Theme Month! May 2021: 100 Years Ago… Films of 1921

It’s time once again for the annual centennial retrospective. 1921 was an exciting year for films and a time of transition. The twenties were not quite roaring yet but things were looking promising.

1921 was the year Rudolph Valentino helped make “sheik” a popular slang term for an attractive man. Douglas Fairbanks released his last modern motion picture for the entire decade and gave himself over entirely to swashbucklers. Charlie Chaplin fully embraced the feature film. It was the last year Hollywood was without a Code or a Hays.

I have a nice cross-section of big name star vehicles lined up but as an appetizer, here are some films of 1921 that I have already reviewed:

The Ace of Hearts features Lon Chaney as a lovelorn anarchist who is passionate about two things: explosive devices and Leatrice Joy.

Bug Vaudeville is an animated picture showcasing the imagination of Winsor McCay.

Camille is a brilliant showcase for Alla Nazimova. Rudolph Valentino plays a supporting role, a fact that disappoints some viewers. Give it a chance, it’s great.

Forbidden Fruit is a stealth remake of The Golden Chance by Cecil B. DeMille. The glass Cinderella ball scene is stunning.

The Indian Tomb is a pulpy Weimar adventure with plenty of scenery for Conrad Veidt to chew.

Miss Lulu Bett is a delicate and sensitive character study of a spinster who decides to reject her abusive family.

Tales of the 1001 Nights is a stunning fantasy that showcases the best of French and Russian filmmaking.

Three Word Brand features William S. Hart as a pair of separated twins. The Parent Trap with six-shooters.

Tol’able David is a beautiful story of a teen becoming a man.

The Wildcat is a collaboration between Ernst Lubitsch and Pola Negri and it’s a mad one!

I look forward to sharing new reviews throughout the month.


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