What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2017]

Open, general discussion of silent films, personalities and history.
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Re: What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2017]

PostMon Jul 03, 2017 7:02 pm

earlytalkiebuffRob wrote:Francis X Bushman is probably the biggest name in MIDNIGHT FACES (1926), which seems to be a very early spoof of the 'old dark house' sub-genre, coming out in the same year as THE BAT, and preceding Paul Leni's THE CAT AND THE CANARY by a year. Bushman plays the heir to a gloomy Florida estate, who has to live in the place in order to inherit. Various stock characters appear within minutes, such as a lurking Chinaman (to use the contemporary expression), a trio of sinister servants (one being in a wheelchair), the terrified black manservant, a couple of unlikely-looking cops, and a mysterious figure who is mistaken for some smoke. Add a damsel in distress, clutching hands and the odd inconsistency / seeming inconsistency [can't explain without spoilers], and you have a rather mixed film which only works in fits and starts, managing to wear out its welcome before the brief running time (53m) is done.


And it isn't even Bushman - it is "Francis X Bushman Jr" (aka Ralph Bushman) who had looks but little of his fathers charisma. He's remembered (if at all) for playing a nasty college student in BROWN OF HARVARD
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Re: What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2017]

PostMon Jul 03, 2017 9:22 pm

I've been thinking lately of the quote about classic Hollywood movies being "a full meal" which I first saw in this thread.

Just finished watching When Knighthood Was In Flower and it is a full meal picture, a grand, handsomely made, not quite tongue in cheek but definitely a twinkle in the eye adventure yarn, and a lot of fun. Marion Davies is the real life Mary Tudor, sister of Henry VIII, who really was married off to the king of France for a bit (Louis XII, though he is played here very much like Louis XI in things like The Beloved Rogue and If I Were King, wizened and hunched over, if not quite as crafty as Basil Rathbone), and eventually had a happy ending with Charles Brandon, 1st Duke of Suffolk. (I trust nothing here is really much of a spoiler.) The adventure yarn is built on the bare bones of that history.

It's a fun part for Davies, who is very much aware that she has little power over her fate as a sibling of a powerful king, yet uses every bit of it she can for her ends—and she herself offers a full meal, playing everything from spunky humor to tears, and even brandishing a sword while disguised as a boy. Forrest Stanley is all right as Brandon, at least he and sidekick Ernest Glendinning buckle swashes well enough in the fight scenes which come along regularly, but the other most notable performers are Lyn Harding— who had a bit of a line in Sherlock Holmes villains in the 1930s— as Henry, looking like a china figurine of the king with his black-dot eyes, and William Powell, in his second film, as Louis' lecherous heir.

Library of Congress did a transfer of the road show version of the film they have, and Ben Model scored it as well as producing this video edition, funded via Kickstarter (many NitrateVillains recognizable among the names credited at the end). How does it look? It looks GREAT, as nice as any movie of its vintage (1922) I can think of. Sharp image that fully conveys the rich detail of its expensive settings, good use of tints and a smidgen of reconstructed Handschlegel process color at the end. The sets are really impressive, and there's a little bit of similarity to a much later Davies film, The Red Mill, in the way it suggests a really big playset for action that is more humorous than you might expect at this epic scale. The score, done on a simulated theater organ, has the right sprightly tone that says not to take it all too seriously.

The first and really only place I ever heard about this title was in Pauline Kael's essay Raising Kane; she tosses it and Beverly of Graustark off as examples of the kind of expensive costume thing Papa Hearst loved to see Marion in, which was rather pompous stuff next to the less formal comedies she wanted to do. Well, I'm all for her comedies, but there's nothing pompous about this spry, cheery adventure tale, and nearly as far from Kael's essay as she was from this film, we finally get to see that it's as much fun as anything she did.
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Re: What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2017]

PostTue Jul 04, 2017 12:20 am

FrankFay wrote:
earlytalkiebuffRob wrote:Francis X Bushman is probably the biggest name in MIDNIGHT FACES (1926), which seems to be a very early spoof of the 'old dark house' sub-genre, coming out in the same year as THE BAT, and preceding Paul Leni's THE CAT AND THE CANARY by a year. Bushman plays the heir to a gloomy Florida estate, who has to live in the place in order to inherit. Various stock characters appear within minutes, such as a lurking Chinaman (to use the contemporary expression), a trio of sinister servants (one being in a wheelchair), the terrified black manservant, a couple of unlikely-looking cops, and a mysterious figure who is mistaken for some smoke. Add a damsel in distress, clutching hands and the odd inconsistency / seeming inconsistency [can't explain without spoilers], and you have a rather mixed film which only works in fits and starts, managing to wear out its welcome before the brief running time (53m) is done.


