The Cruise of the Jasper B (1926) A Silent Film Review

Rod La Rocque takes on Fairbanks in this incredibly strange pirate spoof. Mildred Harris is an heiress on the run when it turns out that the only copy of a valuable document is written on her back. Snitz Edwards is her evil uncle and spends the movie chasing her with a sponge. And then Rod and Mildred inadvertently declare war on the United States… Yeah, it’s a strange one.
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So maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to turn our entire treasury over to two kids named “Bud” and “Fluff” Animated GIF

magic-cloak-of-oz-fine-to-be-king

The Magic Cloak of Oz has many moments that– to employ an overused word of a few years back– can be best described as random. Why is the heroine named Fluff? Why would a kingdom put her and her brother in charge of anything? They blew the royal treasury on toys, which meant they had no army when they were attacked by an army of obese soup-fanciers (like I said, random) so why were they even put in charge in the first place?

(You can read my review here.)

Anyway, Fluff is played by the underrated Mildred Harris and Bud is played by Violet MacMillan. There is also a guy in a donkey suit. Mm-hmm.

Availability: The Magic Cloak of Oz has been released in several versions. I like the one included with the 2005 DVD set of the 1939 film. It also has the other surviving silent Oz films. The Magic Cloak of Oz has a humorous organ score by John Thomas. There is also the budget Alpha release but that version has a few minutes of missing footage.

Step 1: Wear tie-dye bedsheet. Step 2: Twirl around in public. Step 3: Profit? Animated GIF

magic-cloak-of-oz-happy-happy-joy-joy-dance

I would be lying if I said that The Magic Cloak of Oz is a great movie. It’s not even really a good movie. However, it does have a certain zany charm in that everyone in it acts like a complete nutters. In this case, Mildred Harris was given a magic cloak by a fairy clad in hose. Who wouldn’t dance through the alleys under these circumstances. (You can read my review here.)

Oh, and Mildred Harris is often dismissed as just being Charlie Chaplin’s ex-wife. The fact is, she has proven to be a delightful and talented actress in every film I have seen her in. Do give her a chance.

Availability: The Magic Cloak of Oz has been released in several versions. I like the one included with the 2005 DVD set of the 1939 film. It also has the other surviving silent Oz films. The Magic Cloak of Oz has a humorous organ score by John Thomas. There is also the budget Alpha release but that version has a few minutes of missing footage.

Beyond the Border (1925) A Silent Film Review

A fun little genre mashup that is half-romantic comedy, half-western. You think it’s hard getting people to sit down for a silent movie? Honey, you ain’t seen nothing until you have tried to get them to watch a silent western. This movie is an ideal ambassador. It’s good-natured, fast-paced and leading man Harry Carey is as charming as can be.
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The Power of the Press (1928) A Silent Film Review

Douglas Fairbanks Jr. in one of his breakout hits– directed by none other than Frank Capra! Doug plays a cub reporter who is desperate for a scoop. He gets it when he manages to implicate a young lady (Jobyna Ralston) in a scandalous murder. Seeing the damage he has done to innocent Jobyna, Doug sets out to catch the real killer.

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