Sidney M. Goldin, a pioneering filmmaker in the Yiddish market, created a costume melodrama in Austria with all the trimmings and a genuine Yiddish stage pedigree. An extraordinarily interesting picture, especially when compared with Hollywood productions that follow a similar theme.Continue reading “Yizkor (1924) A Silent Film Review”
The Hal Roach team went serious with this western starring Rex the Wonder Horse and Charley Chase (as Charles Parrott) as the reluctant villain.Continue reading “King of the Wild Horse (1924) A Silent Film Review”
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?
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.
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?
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.
A mysterious message from outer space captures the imagination of a Russian scientist. He has other problems, though, as he suspects that his wife is stepping out on him with a petty official who moonlights as a black-market dealer. Oh yes, and there are scenes on Mars.
Ivan Mosjoukine steps off the deep end in this genre mishmash. He plays a Tibetan prince who must flee his country and ends up in Paris where he becomes a film star. Speaking of stars, there is also a plot twist that we are most familiar with in Star Wars.
Two-fisted Mountie Rance Raine’s brother has been murdered and this means that the culprit must pay. He has a very specific set of skills, a smart dog called Rex and a horse named Starlight. Those flannel-clad baddies are going to wish they were never born.
Ivan Mosjoukine takes the title role in this biopic of legendary English Shakespearean actor Edmund Kean, whose brilliance on the stage was undercut by his eccentric and self-destructive personal life. Yet another example of the astonishing films being made by the Russian emigres who fled their country’s political turmoil for the relative safety of Paris.
Richard Barthelmess plays Oliver Bashforth, a veteran of the First World War whose body was mangled beyond repair in the conflict. Trying to escape his overbearing and insensitive family, he takes a cottage in the country. In order to create a further buffer, he enters into a marriage of convenience with a homely local woman. But the cottage seems to have something magical about it and soon love and healing are in the air.
I will also be reviewing the 1945 remake starring Robert Young and Dorothy McGuire. Click here to skip to the talkie.
Continue reading “The Enchanted Cottage (1924) A Silent Film Review”
Fast-paced offering from Mack Sennett’s famous studio. Silent comic Billy Bevan is a zany mechanic who enters an auto race to defend the honor of his garage. Bevan is supported by Sidney Smith and Any Clyde, two familiar faces to silent comedy fans.
Continue reading “Lizzies of the Field (1924) A Silent Film Review”
Enid Bennett and Ramon Novarro play a pair of young lovers who just want to get married. When they are separated in Paris, each begins a slide toward degradation and depravity. Will the unfortunate pair find one another again or are they too damaged to rekindle their love? Heavy stuff.
Gloria Swanson sheds her glamorous image to play Tessie, a shop girl in the big city who just wants to have a little bit of fun. Her workaholic boyfriend (Tom Moore) is neglecting her in favor of an invention that could make his fortune so Tessie accepts an invitation from the smart set. However, she soon learns that all of the thrills and glamour come at a price.
Constance Talmadge is a lovely American heiress who travels to England disguised as a frump in order to ward off fortune-hunting men. Ronald Colman is a penniless aristocrat who falls for Constance and impersonates a physician to get a closer look. Chaos ensues. Of course. It’s a romantic comedy!
Continue reading “Her Night of Romance (1924) A Silent Film Review”
Sir Oliver Tressilian (Milton Sills) is a retired Elizabethan privateer whose life suddenly gets shot to pieces. He is framed for murder by his own brother, dumped by his fiancee, kidnapped, sold into slavery… What I’m saying is this guy has a chip on his shoulder. So he joins up with the Barbary corsairs and becomes the dreaded Sea Hawk. Now for that revenge…
Continue reading “The Sea Hawk (1924) A Silent Film Review”
Silent child star Baby Peggy plays the captain of the title, a castaway orphan who is raised by a scruffy lighthouse keeper (Hobart Bosworth). The story is slight but that actually works in the film’s favor as it allows the viewer to focus on what’s really important: the talented Baby Peggy and the peerless Bosworth.
Continue reading “Captain January (1924) A Silent Film Review”
A young author (Wilhelm Dieterle) is hired by the owner of a wax museum to write tales about his most popular figures, Haroun al Raschid, Ivan the Terrible and Jack the Ripper. Entranced by his new boss’s pretty daughter (Olga Belajeff) the author sets to work writing about the wax figures. With each new story, the author and his new friend find themselves pulled inside the progressively nightmarish worlds that he has invented.
Continue reading “Waxworks (1924) A Silent Film Review”
Douglas Fairbanks is the titular thief who uses his burglaring ways to win a princess, defeat the Mongols and generally save the day. Scenery, sets and costumes? Gorgeous. Pace? One may safely describe it as, er, stately. Pluses: An early appearance from Anna May Wong and much Fairbanksian leaping.