It’s time to give a little attention to one of my favorite screen teams, a couple so famous in the talkies that most people do not even realize that they started in the silents: William Powell and Myrna Loy.
Note: This article covers the origins of the trope, how it erroneously became associated with silent films and why the myth persists. For more details on the actors involved, the Snidely Whiplash connection and examples of this trope subverted, check out my follow up article. You can also check out real footage and vintage images in my video response.
I came across this caricature by de Bru in Photoplay magazine. How many movie stars of 1928 can you identify without peeking at the legend?
We can name the top stars of 10, 20, 50, 70 years ago. But what about 100?
Hooo boy, is this an old one. It is actually as old as talking pictures themselves. The myth goes like this: So-and-so (often John Gilbert) was a famous film star in the silent era but what people didn’t know is that he sounded like Mickey Mouse! Hilarious!
All right, you like silent movies. In fact, you love silent movies. The problem is that your movie nights are, to put it nicely, a rather solitary affair. Let’s face it, we’re in the minority.