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

Open, general discussion of silent films, personalities and history.
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Donald Binks

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

PostTue Nov 07, 2017 3:21 pm

The good thing about taking a DVD off the top of the pile and not reading up about it is that one never knows what to expect. From a title such as "The Jack-knife Man" (1920), I was expecting at least a couple of murders and associated mayhem. Instead I was pleasantly surprised by quite a nice and sentimental, albeit old-fashioned story. Apart from Florence Vidor amongst the players, I knew none of the names in the cast - something else that was a bonus.

"A lonely old riverboat man is left a child by a dying mother. The old man and the boy grow to love one another. The village snoop feels the child would be better off in an orphanage..." In one form or another, stories such as these seemed to be rife in the early years of the 20th Century - "The Kid" comes plainly to mind. Obviously they lent well to the silent film medium as the emotions could be amplified leaving audiences completely satisfied.

F.A. Turner is the man on the boat. He looks the part and one can almost smell the dirt in his unkempt and scruffy appearance. he is a good man leading a simple life and wishes for no complications in it. Claire McDowell is the dying woman who leaves a child "Buddy" (Bobby Kelso) with him. The boy is like an angel sent from heaven to the old man and he dotes on the child as he takes it into his care. A wandering tramp (Harry Todd) then comes into the picture and the old man extends his kindness to taking him in as well. The three seem to hit it off. The old man seems to have a love-hate relationship with the town widow (Lillian Leighton) from whom he is always cadging food. She is eyeing him off as husband number three. I shan't give details of some of the adventures to follow, but we do of course have a happy ending - where the toy-making the old man has been engaged in with "Buddy" - making animal cut-outs from soft wood with a jack-knife leads him to greater things.

Pictures like this are uncomplicated, unsophisticated and tell a simple story. They are easy to understand and done well, as this is, are a pleasure to watch and take in. King Vidor directed this and it shows in the naturalness he has been able to cultivate. Vidor was known from his later work to show things as they were, how people actually existed. There is a genuine warmth in this tale and it gently caresses the audience who would radiate in its reflection. The drama is light and there are some delightful scenes of rustic humour - not over-played. In short, it is very enjoyable.

The print I looked at was a tenth generation dupe, which by way of Afghanistan, the Lesser Antilles, Iceland and Tonga - ended up in Spain where it acquired an ex-wireless announcer to read all the titles - in Spanish. Prior to that, someone had recorded a piano accompaniment with a wire-recorder and then run over the wire with a steam-roller. It just shows, doesn't it, that with a good film, one can overcome so many hindrances!
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Donald Binks

"So, she said: "Elly, it's no use letting Lou have the sherry glasses..."She won't appreciate them,
she won't polish them..."You know what she's like." So I said:..."
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Re: What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2017]

PostTue Nov 07, 2017 3:49 pm

"The Mating Call" (1928) is certainly not a film that would have squeezed in, even sideways, under the Code. It is quite forthright for its time. Thomas Meighan is coming home from The Great War to re-unite with his wife - but she is not there. Apparently she was under age when he married her and her parents had the marriage annulled. Spoil sports. Tom retreats to his farm and tries to become a loner, but ex-wifie (Evelyn Brent) - now hooked up with someone else - comes a-visiting. Her new marital circumstances don't stand in her way as she tries to seduce Tom. Fed up, Tom goes to Ellis Island and offers free board and lodgings to the parents of a girl. In return the girl is to be his wife. Well, I suppose it was an easy way of disposing of the pangs of courtship. I think he made a good deal myself as the new wife is none other than Renée Adorée, who, although she is supposed to be a peasant, is knee-deep in make-up with a beautifully coiffured hairdo. (Ah! The pictures!)

The picture is fast-paced, has an excellent script and some wonderful twists and turns. An audience just doesn't know what is going to happen next. As well as all that, there are some scenes that managed to escape the scissors - such as Miss Adorée skinny-dipping (photographed discretely of course).

