WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

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Avalon
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Post by Avalon »

Synnove, I absolutely LOVED Show People! Marion Davies got the toothy Swanson grin down pat! :lol:
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Synnove
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Post by Synnove »

Indeed she did! I wonder if Gloria Swanson appreciated it. :)
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charliechaplinfan
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Post by charliechaplinfan »

I'm glad you liked the film Hedvig.

I don't think Gloria would have liked it. Marion Davies apparently said about Gloria's Norma Desmond 'none of us broads was ever that wacky' (or something similar)

It is a good film. She was such a talent :D
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin
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knitwit45
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Post by knitwit45 »

Moraldo Rubini, one of our best posters, uses that line as his signature: "None of us floozies was ever that zonked!" Marion Davies after seeing Norma Desmond
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charliechaplinfan
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Post by charliechaplinfan »

I knew I'd have got it wrong. The essence was there though :D

I watched The Merry Widow a couple of nights ago. It was slightly confusing at first but it soon got going. It marks my third Von Stroheim film. I like his style. I like the opulence and grandeur, I like his attention to detail. Was he a master craftsman or did part of him enjoy annoying his superiors? Which ever it was I'm glad that he directed a few films.

It's my first viewing of Mae Murray. Although 36 at the time, she either aged remarkably well or the camera was very kind to her. She was superb in her role of Sally O'Hara who is the true love of Prince Danilo played by John Gilbert. He hasn't the courage to go against his family and Sally is talked into marriage with the principalities banker. He then dies on their wedding night. The sight of her feet proving too much perhaps.

Sally is now the Merry Widow of the title. The Crown Prince makes a play for her, Prince Danilo is enraged with her behaviour but never realises that his letter to her was destroyed. A duel ensues, an assassination. Everything works out in Von Stroheim's world.

I believe this film isn't like the opera.

I then watched Saved From The Flames. I've just finished watching the first disc. They were all thoroughly interesting to watch. My stand out ones are

THE TORSO MAN - just because I've never seen anything like this before. I didn;t know wether to be appalled by it or be thankful that he found a way to make a living with other freaks. At least he wasn;t alone. I still don't know what to make of it. I'm aware I'm looking at it with a 21st century attitude. It's quite remarkable footage.

EXCELSIOR
- An early George Melies film. It's quite obviously produced with stop and start photography but it's so fun to watch and so advanced for it's time.

JAPANESE ACROBATS
- Again tirck photography/perspectives are involved. It's so advanced for it's day and beautifully handcoloured. So relaxing to watch.

A TALION PUNISHMENT - The butterflies revenge on their hunter. Instead of being displayed in cases themselves they show a collector what it is like to be a mounted butterfly. It's very beautifully acted and danced and handcoloured. It's a magical piece of filming.

A TOUR OF L A circa 1916 - L A as it was before the movie industry moved in. It's still the town where the comedians took to the streets to film their antics. Surprising for me it's was quite a city for those days with 575,000 population. I have a real nostalgia for this time period. It's streets looked surprisingly busy with cars for the time which makes me think it was a prosperous place.

FASHION PARADE circa 1927
- glamourous ladies of the time in fashions of the time in the lovely colour film of the time.

THE FIREMAN OF THE FOLLIES - I shouldn't have watched this with my children. It is harmless by todays standards though. A fireman sees naked Follies ladies wherever he looks, my favorite when all the fireman change into ladies on the fire engine. There's nothing nudge, nudge, wink, wink about it either. I had comments off my daughter ' Look Mum boobies' My only thought was that ladies chest sizes have got larger in the intervening years.

I admit I sneaked on to the other disc to watch

KID AUTO RACES IN VENICE - My daughter who is a huge Charlie Chaplin fan looked very confused. This isn't the Charlie she knows and loves. He doesn't look the same and he certainly doesn't act the same. He ruder and a bot aggressive and nothing puts him off standing in the way of the movie camera. She wasn't even sure it was him, rather someone else made up to look like him. I think it's because he spends the whole film sneering.

