Here's a Question

Open, general discussion of silent films, personalities and history.
  • Author
  • Message
Offline
User avatar

drednm

  • Posts: 6767
  • Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2009 9:41 pm
  • Location: Belgrade Lakes, ME

Here's a Question

PostFri Aug 25, 2017 12:44 pm

How many silent films did Hollywood release in 1930?

Any ideas?
Ed Lorusso
Writer/Historian
-------------
http://www.amazon.com/Edward-Lorusso/e/ ... 203&sr=8-1
Offline
User avatar

Rodney

  • Posts: 2279
  • Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2008 11:09 am
  • Location: Louisville, Colorado

Re: Here's a Question

PostFri Aug 25, 2017 1:16 pm

drednm wrote:How many silent films did Hollywood release in 1930?

Any ideas?


Probably makes a big difference whether you include silent edits of talking pictures (like 1930s All Quiet on the Western Front), or purely silent films for which there is no spoken dialog (in which case you'd mostly be looking at poverty-row comedies and Westerns).
Rodney Sauer
The Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra
www.mont-alto.com
"Let the Music do the Talking!"
Offline
User avatar

Hamilton's Grandson

  • Posts: 211
  • Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2016 10:56 pm
  • Location: Tacoma,WA

Re: Here's a Question

PostFri Aug 25, 2017 7:11 pm

I am sure a few films had a talking version and a silent version during 1930 or some producers had not completely embraced sound by the end of the 20's.

A good example would be Murnau's silent version of City Girl 1930 which was also had a slightly shorter talking version completed by a different director that is considered lost.

Not sure how many films were released as silent films in 1930 though.
Mark Hamilton (I) is on imdb.com
Offline
User avatar

missdupont

  • Posts: 2270
  • Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 9:48 pm
  • Location: California

Re: Here's a Question

PostFri Aug 25, 2017 7:38 pm

All Studios made both silent and sound versions of films, as evidenced by this article about a 2013 UCLA program showing both versions of films. It ranged from ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT to Clara Bow films, Hoot Gibson westerns, etc. Some had little sound, while others had full dialogue, and were shot both ways. The article states that 91% of films in 1929 were shot in both formats.
http://newsroom.ucla.edu/stories/silent ... ion-243016" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank

Doug Gomery is quoted in the UCLA program description as saying every studio made both silent and sound versions of every feature in 1929.
https://www.cinema.ucla.edu/events/2013 ... sition-era" target="_blank
Offline
User avatar

Hamilton's Grandson

  • Posts: 211
  • Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2016 10:56 pm
  • Location: Tacoma,WA

Re: Here's a Question

PostFri Aug 25, 2017 7:55 pm

Interesting article. Thanks.

In my home town HC Weaver Studios built the 2nd largest studio of it's kind at that time in late 1924 (MGM largest that year) to try and attract production companies from Hollywood to lease the studio (was located on 5.5 acres with 52 feet high ceilings . Unfortunately, they did not forsee or plan for sound and closed their doors completely by 1928 with only 3 films produced between 1926 and 1927. They did not upgrade their equipment to be able to produce films with sound and suffered what many studios may have experienced when silents were less desirable.
Mark Hamilton (I) is on imdb.com
Offline
User avatar

Harold Aherne

  • Posts: 1634
  • Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2007 1:08 pm
  • Location: North Dakota

Re: Here's a Question

PostFri Aug 25, 2017 9:05 pm

During 1930, the larger American studios appear to have released six features that were less than full talkies. By that, I refer to films that were actually photographed and designed as silents or part-silents, with no all-talking equivalents.

I have compiled my information from Harrison's Reports and Motion Picture News via the MHDL.