One aspect of the film that I just could not understand, and seemed to me to be an unnecessary contrivance was the introduction of a group of black hooded-men called "The Order" who dished out punishment to those in the town who they considered immoral. This was all a tad over the top and a bit silly.

At a running time of just 72 minutes, the film packs quite a lot in and it is interesting to see how well the silent film could cope with such complicated machinations.

Direction is by James Cruze and the accompaniment is in the safe hands of Robert Israel.
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Donald Binks

"So, she said: "Elly, it's no use letting Lou have the sherry glasses..."She won't appreciate them,
she won't polish them..."You know what she's like." So I said:..."
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Re: What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2017]

PostWed Nov 08, 2017 1:49 pm

Roseha wrote:For anyone who is eligible to subscribe, I recommend Kanopy, which allows you to stream 10 movies per month via your library card number (New York Public Library is among those eligible). My only warning is to be sure not to click on a film unless you are ready to watch it right away, otherwise you can go down from your alloted 10 in a hurry!

That said, tonight I found, and watched again, Lubitsch's The Marriage Circle. I only had seen this wonderful film once before many years ago at MoMA in New York. It's the version put on DVD by David Shepard with the Mont Alto score and has a lovely sepia type tinting throughout. Interesting that I remembered having seen Florence Vidor and Adolphe Menjou as well in Are Parents People? for our last Watch That Movie Night though they are not a couple in this one. Marie Prevost is memorable and I would like to see more of her starring roles.

Is Lady Windemere's Fan on DVD or streaming anywhere? I saw it at MoMA also perhaps around the same time.


LADY WINDEMERE'S FAN is on YouTube. I think it may also be on free-classic-movies.com, though without music.
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Re: What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2017]

PostWed Nov 08, 2017 2:06 pm

A posting on Nitrateville led me to the superb NOW YOU TELL ONE (1926). The film opens at a Liars' Club, where the members are warming up for the chance of being awarded the George Washington Medal. Despite the absurdity of the tales related, one member is thoroughly disgusted with their plausibility (!) and storms out. He shortly comes across a poor fellow (Charley Bowers) trying to do away with himself by poking his head in a cannon, and his comments gives the gentleman hope for the award....

It seems Charley is an inventor, and has created a remarkable plant grafting system which would do credit to a surrealist exhibition, even though his application of it causes frequent annoyance. He soon (in the flashback) comes across a house which is being ravaged by mice, one of whom is very handy with a revolver. Their only cat looks like an extra in ALL QUIET, so the answer is to produce more of the furry creatures.

With a good start, NOW YOU TELL ME ONE becomes achingly funny as well as being extremely clever and inventive. The scene (SPOILER) of a cat being produced by a plant is quite astonishing, as is the follow-up, when the dear thing is provided with a tail. Further moggies are produced to hilarious effect and there is a nice topper when Charley tells the householder that he loves his daughter only to be told that she's his wife! Hence the attempted suicide. A constant delight.

One cannot say the same for NAPOLEON ON SAINT HELENA (1929), although the film seems to have been heavily cut. A French version of a German movie, directed by Lupu Pick, and based on what Abel Gance couldn't afford to do in NAPOLEON, this is a curious mish-mash of a film, with narration and titles telling the same thing, as well as some dubbed dialogue, which appears to have been added (with sound effects and plenty of Beethoven) several years later. Whether the experience would have been much more enjoyable if my French could have coped with the extensive titles, I don't know. It would have been easier to follow. As it is, a tiresome, plodding experience, even at just over an hour in length.
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Re: What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2017]

PostWed Nov 08, 2017 3:21 pm

I watched the DVD of The Last Laugh (there's a forth-coming blu-ray from Kino).
Basically depressing until the end, but a masterful movie.
Mr. Jannings was only 40 when it was made; make-up and acting did the rest.

I don't remember watching the 40 minute documentary before. They say that the happy ending was not a mistake,forced upon the moviemakers; but an intentional jab at Germanic militarism. The "uniform" so important in the film is not what's important, don't cha know, but money, which gives power.

