Silent Movie Trivia Card #1: Chicago (1927)

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I am getting into the collectible business! Well, digital collectibles anyway. And since these are free, I guess it is really not much of a business. In any case, humor me.

My point is that I thought it would be fun to deliver bite-sized bits of silent movie trivia in a series of cards. Feel free to download, print, share and annoy your friends and relatives with your new-found knowledge.

Before it was a musical, Chicago was a sassy silent film. But how well do you know Roxie Hart and the gang? Enjoy the trivia!

(You can read my review of the rowdy romp that is Chicago here.)


She always plays peekaboo… right before she shoots you. Animated GIF


Phyllis Haver was the silver screen’s first Roxie Hart and does she ever own the part! The 1927 version of Chicago is a mad bit of twenties wildness and Miss Haver’s performance is a huge part of what makes it a success.

The plot, if you will recall, is that Roxie plugs her lover and then tries to get off the hook with the help of a very clever lawyer. Thought lost for decades, it was rediscovered in the personal archive of Cecil B. DeMille (the film’s uncredited director) and has finally been restored to its rightful place as one of the darlings of the silent movie fandom.


It’s working, shutup willya? Animated GIF


Phyllis Haver’s wonderfully expressive face is one of the great assets of the 1927 film version of Chicago (yes, that Chicago). Her Roxie Hart is a somewhat homicidal gal with a heart of pure granite. In this case, she is hiding from the bill collector when he comes to call. Ukuleles, player pianos and silk lingerie are not free, as it turns out. Five minutes later, she plugs her lover with a revolver. Oh that Roxie!

You can read my review of the film here.


“Shutup so a lady can read!” Animated GIF

chicago-1927-shutup-so-a-lady-can-readI love this title card. I want it framed. I want it in every library in the land. I want to hold it up when I am stuck on a long flight with a very, very chatty neighbor.

Because, in the end, reading is the most important thing, right?

(I know I say this in safe company as there is enormous overlap between classic movie fans and bookworms.)

(This is another one from the 1927 version of Chicago. In case you didn’t know, I love that movie to death.)


A beautifully restored print has been released on DVD by Flicker Alley.

“This is a decent jail!” Animated GIF

chicago-1927-this-is-a-decent-jailPhyllis Haver’s Roxie Hart and Julia Faye’s Velma have met their match with the jailhouse matron. The battle started with Velma accusing Roxie of using peroxide, Roxie pulling off Velma’s wiglet and it all went downhill from there. The root of the animosity? Which one of these dishy murderesses is the more famous or, should I say, infamous? Who has more columns, more photos, more condemnation from decent citizens?

Ah, Chicago. I love you so!


A beautifully restored print has been released on DVD by Flicker Alley.