This year, I decided to focus my attention on persuading people to watch their first silent movie or watch more if they have started viewing them already. This is your time to share! Which silents were you able to watch in January, February and March?
Also, please don’t feel bad if you weren’t able to watch any. This is meant to be cheerleading, not shaming.
And here is a little poll to get an idea how how many silents total you’ve been able to see.
I am looking forward to reading your answers!
So far this year, I’ve watched Japanese Girls at the Harbor (1933), The Three-Sided Mirror (1927), Lazybones (1925) and Faces of Children (1925).
I’ve really binged on silents lately! Just to name a few: ‘Zaza’ (finally!), ‘The Love of Sunya,’ ‘ Stark Love,’ ‘Fig Leaves,’ ‘Garden of Eden,’ ‘The Michigan Kid,’ ‘Children of Divorce,’ ‘The Sophomore,’ ‘Kid Boots,’ ‘Shoe Palace Pinkus,’ ‘Meyer from Berlin,’ ‘ It’s the Old Army Game,’ and ‘So’s Your Old Man!’
Watched the Silent Ozu Family Comedy set, consisting of I WAS BORN, BUT…, TOKYO CHORUS and PASSING FANCY, the Silent Garbo set, consisting of FLESH AND THE DEVIL, THE MYSTERIOUS LADY and THE TEMPTRESS and the ALICE HOWELL COLLECTION – a dozen hilarious shorts.
The big parade, safety last, the kid, the show (1927), the cossacks, the merry widow, monte cristo (1922), love (1927), flesh and the devil.
I think im gonna start an harold lloyd + harry langdon cycle soon !
Silent era is just so good !
Do you know if there is a netflix like for the silent movies ? Or at least classic old movies ?
There was. Filmstruck was killed by ATT, Fandor just had its plug pulled.
Sadly, none. Between college, work, and health issues, I’m pooped.
Lots of them, Fritzi, including but not limited to DER HUND VON BASKERVILLE, THE CANADIAN, your KIDNAPPED set, three or four from Marion Davies, THE JUGGERNAUT (I’m guilty of buying it from Harpodeon), three from the National Center for Jewish Film (BREAKING HOME TIES, HUNGRY HEARTS and HIS PEOPLE) and several Japanese silents (I’m glad to see them mentioned above). My older brother came over for a visit today and said he wanted to see the rest of Lon Chaney’s THE PENALTY…which we did. For a break from silents, I purchased and watched three of my favorite Edward G. Robinson comedies (THE LITTLE GIANT, THE WHOLE TOWN’S TALKING and A SLIGHT CASE OF MURDER). Enough? Will that do? 😉
Thanks for answering but I would really appreciate not attacking particular companies in the comments. My policy on grey market distributors was highlighted in a previous post and I prefer to keep my dealings with them civil. I appreciate the help!
Old Ironsides, The Sea Wolf . Planning to buy ( at any price) The Indian Tomb. I’m not waiting for my next birthday, even! I’ve recently watched the films put out to showcase the studios’ silent stars in talkies ( Show of Shows et al.)
I revisited Dr. Mabuse (1922) after more than a few years. I watched it twice, the second time with David Kalat’s terrific commentary. I also saw Monte Cristo (1922) with John Gilbert. Not a great film but an entertaining one. Gilbert was in fine form and Emmett Flynn was a more competent director than I imagined he would be, he kept the novel’s impossible plot from getting too muddled. I saw Criterion’s release of Hitchcock’s The Lodger (1927), and Valentino in Moran of the Lady Letty. I made my way through a good chunk of Pioneers: First Women Filmmakers set. My Library has the DVD version so it’s missing some of the blu-ray content. My favorite film on the set was Weber’s Sunshine Molly. She was quite good in the part, I’m sorry we only have the 40 minute fragment.
I typically watch several silents weekly, so here’s a selective list highlighting memorable or out-of-the-way titles viewed since beginning of the year:
King of the Wild Horses
Mormon Maid & Trapped by the Mormons (an afternoon double feature)
City Lights (my favorite Chaplin film & score)
Mark of Zorro & Don Q, Son of Z (another double feature)
Iron Mask (wonderful Carl Davis score)
Moulin Rouge (1928: exciting original music)
Volga Boatman (tape with its original score performed by Carli)
Wild Oranges (caught it on TCM recently, immediately ordered DVD)
Phantom of the Moulin Rouge (wild! had never seen it before)
Four Feathers (1929: rousing original music)
A Cottage on Dartmoor (sensitive piano score)
Erotikon (1929: not what you think if you haven’t seen it)
Eldorado (1921; tape with original score & tinting–but why isn’t this amazing
film on a conveniently available disc?)
The best story I have for 2019 is getting to see “Street Angel” at MoMa with my father during a trip to NYC last week. Hadn’t seen it before, and seeing it with an audience added a lot to the experience.
“Go Tell It To The Marines” enhanced with live organ accompaniment at a local theater was a memorable experience of seeing Lon Chaney in a out-of-type role as effectively as his grotesque characterizations
“Do you know if there is a netflix like for the silent movies ? Or at least classic old movies?”
Look for the Criterion Channel’s new streaming service. Starts Monday, April 8.
I find the Criterion Collection, while admirable, does tend to put forth the rather tired notion of canon with the big slapstick comedians and Asian and European art films making up the bulk of its silent titles.
Yeah, creating a canon of great world cinema, similar to the canon of great literature, has been one of Criterion’s goals for decades. I can’t complain because they offer so many great movies. But after you’ve seen the designated “canon,” you have to do your own exploring.
Flicker Alley offers streaming video on demand, on its website. Not a lot of movies, last time I looked, but what’s there is choice.
But the issue is that Criterion’s rather narrow selection of silent films doesn’t really qualify it to be the “Netflix of silent films” as a dedicated viewer can work through their offerings in a week or two.
A “Netflix of silent films” would probably get acquired by a corporation, which would shut it down for being “niche.” Sound familiar? 😉
There’s always YouTube …
Alas, YouTube is awash with pirates and poor scores. That’s why I do not provide links to content not uploaded by collectors I know personally or by archives.
Could you share those real / legal links ? Because YouTube is like à jungle to me, i dont know where exactly to look at for those quality copies.
I do whenever I review films available in that format.
I’ve seen a few, but the ones that stood out to my (courtesy of Silent Sunday Nights) were Rex Ingram’s The Magician (which was a wild ride and I enjoyed watching Paul Wegener devour the scenery) and Sadie Thompson (Gloria freaking nailed it, what an amazing performance – Lionel Barrymore came off as too sleezy from the beginning, I thought, I never thought this guy had a scrap of good intentions, which actually could have given him some nuance). Too bad about the missing footage.
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