Menahem Mendl, a Jewish man living in pre-Revolution Russia,has a large family and not much money but he does have an abundance of ideasfor get rich quick schemes. From selling corsets to insurance to brides, Mendl’splans are ambitious but never quite turn out the way he intends.Continue reading “Jewish Luck (1925) A Silent Film Review”
A May-December marriage is on the rocks when the husband, an anemic Egyptologist, decides that his young wife is stepping out. Poisoned cigarettes and a distastefully-placed mummy are just a few of the complications that ensue.Continue reading “La Cigarette (1919) A Silent Film Review”
Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy play a recent arrival from Scotland and his uncle, respectively, who run into difficulty when the former’s kilt meets a strong breeze. Can uncle succeed in putting pants on Philip?Continue reading “Putting Pants on Philip (1927) A Silent Film Review”
Alice Guy directs a domestic comedy about jealous spouses and their attempt to live together using the silent treatment.Continue reading “A House Divided (1913) A Silent Film Review”
Mr. and Mrs. Sidney Drew are at it again in this newly-discovered domestic comedy about a tattletale husband and the way the women in his life punish him for his snitching ways.
Gale Henry plays a detective hot on the tail of some thieves who have swiped a secret formula. What ensues is best described as a sort of silent movie Donkey Kong with trapdoors, secret doors and a big tub of water.
American businessman Mr. West (Porfiri Podobed) has business in Russia but is terrified of the Bolsheviks. A gang of confidence tricksters (led by Vsevolod Pudovkin) use this paranoia to their advantage and try to drain him dry. A broad farce from Lev Kuleshov.
Anita Garvin and Marion Byron star as a pair of struggling singles whose double date doesn’t go as planned when it turns out the guys in question are a pair of, well, tights. The quest for ice cream descends into a signature Hal Roach tit for tat battle. Chaos ensues, is what I’m saying.
The anarchic Onésime is back and this time he enters a marriage lottery. Chaos ensued, obviously, with our hero escaping his intended via bicycle.
Max Linder and his wife quarrel and he is left to his own devices. Alas, keeping house is not nearly as easy as he imagined and chaos ensues in this cute domestic comedy.
Louis Feuillade didn’t just make serials and this short is a showcase for child comedian Bout de Zan. The plot is very much what it says on the tin. Boy meets elephant, boy steals elephant, boy and elephant terrorize streets of Paris, as one does.
Continue reading “Bout de Zan Steals an Elephant (1913) A Silent Film Review”
Maggie, the eldest daughter of a successful boot merchant, decides that she will not go quietly into spinsterhood and instead marries one of her father’s bootmakers and goes into business for herself. Based on of the most delightful comedy plays England has produced.
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?
Two children have a sick kitten but they know exactly how to cure what ails it. A very sweet little British short that makes good use of this new-fangled “close-up” thing.
Opera legend Enrico Caruso tried his hand at being a movie star in this film. He plays two roles: a penniless sculptor and a famous opera singer.
In a bid to make his wife, Constance Talmadge, sorry for neglecting him, Harrison Ford (not that one) fakes an affair but the whole thing backfires and he is divorced in a flash. And so you’re probably wondering how he ended up hiding in the wardrobe in his wife’s bedroom… (Yes, it’s one of THOSE plots.)
A young courting couple get pulled into a bizarre scheme when they are asked to borrow the identities of their friends to help close a business deal. The main draw of the thing is a very young (and still relatively unknown) Rudolph Valentino.
Oscar Wilde meets Ernst Lubitsch in this witty society comedy. Lubitsch’s decision to jettison Wilde’s dialogue may raise some eyebrows but the Wilde spirit is intact and smart performances from Irene Rich and Ronald Colman are the icing on the cake.
Stan Laurel pokes fun at the ever-popular Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, terrorizing the English urban landscape with a pea shooter, a party streamer and a finger trap.
Harold Lloyd and Bebe Daniels had been a screen team since 1915 but all things must end and this was their final release as a comedy duo. Lloyd has a bachelor party that proves to be so wild, his future mother-in-law calls off his marriage to Daniels. The heartbroken lad tries to find his lady love but ends up shipwrecked and rescued by a very unusual pirate crew.
Mabel Normand plays a moviestruck small town girl who leaves the boy she loves (Ralph Graves) for a chance to make it big in Hollywood. Naturally, chaos ensues, especially when she mixes up a Great Dane and a lion…
In early 1914, movie audiences saw the Little Tramp for the first time and the world of comedy was never the same. This little short is refreshingly modern and is just as enjoyable today as it was a century ago.
Charley Chase’s mother has just remarried but she hasn’t told her new husband about her adult son. Charley poses as his step-father’s valet and, of course, chaos ensues, especially when the new maid (Martha Sleeper) gets in on the act.
On August 21, 1911, the Mona Lisa was stolen from the Louvre. A few days later, this comedy was released spoofing the theft and the less-than-competent investigation. The jokes were torn from 1911 headlines, will they yield modern laughs?
Sam Robinson plays a ne’er-do-well who is on the run from the police and ends up in a Chinese laundry. Chaos obviously ensues and much laundry is destroyed in the process. A rare surviving comedy from the infamous Ebony Film Corporation.
Raymond Griffith tries his hand at historical comedy. He plays a spy trying to intercept a gold shipment but must deal with an enemy officer and two distractions: a blonde and a brunette.
Gertie’s got a garter but now she needs to unload it for reasons. Marie Prevost and Charles Ray star as the ex-couple that is still bound together by a garter. It’s a lot less wild than it sounds.
Harry Langdon is a little Belgian soldier who comes to America to find his pen pal. How hard can it be to find a Mary Brown in 1926? He just has to get through gangsters, bootleggers and the common cold to locate her. Langdon at his best.
Adolphe Menjou and Florence Vidor are a couple of rich swells in the midst of a divorce, much to the horror of their only child (Betty Bronson). She conspires to get her parents back together with the help of a doctor and a movie star.
Reginald Denny and Laura La Plante play a couple hoping to raise their standard of living. When Denny lies about a raise, La Plante goes shopping and all is well until the repo man comes calling. A perfectly delightful domestic comedy.