If you asked me to pick just one movie that perfectly captured the spirit of romanticized rural America, it would be this one. Richard Barthelmess gives the performance of a lifetime as a gentle lad who faces a coldly brutal world and is forced to grow up overnight.Continue reading “Fun Size Review: Tol’able David (1921)”
A U.S. Army lieutenant stationed at a frontier fort decides to battle his boredom constructively by holding up the stagecoach for a giggle. Things take a serious turn when the stage is held up for real. That’ll teach him.Continue reading “Ranson’s Folly (1926) A Silent Film Review”
Richard Barthelmess plays a shattered WWI veteran who tries to bury himself in the country. He finds unexpected love when a marriage of convenience turns into a love match, thanks to that enchanted cottage of the title.
Richard Barthelmess plays Oliver Bashforth, a veteran of the First World War whose body was mangled beyond repair in the conflict. Trying to escape his overbearing and insensitive family, he takes a cottage in the country. In order to create a further buffer, he enters into a marriage of convenience with a homely local woman. But the cottage seems to have something magical about it and soon love and healing are in the air.
I will also be reviewing the 1945 remake starring Robert Young and Dorothy McGuire. Click here to skip to the talkie.
Continue reading “The Enchanted Cottage (1924) A Silent Film Review”
Tol’able David is mostly remembered today for being the movie shown as The Tingler strikes. However, it would be a huge mistake to ignore this classic slice of Americana. It has sweetness, family, humor and tragedy in abundance but the set piece of the film is the climactic fight between Richard Barthelmess, a teenage mailman, and Ernest Torrence’s psychotic hillbilly.
Snow-skinned princesses and dwarfs combine forces once more in the straightforward version of the classic fairy tale. 1910’s favorite Marguerite Clark is the title character, Creighton Hale is the prince and a very young Richard Barthelmess makes an appearance as one of the evil queen’s disguises. Yes, really.
Continue reading “Snow White (1916) A Silent Film Review”
A South Seas vehicle for flapper-in-the-making Clarine Seymour, who died soon after filming was completed. D.W. Griffith makes the most of his scenery and poses some interesting religious and ethical questions but nothing really pays off. Too many reused elements from his earlier films and about 30 minutes too long. See it for the lively Seymour and an uncharacteristically dark turn from Richard Barthelmess.
If it were a dessert it would be:
Pineapple Upside-Down Mini Cakes. Cute but a whole lot of canned goods involved.
Click here to read my full-length review.
Director D.W. Griffith took a creaky melodrama and… kept it creaky! Lillian Gish is used and tossed aside by a rich creep. She stumbles onto Richard Barthelmess’s farm, where the whole family embraces her with open arms. Then said rich creep shows up. Works surprisingly well thanks to great work from Gish and Barthelmess, as well as one of Griffth’s very best Races to the Rescue™… On Ice! (On tour this winter!)
White Almond Flower (Clarine Seymour) is a flapper-ish island girl who just can’t choose between a sickly missionary (Creighton Hale) and an atheist beach bum (Richard Barthelmess). Will WAF be “civilized” or will she be free to continue her moonlight idolatry? D.W. Griffith directs this tale of religion, the nature of civilization and shimmy-shimmy shakes.
Continue reading “The Idol Dancer (1920) A Silent Film Review”
Director D.W. Griffith attempts to showcase his protegee, Carol Dempster, in this ocean-themed crime drama. An accused murderer is hiding out on a South Sea island with his daughter. The long arm of the law is closing in. How far will she go to make sure that her dear old dad stays free?
Richard Barthelmess is David, a country boy whose one goal in life is to be considered a man, to prove himself worthy of being allowed into the grown-ups club. When tragedy strikes his family, David finds himself growing up faster than even he had ever wanted.
Continue reading “Tol’able David (1921) A Silent Film Review”
Director D.W. Griffith dives back into country melodrama with this adaptation of a hoary stage smash. Lillian Gish plays Anna, a country girl seduced and abandoned by a rich cad. The resulting baby dies and Anna is alone in the world. She meets the kindly Bartlett family and it seems that her life is taking a turn for the better… that is until her past is exposed.