Rick
“The past is never dead. It's not even past” - Faulkner.
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Re: What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2017]

PostWed Nov 08, 2017 5:03 pm

The last of a trilogy of "Rat" pictures, "The Return of the Rat" (1929) attempts to portray Ivor Novello in a characterisation away from the suave and elegant, although in the first scenes he is in normal mode. He is a married man with a past, a past where he was a leading figure in the Parisian underworld - known as "The Rat". His wife (Isabel Jeans) is a bit flighty and being so it is natural that an equally suave and elegant cad (Bernard Nedell) should wish to become involved with her when invited. This leads to a duel between him and "The Rat". Then there is a murder and "The Rat" has to revert back to his underworld. He has a contender for leader of the pack - Gordon Harker, heavily made-up and with a lazy eye, he lays it on thick in his characterisation where to say it is over the top is a mild statement. Throw into all this a young girl who is love with "The Rat" - Mabel Poulton, and a landlady who looks after her criminals - Marie Ault and you have a moderately satisfactory drama that is none too special.

At the tail end of the silents, one gets the feeling that Gainsborough just churned this out in order to release it quickly before it was overtaken by talking pictures. Whilst there are some good scenes in it - the Apache dance scene is one, there is a lot that is just so-so, and it ain't helped much by Gordon Harker's hammyness. There is also a comedy duo, who's reason for appearance is a mystery? I suppose it follows the line of thought that there ought to be a bit of comedy in a drama in order to lighten the load - the fact that it all seems strangely out of context doesn't matter.
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Donald Binks

"So, she said: "Elly, it's no use letting Lou have the sherry glasses..."She won't appreciate them,
she won't polish them..."You know what she's like." So I said:..."
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Re: What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2017]

PostThu Nov 09, 2017 3:11 pm

In honor of the 100th anniversary of the glorious worker's revolution I had a look at an Eisenstein film that was new to me, 1929's Old and New. It's basically the story of the wonders of collectivization and follows Marfa's road from brutal poverty and toil to prosperity and industriousness. Things don't go easily thanks to an impotent church, recalcitrant peasants, counter-revolutionary Kulaks, and uncaring bureaucrats. Fortunately their political commissar is there to straighten things out.

Despite some overlong sequences there were many examples of Eisenstein's genius. The photography is stunning as one would expect from a late silent period film and the composition of shots is superb. There are even some Potemkin-esque editing flourishes to really keep things interesting. Clearly there is a lot of Moscow mandated fluff and wishful thinking, but the film really shines in the dramatic sequences, particularly a harrowing scene where Marfa has to keep the newly collectivized peasants from raiding their first income and keep them on point for the acquisition of their beloved tractor.

Worth viewing as long as you give yourself some perspective before going in.
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Re: What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2017]

PostFri Nov 10, 2017 8:38 am

The third and final of the remnants of early features with Lon Chaney on the Before the Thousand Faces dvd, The Place Beyond the Winds (1916) is the best preserved of the three (only the first of five reels is missing) and the least satisfying. The synopsis offered on the IMDb is several hundred words in length; despite having read it three times, I can make neither heads nor tails of it. Neither does looking at it make things much better, since people seem to do things, often as not, to advance the plot speedily, rather than as expressions of their characters, Thus, two characters may move to the same place and work in the same hospital for a long time without ever recognizing each other, when one of them has nothing to do in the story.

Like the other movies on the dvd, this one uses much the same cast and crew. Dorothy Phillips is the star of the movie, and if there is an artistic point, it is to show the evolution of her character from a free spirit as an adolescent girl to a mature young woman, "older but wiser" who, despite her hero's journey, can go home again. Lon Chaney, the reason for Jon Mirsalis going to all the trouble he did in working with the Library of Congress and providing a pleasing score, offers a performance of a half-breed who lusts for Miss Phillips, but he does not rape her; no indeed, he locks her overnight in a cabin, so her father insists that she marry him, since she has obviously besmirched the family honor. She will have none of this however. And so forth.

