What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2018]

Open, general discussion of silent films, personalities and history.
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drednm

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Re: What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2018]

PostWed Feb 21, 2018 11:00 am

Sweedie Learns to Swim (1914) is one of the few Sweedies to exist. Features some manic scenes and great views of Lake Michigan.
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Re: What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2018]

PostWed Feb 21, 2018 5:35 pm

Yesterday I received in the mail Kino's new release The Covered Wagon, and I watched it last night. To not give anything away let me just say it was enjoyable even though I am not a big fan of Westerns. Ernest Torrence had a great part and added much to the film. The score was a Gaylord Carter organ score. Recommended.

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Re: What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2018]

PostThu Feb 22, 2018 10:08 am

Finally got to see The Viking (1928), thanks to a recent airing on TCM. Unique as being a rare silent feature entirely in colour, with an original music & effects track (I always love the muttering sounds of crowds on these), it proved to be a rousing adventure with some fine performances. Now I just want to see more films with Pauline Starck in them, she cuts a fine figure in chainmail and a winged helmet.
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Re: What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2018]

PostThu Feb 22, 2018 1:26 pm

s.w.a.c. wrote:Finally got to see The Viking (1928), thanks to a recent airing on TCM. Unique as being a rare silent feature entirely in colour, with an original music & effects track (I always love the muttering sounds of crowds on these), it proved to be a rousing adventure with some fine performances. Now I just want to see more films with Pauline Starck in them, she cuts a fine figure in chainmail and a winged helmet.


I caught up with THE VIKING after a 30-year-wait and yes, it's a grand piece of film-making, though not everybody's cup of blood and thunder.
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Re: What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2018]

PostThu Feb 22, 2018 1:35 pm

Having been used to Alec B Francis as kindly old gentlemen, it made a change to see him as the head of a dissolute and wealthy household in THE MAD WHIRL. All of the family are addicted to wild living and adultery until the daughter of local soda fountain owner (May McAvoy) shows up, knocking the son of the family (Jack Mulhall) for a loop!

A case of having-your-cake-and-eating-it, THE MAD WHIRL (with input from Lewis Milestone) is a pretty entertaining picture, with rival families (grumpy George Fawcett plays McAvoy's dad, who used to sell liquor until prohibition and has since seen the Light) having scorn for one another until (SPOILER) Jack reforms for real.
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Re: What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2018]

PostThu Feb 22, 2018 2:44 pm

earlytalkiebuffRob wrote:
s.w.a.c. wrote:Finally got to see The Viking (1928), thanks to a recent airing on TCM. Unique as being a rare silent feature entirely in colour, with an original music & effects track (I always love the muttering sounds of crowds on these), it proved to be a rousing adventure with some fine performances. Now I just want to see more films with Pauline Starck in them, she cuts a fine figure in chainmail and a winged helmet.

I caught up with THE VIKING after a 30-year-wait and yes, it's a grand piece of film-making, though not everybody's cup of blood and thunder.

Knowing what we know now about vikings landing and settling in Newfoundland (most notably on the northwest peninsula in L'Anse Aux Meadows), I was amused by the final coda showing the Newport Tower in Rhode Island, which was reported to have been built by Vikings, but continues to be a matter of dispute.
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Re: What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2018]

PostThu Feb 22, 2018 3:34 pm

s.w.a.c. wrote:Finally got to see The Viking (1928), thanks to a recent airing on TCM. Unique as being a rare silent feature entirely in colour, with an original music & effects track (I always love the muttering sounds of crowds on these), it proved to be a rousing adventure with some fine performances. Now I just want to see more films with Pauline Starck in them, she cuts a fine figure in chainmail and a winged helmet.


Saw it in an amazing Technicolor print at San Francisco's Avenue Theatre in the 1970s. I'm not positive, but I want to believe it was accompanied by a typically rousing Bob Vaughn Wurlitzer performance. I'm pretty sure I would remember being disappointed if it hadn't been. The thing that's really stuck with me was the print; I was astonished by the vibrancy of the color.
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Re: What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2018]

PostThu Feb 22, 2018 5:02 pm

The Mouse and the Lion(1913) Newsboy Paul Kelly gets kicked out of where the gang headed by Van Dyke Brooke is plotting their nefarious scheme. On the street, he spots a purse left by a beautiful lady and returns it to her. This convinces ace detective Leo Delany that Paul is too stupid to steal ..... I mean honest, and he gives him a job as a page. So when Lilian Walker shows up and offers Leo a tip about where the gang is, off he goes.... but Paul recognizes her. Can he save his mentor from the mob?

