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WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

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feaito

Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby feaito » July 4th, 2010, 3:56 pm

I'm glad you liked "Hallelujah I'm a Bum" Alison, it's one of my recently discovered favorites.

I have just watched De Mille's "The Road to Yesterday" (1925) and I liked it very much. It tackles the subjects of past-lives, reincarnation, redemption, predestination and of course Divine Justice for all. The print I saw was blurry but watchable and the score beautiful. A very worthwhile photoplay. It's the first time I've seen Jetta Goudal and Vera Reynolds on screen and I enjoyed their performances. Joseph Schildraukt, William Boyd and Trixie Friganza also star in it.

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Gagman 66
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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby Gagman 66 » July 4th, 2010, 5:55 pm

Fernando,

:? Where did you get THE ROAD TO YESTERDAY? As far as I know the only version floating around is from Sunrise Silents. Not a great transfer, but not horrible either. And Rich might eventually come out with an improved addition. David Shepard claimed in March of 2008 that Film Preservation Associates has a 35 Millimeter Fine Grain Master print. This ties right in. I watched WHITE GOLD just recently and was blown away by Jetta Goudal. Wow what a gorgeous lady! She arguably gives one of the greatest performances in any Silent film. This definitely needs an official DVD release. I'm sure the copy I have is not full-length. I loathed the crabby old father. No Woman apparently would have been good enough for his Son. And He manipulated things in his favor as soon as George Bancroft's character drifts onto the farm. William K. Everson considered WHITE GOLD among the greatest Silent films back in the 50's. And that was before a print was actually found.


Image

Jetta Goudal






If this graphic is to large I am sorry. It has been shrunk down dramatically from what it was. I can't reduce the size anymore, where it is still readable.


Image
Last edited by Gagman 66 on July 4th, 2010, 7:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.

feaito

Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby feaito » July 4th, 2010, 7:14 pm

Jeffrey,

I rented a Boxed De Mille Set released in Spain, which includes many of his Silents. Jetta Goudal is a most appealing woman, especially as the gypsy of the Elizabethan times.

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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby MikeBSG » July 6th, 2010, 3:50 pm

I watched the Max Linder feature "Seven year's Bad luck" this morning.

It isn't as tightly constructed as either "The Kid," "Grandma's Boy" or "three Ages," but it kept me laughing for its hour-length. The mirror scene is as brilliant as they say, and there is another scene in which Max tries to get on a train without paying that is wonderful. Max has a great scene in a lion's cage as well.

The only problem with the film is that the plot is basically a clothesline on which to hang first rate gag sequences. There is no real reason for Max to go to a zoo, for instance. But, the gag sequences are terrific.

A sad note. Max does seem more gaunt and less joyful than in his pre-1914 films.

I would bet that the ending of Keaton's "Three Ages" is a spoof of the ending of "Seven year's Bad Luck."

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charliechaplinfan
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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby charliechaplinfan » July 7th, 2010, 4:18 pm

I watched Bird of Paradise, well I can see why you men like it :wink: . Seriously, I enjoyed it, part Tabu, part Tarzan and part King Kong, King Kong used the sets when it was made in 1933. Dolores Del Rio is the most beautiful of island beauties and plays her role well, although most famous for one particular scene she is very good and moving in her role as the doomed princess. Joel McCrea is equally good as the somewhat niave young boat hand who decides to stay behind on a South Sea island after falling in love with the princess after she saved him from a shark. This film stands out for it's beautiful soundtrack, composed by Max Steiner and the cinematography that is fluid and proressive for the time it was filmed. The imdb only gives it a 6, I can't imagine why it rates it so low.
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin

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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby MichiganJ » July 7th, 2010, 4:22 pm

charliechaplinfan wrote:I watched Bird of Paradise...The imdb only gives it a 6, I can't imagine why it rates it so low.

Because they've seen an edited version. (I agree, it's a fun movie!)
"Let's be independent together." Dr. Hermey DDS

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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby charliechaplinfan » July 10th, 2010, 4:08 pm

Oh, that's why :wink: Yes, it is fun.