As I said, it's all people acting in a way that indicates to me that once upon a time they may have had reasons, but now they simply have the demands of the plot. At that point, I lose interest.

Bob
He was deeply moved, for the whisky had been generously measured.

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

PostFri Nov 10, 2017 5:30 pm

Although I’ve been a fan of Fritz Lang’s work since my pre-teen years, and have seen practically all of his surviving silent films (some repeatedly), as well as the 1933 talkie Das Testament des Dr. Mabuse, somehow it’s taken me until now to view the 1922 silent epic, Dr. Mabuse, Der Spieler (i.e. “The Gambler”). That is, it’s taken me until now to watch the complete epic, from beginning to end; I did catch a portion of it on TCM a few years ago, and vowed to watch the entire two-part film one of these days. A beautifully restored version with an excellent musical score is available from Kino.

It goes without saying that this is a key German work of its period, alongside Caligari, the classics of Murnau, Der Golem, and Lang’s other silent era contributions. And Dr. Mabuse himself, in the definitive portrayal of Rudolf Klein-Rogge, was the most celebrated villain of the age—that is, the most celebrated fictional villain—often described as a harbinger of Hitler, although in later years Lang frequently dismissed this notion. Klein-Rogge carries the film, or rather drives it forward: his performance as Mabuse, criminal mastermind, is intense and flamboyant yet controlled, which is exactly what the character demands. He’s quite perfect.

The film itself is something of a hypnotic experience. (Suitably enough, considering the materia!) I watched the two parts on two successive nights, but even so it’s quite long: about four-and-a-half hours or so. I was never bored, but there were times I found the pacing too leisurely, and felt the director could have speeded things up without lessening the impact. But once you’ve adjusted to the tempo, it’s a rewarding experience. The art direction is exceptional: there are many fascinating sets. (Which helps keep one engaged during the slower stretches.) And it’s plain that this epic was both influenced by what preceded it, such as the crime serials of Louis Feuillade, and highly influential on what came afterward. Everything from the Warner Bros. Pre-Code gangster flicks to the James Bond series owe a great deal to Lang's work here.

A lot of us who post in NitrateVille, myself included, are quick to condemn poor or inappropriate musical scores for silent films, so I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that Aljosche Zimmermann’s score for this restoration is excellent, absolutely first rate. There’s a mini-documentary included as an extra with the DVD, in which the composer talks scoring this film, and his comments should gladden the heart of any silent movie fan: he asserts that a score should support and enhance the viewing experience, not overwhelm it, and that’s precisely what his music does in this case.

I don’t know why it took me so long to watch Dr. Mabuse, Der Spieler, but now that I’ve seen it I’m ready to experience it again. Not right away mind you, but it's a film rich enough in detail to reward return visits.
-- Charlie Morrow
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Re: What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2017]

PostSun Nov 12, 2017 1:48 pm

The copy I watched of A WOMAN OF THE WORLD (1925) was not of the best quality (a pity, with Bert Glennon at camera), but was still very enjoyable indeed, as ones pleasure comes from the acting, directing and writing. Directed by Malcolm St Clair, it stars Pola Negri as a European Countess who has been treated shabbily by her 'gentleman friend' (who is neither) and heads to a small town in the America, where her cousin by marriage, Chester Conklin (!) resides in henpecked bliss. If this isn't enough, there is a prim D.A. (Holmes Herbert) who is determined to rid the town of loose morality, and his employee (Charles Emmett Mack) who is immediately smitten, as well as a chorus of gossiping busybodies.

An extremely amusing comedy of manners, with some social satire thrown in for good measure, Miss Negri gives a delightful performance as the sophisticate who is amused by these amorous antics, showing a delightful sense of the absurd throughout. The casting of the downtrodden Conklin as her cousin is an inspired piece of casting, and a good deal of fun runs throughout the film. I suspect this may have been a reissue, as there is a music track which would seem to suggest this. And cannot tell if it is a cut-down, as the running time is so brief. A very pleasing film indeed.
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Re: What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2017]

PostSun Nov 12, 2017 4:28 pm

earlytalkiebuffRob wrote:The copy I watched of A WOMAN OF THE WORLD (1925) was not of the best quality ....


