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

Open, general discussion of silent films, personalities and history.
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Re: What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2018]

Unread post by boblipton » Fri Mar 23, 2018 5:31 am

Jim Roots wrote:
drednm wrote:
Big Silent Fan wrote:What really got my attention in this film was the French-Canadian thing. I guess i'd never noticed that there was a French-Canadian stereotype in movies i'd seen over the years. I realize the blanket coat is a Northwest thing, but this was the first time i realized that there was a common thread of living in the woods/frontier, an exuberant manner (to go with the exuberant accent) and a tendency to dress in loud prints, and have thick heads of hair. This is mostly silents that i'm thinking of, i don't think i've seen that many French Canadian characters in talkies, aside from Laurence Olivier's bizarre performance in 49th Parallel.

greta
My wife and I recently watched Centinnial (1978), an old mini-series that featured trapper Pasquinel (Robert Conrad), a French Canadian fur trader (as the main character). I thought about this series watching the Silent since Conrad could be seen singing, dancing with other men (whether they wanted to or not) and doing all sorts of similar things I saw in this. I think there was even a scene where he traveled down rapids in a canoe.
Robert Conrad really got into character and mastered the accent nicely.

I always thought that Franco-American stereotype was mostly in Maine/northern New England/upstate NY because of proximity to Quebec and New Brunswick.
These films were made by people in California, mostly.

Sorry, eh.

Jim
Jim, the weather has me cranky too. The way to deal with it is some violent exercise. I put on my opera hat and cape and throw widows out of their shacks. You need to go punch a moose.

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

Unread post by Big Silent Fan » Fri Mar 23, 2018 7:58 am

Big Silent Fan wrote:Winds of Chance (1925) is another epic film that seems much, much longer than the it's 2 hour play time. A story of the gold rush in the Klondike, the film felt as if I was spending hours reading Rex Beach's novel, which the story is taken from. I never could have viewed this silent, as there is no sound available on YouTube, so I used the audio from two of DeMille's older Silents which worked well. The second reel is missing, but following the story would be a challenge with or without it. Hobart Bosworth appears as a one-handed gambler (a hook for a left hand). Surprisingly, his role was a minor one (he's killed in a bar fight, leaving his daughter penniless and stranded in the Yukon).
The entire film relates to the trials and hardships of going to the Klondike in search of gold.

There's a nice trailer available to view a somewhat better print. It says the restored film (still missing reel two) has a piano score and is available to rent.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3khevUh19U" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank
There a nice 14 minute tribute reel about Frank Lloyd, highlighting his many successful films. It calls Winds of Chance an example of light entertainment which I suppose it was. At the end, Frank Lloyd is quoted to have said,
After all, a film should not be judges as a historical document; it should be judged purely and simply as an evenings entertainment.

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

Unread post by Battra92 » Fri Mar 23, 2018 8:02 am

drednm wrote:The fades are a Cecil Hepworth thing. They are also used in Hepworth features like Tansy, Mist in the Valley, and Comin' Thro' the Rye. I've never seen anything that explains it. I always suspected it was a "this is a movie" kind of thing, like Hitchcock's miniatures and obvious real projections. I never found it annoying. Hepworth's use of location is excellent, as is Alma Taylor in all four of these silents.
I really want to see Comin' Thro' the Rye because of the scathing review in Photoplay:
*You'll enjoy this picture better if you stay at home. One dislikes to say unpleasant things about a visitor but we wish they had kept this picture in England. If there is one redeeming feature in the whole thing it is the lesson which it furnishes—how not to make a picture. Recently we attended a stage revival of "The Fatal Wedding." Thirty years ago we wept over that melodrama. The revival gave us joyous moments because it all seemed so ridiculous. We never got a better laugh than we did out of some of the subtitles of "Comin' Thro' the Rye." In picture production it is about thirty years behind American films. The story is poor, the settings are poor, the costumes are poor, the acting is worse and the whole thing just gives one a desire to shoot everybody that had a hand in its making.
Now maybe it's just me but when I read something like that, I just have to check it out. Unfortunately I have yet to see it and it doesn't appear to be available anywhere I can find.

