Cecil B. DeMille’s first historical epic takes on the life of Joan of Arc. An intriguing, uneven and thoroughly entertaining spectacle, the films stars operatic soprano Geraldine Farrar as the doomed Maid of Orleans and the tragic Wallace Reid as her chief antagonist and romancer-in-chief. What’s that? The real Joan didn’t have a romancer-in-chief? La la la la, not listening!
Continue reading “Joan the Woman (1916) A Silent Film Review”
An upstart studio arrived in Hollywood and made this 1914 oater. The film is about a British gent who takes the blame for a crime and heads out west. He romances and marries a Native American but finds himself conflicted when an opportunity arises to go back home to England. The film is also notable as the directorial debut of one Cecil B. DeMille.
Continue reading “The Squaw Man (1914) A Silent Film Review”
In a noirish narrative of guilt, conscience and self-absorption, Cecil B. DeMille takes us into the head of Raymond Hatton’s embezzler. Terrified of being caught, he manages to fake his own death but the long arm of the law and his own inner voices do not let him forget his crimes.
Continue reading “The Whispering Chorus (1918) A Silent Film Review”
I love this title card. I wish I could find an excuse to say it in the real world. While making a sweeping gesture and looking dramatically at the rafters, of course.
It’s from A Romance of the Redwoods. The little fellow is Raymond Hatton and that is Mary Pickford on the far right. It’s all about stagecoach bandits and such. Mary is in a pickle because she happens to be kinda-dating the bandit in question.
Mary Pickford joins the war effort in this collaboration with director Cecil B. DeMille. One woman, two armies, oh dear. Pickford plays Angela, an American girl so patriotic that she contrived to be born on Independence Day. However, she is in favor of outsourcing her love life: her two suitors are French and German respectively. But then that pesky war starts, both men are called up to serve and Angela must choose her side.
Continue reading “The Little American (1917) A Silent Film Review”