That is sad. The recent 35mm show print, shown at the SF Silent Film Festival, is gorgeous to look at.
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Re: What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2017]

PostSun Nov 12, 2017 6:27 pm

Anyone who looks at The Devil (1921) expecting a typically sly, witty -- albeit voiceless -- performance by George Arliss will be disappointed. This is a filmed version of an early stage success of his and he was 51 when he filmed it: still young enough for some big movement.

In fin-de-siecle Paris, Lucy Cotton has just gotten engaged to Roland Bottomley. Meanwhile, artist Edmund Lowe is having an attack of nerves before a big show; he tells his model/lover, Sylvia Breamer, that he wishes he was in love. When Miss Cotton sees one of the paintings at Lowe's show, "Truth Crucified by Evil", she remarks that such a thing could never happen -- and Mr. Arliss steps on the screen and decides to make that very thing happen.

It's Mr. Arliss' first movie, and so he has some good, up-and-coming talent with him, along with his wife, Florence, in a small role. It's rather unnerving after a dozen and a half movies in which he played the witty and wise fellow to see him in this Mephistophelean part, but he carries it off very well, even silently. Thank goodness a decent print is finally available!

Bob
He was deeply moved, for the whisky had been generously measured.

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

PostMon Nov 13, 2017 11:37 am

I re-watched the Cinema Europe DVD. I hadn't intended to give it my full attention, just to have it on as I did other things on the computer; but it's so good I put the computer aside.

It's very pleasant to note that some/many of the films shown have since become available (Underground, Shooting Stars, etc.) and in better quality than the clips shown.

Cinema Europe is also available on YouTube.

Rick
“The past is never dead. It's not even past” - Faulkner.
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Re: What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2017]

PostMon Nov 13, 2017 12:52 pm

Rodney wrote:
earlytalkiebuffRob wrote:The copy I watched of A WOMAN OF THE WORLD (1925) was not of the best quality ....


That is sad. The recent 35mm show print, shown at the SF Silent Film Festival, is gorgeous to look at.


As I said, the upload may have been taken from a reissue. Living in Southsea, England, it is not that easy to see films the way I would ideally like, (time and money are factors) and my cat is usually in need of sustenance when I get home. At least A WOMAN OF THE WORLD was not the sort of film where a defective print would have impaired one's enjoyment too much. I cannot complain in any case, as I usually manage to see about twenty films or so a month this way for my broadband costs, and in addition have furry company for the film...
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Re: What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2017]

PostMon Nov 13, 2017 1:00 pm

It probably wasn't a good idea to watch EGGED ON (1926) so soon after NOW YOU TELL ME ONE, as to me it seemed inferior, and the similar gag to the cat one (cars hatching from eggs) didn't seem as funny, despite being cleverly done.

A cat knocking some eggs onto Charley Bowers's head gives him the idea for a breakage-proof egg. While some gags work well [SPOILER] such as the scene with the crumpled drawing-paper, chasing his cousin down the railway line and the devastation at the end, I found the film generally weaker, and there is one scene, where a hen is made to lay umpteen eggs, then turns up her claws, very unfunny and in questionable taste. Perhaps another viewing would improve, although I feel that the hen scene would still leave a bad taste in the mouth.
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Re: What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2017]

PostMon Nov 13, 2017 3:30 pm

Just Maine Folks (1912): Ethel Clayton and Harry Myers may be the only recognizable players in this Kalem romantic comedy about farmers courting in the Maine countryside, but that doesn't mean that the story is about them. It's about the two older farmers trying to woo Ethel's aunt, who owns the successful farm.

Even that isn't the point of the movie for me; it's the lovely bucolic images of the haying and the husking bee, photographed by Kalem's cameramen. Kalem may never have led the industry in terms of technique, but their history as manufacturers, first of lenses and then of photographic equipment, meant that they always knew how to shoo their images to best advantage, and that's what they do here.

