Fun Size Review: The Bells (1926)

bellsNot based on any work by Edgar Allan Poe (despite what DVD cases may tell you) but a suspenseful tale of madness and murder. Heavily influenced by German cinema. Lionel Barrymore is a tormented murderer while a pre-fame Boris Karloff is on hand as the Caligari-esque investigator. Well-made but marred with weak motivations. Worth seeing for Barrymore and Karloff.

If it were a dessert it would be:


Pumpkin Dump Cake. While tasty enough in its own right, it relies on mixes and processed foods instead of its own ingenuity.

You can read my full-length review here.

Fun Size Review: The New York Hat (1912)


It’s the story of an impoverished teen, a kindly minister, gossipy neighbors and a $10 hat. Griffith spins an alluring confection of small town America that both satirizes and celebrates the culture. Lionel Barrymore and Mary Pickford are excellent as the innocent pair who find themselves the subject of slander.

If it were a dessert it would be:


Strawberry Cheesecake Bites. Short, sweet, classic.

Read my full-length review here.

Fun Size Review: Friends (1912)


Henry B. Walthall is a slick miner. Mary Pickford is the local lady of the evening. Lionel Barrymore is Henry’s rootin’-tootin’ pal. Both guys like Mary but who will win the day? This is a short subject from D.W. Griffith extolling the virtues of male friendship. Some very fine acting from Mary.

If it were a dessert it would be:


Gold Rush Cake. There’s gold in them thar hills.

Read my full-length review here.

Fun Size Review: West of Zanzibar (1928)

West of Zanzibar, Lon Chaney, Mary Nolan, Lionel Barrymore, Warner Baxter, Tod Browning This movie is sick. I’m just getting that out of the way now. Lon Chaney stars, Tod Browning directs. Could it be any other way? Lionel Barrymore steals Chaney’s wife and breaks his back. So Chaney drags himself off to Africa where he plans his revenge for eighteen years or so. It’s a sweaty, grimy and totally un-PC. Chaney is a deranged villain but he also gives one of his most heart-breaking performances. Seek out this twisted little gem if you have the stomach for it. If it were a dessert it would be:


Bittersweet Chocolate Bourbon Ice Pop. Dark, dripping, bitter and most definitely for grown-ups. Read my full-length review.


The Bells (1926) A Silent Movie Review

Lionel Barrymore is Mathias, a kindly Alsatian innkeeper who is being crushed by debt. Unable to deny his friends loans or his loving daughter small luxuries, Mathias is on the edge of destitution. When a rich man stops briefly at the inn (with a fortune in gold on his person), Mathias drunkenly robs and murders him. All his problems are solved. Except for that little thing called a conscience…
Continue reading “The Bells (1926) A Silent Movie Review”

The New York Hat (1912) A Silent Film Review

Pastor Lionel Barrymore receives a strange mission from a parishioner (the wife of the town miser) who has recently passed away: He is to take the money she has left and buy her daughter, Mary Pickford, little luxuries that she has been denied. The Pastor starts by buying Mary a pricey hat from New York. Little does he know that this kindness will start a frenzy of gossip.

Continue reading “The New York Hat (1912) A Silent Film Review”