Checkmate

Happy National Silent Film Day! There's nothing new under the sun, of course, and this year I thought I'd revisit the 1923 film, White Tiger, a Tod Browning tale of murder, mistaken identity, mayhem, and a chess-playing automaton. I couldn't make this up if I tried. The movie opens in a London suburb, where a young … Continue reading Checkmate

Paddy Lee and ‘The Patsy’

Time to celebrate Paddy... One of the last blogathons that our dear friend, Paddy Lee participated in was the Odd Or Even Blogathon the lovely Gill of Realweegiemidget Reviews and I held back in January. For those of you who missed that event, we had a coin toss decide whether our participants would review a … Continue reading Paddy Lee and ‘The Patsy’

That Crazy, Crazy Town

Here we go... William Randolph Hearst certainly wanted Marion Davies to be presented as beautifully as possible, like an ethereal creature out of a dream. Yet every time, even in the most lavish of lavish costume movies, Davies' natural comic abilities came through. In the 1925 movie, Lights Of Old Broadway, she got to do … Continue reading That Crazy, Crazy Town

The Things We Do For Love

Buster is back... We all know Buster Keaton was a versatile fellow, and he certainly knew how to bring the physical comedy. One of these is 1927's College, about an honors student who goes to great lengths to win his ladylove. Ronald (Buster Keaton) is one of the top students in his class. He has … Continue reading The Things We Do For Love

The Rest of the Movie

Happy Silent Movie Day! Anyone who's ever watched a documentary about film history, especially of MGM, has probably seen a shot of John Gilbert lunching with a group of his fellow stars. That clip comes from 1928's Show People, a fantastic Marion Davies vehicle that's beloved by film buffs and geek bait for historians. Peggy Pepper … Continue reading The Rest of the Movie

Why “Peter Pan” Might Be Your Ideal First Silent Movie

Swish, swish... Who else likes silent movies? I do. I'm no expert, but I've been dipping my toe into that pool for a few years now and it feels fine. One of my favorites is Peter Pan, which came out in 1924 and stars Betty Bronson as Peter, Mary Brian as Wendy, and Esther Ralston as Mrs. … Continue reading Why “Peter Pan” Might Be Your Ideal First Silent Movie

Five Reasons To See “The General”

Mr. Keaton is back... The General is one of Buster Keaton's most iconic films. Released in 1927, it was mostly filmed in Oregon with great attention to detail, using real Civil War-era locomotives. Keaton directed, produced, and starred in the movie, which didn't have the impact he was hoping for on its first release. The story begins … Continue reading Five Reasons To See “The General”

Is That You, Hitch?

Good evening (again)... Hitchcock had a long time to develop his trademark style. Before the taut mysteries and thrillers we all know and love, he accumulated a sizeable and assorted filmography. One of these was his 1928 British film, Champagne. It's so unlike what we think of as traditional Hitch that if anyone misses the opening … Continue reading Is That You, Hitch?

Before Errol Flynn

Remake Fever in Hollywood is definitely not a new thing, and one of the great parts about being a film blogger is finding out movies I thought were stand-alone works actually weren't. One of these is The Sea Hawk. Mentioning this title usually brings to mind Errol Flynn, but it turns out that he wasn't the … Continue reading Before Errol Flynn

Five Reasons To See “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari”

When people talk about horror or silent movies, the 1920 German expressionist masterpiece, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari inevitably comes up. There's been a lot said about it (Movies Silently and Silent-ology are two excellent examples), which I don't feel like I can add much to, but I will say this: Even people who don't normally … Continue reading Five Reasons To See “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari”

That’s the Broadway Melody

Broadway, street of a million sighs... Ah yes, The Broadway Melody. One of the movies that started it all. For MGM, it was their first all-talking, all-singing, all dancing movie that broke all the ground and made everyone sit up and take notice. So much so that it won a Best Picture Oscar in 1929. But … Continue reading That’s the Broadway Melody

Dude, Where’s My Ark?

The 1929 version of Noah's Ark is rather infamous. Directed by cinematic chameleon Michael Curtiz, its flood sequences are legendary, and there's a longstanding rumor that three extras drowned during shooting. I've been wanting to see this film for years, and when I finally got to take it in it was everything and nothing I was … Continue reading Dude, Where’s My Ark?

Throwing Pillows At Henry the Eighth

William Randolph Hearst really, really wanted Marion Davies to be the toppermost of top dramatic actresses. Yeah, he looked at this wonderful, natural comedienne and thought, "Hmmm. She must be Sarah Bernhardt. I will make her Sarah Bernhardt." Oh, Hearst tried. He tried so hard. Like in 1922's When Knighthood Was In Flower, when Davies played Mary Tudor. It's … Continue reading Throwing Pillows At Henry the Eighth

Stage To Screen: He Who Gets Slapped

Plenty of us film buffs, including me, are aware that 1924's He Who Gets Slapped was MGM's first movie. There were a few other films in production at the time of MGM's incorporation, but He Who Gets Slapped is the first movie made by MGM as a new distinct entity. What I didn't know until recently … Continue reading Stage To Screen: He Who Gets Slapped

The Farmer Takes A Wife

Here come the bride and groom... Here's our second post-wedding story in two weeks, and this time we're going silent with the 1926 film, The Canadian. I had heard of this movie but didn't know much about it, so when it came time to dive in I was pleasantly surprised. The film begins with Frank Taylor … Continue reading The Farmer Takes A Wife

Shamedown #10: The Phantom Of the Opera

Ah, 2019's next-to-last Shamedown. And another silent movie, but I'm not complaining. I like silent movies, and it is Lon Chaney, after all. If anyone would like to know what this Shamedown business is all about , please visit Cinema Shame. And now on with the show... Lots of people remember Lon Chaney, the Man … Continue reading Shamedown #10: The Phantom Of the Opera

You Say “Da,” I Say, “Nyet.”

Florence Vidor is apparently kind of an unknown quantity in film history; she's mainly remembered for her marriage to respected director King Vidor. Vidor had been instrumental in his wife's rise to fame, but in 1924 the two of them divorced and each carried on alone. One of Vidor's post-King movies was 1926's You Never Know … Continue reading You Say “Da,” I Say, “Nyet.”