Think gangster films first came along in the early 1930s? Think again! They were present from the very earliest motion picture days and Regeneration is one of the first gangster features. It was directed by some guy named Raoul Walsh.
Raoul Walsh remains one of the most influential directors of the gangster film genre and he was already practicing his craft back in 1915. This is a film about the then-hot topic of poverty cycles and the redemption of career criminals. Walsh filmed on location to ensure that his picture had the proper amount of grit.
Continue reading “Regeneration (1915) A Silent Film Review”
Mr. Yankee Doodle Dandy himself, George M. Cohan stars in an early version of this oft-filmed tale of intrigue, murder and writer’s block. It’s a mixed bag all around but there is some unintentional hilarity as one of the side characters reenacts Weekend at Bernie’s with Hedda Hopper’s corpse.
Continue reading “Fun Size Review: Seven Keys to Baldpate (1917)”
Cecil B. DeMille heads back to the bedroom in this romantic comedy. Anna Q. Nilsson is stepping out on her husband, Milton Sills. Meanwhile, their flapper daughter is in hot pursuit of a bespectacled paleontologist who just wants to be left to his dinosaur bones (and who, she remarks, is very good looking without his glasses). Hmm, that sounds familiar… (Would it come as a surprise if I said Howard Hawks worked for DeMille?) An uneven affair, especially in the third act, but good actors save the day.
Oh, and no relation to the Tracy-Hepburn vehicle of the same name.
(You can read my full-length review here.)
[toggler title=”How does it end? (click here for a spoiler)” ]Nilsson sees the error of her ways and returns to her delighted husband. The flapper nearly loses her nerd when he thinks that SHE is the one having the affair but things get sorted out. Love wins all ’round.[/toggler]
If it were a dessert it would be:
Guinness Floats. Variation on a theme. After a few viewings, it beginsh to look real shwell, shee? (hic!)
Availability: After years of languishing in obscurity, it was finally released on DVD.
George M. Cohan tries his hand at the silent screen in this adaptation of his hit play. He plays a schlock writer who wagers he can create work of literature in 24-hours. Our hero goes to an isolated and deserted inn to work but of course you know he will be interrupted. By a reporter. And criminals. And a crazy hermit. Who steals corpses. Because.
I shall also be covering the 1983 remake, House of the Long Shadows. Click here to skip to the talkie.
Adam’s Rib was one of Cecil B. DeMille’s last silent marital comedies. While not his best, it still has its moments of wit and wisdom. Here, Anna Q. Nilsson is explaining the facts of life to her daughter. Falling in love? Easy. Staying married? Hard. Even if you are married to Milton (sigh) Sills.
However, young Tillie does not take her mother’s advice and is soon off in hot pursuit of a nebbishy paleontologist who just wants to finish his dinosaur skeleton in peace.
Hmm, now where have we heard that before?
(You can read my review of Adam’s Rib here.)
William S. Hart is back in the saddle with one of his most villainous roles. He plays a bandit betrayed by his own lieutenant and out for revenge. We have holdups, posses and plenty of brooding between the action scenes. In short, a Hart film.
More flapper shenanigans from Adam’s Rib! Pauline Garon and her mother, played by Anna Q. Nilsson, are both keen to have some alone time with their suitors. Of course, Anna is married and that leads to all sorts of problems. I mean, this is a Cecil B. DeMille marital comedy, what else could possibly happen?
In the 1923 marital comedy, Adam’s Rib, Anna Q. Nilsson is trying to step out on Milton Sills with Theodore Kosloff (for goodness sake, why?) but she has been given away when a string of beading catches on his tuxedo. Tsk, tsk, tsk. Twenties fashion was beaded, feathered, embroidered, laced and fringed but such finery did make illicit embraces rather risky.
That being said, Anna is just gorgeous in this film and I would kill to own any of the dresses she wears in it.
Cecil B. DeMille takes another stab at the domestic comedy– this time with cavemen thrown in for good measure. The tale concerns married couple on the shady side of thirty. Their union seems doomed when the wife starts stepping out with an exiled aristocrat. The couple’s teenage daughter, a modern maiden, has other ideas and she intends to save her save the marriage at any cost– all while romancing a stuffy paleontologist.
Continue reading “Adam’s Rib (1923) A Silent Film Review”