is by no means required.Continue reading “Silent Movie Fans, Where in the World Are You?”
I love Dorothy Gish and think she is immensely underrated in the pantheon of screen comedians. Alas, most of her solo pictures are missing and presumed lost, so its hard for modern viewers to appreciate the scope of her career but she was quite a beloved player in her own series of top-billed pictures that covered just about every popular genre in American cinema at the time.Continue reading “A Vintage Ode to Dorothy Gish’s Temper”
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately and I thought I would bat it over to my readership: What do you do to make silent film newcomers feel welcome? This can be online or in person. And if you are a newcomer, I would love to hear from you as well. What makes you feel welcome in a silent movie space?Continue reading “How Do You Make Silent Movie Newcomers Feel at Home?”
A classic and old-timey tale of romance and revenge that has been filmed often but rarely this beautifully. But is it enough?Continue reading “Fun Size Review: Lorna Doone (1922)”
The almost-certainly-not-true tale of a medieval lady who is dared to ride naked through the streets by her husband. I think marriage counseling would have been a smarter idea but what do I know? The Vitagraph production goes for tasteful presentation with one notable exception…Continue reading “Lady Godiva (1911) A Silent Film Review”
If you think modern moviegoers invented cinematic nitpicking, you are in for a shock! Photoplay Magazine had a regular feature on reader complaints and they are great fun to peruse. Here’s the collection from August of 1919.Continue reading “These Were the Movie Errors, Tropes and Eccentricities That Annoyed Viewers in August of 1919”
One thing I always find fascinating is to study the best films according to silent era critics and audiences and then compare their choices to what we like today. Are you ready to see which ten pictures from 1922 were voted best by the critics? The Film Daily Year Book has the list so let’s dive in!Continue reading “The Best Films of 1922 According to Critics of the Time (and All of Them Are on Home Media!)”
Maybe I am just out of touch but lately there seems to be an upswing in tribalism among silent film fans. What do I mean by this? You’re bopping along, minding your own business, savoring some love for a particular silent era talent when suddenly, the conversation shifts to bashing a perceived rival.Continue reading “On Zero Sum Games: Silent Film Favorites and Cults of Personality”
We have so many goodies in the pipeline! Three popular favorites are getting sparkling new releases.Continue reading “News from the Silent Movie Front: Rudolph Valentino, Alice Guy and Conrad Veidt”
Famed soprano Geraldine Farrar proves she doesn’t need her pipes to be an impressive Carmen. Wallace Reid, in an uncharacteristically dark role, expands his acting chops as a deranged Don Jose.Continue reading “Fun Size Review: Carmen (1915)”
An opera adaptation starring a ballerina set in Naples but shot in Chicago. The silent era, ladies and gentlemen! Ballet superstar Anna Pavlova made her screen debut in this Universal epic about love, revolution and trunk hose.Continue reading “The Dumb Girl of Portici (1916) A Silent Film Review”
More fun than a barrel of lizards! This is one of the grandest special effects fests of the silent era. The plot involves a group of intrepid scientists who discover dinosaurs on a remote plateau, so you know this will have lots of prehistoric fun.Continue reading “Fun Size Review: The Lost World (1925)”
We’re in for a treat, a look at a new restoration of Fragment of an Empire, a 1929 Soviet drama directed by Fridrikh Ermler. A collaboration between the EYE Filmmuseum, Gosfilmofond of Russia, and the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, this restoration combines materials held by EYE and the Cinémathèque Suisse to create the most complete version of the film available in decades.Continue reading “Unboxing the Silents: Fragment of an Empire on Bluray from Flicker Alley”
So, I have been playing around in old movie magazines and noticed that there were some amusing publicity stunts that I thought would be fun to share. Today, it’s the limerick contest!Continue reading “Silent Movie Marketing: Limerick Contests”
Okay, so it’s been quite a time. My dog, Douglas Fairbanks, is pretty much a toddler: everything goes into his mouth and his face goes into everything. Well, that got him in trouble last night. Long story short, I spent quite a long stretch at the veterinarian today, which threw off my schedule completely.Continue reading “Silent Movies vs. Small Dog Adventures”
Pola Negri and Ernst Lubitsch team up once again in the deranged comedy that sends up romance, adventure and Hollywood.
Pola is a bandit girl. Paul Heidemann is a ladykiller army officer. She captures him and steals his pants. He chases her all over a Dr. Suess-ian fortress. Oh, it’s a mad film and it loses its way a bit in its quest to be bonkers but Pola has never been more fun!
How does it end? Hover or tap below for a spoiler.
Read my full-length review here.
If it were a dessert it would be: Trix Cereal Crunch Cake. Loud, zany and slightly psychedelic. May induce headaches on some days. On others, it may be just what the doctor ordered.
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The mutiny on the Potemkin is dramatized for the screen nearly two decades before the famous Eisenstein picture. The production is French and what it lacks in authentic detail, it more than makes up for with enthusiasm.Continue reading “Revolution in Russia (1905) A Silent Film Review”
Not based on any work by Edgar Allan Poe (despite what some sources may tell you) but a suspenseful tale of madness and murder that Poe would likely have found very much to his taste.Continue reading “Fun Size Review: The Bells (1926)”
The Influenza Pandemic of 1918 remains one of the most deadly pandemic in recent history. Millions lost their lives and as a precaution, moving picture studios temporarily halted operations.Continue reading “The Lighter Side of a Pandemic: Rube Goldberg, Influenza and the Movies”
It may seem counter intuitive for a movie with no audible dialogue to be quotable but silent film fans know that title cards contain some of the snappiest writing around. So, in the name of Beanie Walker, let’s share some favorites!Continue reading “What’s Your Favorite Silent Movie Quotation?”