Fox:
City Girl (released 16 Feb. 1930) -- Harrison estimated that the sound version was 45% talking

Paramount:
The Silent Enemy (premiered 19 May 1930; released 2 Aug. 1930) -- spoken prologue
With Byrd at the South Pole (premiered 19 Jun. 1930; released 28 Jun. 1930) -- some narration

Universal:
Parade of the West (released 19 Jan. 1930) -- Harrison estimated 86% talking
Lucky Larkin (released 2 Mar. 1930) -- sound and effects, per MPN review
The Fighting Legion (released 6 Apr. 1930) -- Harrison estimated 53% talking

All of the Universals had Ken Maynard as the star. Universal continued to release silent short films as late as August 1930.

Other American silents issued in 1930 were mainly independent product on the states' rights market. Syndicate Pictures still had some silent Westerns that year, and there was also The Poor Millionaire with Richard Talmadge, filmed in '27 and shelved for a while.

-HA
Offline
User avatar

Brooksie

  • Posts: 2616
  • Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2010 6:41 pm
  • Location: Portland, Oregon via Sydney, Australia

Re: Here's a Question

PostFri Aug 25, 2017 11:32 pm

The Fighting Legion played at Cinecon last year. It's quite peculiar - for the first half, it has sound effects and music only, and then it suddenly becomes a full fledged talkie for the remainder. 53% talkie is a pretty good estimate.
Offline

R Michael Pyle

  • Posts: 1461
  • Joined: Wed May 27, 2009 1:10 pm

Re: Here's a Question

PostSat Aug 26, 2017 8:11 am

Parts of a lot of movies released in 1930 were probably shot in 1929, too. I look at a film like Capra's "Ladies of Leisure" which has both a fine silent version and an equally fine sound version, both of which are somewhat different, and they are of different lengths. The accepted release date is 5 April 1930. The Hoot Gibson Western "The Mounted Stranger" was released 8 February 1930. It's also in both versions. Have to assume some of it might have been shot in '29.
Offline
User avatar

Rodney

  • Posts: 2279
  • Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2008 11:09 am
  • Location: Louisville, Colorado

Re: Here's a Question

PostSat Aug 26, 2017 9:29 am

R Michael Pyle wrote:Parts of a lot of movies released in 1930 were probably shot in 1929, too.


Yes -- the above-mentioned The Silent Enemy would have fallen in that category. It was a brutal production to film (on location in winter in northern Canada) and it must have been devastating to arrive back in New York and realize you'd just completed an essentially obsolete epic.
Rodney Sauer
The Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra
www.mont-alto.com
"Let the Music do the Talking!"
Offline
User avatar

greta de groat

  • Posts: 1990
  • Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2008 1:06 am
  • Location: California

Re: Here's a Question

PostSat Aug 26, 2017 10:52 pm

Rodney wrote:
R Michael Pyle wrote:Parts of a lot of movies released in 1930 were probably shot in 1929, too.


Yes -- the above-mentioned The Silent Enemy would have fallen in that category. It was a brutal production to film (on location in winter in northern Canada) and it must have been devastating to arrive back in New York and realize you'd just completed an essentially obsolete epic.


I'm glad someone had the presence of mind to film a talkie prologue with Chauncy Yellow Robe, especially as he passed away soon after. He's a treasure.

greta
Greta de Groat
Unsung Divas of the Silent Screen
http://www.stanford.edu/~gdegroat
Offline
User avatar

MaryGH

  • Posts: 198
  • Joined: Thu May 14, 2015 6:10 pm

Re: Here's a Question

PostSun Aug 27, 2017 12:11 pm

You can add "Call of the Desert" and "Canyon of Missing Men" to those silent films released in 1930. Tom Tyler held out as long as he could in silent films before he could get his "voice problem" resolved for talkies...
Petition: Turner Enter./Warner Bros: Please digitalize Tom Tyler's FBO silent film westerns

http://bit.ly/2ueCvHe
---
Aventuras de Tom Tyler

http://triggertomblog.blogspot.com/
Offline

Battra92

  • Posts: 329
  • Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 12:02 pm
  • Location: Capital Region of NY

Re: Here's a Question

PostMon Aug 28, 2017 7:11 am

Seeing 1930s silents is a really interesting experience. I know it's more common to see them in Europe and Japan was still making silents in the late 30s but to see one from Hollywood is really a treat.