It's just as interesting to see that Mack Sennett has sent his film unit to a local event, this one being car races through the suburb of Venice. It's only Chaplin's second film, he's very comfortable with the camera. At times he falls backwards but not with the grace of the Tramp pictures to come.

A real little find for me.
This film provided a rare glimpse of Josephine Baker. Her dancing hasn't aged well and at it's time it had it's detractors. She was certainly an original
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin
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MissGoddess
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Post by MissGoddess »

I watched Hangman's House (1928) and can add this to my growing list of silent Ford favorites. It's beautiful! Imagine, John Ford directing a "gothic" romantic thriller! It's set in modern day (1920s that is) Ireland, but at a creepy old Hall that is right out of Ann Radcliffe. One of the loveliest sequences is the tracking shot of the hero and heroine floating through the reeds in a dingy---the reeds of Murnau's Sunrise. And what can I say about My Vickie (Victor McLaglen)?? He was a good actor from the start, I even think I rather fancy him as the real hero of the story---which in fact Ford makes him. There is a poignantly regretful expression on his face at fade-out, another Ford hero "shut out" of a happy, normal life. I was brought forward to The Searchers and Ethan again---with the young hero who gets the girl, played by insipid Larry Kent, standing in for "Marty". It's as if Ford likes to posit the future (a youth or young couple) and the past in a more mature leading character. The decisions we make and what blight they can cause to a promising start are also everywhere in his films.

The score is my favorite of all the silents in the Ford at Fox set so far.

oh! And it was such fun spotting an achingly young John Wayne---so sweet!
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Gagman 66
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Post by Gagman 66 »

[MissGoddess,

:oops: Lovely, Dovely June Collyer, who appears in both HANGMAN'S HOUSE and FOUR SONS was a great beauty! Victor McLaglen meantime is cast in a typical tough guy role. This time a good natured Irish Hit-man with a Price on his Noggin. The restoration is excellent. The best print next to THE IRON HORSE among the Silent's in the collection.

I personally like THE SHAMROCK HANDICAP (1926), with Janet Gaynor better than I do HANGMAN'S HOUSE. To bad it was not included in the FORD AT FOX, Box set. Beautiful prints do exist!

I am still waiting for you to see FOUR SONS even if it does not have the Vintage Erno Rappee, Lew Pollack Fox Movie-tone track as it should have, it is still one of the Finest movies that I have seen! You will feel the same way too!
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MissGoddess
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Post by MissGoddess »

Hi Gagman---I did see Four Sons and I believe I wrote a bit about it at TCM. I thought it was beautiful and very moving.

I like June Collyer---she's a spirited lass and has a sweet face.

However, I can't say I agree that this was a typical Vic McLaglen role---I've certainly never seen him in anything quite so "remote"---his character never is part of any real community or family, only of the band of outsiders that makes up his regiment and the other mysterious characters, outlaws maybe, he hides out with in Ireland. He's also quite poignant at the end, when he sees the "happy couple" off and looks so regretful, as though he knows that kind of happiness can never be his because of his outlaw status.

So many interesting set ups, and settings---the attention to detail was remarkable and it looks like a movie that had a healthy budget.

I will be watching this movie repeatedly.

I loved the racing scenes---they were exciting and full of the spirit of how the little community, young and old, rich and poor, came together and had so much riding on the stakes. I'd love to see The Shamrock Handicap.
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Gagman 66
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Post by Gagman 66 »

Miss Goddess,

:) Just thought I would mention, If you like Victor McLaglen so well, I do have Raoul Walsh WHAT PRICE GLORY? (1926), with the Vintage Fox Movie-tone score! Very good print, much better than the old Critic's Choice VHS, with the degraded copy of Blackhawk Films version on it.

:o The Banter between Captain Flagg (McLaglen, and Sergeant Quirt (Edmund Lowe), is hilarious, and Delores Del Rio, well what can you say? "She's Charmaine"!

:D Plus I have a couple different versions of A GIRL IN EVERY PORT (1928), also with Louise Brooks, too!
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charliechaplinfan
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Post by charliechaplinfan »

Last night I watched Hearts Of the World. I'd seen it discussed in the Hollywood series and I'd read about it from Lillian Gish's memoirs. What intrigued me is that Griffith's was the only director to go to the front. He got some footage there of a destroyed French village and had chance to see the combat for himself.