I was rather taken about by the drawn-out death that the bad guys had planned for Mr. Delany. Apparently the "I expect you to die, Mr. Bond!" school of over-elaborate deaths as planned by villains was not new, nor had they learned anything from their predecessors' failures. Oh well. It's a decent but not terribly impressive piece of juvenalia, intended for the audience that was making the transition from Dime Novels to Pulp Novels, with a stopover in the lesser works of the Stratmeyer Syndicate. In a few decades, the comic books would take over this sort of work in America.

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Re: What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2018]

PostThu Feb 22, 2018 8:10 pm

Sweedie Learns to Swim( (1914) has a reference to Martin Delaney, which is teaching a swim class on the beach. Delaney was the Athletic Director of the Chicago Athletic Club and had been assigned to teach recruits at Ft. Sheridan, outside Chicago, as we entered WW I. Delaney has only a couple mentions in the old trades and seems to have appeared in newsreels for Mutual Films in the mid-teens. He must have been well known since the 1914 film specifically mentions him by name in an intertitle.

I found this is a history of Ft. Sheridan.

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Re: What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2018]

PostFri Feb 23, 2018 11:44 am

Tuning Up (1921): Bud Duncan is the world's worst piano tuner. In search of new instruments to wreck, he goes to a girl's school, where he is mistaken for Charles Dana Gibson, and left alone with beautiful students to sketch. He tries to rape the girls and battle with the faculty's husbands, which includes a burglar.

After they broke up their inexplicably successfully film duo of "Ham and Bud" because they hated each other almost as much as I hate them together, Lloyd Hamilton went on to become possibly the most accomplished short-subject comedian of the 1920s and drank himself to death by the mid-1930s. Bud Duncan, continuing his act of being an obnoxious man who tried to rape girls, kill men and destroy anything else, inexplicably continued to work for another 25 years. This short subject is a good example of the adverb "inexplicably".

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Re: What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2018]

PostFri Feb 23, 2018 1:29 pm

boblipton wrote:Bud Duncan, continuing his act of being an obnoxious man who tried to rape girls, kill men and destroy anything else, inexplicably continued to work for another 25 years. This short subject is a good example of the adverb "inexplicably".

Now I have a perverse urge to see him tackle the Nazis as a live-action version of comic strip character Snuffy Smith in Hillbilly Blitzkrieg.
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Re: What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2018]

PostFri Feb 23, 2018 1:46 pm

s.w.a.c. wrote:
boblipton wrote:Bud Duncan, continuing his act of being an obnoxious man who tried to rape girls, kill men and destroy anything else, inexplicably continued to work for another 25 years. This short subject is a good example of the adverb "inexplicably".

Now I have a perverse urge to see him tackle the Nazis as a live-action version of comic strip character Snuffy Smith in Hillbilly Blitzkrieg.


For gosh sake, man, resist!

Bob
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Re: What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2018]

PostFri Feb 23, 2018 1:53 pm

boblipton wrote:
s.w.a.c. wrote:
boblipton wrote:Bud Duncan, continuing his act of being an obnoxious man who tried to rape girls, kill men and destroy anything else, inexplicably continued to work for another 25 years. This short subject is a good example of the adverb "inexplicably".

Now I have a perverse urge to see him tackle the Nazis as a live-action version of comic strip character Snuffy Smith in Hillbilly Blitzkrieg.

For gosh sake, man, resist!

I'll do my best! But I see it is on YouTube...

Weirdly, also just stumbled on Sweedie Learns to Swim footage while looking at video clips about Essanay Studios in Chicago. Small world.
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Re: What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2018]

PostMon Feb 26, 2018 1:31 pm

Directed by Werner Hochbaum, with a non-professional cast, BRUDER / BROTHERS (1929) is a highly watchable, if slightly uneven film based on the Berlin dock workers' strike of 1896. A freezing Winter, with a sea full of ice, and we see a family - husband, wife sick with TB, infant and the husband's mother, sleeping in her clothes with her granddaughter and in charge of the family's domestic and financial affairs.