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

Unread post by boblipton » Fri Mar 23, 2018 8:52 am

Big Silent Fan wrote:
Big Silent Fan wrote:Winds of Chance (1925) is another epic film that seems much, much longer than the it's 2 hour play time. A story of the gold rush in the Klondike, the film felt as if I was spending hours reading Rex Beach's novel, which the story is taken from. I never could have viewed this silent, as there is no sound available on YouTube, so I used the audio from two of DeMille's older Silents which worked well. The second reel is missing, but following the story would be a challenge with or without it. Hobart Bosworth appears as a one-handed gambler (a hook for a left hand). Surprisingly, his role was a minor one (he's killed in a bar fight, leaving his daughter penniless and stranded in the Yukon).
The entire film relates to the trials and hardships of going to the Klondike in search of gold.

There's a nice trailer available to view a somewhat better print. It says the restored film (still missing reel two) has a piano score and is available to rent.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z3khevUh19U" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank
There a nice 14 minute tribute reel about Frank Lloyd, highlighting his many successful films. It calls Winds of Chance an example of light entertainment which I suppose it was. At the end, Frank Lloyd is quoted to have said,
After all, a film should not be judges as a historical document; it should be judged purely and simply as an evenings entertainment.
After all, we're talking about Frank Lloyd, not Michael Bay.

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

Unread post by greta de groat » Fri Mar 23, 2018 9:25 am

Jim Roots wrote:
drednm wrote:
I always thought that Franco-American stereotype was mostly in Maine/northern New England/upstate NY because of proximity to Quebec and New Brunswick.
These films were made by people in California, mostly.

Sorry, eh.

Jim
I knew we'd hear from you, Jim!

Most people in California at that time came from elsewhere so it could have been transplanted from the East. Growing up in California, i was not only completely unaware of the stereotype, i didn't even recognize a standard Canadian accent until i moved to Washington State and started watching Canadian TV. I never heard of poutine until a few years ago--sounds good, i need to find it and try it!. Out here we're big on curly garlic fries.

So, further question--is this only an American stereotype or is (or was) there the same or a different stereotype commonly held by non-Quebec Canadians? And of course 49th Parallel was British so it seems to have traveled overseas. We had a Parisian teen staying with us a while ago and he was always imitating Canadian French (so he told us, we wouldn't know otherwise) and laughing uproariously, so apparently he though the accent terribly funny. I have no idea if he mentally pictured the plaid shirt with that, though.

By the way, I notice in the silents the plaid thing doesn't seem to have been firmly established yet so it is often other loud patterns.

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

Unread post by Harold Aherne » Fri Mar 23, 2018 10:36 am

greta de groat wrote:So, further question--is this only an American stereotype or is (or was) there the same or a different stereotype commonly held by non-Quebec Canadians? And of course 49th Parallel was British so it seems to have traveled overseas. We had a Parisian teen staying with us a while ago and he was always imitating Canadian French (so he told us, we wouldn't know otherwise) and laughing uproariously, so apparently he though the accent terribly funny. I have no idea if he mentally pictured the plaid shirt with that, though.

By the way, I notice in the silents the plaid thing doesn't seem to have been firmly established yet so it is often other loud patterns.

greta
My guess is that the trope of the Francophone Canadian who wears plaid comes from the subgenre of melodramas/action films set vaguely in the "Northwest", although not always literally in the Pacific Northwest. It can be seen in the 1936 film of Rose-Marie as well, with the title character's guide, Boniface (Métis in this case), wearing a plaid jacket.

Even George Beban, best known for playing Italian characters, played a French Canadian in The Cook of Canyon Camp (1917), set in a Quebec lumber camp. No idea whether plaid was involved, however.

--HA

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

Unread post by greta de groat » Fri Mar 23, 2018 11:15 am

Harold Aherne wrote:
greta de groat wrote:So, further question--is this only an American stereotype or is (or was) there the same or a different stereotype commonly held by non-Quebec Canadians? And of course 49th Parallel was British so it seems to have traveled overseas. We had a Parisian teen staying with us a while ago and he was always imitating Canadian French (so he told us, we wouldn't know otherwise) and laughing uproariously, so apparently he though the accent terribly funny. I have no idea if he mentally pictured the plaid shirt with that, though.

By the way, I notice in the silents the plaid thing doesn't seem to have been firmly established yet so it is often other loud patterns.

greta
My guess is that the trope of the Francophone Canadian who wears plaid comes from the subgenre of melodramas/action films set vaguely in the "Northwest", although not always literally in the Pacific Northwest. It can be seen in the 1936 film of Rose-Marie as well, with the title character's guide, Boniface (Métis in this case), wearing a plaid jacket.

Even George Beban, best known for playing Italian characters, played a French Canadian in The Cook of Canyon Camp (1917), set in a Quebec lumber camp. No idea whether plaid was involved, however.

--HA
I'd always been aware of a plaid shirt as a lumberjack stereotype, but hadn't associated it with any particular ethnic group.

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

Unread post by boblipton » Fri Mar 23, 2018 11:16 am

I thought the plaid was a side-effect of flannel. I like to wear flannel in the winter because it is warm, from which my mother deduced that I liked plaids. Nothing could be further from the truth. However, for a long time, the only flannel shirts aavailable were in plaids.

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

Unread post by greta de groat » Fri Mar 23, 2018 12:20 pm

boblipton wrote:I thought the plaid was a side-effect of flannel. I like to wear flannel in the winter because it is warm, from which my mother deduced that I liked plaids. Nothing could be further from the truth. However, for a long time, the only flannel shirts aavailable were in plaids.

Bob
Yes, the plaid usually seems to be flannel or woolen of some sort (i had some of those shirts myself). Ok. googling images i see that Chaney wore a plaid shirt with striped pants in Nomads of the North, and in The Trap he wore a plaid jacket with a different plaid pattern on the pants. In Winds of Chance, many people wear plaid shirts or jackets, but McLaughlin's characters has a distinctive fashion sense, wearing a plaid jacket on top of a plaid shirt and with some sort of op pattern on his pants. As well as the cap with the big pom pom on it. North of Hudson Bay has Tom Mix in a really weird blanket coat, but his character doesn't have a French name. However, in a still from the film i found online, i can see another character with the plaid shirt and patterned pants. So maybe it's the patterned pants that complete the look. I'm trying to think of the other silents i've seen but none are coming to mind.

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

Unread post by Big Silent Fan » Fri Mar 23, 2018 2:31 pm

McLaughlin's characters turns into one of the important parts of the film. Never intending to be a prospector himself, he was a river pilot who aided those trying to navigate the rapids. I saw a cover from the novel with a picture of the French Canadian so he's likely big in the novel too. https://www.yesterdaysgallery.com/pictu ... /13619.jpg" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank. The main character, Pierce Phillips certainly didn't carry the story with his lackluster acting alone.
Interesting fact about the author being able to write about this accurately:
Rex Beach was well on his way to becoming a lawyer when he was hit by Gold Rush Fever and left for the Klondike to strike it rich. He never found gold, but his travels had sparked his imagination and he began to write. His tales of adventures quickly made him into a popular author. .
He eventually registers a deed for some useless property, but names Rouletta and the hero of the story as owners. As dumb luck would have it, gold is discovered on his site and without so much as lifting a shovel, he becomes rich.
Even more, at the conclusion, when he tells Rouletta the gold stike belongs to her and Pierce Philips, Rouletta declares, "Don't you know I'm in love with you?" (or something like that). With a big smile on his face, he raises Rouletta and hugs her in this happy climax to the story.

With all this talk, I suppose I'll be watching this again using sound from DeMille Silents, the same two that worked so well before. I'm not much for silly comedy, but the two old men seen again and again in the film were enjoyable.
Last edited by Big Silent Fan on Fri Mar 23, 2018 3:12 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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

Unread post by Jim Roots » Fri Mar 23, 2018 2:47 pm

greta de groat wrote: I knew we'd hear from you, Jim!

Most people in California at that time came from elsewhere so it could have been transplanted from the East. Growing up in California, i was not only completely unaware of the stereotype, i didn't even recognize a standard Canadian accent until i moved to Washington State and started watching Canadian TV. I never heard of poutine until a few years ago--sounds good, i need to find it and try it!. Out here we're big on curly garlic fries.

So, further question--is this only an American stereotype or is (or was) there the same or a different stereotype commonly held by non-Quebec Canadians? And of course 49th Parallel was British so it seems to have traveled overseas. We had a Parisian teen staying with us a while ago and he was always imitating Canadian French (so he told us, we wouldn't know otherwise) and laughing uproariously, so apparently he though the accent terribly funny. I have no idea if he mentally pictured the plaid shirt with that, though.

By the way, I notice in the silents the plaid thing doesn't seem to have been firmly established yet so it is often other loud patterns.

greta
A lot for me to comment on, Greta. Which, of course, isn't going to faze me.

(1) Poutine is overrated. But now they have international poutine tournaments and competitions, so there must be something to it that I don't get.

(2) Garlic fries? What I want is garlic peanuts. I saw them exactly once in a grocery store and have been hunting for them ever since, without success. I think they are big in Georgia (what a surprise, eh) but they don't seem to be anywhere in Canada.

(3) French people from France are tremendous snobs about joual, which is the street French in Quebec. It is considered uneducated, ungrammatical, and rife with English borrowings. Actually, it is the French version of "Black English" (ebonics) which these same France Frenchies think is so cute.

(4) Almost every other country has insulting ideas about Canada. English people still believe we are backwards colonials, even though a Canadian is head of their national bank. Europeans think we are nothing but hockey players. And in Middle Eastern countries, the Sign-language name for "Canada" is the stereotype of an Indian "brave" wearing three feathers in the back of his head.

At least you Americans have a single consistent image all over the world: the Ugly American!

Anyway, let's move on...

Jim

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

Unread post by Donald Binks » Fri Mar 23, 2018 3:53 pm

Jim Roots wrote:
(4) Almost every other country has insulting ideas about Canada. English people still believe we are backwards colonials, even though a Canadian is head of their national bank. Europeans think we are nothing but hockey players. And in Middle Eastern countries, the Sign-language name for "Canada" is the stereotype of an Indian "brave" wearing three feathers in the back of his head.

Jim
Speaking as one "colonial" to another, Aussies have a high regard for Canada. We have discovered it, and people rave about their visits there. I too am one!

I should add that in my trips to Canada I have never encountered A Royal Canadian Mounted Policeman in his red uniform singing "I am calling you, oo oo oo, oo oo oo..." but I am sure this will be bound to happen one day.
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Re: What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2018]

Unread post by Jim Roots » Sat Mar 24, 2018 1:25 pm

Donald Binks wrote:
Jim Roots wrote:
(4) Almost every other country has insulting ideas about Canada. English people still believe we are backwards colonials, even though a Canadian is head of their national bank. Europeans think we are nothing but hockey players. And in Middle Eastern countries, the Sign-language name for "Canada" is the stereotype of an Indian "brave" wearing three feathers in the back of his head.

Jim
Speaking as one "colonial" to another, Aussies have a high regard for Canada. We have discovered it, and people rave about their visits there. I too am one!