And it isn't even Bushman - it is "Francis X Bushman Jr" (aka Ralph Bushman) who had looks but little of his fathers charisma. He's remembered (if at all) for playing a nasty college student in BROWN OF HARVARD


Oops, apologies there! Have seen few of Bushman's films from this period, hence the mistake...
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Re: What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2017]

PostTue Jul 04, 2017 5:20 am

THREE WOMEN -- at NY's Film Forum, a screening of the Lubitsch film. I can't say I found much to admire or even particularly like in this lifeless little mellerdrammer, it feels more like DeMille than Lubitsch and not in good ways. The plot is nothing special: middle-aged woman is taken in by fortune hunter who then turns his attention to her daughter and I dare you to stay awake. The print was from the George Eastman House, and had very strange intertitles that looked typewritten, with no studio logo or original appearing titles. It eventually became clear that the Eastman House print was taken from a French print of the film when a couple of French language intertitles made it onscreen. Maybe something was lost in translation, something was certainly missing, and not just the famed Lubitsch Touch. The film only really shows us two women, the mother and her daughter. I can't have been the only person in yesterday's audience to wonder who the Third Woman was.
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Re: What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2017]

PostTue Jul 04, 2017 9:03 am

A minor comedy from 1927 is Rubber Tires in which Bessie Love and her family trek across the country for a new start in California where they have a house about to be taken for back taxes. Seems Bessie has bought an old junker that turns out to be the sought-after #1 car from an automaker now willing to give $10,000 for its retrieval. The junkman gives chase and so does Bessie's maybe boyfriend (Harrison Ford). Bessie's family includes parents (May Robson, Erwin Connelly) and kid brother (Junior Coghlan). Along the way they also pick up a "he-beauty contest" winner (John Patrick) en route to Hollywood if only to give Ford a little competition. Film is from the DeMille Production Company and was directed by actor Alan Hale. Pretty mild but not bad either.
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Re: What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2017]

PostTue Jul 04, 2017 9:11 am

drednm wrote:A minor comedy from 1927 is Rubber Tires in which Bessie Love and her family trek across the country for a new start in California where they have a house about to be taken for back taxes. Seems Bessie has bought an old junker that turns out to be the sought-after #1 car from an automaker now willing to give $10,000 for its retrieval. The junkman gives chase and so does Bessie's maybe boyfriend (Harrison Ford). Bessie's family includes parents (May Robson, Erwin Connelly) and kid brother (Junior Coghlan). Along the way they also pick up a "he-beauty contest" winner (John Patrick) en route to Hollywood if only to give Ford a little competition. Film is from the DeMille Production Company and was directed by actor Alan Hale. Pretty mild but not bad either.



How did Miss Robson -- one of my favorite character actors from the 1930s -- impress you in the silent?

Bob
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Re: What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2017]

PostTue Jul 04, 2017 9:47 am

boblipton wrote:
drednm wrote:A minor comedy from 1927 is Rubber Tires in which Bessie Love and her family trek across the country for a new start in California where they have a house about to be taken for back taxes. Seems Bessie has bought an old junker that turns out to be the sought-after #1 car from an automaker now willing to give $10,000 for its retrieval. The junkman gives chase and so does Bessie's maybe boyfriend (Harrison Ford). Bessie's family includes parents (May Robson, Erwin Connelly) and kid brother (Junior Coghlan). Along the way they also pick up a "he-beauty contest" winner (John Patrick) en route to Hollywood if only to give Ford a little competition. Film is from the DeMille Production Company and was directed by actor Alan Hale. Pretty mild but not bad either.



How did MissRobson -- one of my favorite character actors from the 1930s -- impress you in the silent?