Living in a hovel, shabby, tattered clothes, with chunks of plaster gone from the walls and eating straight from the frying-pan, this is no reward for hard work which is usually in 36-hour shifts. After some false starts, the men go on strike, with the expected extreme hardship and opposition from the police...

Some parts of BROTHERS may be a bit heavy-handed (the destruction of the Christmas tree-angel), and one is not sure whether the police would be called to arrest the husband on Christmas Day, but the film is extremely powerful, if a little rough-edged. The husband's brother is in the police, and we also see their spartan working conditions as also the clerks who do the owners' dirty work for them. One of the messages of this film would be that both the manual labourers and the office workers and police are almost in the same boat, but are at odds with one another.

The print / upload of BROTHERS was rather rough, but the force and quality of the film shines through remarkably well and the music score is suitably dramatic and stirring. A splendid film which deserves to be better-known as is actually about something. One wonders whether Messrs Loach and Anderson (Lindsay, that is!) have seen this film which to my way of thinking is much more effective than Eisenstein's STRIKE.
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Re: What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2018]

PostWed Feb 28, 2018 8:45 am

Fraulein Else (1929) from Germany was my YouTube choice for today. It did not disappoint.

Set in Vienna, Austria (the hometown of actress Elisabeth Bergner, who plays Else), It's the story of a young woman and her affluently wealthy parents living in a large estate. At a family gathering, we learn Aunt Emma and cousin Paul will be going to the 2nd Winter Olympic Games, held in St. Moritz, Switzerland in 1928. They invite the excited Else to travel with them.
After dinner at the gathering, we learn father is about to conclude a transaction that should be profitable and as he's playing cards, everyone is talking about a fast growing company in the Stock Market.
It's decided that Else can enjoy a holiday at the Olympics with cousin Paul and Aunt Emma. It's all very exciting for Else.
The parents see Else off at the train station where she joins her cousin and aunt. We quickly learn Paul is having an affair with a married woman and young daughter, also on the train, apparently with Aunt Emma's approval.

It's a fun trip via train and we're treated to all sorts of scenic views of the countryside. At the Olympics, there's the ski slops and even the five man bobsled competition, only in 1928, those bobsleds looked at lot more like the ones I've been on than those aerodynamic sleds of today. The trip is pure excitement and Else's having the time of her life, not realizing her father's life is collapsing at home because he used funds that weren't his to buy stock that has now failed.
The mother discovers that her husband leaving the house, was planning to shoot himself and manages to get the gun away. The only hope of a loan to pay the debt rests with father's friend who happens to be staying at the same hotel as Else in St. Moritz.
The mother,tries to call the hotel and learns the phone lines are down because of a snowstorm. Instead, she sends a telegram to Else, asking her daughter to beg Von Dorsday to help her father.

The young woman is besides herself, much too shy, too young and inexperienced to do this and she struggles alone with what to do. From this point on, the film becomes an intense melodrama especially after hearing Von Dorsday's answer. Else struggles with what to do next?

The sad ending certainly was not expected.
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Re: What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2018]

PostWed Feb 28, 2018 9:47 am

Big Silent Fan wrote:Fraulein Else (1929) from Germany was my YouTube choice for today. It did not disappoint.

Set in Vienna, Austria (the hometown of actress Elisabeth Bergner, who plays Else), It's the story of a young woman and her affluently wealthy parents living in a large estate. At a family gathering, we learn Aunt Emma and cousin Paul will be going to the 2nd Winter Olympic Games, held in St. Moritz, Switzerland in 1928. They invite the excited Else to travel with them.
After dinner at the gathering, we learn father is about to conclude a transaction that should be profitable and as he's playing cards, everyone is talking about a fast growing company in the Stock Market.
It's decided that Else can enjoy a holiday at the Olympics with cousin Paul and Aunt Emma. It's all very exciting for Else.
The parents see Else off at the train station where she joins her cousin and aunt. We quickly learn Paul is having an affair with a married woman and young daughter, also on the train, apparently with Aunt Emma's approval.

