WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

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feaito

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

Post by feaito »

Thanks for the information and the link Jeffrey, I'll check it later when I get home.
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charliechaplinfan
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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Post by charliechaplinfan »

I watched Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde the 1931 version, which to my mind is the best version I've seen (even though John Barrymore's version is very good). Malmoulian is fast becoming one of my favorite directors and Fredric March, quite obviously now one of my favorite actors. I like the fact that this film is so deliciously precode, there is a reason that Dr Jekyll is driven to become Mr Hyde, which I can't remember being in the later version. It's his longing for a wife and the denial of the flesh. The fact that Ivy is a sometime prostitute is not disgusied in this one and Miriam Hopkins. I've not seen her better, coquettish and seductive and then with Hyde absolutely terrified and rightfully so. Hyde in this film is the most terrifying to. I'd read that the transformation was done in one take, I'm not at all technically minded but to me it looked like the camera was stopped and started as more makeup was applied. The only minor criticism of the film is the supporting actors, Muriel and her father were terrible. I'm surprised with Rose Hobart, she's usually much better.
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phil noir
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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Post by phil noir »

charliechaplinfan wrote:I'd read that the transformation was done in one take, I'm not at all technically minded but to me it looked like the camera was stopped and started as more makeup was applied.
I'm sure I've read somewhere that Mamoulian placed colour filters over the camera lens and that the Hyde make up was already applied to March's face, but that it only registered when seen through the coloured filters. The transformation effect was created by some of the make up showing through a red filter, then more of it showing through a green and a red filter and so on.

On the other hand, it may have been that the colour filters were already over the camera lens, preventing the Hyde make up from registering; but that as the filters were removed one by one, the make up became visible.

It's one or the other! But it's a long time since I read the article!

(I think something similar was done in the 1925 version of Ben Hur for the scene in which Ramon Novarro's sister and mother were cured of the marks of leprosy.)
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MichiganJ
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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Post by MichiganJ »

You are right, Phil. As described in the documentary Universal Horror, in Ben Hur, during the sequences when Christ cures the lepers, a filter was graduated from red to blue. Red makeup was filmed through the blue filter, and as the filter revolved to the red, the makeup apparently disappeared. Jekyll uses the trick in reverse.
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charliechaplinfan
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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Post by charliechaplinfan »

OK, so you've lost me here, I'm going to have to go back and see the transformation again. I understand what you are saying regarding the colour and I do believe you but his face changes shape too. How is that explained? When he plays Hyde I'd be hard pressed to identify the actor if I didn't already know who it was, he's unrecogniseable.
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charliechaplinfan
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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Post by charliechaplinfan »

I've answered my own question by watching Universal Horror. Yes, Fredric March as Hyde wears more than coloured makeup but the transformation that takes part in one take is the alteration of his face, then he bends down and when he faces the mirror again he has the fuller, padded out face of Hyde. The one take transformation is a masterpiece of technical mastery and acting technique. It also showed John Barrymore's transformation, another amazing piece of acting, a trifle hammy but that doesn't bother me.

The documentary Universal Horror made by Photoplay productions was another hit from Kevin Brownlow. Well made, balanced and very interesting, I realised I'd seen more horror films than I'd thought, some I've loved for as long as I can remember, other`films more recent discoveries. It made me even more in awe of Boris Karloff an underrated actor in my opinion.
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Birdy
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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Post by Birdy »

I recently rewatched It Happened One Nightwith Claudette Cobert and Clark Gable. She's not one of my favorites, anyway, and those eyebrows were just too much. I kept wondering where'd she'd gotten the clothes, but she said at one point she'd pawned her watch. Really? After swimming in the ocean? Did they make waterproof watches back then? And how did her lipstick stay perfect throughout the whole movie? Okay, I might that there was a lipstick in that tiny little clutch but not much more. And how did she redo that Marcelle hairdo? No way did she have any styling product; remember? She'd lost her bag. I also did not buy the little fit she threw when Peter walked off for 10 seconds during their little farm camp-out. Really? That scared, after you dove off a yacht?

This movie always bugs me, yet there are certain things about it that I find amusing so I watch it once a year or so.
How does it rank with everyone else?

(I think it's precode - it might be on the verge. They did share a motorlodge room and pajamas.)
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charliechaplinfan
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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Post by charliechaplinfan »

It's a precode. Do you know things like that don't really bother me, I just take the whole journey as fantasy. I do know what you mean though, when you think about it the whole storyline is pretty silly but I love this film, I love Gable and I love Colbert, I wish they'd worked together again.
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Birdy
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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Post by Birdy »

I know what you mean. I overlook the nonsense on a movie I like, but I guess she gets on my nerves enough that the inconsistencies bug me on this one!
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charliechaplinfan
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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Post by charliechaplinfan »

Well, we all have performances and performers that we feel like that about. I quite like Claudette Colbert but have others I can't warm to.
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drednm
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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Post by drednm »

I found two rare 1922 silents in a film archive in Maine.

Timothy's Quest is a fine rural drama about two orphans who hop a train to Maine in search of a white house the boy has seen in a dream. Based on a novel by Kate Douglas Wiggin, the film was shot in Maine at her summer home in Hollis and contains some great footage of rural Maine. Also some fine performances here. Joseph Depew is solid as Timothy, Margaret Seddon is terrific as the housekeeper, and Marie Day is excellent as the bitter old lady with a secret.

The archive also had an English-language version of The Seventh Day, Richard Barthelmess' followup to Tol'able David and also directed by henry King. This one was filmed on located in New Harbor and Pemaquid, Maine. Barthelmess stars as a local boy who falls for a city gal when her yacht breaks down and comes into harbor for repairs. His sister also falls for a boy on the yacht but the country kids don't realize the city couple are actually engaged. Lots of local color and great use of the harbor. Louise Huff is the city gal, Anne Cornwall plays the sister. For years this was a lost film, until a Czech version was found. This was translated into English in 1995 but has remained hard to find.
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charliechaplinfan
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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Post by charliechaplinfan »

It would be nice to see the follow up to Tolable David. Hopefully one day it will see the light of day.
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drednm
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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Post by drednm »

The film has nothing at all to do with Tol'able David but it involves King and Barthelmess. Actually an actress named Patterson Dial appears in both films.
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charliechaplinfan
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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Post by charliechaplinfan »

I liked both Tol'able David and The White Sister and have liked Richard Barthelmess in everything I've seen him in.
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin
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drednm
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Re: WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Post by drednm »

I think Barthelmess was a much better actor and bigger star than people remember. For his silents, I also liked him in Shore Leave, The Drop Kick, The Enchanted Cottage, Just Suppose, Soul-Fire, The Patent Leather Kid, Scarlet Days, The Girl Who Stayed at Home, The Love Flower, Idol Dancer and of course Tol'able David, Way Down East, Broken Blossoms. I have Ranson's Folly but have never watched it since the quality is bad. I guess The Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come and The Bright Shawl both exist but I don't have them and have never seen them.
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