The film that emerged was a love story set in a small town in France. When war is announced the men go off to fight leaving the women and children. The town itself is on the front line and gets destroyed and taken by the Germans. Eventually the town is retaken by the French and Americans.

Footage of the destroyed French village and the fight sequences made this Griffith film extra special. I can only imagine what contemprorary audiences would have made of the scenes. We are used to documentaries and they would have had newsreels but a film on this scale about the war had never been attempted.

I found the titles on a par with the one in Intolerance I find Griffith a bit 'preachy' and saccarhine at times but his words weren't meant for modern audiences.

A lovely film to watch. Thanks for lending Silentscreen :D
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin
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silentscreen
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Post by silentscreen »

You're welcome! It was great seeing the Gish sisters and Bobby Harron together. I have a soft spot for Bobby as he died tragically young. Never got the chance to see how he would've done without Griffith. Dorothy was adorable in this one! I liked her better than Lillian's typical idealized heroine.
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charliechaplinfan
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Post by charliechaplinfan »

Yes, I liked Dorothy's character better than Lillian's. Sometimes I feel she's been a little overshadowed by her sister, film history doesn't recognise her talents as readily as Lillian's. Dorothy did marry unlike Lillian, she was less into her career than her sister.

I like Bobby Harron too. Although he was quite young he had the abililty to play young or like in Intolerance, world weary, he seemed older in Intolerance than in Hearts Of The World.
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin
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moira finnie
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Post by moira finnie »

Man's Castle" (1933). This one is a gem. Superb!! Bravo!! In spite of the fact that the cuts the film was subjected to are noticeable, it is nevertheless a masterpiece.

The impressive chemistry between Loretta Young and Spencer Tracy is real; in their scenes together one feels the real love and attraction that must have been going between both, because they convey so much; it goes beyond acting ability, they are living their parts.

Never has Loretta been so radiant, so human, so magnificent, so honest in a role. This ranks among my three favorite Loretta films along with "Zoo in Budapest" and "Midnight Mary", all done in 1933. What a glorious year for her! And Spencer Tracy is equally flawless as Bill, the immature boy-man who falls for Loretta's character.

One of the best love stories I have seen. The ethereal cinematography is supreme. The soft focus shots of Loretta's face, especially her eyes, are dreamlike.

The supporting cast is uniformly excellent.

This film should be on DVD! ~feaito


Thanks so much for this review of Man's Castle, Fernando. As you may be aware, TCM just announced that on June 30th this Frank Borzage film will finally be shown on their network, so maybe many more of us will have a chance to see this movie.
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Synnove
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Post by Synnove »

Yes, I liked Dorothy's character better than Lillian's. Sometimes I feel she's been a little overshadowed by her sister, film history doesn't recognise her talents as readily as Lillian's. Dorothy did marry unlike Lillian, she was less into her career than her sister.

I like Bobby Harron too. Although he was quite young he had the abililty to play young or like in Intolerance, world weary, he seemed older in Intolerance than in Hearts Of The World.


Lillian Gish is so idealized in Hearts of the World. Look at the early images of her draped in a shawl, standing against a wall of flowers. It's Griffith's perfect image of beauty. It must have been love, don't you think?

On the other hand, she really gets to play the victim later in the film.

I like Hearts of the World too, because it was made at the same time as the war was going on. I prefer The Big Parade as a film, and as a depiction of the war - it's less like an epic fantasy. Still, Hearts of the World says a lot about the war in being the way it is, and it's good filmmaking from Griffith. Lillian Gish and Dorothy Gish both get a chance to shine, Lillian in her 'wedding' scene, and Dorothy throughout. Bobby Harron doesn't get as much to do as in Intolerance but he's still very likeable and a very good actor.
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charliechaplinfan
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Post by charliechaplinfan »

I prefer The Big Parade as a film. Griffith must have felt some pressure to get Hearts of The World into the cinemas at home as a piece of propaganda. Set against the pressures he must have been under it's a very interesting film.
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin
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