It's a fun trip via train and we're treated to all sorts of scenic views of the countryside. At the Olympics, there's the ski slops and even the five man bobsled competition, only in 1928, those bobsleds looked at lot more like the ones I've been on than those aerodynamic sleds of today. The trip is pure excitement and Else's having the time of her life, not realizing her father's life is collapsing at home because he used funds that weren't his to buy stock that has now failed.
The mother discovers that her husband leaving the house, was planning to shoot himself and manages to get the gun away. The only hope of a loan to pay the debt rests with father's friend who happens to be staying at the same hotel as Else in St. Moritz.
The mother,tries to call the hotel and learns the phone lines are down because of a snowstorm. Instead, she sends a telegram to Else, asking her daughter to beg Von Dorsday to help her father.

The young woman is besides herself, much too shy, too young and inexperienced to do this and she struggles alone with what to do. From this point on, the film becomes an intense melodrama especially after hearing Von Dorsday's answer. Else struggles with what to do next?

The sad ending certainly was not expected.


It’s the only thing I’ve ever seen Miss Bergner in which was top notch.

Bob
Last edited by boblipton on Wed Feb 28, 2018 10:07 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2018]

PostWed Feb 28, 2018 10:00 am

boblipton wrote:
It’s the only thing I,ever seen Miss Bergner in which was top notch.

Bob


She played the part of a young girl convincingly with all the emotions necessary for the story. She was 31 when this was filmed.
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Re: What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2018]

PostThu Mar 01, 2018 1:13 pm

The Coronation of Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands in Amsterdam (1898): After William Kennedy-Laurie Dickson left Edison and founded American Biograph & Mutoscope, he headed back to Europe where, in charge of the British branch, he shot many public figures and events. Among them are four shorts from Wilhelmina's coronation, which (I believe) the Dutch distributor assembled into a four-minute short and which has been posted on the Eye Institute's YouTube site. The scenes can be described as 1: carriages on the dockside; 2: carriages and cavalry on a boulevard; 3: Infantry in 16th century costume; 4: coronation.

It looks like an early example of editing, but it was almost certainly done much later, probably after the turn of the century. This can more properly be called a compilation than a movie. there is a single vertical pan in the last few seconds of the compilation, a remarkable feat with the bulky Biograph camera.

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Re: What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2018]

PostFri Mar 02, 2018 6:35 am

Finally got around to watching the earnest-but-dull The Heart of a Hero (1916) which stars Robert Warwick as Nathan Hale. Some nice location shooting (probably Fort Lee) can't save this pageant. Warwick is stalwart and Gail Kane is comely as Alice Adams, the love interest. Based on a play by Clyde Fitch.
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Re: What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2018]

PostSat Mar 03, 2018 10:47 am

Had a good look at Denmark's A Trip to Mars (1918). Opening scenes had me remembering Lang's "Women on the Moon" but this story would take on an almost spiritual look at humanity. From IMDB:
A group of the researchers from the Earth in a spaceship traveling to Mars, where, to their big surprise, find a peaceful vegetarian and pacifist civilization.

There's the construction of the spaceship 'Excelsior' followed by the recruiting of the crew to travel the months required to reach Mars, even at it's closest point. There's references to Columbus and the similar trials he surely faced including mutiny when the crew becomes disillusioned.
Interestingly, the Martians possess superior knowledge than us mortals and decide to assist the landing of this strange ship entering their air space. They're even able to communicate telepathically.
The crew comes out of their spacecraft, each armed with hand guns and grenades only to be met by the peace-loving Martins.
Surprised by the all-vegetarian diet, the crew decides to share some of their food provisions with the Martians, inviting them to eat meat and drink wine.
When asks how they could possibly find meat, one of the men simply shoots his pistol and brings down a bird from the sky. Noise from a gun shot brings thousand of people running (there hasn't be a pistol heard in more than a thousand years). Fearing for their lives even when not actually in danger, the crew recklessly tossed hand grenades into the crowd, killing one of them.
The intertitles in the film were quite amazing. When taken to "The Hall of Justice," seeing a woman dressed in black, they ask if she will be the one judging them? The response, No, you shall judge yourselves. Only through self knowledge can you atone for your sin. One by one, there is a spiritual awakening and the crew all promise to never use violence again, laying down their weapons. There's a marked contrast shown between our prison system and the Martian's way of doing justice.
The father of this woman in black was the leader and he's come to the end of his life. Instead of dreading death, his life ends with a celebration of life as everyone gathers to bid him goodbye.
As the spaceship 'Excelsior' begins it's journey back to Earth, the Martians tell them, Bring back the message that we are all the same. Understand that we are all steps on the same ladder that leads to eternity. Love is the force you call God.

