One of the persistent myths about the silent era is the notion that silent stars had funny voices and had to retire in shame.
Actually, a great many silent stars had stage experience and even if they didn’t, there is a difference between having an untrained voice and a funny voice. And some stars did stumble in their talkie debuts (the technology was pretty fussy) but dusted themselves off and did just fine. William Boyd comes to mind. High Voltage has him trying to act, speak clearly for the microphone and suppress his Oklahoma accent. Pick two. But Boyd soon found his feet and enjoyed a second stint as a star when he was cast as Hopalong Cassidy.
Because her talkie work is rare and not well-known and because she is so famous for her silent films, here are Florence Lawrence’s scenes in the 1931 Hoot Gibson western The Hard Hombre.
Do you have any silent movie star voice stories to tell? Any obscure stars whose voices you have heard? Or do you just want to talk about GARBO TALKS? Go right ahead, this is the place.
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