Dorothy and friends head off to Oz in this truncated and slightly odd adaptation from the Selig film company. All the classic plot points are present but the brief length makes for jerky storytelling.
Harold Lloyd dons his famous spectacles for the first time and makes movie history as a boy who just wants to take his girl to a baseball game. Of course, Snub Pollard is in the way and chaos ensues but the real fun is seeing Lloyd’s evolution as a comedian.
If you have been reading my site for a while, you know that I am a huge fan of crowdfunded silent film releases. Far too many silent films sit in vaults because of limited resources.
L Frank Baum’s American fairy tale hit the silver screens for the first time with this one-reel motion picture. Dorothy is whisked off to the land of Oz accompanied by a mule and a cow and Toto, who is transformed into a hellbeast… Yeah, it’s a pretty loose adaptation.
It’s already February (quite a ways into it, in fact) and it’s time to announce the silent star who will be the featured star. Last month’s silent star was Ivan Mosjoukine and he passes the crown on to….
Welcome back! I am cooking my way through the 1929 Photoplay cookbook (recipes of the stars!) and you are invited to tag along. (I have listed all the recipes I have tested on this dedicated page. Check back often.) Today, we will be testing a recipe from an actress whose career survived the fall of nickelodeons, the coming of sound and a pair of World Wars.
Squirrels. You can’t trust ’em. One minute they’re looking as cute as anything and the next thing you know, “CHOMP!” and look who has bubonic plague.
Harold Lloyd heads out west and he takes co-star Bebe Daniels with him. Lloyd plays a wastrel jazz pianist who, through a photo mix-up, ends up with the reputation of being the most dangerous man in a small western town. Will the power go to his head? Of course it will! Bebe is on hand as a spunky miss and the object of our hero’s affections.
Silent Take is back! This time, I am recasting the iconic Indiana Jones in the world of silent film.
Indiana Jones was based on the classic cliffhanger serials of the thirties and forties but those serials were in turn based on the exciting offerings of the silent era.
Bebe Daniels is a hypochondriac heiress who ends up staying on an island with a gang of bootleggers, who are led by a pre-stardom William Powell. Of course, Bebe is more interested in Richard Arlen, another gangster who seems a bit too nice to be a rum runner. Chaos ensues, obviously, and the film is a real corker in spite of a flabby middle section.
[toggler title=”How does it end? (click here for a spoiler)” ]Bebe ends up saving her fella’s life from the rum runners. Feminism! Romance![/toggler]
If it were a dessert it would be:
Gin & Tonic Sorbet. Anything this fun was probably illegal at some point.
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)”
Status: Thought lost for years, a print of Senorita has been preserved in a private collection. There are also rumors that another print is held in a Belgian archive.
Bebe Daniels swung back and forth between comedy and drama throughout her career. By the mid to late twenties, she was making comedies that took a popular adventure plot and reversed the genders: Miss Brewster’s Millions, She’s a Sheik and Senorita. The final title was a version of Zorro with Miss Daniels playing the masked avenger. Miss Daniels got into the spirit of the thing and acted just as Fairbanksian as she could.
As an added bonus, the villain of the film is played by William Powell. In the silents, he was often cast as the sneering baddie.
Photoplay raved about the film:
The best Bebe Daniels’ feature in years. Bebe masquerades as a boy in order to protect the ranch of her grandfather, Don Hernandez, who really thinks she is a boy. Bebe does a Fairbanks-Gilbert-Barrymore act by jumping through windows, winning numerous duels, swinging from chandeliers and what-not. A rip-roaring, peppy piece — one of the finest of the month.
Motion Picture News thought the film was fun, though light on plot:
Bebe Daniels got off on a good tack when she frowned up-on those serious stories and decided to cater to satire and burlesque. Take her latest for example It is nothing to make much of a fuss over, but it has its rollicking by-play — all of which is indulged in with a fine zest and spirit by the bubbling Bebe and her assistants.
It may be that the loud pedal becomes overplayed here and there, but no one should carp over this amusing trifle — which has been produced for the one purpose of creating laughter. Bebe Daniels plays a tomboy of the pampas. She masquerades with a tiny mustache and all the native trimmings. And once she starts cut- ting the didoes there’s no stopping her. She must please her grand- father who thought he had a, grandson instead of a granddaughter. Of such stuff is “Senorita “built. To look for the plot you’d have to look in vain. But it does establish that as the leader of one warring family the girl must conquer the enemy. She ends up by fighting a duel.
It is all mad merriment — but done in a refreshing manner by the star who is beginning to give Constance Talmadge a run for her money. It should please the majority of theatregoers.
This film sounds like an amazing bit of fun.
Bebe Daniels stars as a hypochondriac heiress who is threatened with a move to a ranch in Texas. She flees to what she thinks is a convalescent home but finds herself trapped on an island with a gang of rum runners– led by a pre-fame William Powell. Bebe doesn’t realize the danger she is in until it is too late. Will she be able to save herself and her only ally, Richard Arlen?
Continue reading “Feel My Pulse (1928) A Silent Film Review”
Bebe Daniels is the hypochondriac heiress of Feel My Pulse. Her uncle advised her to have adventure and romance. She ended up battling rum runners (led by William Powell!) and single-handedly saving the life of dishy undercover reporter Richard Arlen. But she also read his column and, well, he kind of dissed her in it. Said she was pretty but dumb. So she is not overly inclined to consider him the Romance of her adventure.
Gloria Swanson has a problem. Her husband, Thomas Meighan, has purchased her a negligee! The degenerate! And he listens to fox trot music, if you please! Thomas is soon driven into the waiting arms of Bebe Daniels. Realizing her mistake, Gloria dons designer duds in a bid to win him back. Cecil B. DeMille’s best marital comedy, it is spunky and fast-paced. Excellent performances by all the leads make the film memorable. Worth seeing for Bebe and Gloria’s costumes alone.
You gotta watch those squirrels. Tricky little critters…
Unfortunately, many films of the silent era have been lost. This new series is going to list some of the more interesting ones. We are going to start with a comedy from the late silent era.
It’s Gloria Swanson’s turn to be the offending party in this DeMille marital comedy. She is a lovely young prude who moralizes her husband right into the waiting arms of another woman. Only then does Gloria realize that she has made a mistake and a little romance helps in marriage. Armed with this knowledge- and a wild wardrobe- she sets out to win back her man.