If only our World could understand such a simple message.
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Re: What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2018]

PostSun Mar 04, 2018 4:54 am

LITTLE MARY SUNSHINE (1916) was preceded by an announcement that it was the only available film of Baby Mary Osborne, who died in 2010 at the ripe old age of ninety-nine. That's not quite true, as she appeared in several films in adult life, but perhaps I am being pedantic!

Directed by Henry King, it also stars King as Bob, a newly-engaged man-about-town who blows it by getting sozzled at his club when he is supposed to take the girl to the theatre, Parallel to this, Mary's mother has died after a blazing row with her drunken husband ans she toddles the street, finally finding refuge under the rug of a cab which Bob then hires. As with 'Silas Marner', the the little girl transforms Bob's life and habits (they don't make any effort to locate her home, unless this is missing from the print) and spurs Bob's father to engineer a reconciliation.

Although (aside from one or two shots), I would not have identified it as a Henry King film, this is a generally very pleasing and heartwarming little film, with the exception of a bit of business with a 'performing' bear, which comes over as embarrassing and very possibly cruel. However, 'the past is a different country' and such thing were still the norm forty or fifty years ago when chimps were being used in tea adverts as well as eating exhibitions at zoos. Perhaps with these a thing of the past, we can expect visitor's galleries in Parliament at meal times and in the clubrooms...
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Re: What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2018]

PostMon Mar 05, 2018 1:37 pm

A rare Australian film from 1928, THE FAR PARADISE, suffers from some decomposition and what looks like a missing reel or two as well as some splices. Despite this, and a rather shaky start, it is rather an entertaining affair, and an unusual example of a woman auteur, in that the director, Paulette McDonagh was also the producer and screenwriter, with sister 'Marie Lorraine starring' as well and third sister Phyllis in charge of production design and art direction. Perhaps this kept the costs down as IMDb quotes £2,000!

The plot concerns a friendship between the attractive Cherry and hearty, clean-living Peter, both fresh out of college, who are headed for the same town. Peter's father is the Attorney-General, and Cherry's is a rather disreputable fellow prone to dirty business with his odious secretary, played by Arthur MacLaglen, both in danger of falling foul of Peter's dad. Cherry's father forbids Peter to return and hides his letters to boot, but the truth comes out at a fancy-dress ball where MacLaglen tries it on with Cherry.

We then have a jump in the plot and Cherry and her dad are living in the back of beyond in dire poverty, his chickens presumably having come home to roost. Luckily a pal of Peter's encounters the girl then notices the resemblance to the photo in Peter's room...

THE FAR PARADISE may sound like something out of a twopenny library in its plotting, and indeed it does not seem too original in that department. However, the story keeps one interested, and though predictable, it is a rather agreeable entertainment all told. Despite it being progressive in that the film was produced by women, there is no sign of any aborigines as they would have been called then. I can't recall having heard of this film before and it is certainly more than just an oddity.
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Re: What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2018]

PostMon Mar 05, 2018 6:45 pm

I'd love to know where you tracked down The Far Paradise. It's been many years since I saw it, but it's one of the best late Australian silents. It is indeed missing at least one reel (the last, from memory) but I recall the story flowing reasonably well even without it.

The NFSA recently restored the McDonaghs' final silent The Cheaters (1929, later revised and released with sound) which, to my mind is not as good a film, but is their only one that survives complete. I'm hoping the restoration might make it to some of the international festivals.
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Re: What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2018]

PostTue Mar 06, 2018 1:47 pm

Brooksie wrote:I'd love to know where you tracked down The Far Paradise. It's been many years since I saw it, but it's one of the best late Australian silents. It is indeed missing at least one reel (the last, from memory) but I recall the story flowing reasonably well even without it.

The NFSA recently restored the McDonaghs' final silent The Cheaters (1929, later revised and released with sound) which, to my mind is not as good a film, but is their only one that survives complete. I'm hoping the restoration might make it to some of the international festivals.