Bob
He was deeply moved, for the whisky had been generously measured.

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

PostMon Nov 13, 2017 6:31 pm

A bonus at today's showing of Saving Brinton was the newly restored Melies film, Le Rosier Miraculeux (1904: The Wonderful Rose Tree). A beturbanned young man and his dancing girl come out with a rug, and perform a magic act, causing a rose tree to sprout. The pick the huge blooms, which turn into another beautiful young woman. However, this turns into too much of a good thing, and the young man takes liberties with the second lady, leaving him with none.

Other film makers had already taken note of Melies' trick films and tried to compete, particularly Walter Booth releasing through Robert Paul, but I suspect Segundo de Chomon had made Melies sit up, take notice and decide that his "magician" films needed a bit of a story.

Bob
He was deeply moved, for the whisky had been generously measured.

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

PostTue Nov 14, 2017 1:17 pm

Russell Simpson plays an embittered, hard-drinking" and brutal sea-captain with an unpleasant son in GODLESS MEN (1920), set aboard a schooner which has taken parson Alec B Francis and orphan Helen Chadwick on board from a South Seas island back to America. Simpson's bitterness dates from his wife's leaving him many years back when he was at sea, and he has turned his back on religion ever since.

Both Simpson and his son (James Mason - the other one!) lust after the young lady, not realising (SPOILER) that she is in fact his never seen daughter, a plot point which you may see coming early on. Being 1920, incest is very narrowly avoided, but Francis is determined to save Simpson's Soul from a Dreadful Fate. In addition, Chadwick is slowly falling for what seems like the only decent fellow among the scurvy crew.

Although the denouement is rather unconvincing, GODLESS MEN is nevertheless watchable on account of Simpson and Francis meeting head-on in their theological and philosophical battle, although some of the arguments put forward are not exactly persuasive.

"Simpson's whiskey-bottle seems to have some kind of supernatural protection in that it never spills (except down the old boy's throat) even in a terrible storm.
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Re: What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2017]

PostWed Nov 15, 2017 2:02 pm

FULTAH FISHER'S BOARDING HOUSE (1922) is chiefly of interest as being Frank Capra's first film. Very hard to judge properly as the copy was in poor shape (from a reissue) and without music. Based on a Kipling poem (some of which is out of frame) featuring a low-life den where tempers get the better of two men.

Capra's THE YOUNGER GENERATION (1929) should really belong in the talkie thread, being a 'goat-gland'. Unfortunately the sound on this Portuguese subtitled copy packed in during the first reel, which was a pity. However, I could follow it pretty well in any case.

The film starts off in the East Side of NYC, where Mrs Goldfish despairs of husband Jean Hersholt, who spends more time socialising than working. Their son, Morris, is more of a get-up-and-go type, and selfish to boot. Time passes as the son (Ricardo Cortez) is a smooth antique dealer, elegant on the outside, but hollow within. Now living on Fifth Avenue, he bullies his father, whom he finds an embarrassment and treats his sister Goldie (Lina Basquette) shabbily as well. Using one of many dirty tricks, he gets her boyfriend jailed, then chucks her out when he finds they've married. He keeps up this despicable game by intercepting their letters, claiming that their Father wants nothing to do with the outcasts. Things come to a head when Hersholt determines to find Goldie...

Despite the missing sound, THE YOUNGER GENERATION is easy to follow, and fits in nicely with other Capra works. The 'money isn't everything' and 'what shall it profit a man...' themes come over well, thanks to the effective playing of the three leads. A powerful and touching drama.
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Re: What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2017]

PostWed Nov 15, 2017 5:02 pm

earlytalkiebuffRob wrote:
Capra's THE YOUNGER GENERATION (1929) should really belong in the talkie thread, being a 'goat-gland'. Unfortunately the sound on this Portuguese subtitled copy packed in during the first reel, which was a pity. However, I could follow it pretty well in any case.

The film starts off in the East Side of NYC, where Mrs Goldfish despairs of husband Jean Hersholt, who spends more time socialising than working. Their son, Morris, is more of a get-up-and-go type, and selfish to boot. Time passes as the son (Ricardo Cortez) is a smooth antique dealer, elegant on the outside, but hollow within. Now living on Fifth Avenue, he bullies his father, whom he finds an embarrassment and treats his sister Goldie (Lina Basquette) shabbily as well. Using one of many dirty tricks, he gets her boyfriend jailed, then chucks her out when he finds they've married. He keeps up this despicable game by intercepting their letters, claiming that their Father wants nothing to do with the outcasts. Things come to a head when Hersholt determines to find Goldie...

Despite the missing sound, THE YOUNGER GENERATION is easy to follow, and fits in nicely with other Capra works. The 'money isn't everything' and 'what shall it profit a man...' themes come over well, thanks to the effective playing of the three leads. A powerful and touching drama.


This film has nearly the same plot at Edward Sloman's HIS PEOPLE, though the emphasis is different. Both excellent films.

greta
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Rick Lanham

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

PostWed Nov 15, 2017 7:15 pm

In another thread it was mentioned that Lady Windermere's Fan (1925) is on the More Treasures from American Film Archives box set. I realized that I had not seen it, even though I had bothered to download another copy from YouTube or somewhere.

I thoroughly enjoyed it, May McAvoy's a charmer, Irene Rich was very effective. Poor Ronald Colman didn't have a lot to do, but to look handsome and charming. At least he does that easily.

Oh, and that copy I downloaded? Not nearly the quality of what's in the box set.

Rick
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boblipton

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

PostThu Nov 16, 2017 7:15 pm

The credits for The Heart of Doreon (1921) look like a throwback to the Patents Trust day; Edison director C.J. William is the producer, Selig stalwart Tom Santschi is the eponymous hero, and Essannay lovely Ruth Stonehouse is the love interest. THat's probably why this one-reeler about how Miss Stonehouse thinks she loves a cad and begs Quebecois Santschi to find him, only for a Mountie to show up and reveal that he's a bank robber plays like an antique for 1921, even with Robert Bradbury directing -- he would make his mark in B Westerns, particularly those starring his son, Bob Steele.

Still, the uncredited cinematographer shoots the great outdoors very nicely, and since it is a one-reel movie, it's over quickly enough that you can take that pleasure and let the rest go. Or you can skip the entire matter.

Bob
Last edited by boblipton on Fri Nov 17, 2017 6:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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drednm

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

PostThu Nov 16, 2017 8:38 pm

boblipton wrote:Just Maine Folks (1912): Ethel Clayton and Harry Myers may be the only recognizable players in this Kalem romantic comedy about farmers courting in the Maine countryside, but that doesn't mean that the story is about them. It's about the two older farmers trying to woo Ethel's aunt, who owns the successful farm.

Even that isn't the point of the movie for me; it's the lovely bucolic images of the haying and the husking bee, photographed by Kalem's cameramen. Kalem may never have led the industry in terms of technique, but their history as manufacturers, first of lenses and then of photographic equipment, meant that they always knew how to shoo their images to best advantage, and that's what they do here.

Bob


I've had a copy of this one for years. The source print is likely from the Northeast Historic Film archive in Bucksport, Maine.
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Jim Roots

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

PostFri Nov 17, 2017 6:48 am

boblipton wrote:... even with Robert Bradbury directing -- he would make his mark in B Westerns, particularly those starring his son, Boob Steele.


Enough with the sexual harassment jokes, already!

Jim
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wich2

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

PostFri Nov 17, 2017 11:50 am

Jim Roots wrote:
boblipton wrote:... even with Robert Bradbury directing -- he would make his mark in B Westerns, particularly those starring his son, Boob Steele.


Enough with the sexual harassment jokes, already!


I was always a bigger fan of Tits Gibson, anyway...
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