Tonight I watched another fun movie, The Sign of the Cross. I have to give DeMille more credit than I usually would do because not only does the film look superb, there are shots in there that I don't know how he managed to get and the casting is superb. All four principles are superb, well who couldn't like Charles laughton as Nero and Claudette Colbert as the duplicitious Pompaea. Elissa Landi looks like a virginal Jean Harlow as Mercia, it does take an actor as good as Frederic March to make Marcus's conversion believeable. Along the way there are some memorable scenes, the famous milk bath, where the seductive Poppaea lounges attended by her maids and invites Vivian Tobin to join her. The chariot roaring around Rome carrying Marcus to rescue Mercia, the orgy and Marcus's house, the dance by Ancaria as the singing of the Christians gets louder and louder. All this gets topped off by the games, the gladiators and the Gauls, the pygmies versus the women, the elephants stamping on people tied to the ground, the woman tied down and hungry crocodiles are relased to feed on her, the fighters with spikes on their hands. All builds up to the entrance of the Christians to the arena to be fed to the hungry lions. The scene of the lions racing up the steps rather impressed me, I love cats but I'd be scared of those lions. The film ends rather abruptly with Marcus and Mercia going into the arena together, I suppose it had to end there and I'll have to imagine Poppaea's face as she sees her beloved being eaten by a lion.

On reading one review on the imdb, someone has said that the Christian scenes made the film dull, I found them neither dull nor preachy but quite uplifting. One heck of a precode, I'm sure they couldn't do it better today.
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin

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MichiganJ
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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby MichiganJ » July 11th, 2010, 4:19 pm

A few silents I've watched recently.

L'Argent (1928) Director Marcel L'Herbier's ambitious telling of the Zola story. The 165-minute film actually flies by and all of the performances are quite good. The sets are HUGE and the camera never seems to stop moving. The only problem is that story seems fairly basic and there doesn't appear to be much underneath. Essentially it is about two business tycoons who are at odds with one another and their efforts to manipulate the Paris stock exchange. Toss in a Linbergh-esque flight across the Atlantic, the always alluring (but underused, especially in the first half) Brigitte Helm, and those opulent sets (and oodles of extras), it's no wonder the film looks as good as it does.
Just wish there was a little more story (although, this quibble is upon reflection after watching the film. As mentioned, while watching it, I was totally engaged and it flew by.)

Steamboat Bill, Jr. (1928) The Blu-ray looks gorgeous (although not quite as good as the Blu of City Girl). The depth-of-field focus is sharp adding lots of detail, particularly during the tremendous storm sequence. The disc includes a complete alternate take of the film, which I only peaked at. Basically it is made up of different takes and there is a nice comparison between the two in the included brief "making of" documentary. The hat selection sequence, for instance, shows that the pacing is different and Buster has differing reactions to some of the hats. Interestingly, Ernest Torrence's performance is nearly identical in both versions.

Bare Knees ( 1928) A delightful Jazz Age flapper film. A town is made up of a bunch of ankle-length skirt wearing women and their stick-in-the-mud guys when visiting sister Billie (Virginia Lee Corbin) shows up with her naked knees and turns the town on its head. Billie dares giver her sister a birthday gift of lingerie (which is so sheer that it proves Victoria's secret was let out some time ago). The guys have no defense when playing the girls in softball because the girls arrive in (what was at the time) short shorts and sleeveless tops. Who can blame the guys for not being able to catch or throw when all that skin is on display. There's a nice twist in the middle of the film, which then goes along a very predictable route, but it's still an awfully fun ride.
"Let's be independent together." Dr. Hermey DDS

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Ann Harding
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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby Ann Harding » July 13th, 2010, 1:29 am

French TV broadcast a silent rarity recently. Das Spielzeug von Paris (The Toy of Paris, 1925) by Michael Curtiz. The film was restored recently by the Austrian Film Museum. This Austrian production boasts Lili Damita in the lead. It shows the rise of Célimène (L. Damita) from cabaret entertainer to music hall star. She is kept in style by a rich old man until she meet a young English man (Eric Barclay). She falls madly in love with him and decides to leave her career behind to follow him in a small town in Brittany. Unfortunately, the film is a disappointment. Curtiz was not a great director during the silent era and this film confirms my previous impression. Mind you, there are a few plot holes suggesting the film is missing some footage. Even so, the character of Célimène remains shallow to say the least. Lili Damita is very pretty (she became Curtiz's wife around that time.) but she is no actress. She likes to pose and pout, but her acting talent as a femme fatale is extremely limited. It's quite funny to see her falling in the arms of her lover in the shape of a question mark! We can rescue some rich sets and costumes, but this film doesn't rise above a fairly standard programmer.
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charliechaplinfan
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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby charliechaplinfan » July 13th, 2010, 3:26 am