Bob


All the same gestures. You could "hear" her voice. She didn't really get much to do. She's one of my faves, too. She was just about Meryl Streep's age when she made this one.
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Re: What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2017]

PostTue Jul 04, 2017 10:17 am

I saw Rubber Tires some years ago at Cinesation and although there's no question that it's a minor situation comedy, I totally enjoyed the depiction of cross-country travel back then. A good example of how a silent can be about more for us now than it knew at the time.
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Re: What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2017]

PostTue Jul 04, 2017 10:49 am

Mike Gebert wrote:I saw Rubber Tires some years ago at Cinesation and although there's no question that it's a minor situation comedy, I totally enjoyed the depiction of cross-country travel back then. A good example of how a silent can be about more for us now than it knew at the time.


Old reviews state it was filmed in California, especially Santa Cruz. The New York skyline shot is probably stock footage. Otherwise, I don't recall any specific cross-country locations being called out. But the film (and many silent films do) does give us a look at rural American, old cars, architecture, and in this one the "auto camps" that dotted the country in the pre-motel chain days. One of 9 films directed by Alan Hale.
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Re: What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2017]

PostTue Jul 04, 2017 10:53 am

Roscoe wrote:THREE WOMEN -- at NY's Film Forum, a screening of the Lubitsch film. I can't say I found much to admire or even particularly like in this lifeless little mellerdrammer, it feels more like DeMille than Lubitsch and not in good ways. The plot is nothing special: middle-aged woman is taken in by fortune hunter who then turns his attention to her daughter and I dare you to stay awake. The print was from the George Eastman House, and had very strange intertitles that looked typewritten, with no studio logo or original appearing titles. It eventually became clear that the Eastman House print was taken from a French print of the film when a couple of French language intertitles made it onscreen. Maybe something was lost in translation, something was certainly missing, and not just the famed Lubitsch Touch. The film only really shows us two women, the mother and her daughter. I can't have been the only person in yesterday's audience to wonder who the Third Woman was.


Marie Prevost, though she doesn't really have enough to do to justify the title. I did quite enjoy this movie, but i always love Pauline Frederick.

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Re: What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2017]

PostTue Jul 04, 2017 11:41 am

greta de groat wrote:...but i always love Pauline Frederick.greta

Imagine that!
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Re: What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2017]

PostTue Jul 04, 2017 11:43 am

boblipton wrote:
drednm wrote:A minor comedy from 1927 is Rubber Tires in which Bessie Love and her family trek across the country for a new start in California where they have a house about to be taken for back taxes. Seems Bessie has bought an old junker that turns out to be the sought-after #1 car from an automaker now willing to give $10,000 for its retrieval. The junkman gives chase and so does Bessie's maybe boyfriend (Harrison Ford). Bessie's family includes parents (May Robson, Erwin Connelly) and kid brother (Junior Coghlan). Along the way they also pick up a "he-beauty contest" winner (John Patrick) en route to Hollywood if only to give Ford a little competition. Film is from the DeMille Production Company and was directed by actor Alan Hale. Pretty mild but not bad either.



How did Miss Robson -- one of my favorite character actors from the 1930s -- impress you in the silent?

Bob


The only silent I've seen her in is TURKISH DELIGHT - also a De Mille production. It is a harem comedy & she spends much time veiled, but those eyes of her burn with indignation. I think the only think that kept her from being in more silent pictures was being busy on the stage.
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Re: What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2017]

PostTue Jul 04, 2017 11:50 am

FrankFay wrote:
boblipton wrote:
drednm wrote:A minor comedy from 1927 is Rubber Tires in which Bessie Love and her family trek across the country for a new start in California where they have a house about to be taken for back taxes. Seems Bessie has bought an old junker that turns out to be the sought-after #1 car from an automaker now willing to give $10,000 for its retrieval. The junkman gives chase and so does Bessie's maybe boyfriend (Harrison Ford). Bessie's family includes parents (May Robson, Erwin Connelly) and kid brother (Junior Coghlan). Along the way they also pick up a "he-beauty contest" winner (John Patrick) en route to Hollywood if only to give Ford a little competition. Film is from the DeMille Production Company and was directed by actor Alan Hale. Pretty mild but not bad either.



How did Miss Robson -- one of my favorite character actors from the 1930s -- impress you in the silent?

Bob


The only silent I've seen her in is TURKISH DELIGHT - also a De Mille production. It is a harem comedy & she spends much time veiled, but those eyes of her burn with indignation. I think the only think that kept her from being in more silent pictures was being busy on the stage.