I'm sad that the talkie version of City Girl is missing as I'd love to compare the two. Still, the silent version is fantastic and is one that I like to show people who are interested in silent film (though Sunrise tends to be a more popular choice.)
Offline
User avatar

Hamilton's Grandson

  • Posts: 211
  • Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2016 10:56 pm
  • Location: Tacoma,WA

Re: Here's a Question

PostThu Aug 31, 2017 6:53 pm

If you ever make it to Athena or Pendleton OR you can get a good general idea of the rural area where they filmed City Girl. It is interesting that most of the cast members ("reapers ie. Guinn "Big Boy" Williams, Mark Hamilton, etc) had to learn how to use the mule drawn wheat combines before they shot the harvest scenes. Some of these combines had a 32 mule team and were common place during the time of the filming of City Girl.

Hope the talking version shows up in public domain some day, but doubt if the few portions that had sound elements had the same magic touch of Murnau. The silent version may be 80% of the sound version with a few sound byte scenes added... ..... anybody's guess.
Mark Hamilton (I) is on imdb.com
Offline
User avatar

George O'Brien

  • Posts: 527
  • Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2008 8:10 pm
  • Location: An Atoll in the Pacific

Re: Here's a Question

PostFri Sep 01, 2017 2:24 pm

The last silent MGM produced was Feyder's "The Kiss", with Greta Garbo, in 1929.

They did not produce any silent films in 1930, or silent versions of their Talkies.
"This bar of likker is now a bar of justice!"
Offline
User avatar

silentfilm

Moderator

  • Posts: 9014
  • Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2007 12:31 pm
  • Location: Dallas, TX USA

Re: Here's a Question

PostWed Sep 06, 2017 11:54 am

William Drew's The Last Silent Picture Show covers late silents, especially those in smaller countries that continuted to be released in the sound era. He has some fascinating chapters on sound re-releases of silent films like Ben Hur and Son of the Sheik. He doesn't cover the cheapie silent B-westerns that were still being released for a year or two.

https://www.amazon.com/Last-Silent-Picture-Show-American/dp/0810876809
Offline
User avatar

Brooksie

  • Posts: 2616
  • Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2010 6:41 pm
  • Location: Portland, Oregon via Sydney, Australia

Re: Here's a Question

PostWed Sep 06, 2017 12:27 pm

For some time, I've intended to write an article or blog post about the end of silents in Australia. It's no coincidence that the final screenings, in the rural capital of Darwin, took place in mid 1933. It was just as the major studios officially announced they would cease distribution of silents, possibly to encourage the lingering silent houses (and it wasn't just a few - several hundred in rural England alone, for example) to finally convert. I've got no doubt they would have continued showing them well into the 30s otherwise.

(It's also no coincidence that so many Vitaphone discs turn up in Australia, as it was the end of the distribution chain, and by the time they were finished with they were outdated technology that the home company probably did not even bother attempting to recover.)

It would be interesting to know more about the home market for silents, which was probably the predominant way they survived in the public imagination between the late 1920s and the revival fad of 1937-38. My great uncle recalled his parents - who were first-generation movie buffs - hiring all their favourite silents to show at home, accompanied by a player piano that I still own. How common was such an experience, I wonder?
Offline
User avatar

radiotelefonia

  • Posts: 2009
  • Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2008 11:00 pm

Re: Here's a Question

PostWed Sep 06, 2017 12:38 pm

George O'Brien wrote:The last silent MGM produced was Feyder's "The Kiss", with Greta Garbo, in 1929.

They did not produce any silent films in 1930, or silent versions of their Talkies.


No... Marion Davies's MARIANNE had three versions. A talkie, a silent and a third one combining the silent version with music and sound effects and all of the musical numbers from the talkie.
Offline
User avatar

radiotelefonia

  • Posts: 2009
  • Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2008 11:00 pm

Re: Here's a Question

PostWed Sep 06, 2017 12:43 pm

radiotelefonia wrote:
George O'Brien wrote:The last silent MGM produced was Feyder's "The Kiss", with Greta Garbo, in 1929.

