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WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

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Ann Harding
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Postby Ann Harding » February 5th, 2008, 3:53 am

Regarding William Haines, I also found him excellent in Show People where I discovered him. But, after watching The Smart Set, I realised he could be a completely OTT comedian when he is not guided by a great director like Vidor.... It looks as if the film you watched was a bit the same...

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charliechaplinfan
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Postby charliechaplinfan » February 5th, 2008, 5:42 pm

Yes he was very different in West Point than in Show People.

I've seen The Trial of 98 based on the Alaskan Gold Rush. The only other film I've watched about this time period is Chaplin's The Gold Rush. This film is a completely serious film about what befell the people who went looking for gold. It gives you the feeling of only seeing a glimpse of what the agony would have been for some people. Quite chilling, especially the river scene were small boats traverse the rapids. Four men lost their lives doing this scene. Very thought provoking.

Then I watched A Woman of Affairs. a marvellous cast in this film Garbo, Gilbert, Lewis Stone, Doug Fairbanks jr, Johnny Mack Brown and Dorothy Sebastien.

The film is an adaptation of a banned novel The Green Hat MGM managed to convey the story without being explicit, the meaning and innuendo is obvious anyway.

It begs the question of how the censors work. Is it OK to suggest but not to be explicit. The meaning is still conveyed.

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knitwit45
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Postby knitwit45 » February 6th, 2008, 12:07 am

My favorite Garbo movie is Woman of Affairs. In the book, as I recall, having read it several years ago, the reason for Johnny Mack Brown's suicide was that he had venereal disease, and couldn't face telling his bride. I guess the censors and the studio couldn't come up with a way around that, so they made him an embezzler. It makes much more sense that Garbo would protect his memory as v.d. was not discussed or acknowledged in any way at that time.

When she is in the hospital, and comes looking for her flowers, it just breaks my heart. I have this movie on my DVR, can't bring myself to erase it :roll:

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Gagman 66
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Postby Gagman 66 » February 6th, 2008, 12:45 am

knitwit45,

:) Is your version of A WOMAN OF AFFAIRS, the Carl Davis scored one, or the Vintage William-Axt David Mendoza Metro-tone track version? I have both of them. The Vintage track print though, does have forign translations beneath the English title-cards though.

:? It get's confusing because the print TCM here in the states generally shows is the Thames one with Carl Davis score, but the Thames credits are not given, and the William Axt name is still there. However, when they show the Vintage version on some of the international TCM's the Axt-Mendoza credits are not there, but it is that score!

:o The MGM laser-disc still has the Thames credits though, and it is the Carl Davis score. No DVD as of yet! My personal favorite of Garbo's Silent's is THE SINGLE STANDARD which also has a great Axt-Mendoza score!

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charliechaplinfan
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Postby charliechaplinfan » February 6th, 2008, 5:15 pm

I watched Suds tonight.

What an unusual movie. I marvel at Mary Pickford who didn't mind making herself look ugly. How such a beautiful woman does I, even after reading the book about how she did it, I'm still amazed.

Very Victorian in feel again with a little bit of Cinderella thrown in for good measure. Set in a London laundry, Mary's character Amanda daydreams of love with a member of the upper class but misses the boy who loves her under her nose.

My favorite character is Lavender the horse, especially when Mary rides him in her lodgings. He pulls the cart that delivers the laundry but he gets too old so he is sent to the glue factory. Thankfully Amanda rescues him in time.

Amanda leaves her daydreams behind her when her pretend beau comes back to collect his shirt. She can see how hopeless it is. She is reunited both with Lavender and the boy who loves her.

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charliechaplinfan
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Postby charliechaplinfan » February 7th, 2008, 8:28 am

This morning I watched Mantrap with Clara Bow directed by Victor Fleming. It always saddens me how Clara's films haven't had better treatment, surely there would be a market for them.

She shines in this film. She marries (unbelieveably) Ernest Torrence and goes back with him to live in the country. The live there doesn't suit her and she goes back to the town with Percy Marmont. She is unbelievably sexy in this film and shows many moments of comedy.

Her biography by David Stenn is a sad story. She wasn't given as many big stories as she should have because her films made money anyhow, the same with leading men. She was a bit of a social outcast even in Hollywood because her upbringing was poor and her behaviour sometimes odd.

In Mantrap she displays the sparkling personality and acting ability which has given her star longevity.

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knitwit45
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Re: Woman of Affairs

Postby knitwit45 » February 7th, 2008, 9:17 am

Gagman, I'm not sure about the sound track. It was shown on TCM late at night, so no intro from Mr. O. There is no listing of music credit, but it was a much more contemporary score (no organ music, etc) and it is lovely. I started the film again yesterday, but didn't have time to watch it all the way thru. Perhaps the credits are given at the end of the movie? Will check again when I dig out from the snows. :shock:

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Gagman 66
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Postby Gagman 66 » February 7th, 2008, 12:57 pm

charliechaplinfan,

:o Where did you get your copy of MANTRAP, and what does the print look like? If you got it from Prowlin' Films, their version is very poorly processed. And the scoring is rather generic Piano.

:) I have the Sunrise Silents version, but a couple months ago, I replaced the synthesized audio track, and added my own Score, of Vintage Music! The improvement is phenomenal.

:? MANTRAP is not really "Public Domain" I don't believe? Paramount probably still has very good prints. All the bootlegs that are floating around, are from 16 millimeter Reduction stock. The Sunrise Silent print is better quality, than any of the others I have seen, and is Multi-Tinted. I spent between 9 to 12 hours dubbing this score.