In Moss Hart's wonderful memoir ACT ONE, he mentions May Robson, who even in her 60s, was famous among theater folk for her endless barnstorming across the country in various plays. She has many Broadway credits, but only two after 1910.
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Re: What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2017]

PostTue Jul 04, 2017 12:13 pm

Old reviews state it was filmed in California, especially Santa Cruz. The New York skyline shot is probably stock footage. Otherwise, I don't recall any specific cross-country locations being called out. But the film (and many silent films do) does give us a look at rural American, old cars, architecture, and in this one the "auto camps" that dotted the country in the pre-motel chain days.


Exactly-- early auto culture, not specific locations, is what it shows well. Any movie back then in which the stars visit the Grand Canyon or Yosemite or whatever is probably going to be via rear projection, anyway.
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Re: What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2017]

PostTue Jul 04, 2017 12:21 pm

I think genuine rear-screen didn't come in until the early Talkie era, with better stock and projection possibilities?
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Re: What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2017]

PostTue Jul 04, 2017 12:53 pm

drednm wrote:

How did Miss Robson -- one of my favorite character actors from the 1930s -- impress you in the silent?

Bob


The only silent I've seen her in is TURKISH DELIGHT - also a De Mille production. It is a harem comedy & she spends much time veiled, but those eyes of her burn with indignation. I think the only think that kept her from being in more silent pictures was being busy on the stage.[/quote]

In Moss Hart's wonderful memoir ACT ONE, he mentions May Robson, who even in her 60s, was famous among theater folk for her endless barnstorming across the country in various plays. She has many Broadway credits, but only two after 1910.[/quote]

Oh- I forgot- she's the prison matron in CHICAGO- she does nicely but it isn't all that much of a part- not at all what the musical made of it.
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Re: What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2017]

PostTue Jul 04, 2017 12:55 pm

FrankFay wrote:
drednm wrote:

How did Miss Robson -- one of my favorite character actors from the 1930s -- impress you in the silent?

Bob


The only silent I've seen her in is TURKISH DELIGHT - also a De Mille production. It is a harem comedy & she spends much time veiled, but those eyes of her burn with indignation. I think the only think that kept her from being in more silent pictures was being busy on the stage.


In Moss Hart's wonderful memoir ACT ONE, he mentions May Robson, who even in her 60s, was famous among theater folk for her endless barnstorming across the country in various plays. She has many Broadway credits, but only two after 1910.[/quote]

Oh- I forgot- she's the prison matron in CHICAGO- she does nicely but it isn't all that much of a part- not at all what the musical made of it.
She's also in KING OF KINGS but I can't recall anything about her performance. Most probably she turns up in other De Mille productions- seems as if she was in the stock company, like Ethel Wales.

[/quote]
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Re: What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2017]

PostTue Jul 04, 2017 1:59 pm

The disc of Hall Room boys comedies just showed up, and I will start going through those shortly --I've enjoyed the comedies Sid Smith made with Jimmy Parrott and expect to find these amusing. Tguinan generously included a separate dvd of Boobley's Baby. That's a Mr. & Mrs. Sidney Drew comedy I first saw in July of '06 -- I think it may have been the first Slapsticon I attended. As I wrote at the time, it's about how Mr. Sidney Drew is tired of not getting a seat on the trolley, so he passes off a doll as a baby. This lets him do his wonderful stage business, alternately treating it as a baby and then as an disregarded object. Mrs. Sidney Drew is a fellow passenger/stenographer whom he tries to court. There were a couple of minutes bubbled out of the print.

Well, I've just seen the transfer of the print recovered from Britain, and it contains a number of bright gags, including the ending, in a nicely tinted version. It's a trifle softer-looking than I'd like -- we're never satisfied, are we? -- but it's wonderful to see a complete copy. My thanks, tguinan, and let's hope it becomes more generally available.

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Re: What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2017]

PostTue Jul 04, 2017 2:43 pm

boblipton wrote:The disc of Hall Room boys comedies just showed up, and I will start going through those shortly --I've enjoyed the comedies Sid Smith made with Jimmy Parrott and expect to find these amusing.



I wonder if anyone in the present generation would know what a Hall Room was? It was a cheap bedroom apartment that had no window or any outside light or ventilation except the door and the transom over it. That was the joke of the source comic strip- the boys have no money and are trying to keep that fact hidden. https://newspapercomicstripsblog.files. ... allr01.jpg
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Re: What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2017]

PostTue Jul 04, 2017 2:47 pm

FrankFay wrote:
boblipton wrote:The disc of Hall Room boys comedies just showed up, and I will start going through those shortly --I've enjoyed the comedies Sid Smith made with Jimmy Parrott and expect to find these amusing.