It's not until years later did I realise that the first Mrs Flynn had also been married to Michael Curtiz, the men weren't friends despite making plenty pictures together, I'd always assumed that it was because of Flynn's laissez faire attitude to his work and Curtiz's personality. Perhaps some of the rancour was caused because of Flynn's high handed treatment of Lili Damita.
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin

feaito

Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby feaito » July 14th, 2010, 2:42 pm

I watched for the first time in my life the landmark Soviet film "Battleship Potemkin" (1925) -the Blu-Ray Kino DVD edition- and I was truly amazed by the film itself, the quality of the print and the wonderful Edmund Meisel score in DTS-HD Audio 5.1.

The film is indeed a masterpiece and I wan't bothered by its Propaganda aspects or its lack of warmth, because I was focused in the marvelous cinematography, art direction and Eisenstein's skilled mise-en-scene. The film is a lesson film making and its techniques; a unique achievement.

I was lucky enough to see the film for the first time in its best release to date. Kudos to KINO.

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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby MichiganJ » July 14th, 2010, 3:24 pm

feaito wrote:I watched for the first time in my life the landmark Soviet film "Battleship Potemkin" (1925) -the Blu-Ray Kino DVD edition- and I was truly amazed by the film itself, the quality of the print and the wonderful Edmund Meisel score in DTS-HD Audio 5.1.

The film is indeed a masterpiece and I wan't bothered by its Propaganda aspects or its lack of warmth, because I was focused in the marvelous cinematography, art direction and Eisenstein's skilled mise-en-scene. The film is a lesson film making and its techniques; a unique achievement.

I was lucky enough to see the film for the first time in its best release to date. Kudos to KINO.

I totally agree, and envy your first experience with this film on Blu-ray. Kino has done a first rate job . The Odessa steps sequence on Blu is so visceral it's almost hard to watch. Love the 5.1 score, too. (Who knew there was that much sub-woofer in a silent film score?)

To date, Kino has released two stellar Buster Keaton films on Blu-ray (The General and Steamboat Bill, Jr.) and Sherlock Jr. and Our Hospitality are on the way. These, with Potemkin, show that silents can look and sound absolutely amazing and I hope they sell well so that Kino and others will continue releasing them. (I'm hoping for an HD transfer of Chaney's Phantom of the Opera on Blu).

(Eureka has also released Sunrise and City Girl on region free Blu--and they are magnificent.)
"Let's be independent together." Dr. Hermey DDS

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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby charliechaplinfan » July 14th, 2010, 4:32 pm

I watched The Affairs of Cellini, one of the last precodes made starring the underrated Frederic March and Constance Bennett and the delightfully dappy Frank Morgan and the beautiful Fay Wray directed by Gregory La Cava. Considering the strength of the cast and director it does fall a little short but it is nevertheless entertaining. Frederic March is quite dashing with a beard and in period costume.
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin

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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby ChiO » July 14th, 2010, 5:33 pm

I watched for the first time in my life the landmark Soviet film "Battleship Potemkin" (1925)


The two movies that I saw as a teenager that made my jaw drop and think, "Movies can be like this!?!?!?", were CITIZEN KANE and BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN. You see those and you know that magic is possible through film.
Everyday people...that's what's wrong with the world. -- Morgan Morgan
I love movies. But don't get me wrong. I hate Hollywood. -- Orson Welles
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feaito

Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Postby feaito » July 14th, 2010, 9:53 pm

[youtube]I totally agree, and envy your first experience with this film on Blu-ray. Kino has done a first rate job . The Odessa steps sequence on Blu is so visceral it's almost hard to watch. Love the 5.1 score, too. (Who knew there was that much sub-woofer in a silent film score?)[/youtube]

Some of the scenes are incredibly hard to take and so strong. It's an amazing and timeless film. The documentary included in the Blu-Ray edition is very enlightening and thank God for those prints found in UK and Germany and for the re-construction of a masterpiece.

The two movies that I saw as a teenager that made my jaw drop and think, "Movies can be like this!?!?!?", were CITIZEN KANE and BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN. You see those and you know that magic is possible through film.


They are incredible achievements indeed ChiO. I remember that when my wife was studying Public Relations two films that were screened by one of her teachers were "Citizen Kane" and "Alexander Nevsky" and she was amazed by both. This guy hasn't seen Nevsky yet... :roll:


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