A Finnish short film about a young fellow who is just trying to announce his engagement but, alas, everything that can go wrong does. One of the early films of producer/director/screenwriter/actor/studio head Erkki Karu.Continue reading “The Betrothal of Student Pöllövaara (1920) A Silent Film Review”
Mary Pickford plays a kid left behind in Belgium when her mother remarries. She finally makes her way to America for a reunion but nobody knows who she is, so she needs to sneak in under the radar by taking a job as a servant.Continue reading “Through the Back Door (1921) A Silent Film Review”
James Parrott is a fire extinguisher salesman who needs to join a secret society in order to sell one of his advanced extinguishers. (It’s a long story.) The initiation is, well, a bit fiery… Jobyna Ralston is on hand as the leading lady who dreams of trombone-playing stardom.Continue reading “Are Parents Pickles (1925) A Silent Film Review”
Johnny Hines plays a rich swell who takes up a bet that he can make $10,000 without using a dime of his personal fortune. Chaos ensues when he poses as a boxer and ends up building a suburb from scratch.Continue reading “Luck (1923) A Silent Film Review”
Douglas Fairbanks is in peril because his mind is slowly falling apart due to the machinations of the mad scientist next door. To make matters worse, Doug is in love with a young lady who is already promised to another. It will take all his pep and energy to get out of this tangle!Continue reading “When the Clouds Roll By (1919) A Silent Film Review”
That Onésime is at it again! Our surreal comedy hero decides to speed up his access to his inheritance by speeding up time for the entire world, as one does. A science-fiction-ish, comedy-ish short.Continue reading “Onésime, Clockmaker (1912) A Silent Film Review”
Harry Langdon plays a college sap who just wants to marry the girl of his dreams but is blocked at every turn by his woman-hating uncle, a chief in the local fire department. Will little Harry find love at last or will his dreams go up in smoke?Continue reading “His First Flame (1927) A Silent Film Review”
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.