It's on YouTube. The missing segment is about 2/3 of the way through the film. And does THE CHEATERS have the original discs. I recall it being scheduled at London's National Film Theatre in 1980, but I seem to recall the discs were missing then.
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Re: What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2018]

PostTue Mar 06, 2018 2:21 pm

TRAPPED BY THE MORMONS (1922) is a British film set in Manchester, which follows the attempts of one elder (Louis Willoughby) to lure a young lady (Evelyn Brent) into marriage. In this film the Mormons are seen as highly villainous, stopping at nothing (a faked resurrection, rape, murder) to further their beastly ends. The film even features a young Olive Sloane as the elder's real wife, soon to be their next victim. Very lurid, but entertaining in its way, despite some (when Brent's father has an attack, she seems very relaxed and casual in seeking help) unconvincing moments. How accurate any of it is I have no idea.army veteran

Followed this with a short co-directed by Lois Weber. DISCONTENT (1916) follows the adventures of a grumpy army veteran (J Edwin Brown) who is forever wearying his pals at the old soldiers' home with how much better conditions are at his tight-fisted wealthy nephew's house than at the home. Shortly afterwards his wish is granted and he comes to stay with his nephew's family. Trouble follows as his discontent spreads from the fussy servants, the rich food (which he isn't used to) and the fact that he is expected to dress for dinner! The family aren't too happy, either, when the old crab-apple starts picking holes in their behaviour. He soon realises that he misses and values the company and atmosphere of the home as opposed to the formal lifestyle of his family. A highly entertaining treatment of a familiar theme, which may not have been quite so familiar in 1916.
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Re: What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2018]

PostTue Mar 06, 2018 10:37 pm

Brooksie wrote:I'd love to know where you tracked down The Far Paradise. It's been many years since I saw it, but it's one of the best late Australian silents. It is indeed missing at least one reel (the last, from memory) but I recall the story flowing reasonably well even without it.

Very watchable film.
I watched it today using the score from DeMille's "The Affairs of Anatol." With the music's constantly changing mood, it has work well with several films I've watched while listening to this music on another player.
Quite sure there's a missing reel in the middle, but there might also to be a hint in the story that Cherry and Peter are actually related.
Thirty minutes in, when Peter tells his father he loves Cherry, the father confesses to him that he once was in love with Cherry's mother and this man, Jim Carson married her instead, and soon made her life miserable.
The father further tells Peter in a title, "This must go no further. Remember, Carson is her father and as yet we have no convicting proof. If you love her Peter..the truth must never come from your lips." In the next title, Peter tells him, "That's all right Dad. You can rely on me." and then again, Peter thanks his father for all that he's done for him. The father likely believed that Peter was telling him he would not try and see Cherry again.

I couldn't help but wonder if Peter's father was actually Cherry's father and not this mean character, Jim Carson?
Since he was surprised to learn Peter and Cherry eloped, there wasn't anything Pete's father could say. Looking at Cherry, Pete's father says in the final title,
My dear, you have given back to me a very beautiful memory. I am glad you have come...home.

The truth will never come from his lips either.
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earlytalkiebuffRob

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Re: What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2018]

PostWed Mar 07, 2018 1:40 pm

HIS OWN LAW (1920) starts quite promisingly in San Francisco with drunken bum Hobart Bosworth striking up a friendship with French immigrant Rowland V Lee (yes, the same). After adventures with a stray puppy and in a flophouse ('clean beds' 20c) it emerges that Bosworth is head of an engineering company and just taking a breather!

The scene then switches to the company's latest project and the Frenchman in work as an engineer. Love enters in the shape of a young lady, but before Lee can marry her he has to report for war service. Believing him killed (in a surprisingly curt and callous telegram) Bosworth marries her as a child is on the way...

Perhaps because one has seen similar plots before, HIS OWN LAW seems to drag in places, and when (SPOILER) surprise, surprise, the fellow turns up, the solution to their problem is never really satisfactorily explained and is rather unconvincing. Bosworth's performance, however, is most engaging, which is more than can be said for Lee, although perhaps it was just the part which defeated him.
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Brooksie

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Re: What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2018]

PostWed Mar 07, 2018 2:42 pm

earlytalkiebuffRob wrote:
Brooksie wrote:I'd love to know where you tracked down The Far Paradise. It's been many years since I saw it, but it's one of the best late Australian silents. It is indeed missing at least one reel (the last, from memory) but I recall the story flowing reasonably well even without it.

