We have entered the second month of 2016 and it’s a leap year! If I had been smarter, I would have compiled a list of silent films in which a woman proposes to a man but I wasn’t. However, I think you will like what I have in store.
This month is all about children’s literature adapted for the silent screen. Movies were very much a family affair and studios were more than happy to cater to the public’s demand for charming, innocent pictures. This demand waxed and waned over the years, of course, but there is a large and interesting selection of silent films available. I had a very hard time choosing, believe me!
As an appetizer, here is a list of the silent films I have already reviewed that are based on children’s books. Enjoy!
Captain January (1924) | Baby Peggy and Hobart Bosworth are an undeniably cute duo in this tale of an orphan and the salty lighthouse keeper who adopts her.
Cinderella (1914) | Mary Pickford is the famous party crasher with the loose slippers. It co-stars her then-husband, who certainly was not making her real life a fairy tale.
Daddy Long Legs (1919) | Pickford excels in the story of Judy, a college girl with a mysterious benefactor. The best version of an oft-filmed tale.
Ella Cinders (1926) | Colleen Moore is Cinderella updated for the 1920s, based on a comic strip of the same name. Jazzy but also maintains its innocence.
The Magic Cloak of Oz (1914) | An Oz film overseen by the original author, L. Frank Baum? Yes, indeed. The result is a bit… well… um…
Peck’s Bad Boy (1921) | Jackie Coogan plays the naughty child of the title. Well, naughty is an understatement. I prefer to refer to him as the spawn of Satan.
Snow White (1916) | Marguerite Clark plays the sleepy heroine of this famous fairy tale. A very rare chance to see the actress who rivaled Mary Pickford in popularity.
The Wizard of Oz (1925) | Considered by some to be the worst silent film ever made, this ill-conceived Oz film features jailbait Dorothy, racist stereotypes and a projectile vomiting duck.
A surprisingly faithful adaptation of the classic tale.
The merry old land of Oz finally makes it to the big screen!
How much fantasy and whimsy is too much fantasy and whimsy?
It’s not a typo, it’s Colleen Moore’s earliest surviving starring role!