I wonder if anyone in the present generation would know what a Hall Room was? It was a cheap bedroom apartment that had no window or any outside light or ventilation except the door and the transom over it. That was the joke of the source comic strip- the boys have no money and are trying to keep that fact hidden. https://newspapercomicstripsblog.files. ... allr01.jpg" target="_blank



Even the Old Law tenements in New York (before the Triangle Fire) required windows in every room -- including closets.

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Re: What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2017]

PostTue Jul 04, 2017 5:00 pm

boblipton wrote:
FrankFay wrote:
boblipton wrote:The disc of Hall Room boys comedies just showed up, and I will start going through those shortly --I've enjoyed the comedies Sid Smith made with Jimmy Parrott and expect to find these amusing.



I wonder if anyone in the present generation would know what a Hall Room was? It was a cheap bedroom apartment that had no window or any outside light or ventilation except the door and the transom over it. That was the joke of the source comic strip- the boys have no money and are trying to keep that fact hidden. https://newspapercomicstripsblog.files. ... allr01.jpg" target="_blank" target="_blank



Even the Old Law tenements in New York (before the Triangle Fire) required windows in every room -- including closets.

Bob


And in this case the window was the transom. Yes I could be wrong, but the laws for transient housing may have been different- a lot of the places were technically "Hotels"
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Re: What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2017]

PostTue Jul 04, 2017 6:11 pm

What is one to make of Love Among the Ruins (2016)? Is it a homage to silent films, like The Artist? A satire of the academic interest in such things? Certainly, when I saw Serge Bromberg on screen, telling the tale like one of those fantastic stories of his that you can't believe -- and then he pulls out the slide of the shattered color print of A Trip to the Moon which he has spent five years assembling like a jigsaw puzzle....

I just don't know. My understanding of Italian cinema in this period is very sketchy; when this looks old-fashioned, is this a deliberate choice of the film makers to reflect the story that this was made by two first-time film makers with no connections to the industry? I watched this mockumentary and ... how do I fit this into my poor understanding of Italian cinema?

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The King of the Circus [1925]

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Re: What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2017]

PostWed Jul 05, 2017 9:01 am

Nitratevillain tguinan has issued a dvd of fifteen Pathe cutdowns of the Hall Room Boys comedies in a nicely produced set with a handsome booklet which discusses the series origins as a comic strip, moving into a stage act and finally a movie series. The cutdowns are listed under the names they were offered to the public for home viewing. I would like to know the titles under which they were originally released. I have attempted to identify them by the expedient of watching them and guessing which of the titles listed on the IMDb best fits. Perhaps some one more capable than I can do better.

Cowboy Comedy appears to be a version of Taming the West (1919), cut down for the Pathe show-at-home market. Percy (Edward Flanagan) and Ferdie (Neely Edwards) buy themselves a couple of cowboy suits, then head out west. They flirt with the pretty bar maids, knock out the local banditos with golf balls and play some poker. It's slight, low-key and amusing.

Flanagan's movie career would peter out in a couple of year; he would die in 1925. Edwards' career would prove more more vigorous. He would leave the series, star at Universal as "Nervy Ned" in a series of short comedies, then move up to features, eventually playing the comic dancer in the 1929 version of Showboat. He would sink into bit parts in the talkies, but keep on working through 1956's The Solid Gold Cadillac. He died in 1965.

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Re: What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2017]

PostWed Jul 05, 2017 9:10 am

I think genuine rear-screen didn't come in until the early Talkie era, with better stock and projection possibilities?


Well, there's plenty of it just six years later in Mr. Skitch with Will Rogers, which is close enough to be the same "back then" to me. The result is lamer than Rubber Tires to me, for pretending to show what it doesn't.
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Re: What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2017]

PostThu Jul 06, 2017 7:58 pm

I'm watching The White Sister on TCM now. 1923. Lillian Gish, Ronald Coleman, Charles Lane. Beautiful music.
Orchestra. Well scored. Great atmosphere, nice tints.

On next, at 10:30 is Winning of Barbara Worth. 1926. Also with Ronald Coleman and Charles Lane.
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Re: What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2017]

PostFri Jul 07, 2017 7:09 pm

In the distant future year of 1950...