The NFSA recently restored the McDonaghs' final silent The Cheaters (1929, later revised and released with sound) which, to my mind is not as good a film, but is their only one that survives complete. I'm hoping the restoration might make it to some of the international festivals.


It's on YouTube. The missing segment is about 2/3 of the way through the film. And does THE CHEATERS have the original discs. I recall it being scheduled at London's National Film Theatre in 1980, but I seem to recall the discs were missing then.


You don't say! :o I know what I'm doing this afternoon ...When I last saw it, it was on 16mm direct from the National Film and Sound Archive. It's not clear in the NFSA's catalogue listing which reel is missing, though Graham Shirley says it is 'towards the end', which is why I must have recollected that it was the final reel.

In regards to The Cheaters - it was conceived and shot as a silent, but retooled twice, first as a sound-on-disc part-talkie, and later as a sound-on-film all talkie. An initial sound reel was discovered in the early 1980s (in a Bondi laneway, of all places). Since then, about half of the sound version has been found. Several sequences are available on the NFSA's Australianscreen website, where Graham Shirley's notes also shed some light on the various versions - https://aso.gov.au/titles/features/the-cheaters-sound-version/. As he says, the sound version is an awkward amalgam. It works much better as a silent.

Many years ago I was involved with the writing (or rather, re-writing) of a screenplay about the McDonagh sisters. It never saw the light of day, which is unfortunate, because it's a fascinating story.
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earlytalkiebuffRob

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Re: What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2018]

PostThu Mar 08, 2018 1:18 pm

A splendid discovery from the Russian silent cinema, POZLEDNIY ATTRACTSION / THE LAST ATTRACTION (1929) follows the adventures of a tiny, poverty-stricken (customers pay in eggs and loose flour) circus when their wagon (which houses five people - a sexually explosive and probably fetid atmosphere) is requisitioned by Bolshevik forces in the shape of a young, idealistic leader, played by Ivan Bykov*. Using this vehicle as a method of distributing propaganda leaflets and ensuring their shows include an element of political comment, they soon run foul of the Whites (this is the Civil War) with tragic results.

Presented here in a lovely print, with sound effects and music, THE LAST ATTTRACTION is a very striking film, delightful to start with [the ladies in the troupe, Yelena Marksimova (the owner's wife) and Raisa Puzhnaya** (the blonde artiste) give lively performances] in its humour and detail, becoming more serious in tone as the plot and political content take over. Not to make the film a piece of agit-prop pure and simple, the different moods blend to make a satisfying whole. And nice to see something which isn't from one of the usual gang...

* Just three films listed in IMDb
** And four for this talented woman - one wonders why...

Note:- the subtitles are in Spanish / Portuguese (not sure which), but the film is quite easy to follow, and is only mildly confusing in places...
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Re: What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2018]

PostThu Mar 08, 2018 7:10 pm

Carlyle Blackwell has been studying medicine at Heidelberg. He is incredulous when when his German friend, William Bailey, tells him that Europe is about to tear itself to pieces in war, and he had better get back to the U.S. He is even more incredulous when he stops at a hotel while waiting for connections and finds beautiful Gail Kane. She has told everyone she is his wife. She has to get out of the country. With his permission, she alters his passport -- and makes him as much a spy on the run as she is.

On Dangerous Ground (1917) has some impressive credentials. Besides the leads, at the top of their fame, the script is by Francis Marion, and the camerawork is by the talented Lucien Andriot, so it's always good to look at. However, the story is pure potboiler, and despite the appeal of the stars and steady and exciting pace at which director Robert Thornby pushes things along, it never exceeds those limits.

What it does succeed in doing is keeping that pace up and never boring. Not many features survive from 1917, and many of those are considered classics, and amidst bits that we admire, we see things that seem bizarre a century later. This movie may never hit those high points, but it is solidly entertaining throughout.

Bob
If no one listens, then it’s just as well. At least I won’t get caught in any lies I tell.
— Joe Darion
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