:roll: This picture is one of Five Silent films that I have dubbed scores for so far. The others being Mary Pickford's THE LOVE LIGHT, (1921), Victor Seastrom's CONFESSIONS OF A QUEEN (1925), with Alice Terry, Louis Stone, and Jon Bowers. Clarence Brown's SMOULDERING FIRES (1925), with Pauline Frederick, Laura La Plante, and Malcolm McGregor, and LOVE 'EM AND LEAVE "EM with Evelyn Brent, Louise Brooks, and Lawrence Gray. The last two titles are also Sunrise Silents prints.

8) I intend to dub several more Silent's when I can find the time. I have a couple three dozen others, that could certainly use up-graded scores. It's fun to do, it just takes up allot of time.

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charliechaplinfan
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Postby charliechaplinfan » February 7th, 2008, 2:27 pm

Gagman, my copy was lent me by a friend. I don't know of it's origins. Good for you for restoring silents. If only the companies would take the same care.

I watched my set of Eugeni Bauer films entitled Mad Love. They are three really distinctive films. I liked The Dying Swan the best but of the other two I liked After Death the least.

I like the visuals of the first, Twilight of a Woman's Soul, I think they contributed so much to the first film both in the real sense and in the sense of it being the last period of the Tsarist society.

The second film made the least impact although dramatic. The story was of a virtual recluse who a stage actress falls in love with. When she takes poison at the theatre one night and dies, she returns to haunt his rest disturbing him each time. As I write this though I obviously enjoyed it because I feel that I want to revisit the film and check it out again.

By the time of the The Dying Swan Bauer had really refined his craft, it is a pity he was to die so young. The story of the mute ballerina is part fairytale, part tragedy. This is the most visually breathtaking, the scenes at the Dacha(? I think that is the right way to describe it) are absolutely stunning.

Vera Karalli performs the title role so well both as a ballerina and an actress. I felt really drawn into this story.

Interestingly each one of the lead actresses looked similar, all brunette and quite angular. This might have been the fashion of the time, or what was considered beautiful then or maybe just the directors preference. The styles of clothing and household decor just added to the whole feeling of the time.

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Gagman 66
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Postby Gagman 66 » February 7th, 2008, 3:46 pm

Alison,

:) Well, I haven't really gotten into any real restoration type stuff yet. Erasing artifacts, and such, but I know that there are software programs that can do this.

:o I do have one called "Fade To Black", that is supposed to be able to Sharpen up the Image, and you can also add Tinting. But I have no idea how it works? When you addd Tinting to a Black and White Image, it will increase the file size a fair amount. Most of the Sunrise Silents prints, are already Multi-tinted to start with.

:? I just started dubbing scores a couple, two to three months ago, or so. I am still learning how to go about it. I haven't dubbed one, in several weeks. I may tackle KID BOOTS (1926), though next?

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charliechaplinfan
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Postby charliechaplinfan » February 7th, 2008, 4:16 pm

You'll have to let us know how you get on :)

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charliechaplinfan
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Postby charliechaplinfan » February 8th, 2008, 2:13 pm

I watched The Single Standard with Greta Garbo and Nils Asther. I think this is the silent that Greta looks the most alluring in, the styling of the clothes and sets are a joy to look at too. Nils and Greta certainly have chemistry but I think Nils looks a little mad in some scenes. Greta plays Arden Stuart a girl who feels constrained by the double standards that are applied to men and women, she wants the same frredoms and when Nils offers her a chance to sail to the South Seas with him she jumps at the chance. It's a very entertaining film, Greta plays a mother who ultimately realises that her only chance of happiness and peace is to stay with her husband and son, instead of returning to the oceans with Nils. .

Next I got a chance to see my first Todd Browning film The Show . I can now call myself a fan. I was dazzled by the photography that showed the lady spider and the woman with no legs amongst other freaks. John Gilbert and Renee Adoree star as fellow show performers and Lionel Barrymore is The Greek a nasty looking individual. John's character isn't all good but he finds redemption through his association with Renee. This film had a lovely restoration by TCM and a new score from a TCM composer of the year.

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charliechaplinfan
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Postby charliechaplinfan » February 10th, 2008, 3:15 pm

I watched City Lights for the twentieth time but this time I watched it with my five year old daughter. She has seen a couple of Chaplin features but I wasn't convinced she'd get all the sentiment with this film. I needn't have worried. Chaplin had the very same effect on her as he intended with his adult audience. She was moved and on the edge of her seat by the end of the film. She was so worried that he was going to go away without telling the flower girl. She understood he wouldn't want her to know it was him in that poor circumstances he was in. She was beside herself when she got hold of his hand and so happy at the end of the film. I asked her why.

It's because he'd get some new clothes, a job in the flower shop and someone to look after him for ever.

Isn't that sweet. :)

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Gagman 66
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Postby Gagman 66 » February 10th, 2008, 4:11 pm

Alison,

:) I first saw CITY LIGHTS in 1978, in a live screening at the Cinema Art's Guild. I was 12 years old at the time An unforgettable experience certainly. Truly One of the greatest, greatest, movies ever made without question! Have you seen the version where Carl Davis recreates Chaplin's original score?

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charliechaplinfan
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Postby charliechaplinfan » February 10th, 2008, 5:26 pm

Yes, that's the version. The score is amazing too. I have Charlie Chaplin music on disc.
My daughter asks me to put it on all the time. So we are quite fimilair with the score but it's interesting to see the film again when the score is etched in your mind.


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