That doesn't make any sense, does it? Ok. It's 1924: little Elmer Smith loves little Hattie, but she despises him because he's a sissy. In 1940, Elmer has grown up to be Earle Foxe and Hattie to be Derelys Perdue. When she still doesn't love him, he climbs into his airplane and goes to hide. Meanwhile, a germ is spreading across the earth that kills all men over fourteen.

In the distant future year of 1950, the Teahouse Gang locates Earle living in a tree. He is The Last Man on Earth (1924). They bring the timid creature back to a world of women that can't keep their hands off him. When the cat lady who is the President finds out about it, she arranges a boxing match between two junior senatoresses, winner take all.

Some parts of this silent comedy have not aged well, but there are some good gags and sequences in it.... just the idea of Earle Foxe as the beau ideal is image to make anyone snicker. The costume designers also had a lot of fun making the clothing as ridiculous as possible. By 1940, we are led to believe, garden-party clothes for young ladies will be thigh-length hoop skirts over harem pants. Ten years later, Roman togas will also be things that the well-dressed woman will wear. And hats! Weird hats decorated with all sorts of knick-knacks; only Miss Perdue will wear fruit on her chapeau.

Bob
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Jim Roots

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Re: What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2017]

PostSat Jul 08, 2017 11:43 am

Mike Gebert wrote: ... Just finished watching When Knighthood Was In Flower and [snip] the other most notable performers are Lyn Harding— who had a bit of a line in Sherlock Holmes villains in the 1930s— as Henry, looking like a china figurine of the king with his black-dot eyes, and William Powell, in his second film, as Louis' lecherous heir.


I just watched it the other night, and what WAS that about Harding's eyes? In his first scene, at the jousting tournament, I thought with a shock that he was a blind actor. It wasn't just the strange blackness of his eyes, it was the fact that in that entire sequence he never once looked anyone in the eyes. Even when he was facing them, his eyes were fixed on a spot somewhere else.

As for Powell ... [laughing uproariously] ... this is, I think, the second or third time I've seen him playing a medieval role in a black pageboy wig, and I can't think of any other actor who looks so totally ludicrous in it. I don't know why he didn't insist on being given a wig with sides and back that came down to his shoulders, so he wouldn't look quite so hilarious. His head is shaped in a way that just cannot carry off an ear-length Prince Valiant 'do.

He also disconcertingly allowed some ur-Nick Charles mannerisms to pop out occasionally -- you could tell he wanted to slide one hand into his jacket pocket, but doubloons and ballet tights didn't have pockets back then. When Knighthood Was In Flower could have been titled Before Nick Charles Was In Flower.

I thought Marion Davies' performance was uneven. She could do everything that was required of her, but sometimes when it's just her alone, she becomes self-conscious and tries to "act" rather than be a natural performer. This was most glaring when she's being held in the Tower before her proxy wedding, and she poses in the open window and is told to sigh, mope, and look discontented for the camera; what comes out is exactly what she parodied later in Show People.

It wasn't a bad film at all.

Jim
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Re: What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2017]

PostSat Jul 08, 2017 1:19 pm

Mike Gebert wrote:
I think genuine rear-screen didn't come in until the early Talkie era, with better stock and projection possibilities?


Well, there's plenty of it just six years later in Mr. Skitch with Will Rogers, which is close enough to be the same "back then" to me. The result is lamer than Rubber Tires to me, for pretending to show what it doesn't.


Understood. I just thought that as we were discussing a Silent in a Silent folder, the distinction vs. Talkies was real.

So...

I haven't see the film - it ISN'T standard rear-projection in RUBBER TIRES in '27, is it? I thought I recalled MGM making a deal of using rear-screen in ANNA CHRISTIE in '30 (though it's pretty dark and poor.)

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Re: What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2017]

PostSat Jul 08, 2017 1:33 pm

I think it's all sets and local exteriors because I don't think it's about going anywhere specifically. But I saw it several years ago, so who knows.

It's kind of too bad they didn't do much American location work back then. A movie about crossing the US back then, which actually filmed in places along the way, would be cool now. It would have been easier to film it in silent days, too-- but it was even easier to film it all in California.

It's always disappointing to me to see Little Caesar, transparently about Chicago, with palm trees around his mansion. See also: Wayne's World, in which the streets of Aurora, IL also have them.
“Sentimentality is when it doesn't come off—when it does, you get a true expression of life's sorrows.” —Alain-Fournier
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