They did not produce any silent films in 1930, or silent versions of their Talkies.


No... Marion Davies's MARIANNE had three versions. A talkie, a silent and a third one combining the silent version with music and sound effects and all of the musical numbers from the talkie.


In Argentina, formal sound film exhibitions began in mid 1929. Some talkie debuts of silent stars were actually postponed to a posterior picture. John Gilbert's GENTLEMAN'S FATE was his very first talkie exhibited all over the world, the previous films went in silent versions.

After the Carnival dances of 1931, orchestras vanished from movie theaters.
Offline
User avatar

George O'Brien

  • Posts: 527
  • Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2008 8:10 pm
  • Location: An Atoll in the Pacific

Re: Here's a Question

PostWed Sep 06, 2017 7:34 pm

George O'Brien wrote:
The last silent MGM produced was Feyder's "The Kiss", with Greta Garbo, in 1929.

They did not produce any silent films in 1930, or silent versions of their Talkies.

Radiotelefono wrote:
"No... Marion Davies's MARIANNE had three versions. A talkie, a silent and a third one combining the silent version with music and sound effects and all of the musical numbers from the talkie."




Uh, yes. The topic was silent films produced in 1930.I had written "MGM did not produce any silent films in 1930". MARIANNNE was released in August 1929. THE KISS was the last silent film produced by MGM, and released in November, 1929.
"This bar of likker is now a bar of justice!"
Offline
User avatar

drednm

  • Posts: 6767
  • Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2009 9:41 pm
  • Location: Belgrade Lakes, ME

Re: Here's a Question

PostWed Sep 06, 2017 7:53 pm

A third version of Marianne "combining the silent version with music and sound effects and all of the musical numbers from the talkie" ? Sounds doubtful and makes no sense since the casts in the silent and talkie versions were mostly different. If such a version ever existed it was probably hobbled together by a foreign market, not MGM. The whole point to re-shooting the entire film as a talkie was to avoid the "goat gland" effect that Hearst didn't like. Had they wanted to do so, they could simply have filmed a few numbers with Oscar Shaw (a musical star on Broadway) and not bothered to bring in Lawrence Gray.

As I say, there could have been such versions, but MGM isn't likely to have produced them.
Ed Lorusso
Writer/Historian
-------------
http://www.amazon.com/Edward-Lorusso/e/ ... 203&sr=8-1
Offline
User avatar

radiotelefonia

  • Posts: 2009
  • Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2008 11:00 pm

Re: Here's a Question

PostThu Sep 07, 2017 8:29 am

drednm wrote:A third version of Marianne "combining the silent version with music and sound effects and all of the musical numbers from the talkie" ? Sounds doubtful and makes no sense since the casts in the silent and talkie versions were mostly different. If such a version ever existed it was probably hobbled together by a foreign market, not MGM. The whole point to re-shooting the entire film as a talkie was to avoid the "goat gland" effect that Hearst didn't like. Had they wanted to do so, they could simply have filmed a few numbers with Oscar Shaw (a musical star on Broadway) and not bothered to bring in Lawrence Gray.

As I say, there could have been such versions, but MGM isn't likely to have produced them.


It was produced by MGM.

Image
Offline
User avatar

precode

  • Posts: 461
  • Joined: Sat Feb 02, 2008 2:49 pm
  • Location: Shemptown

Re: Here's a Question

PostSat Sep 09, 2017 10:03 pm

Brooksie wrote:The Fighting Legion played at Cinecon last year. It's quite peculiar - for the first half, it has sound effects and music only, and then it suddenly becomes a full fledged talkie for the remainder. 53% talkie is a pretty good estimate.


Not unusual. A few years ago, we (Cinecon) ran Charley Chase's first talkie, MODERN LOVE, also a Universal. It too was silent with M&E for the first half and then switched to full sound at the half-way point. And if memory serves, the 1929 version of THE INFORMER is likewise.

Mike S.

Return to Talking About Silents

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests