Help Wanted: You Choose My Reviews

Every year, I like to host a month of reader requests and 2022’s event will be held in January. That means I need your assistance. Is there a silent movie you’d like to see me review? This is your chance!

You are free to request any silent films you like and second other requests. I will choose four or five titles and review them in January. It’s fun and often leads me to movies that I would not have discovered on my own.

I generally try to strike a balance between the famous and the obscure, big stars and forgotten players, Hollywood and foreign fare. In other words, I’m pretty much open to anything I haven’t reviewed yet. Go ahead and leave a comment with your choice(s) and thanks in advance! Here’s to another great event.

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22 Comments

  1. olivernutherwun

    I guess one of the most obvious omissions has to be Abel Gance’s Napoleon, a film that appears to contain every film technique and approach known to film, all in one place (bar 3D but according to Kevin Brownlow Gance looked into it!), and all superbly done. The only fault usually raised is in regard to the script and attitude taken towards the title character (although KB’s account of what was supposed to happen in sequels that never eventuated softens that criticism considerably).

    I think it would make for an interesting review.

  2. Overseas Visitor

    I second Napoleon or other Gance’s films.

    Some other ideas:

    -A Santanotte or something else by Elvira Notari if you want women directors

    -Laila if you want extreme weather

    -The Goddess if you want a new major culture to your review collection

    -The Covered Wagon since I realized none of the movies above is American, but Americana is very interesting, too

  3. JIm

    The Red Turtle (2016)– an animated feature film by Studio Ghibli with no dialogue, which is maybe close enough to a silent film.
    Dante’s Inferno (1911)– I think the oldest surviving feature film, and quite a spectacle.

  4. Phil McDonnell

    Fritzi, thanks to your Twittered link to this year’s Stummfilmtage in Bonn, I got to see Karin Swanstrom’s 1926 “light summer film story,” The Girl in Tails.
    Would love to know what you think of it!

  5. Arthur Dupont

    I would be very interested in your take on Robert Flaherty’s movies, and especially “Man of Aran” which is my favorite of the lot. But any of them is worth reviewing really 😀
    Although, there are some sound effects and gibberish dialogue spread throughout, so maybe not entirely a silent?

  6. Steven Hill

    Perhaps some of the surviving Bebe Daniels starring features, such as DUCKS AND DRAKES and MISS BLUEBEARD? The later film co-stars Raymond Griffith, so you get two underrated and nearly forgotten stars for the price of one admission! I’ll also put in a vote for Wallace Reid’s THE ROARING ROAD and EXCUSE MY DUST; we screened these two films back-to-back a few years ago, and it was like watching part one and part two of the same movie–so much fun!

  7. Jeff O'Connell

    Hi Fritzi! Again, MAJOR appreciation for your blog! Being a silent film nerd since childhood, I have enjoyed your reviews for years, and appreciate both your giddy enthusiasm and detailed scholarship with every new essay. 🙂

    Speaking of Abel Gance’s oeuvre, I will vote for “La Folie du Docteur Tube” (1915), which not only features a pre-Napoleonic Albert Dieudonné, a wacky drugged-out Conehead scientist (I guess they really all are from France…), and a special guest appearance by Gary Coleman, star of TV’s “Diff’rent Strokes.”

    Consider it the spiritual Gallic cousin of “The Mystery Of The Leaping Fish,” but with fisheye lenses.

    Also have a few other review ideas kicking around….

    1. olivernutherwun

      Jeff C’s excellent suggestion re La Folie du Docteur Tube could be part of a longer piece looking at silent cinema films with a focus on drug/alcohol use in general, whether that be for comic, surreal or dramatic effect. There were a few of them…

      …although I also like the idea of 2016’s The Red Turtle, if only to see if Fritzi would watch anime…. 😉

  8. Charlotte

    Hi,
    I’d recommend something by Evgeny Bauer. My favourite is currently Twilight of a Woman’s Soul (1913) but the Dying Swan (1917) might have more to write about. His films are absolutely beautiful.

  9. Isabela

    I would love to see a review of SALOMÉ starring Alla Nazimova! It was my first experience with Nazimova, and I just fell in love with its delightful strangeness. I’d love to see your take on it.

  10. John

    I love that you let fans give suggestions for your wonderful blog. I wanted to suggest Beyond the Rocks, which I’m not a big fan of, but has an interesting history as it was lost for many years (I think Gloria Swanson even wrote in her autobiography she hoped the movie could be found). Mary Queen of Tots (which has some lovely trick photography, if I remember correctly). Ich möchte kein Mann sein/I Don’t Want To Be A Man, an early-ish Lubitsch which is remarkably free when it comes to sexuality (as, IIRC, the leading man has little to no hesitation when he thinks he is romantically into another man), The Clinging Vine, or one of the Charles Farrell/Janet Gaynor silent films (maybe Sunrise, since it’s so well known, or Four Devils, as there is so much intrigue surrounding it?).

  11. olivernutherwun

    Just been reading your excellent review of The Cabinet of Dr Caligari, which included the line, ‘The film creates an off-kilter world and dedicates itself to it’ – which reminded me of another film that does that (in spades) and might be ready for a MS review – Von morgens bis mitternachts/From Morn to Midnight (1920).

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