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
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
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”
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?
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
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”
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
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?
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
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
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
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
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.”
From the halls of Montezuma, to the shores of Tripoli... My uncle is a Marine. Well, he's not on active service, but they say a Marine is never really out, so he's technically still a Marine. He's also a Vietnam vet, and he always flies the Marine flag outside his house. So, I have a … Continue reading Ten Hut
Vampires are funny creatures in Gothic lore. They're very subjective in their looks; they can be everything from suave and debonair to repulsive and slimy, to smoldering and sparkling to just plain comical. Or all of the above. Either way, as we all know, they have fangs and they drink blood. Bela Lugosi is the … Continue reading I Vant To Be A Clone