I should add that in my trips to Canada I have never encountered A Royal Canadian Mounted Policeman in his red uniform singing "I am calling you, oo oo oo, oo oo oo..." but I am sure this will be bound to happen one day.
Come visit me in Ottawa and I will take you to Parliament Hill, where they do have the scarlet-coated Mounties!

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

Unread post by earlytalkiebuffRob » Sun Mar 25, 2018 2:52 pm

Not easy to evaluate GERMINAL (1913) properly, since the copy I saw was about half the length of the original release, and there were no intertitles, which made for some mild confusion at times. However, a most impressive, ambitious filming of Emile Zola's novel of the coal mines.

The book was part of a massive family saga (but not of the soap opera type), with GERMINAL following the experiences of Etienne Lantier (listed in IMDb as 'Lautier') upon settling in a mining community and seeing the conditions endured by the miners and their families. There is an element of romance in the shape of a female miner whom Lantier falls for (despite not realising 'he' is a 'she' at first!), and we have plot elements made familiar by later stories in the shape of a strike, the use of the military, the treatment of 'blacklegs' and a very shifty, bearded troublemaker who seems in cahoots with the owners as well as perpetually fondling an enormous rabbit (a la Claude Dampier in BOYS WILL BE BOYS), and (SPOILER) causing a collapse.

Despite the lack of titles making some of the film a little unclear, GERMINAL is impressively put together, using a great deal of exteriors as well as what looks like authentic village and works buildings. I felt the film was rather spoilt by the music, which was supplied by a group called 'Graund', and which to me seemed more suitable for a film of the more 'experimental' or 'avant-garde' type. I was reminded of the music used in REVUE OF REVUES (1927), which seemed to work against rather than for the film, and was very distracting.

Followed this with the rather mistitled TRAGIC ERROR (1913), directed by Louis Feuillade. In this short film, a bridegroom is called away on business, and, finding himself with a few minutes to spare, enters a cinema, where the film showing features his new bride and a mysterious gentleman! His jealousy inflamed, he purchases a print of the film for further inspection and bundles it carelessly into his overnight bag. Arriving back to his honeymoon chateau, a letter to his wife sparks a desperate (and rather ruthless, as it involves her driver and the horses) revenge. An odd mixture of what starts out seeming to be a comedy and ends as melodrama.

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

Unread post by earlytalkiebuffRob » Mon Mar 26, 2018 1:42 pm

THE TAILOR FROM TORZHOK (1925) is a light-hearted entry from Russia, which, while it's lead role seems rather overplayed, is nevertheless a most entertaining comedy, with music, sound-effects and English subtitles. The tailor of the title is a downtrodden fellow whose widowed business partner suddenly decides that matrimony is an attractive idea, despite the poor chap wanting nothing to do with it.

Parallel to this is a beguiling young lady who is being exploited by her storekeeper 'uncle', who is a miserable, bad-tempered old fart. A meeting at the river on washday, and the pudding-faced lad is smitten, but how to get out of the 'engagement'?? In addition our hero has parted with some of his hard-earned to buy a lottery ticket from a woman in distress, and it would be spoiling nothing to reveal that it is of course the winning ticket, worth 100,000 roubles.

A simple (aside from some of the lottery complications) farce which is both fast-paced and very amusing in places. The plot threads are nicely woven together, and, despite a few unlikely coincidences, the film is a good example of an entertainment film from this country, with some of the plot elements being common to those from the West.

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

Unread post by drednm » Tue Mar 27, 2018 6:35 am

Down Home (1920) is no Way Down East, but is a decent rural drama involving town gossips, an innocent heroine (Leatrice Joy), a stalwart blacksmith (Edward Hearn), and an evil syndicate intent on getting Joy's family farm which has rich salt deposits. Among the highlights are a small-town revival meeting where Joy's drunken daddy (William Robert Daly) is saved, and a blizzard scene where daddy gets lost. Future director Sidney Franklin plays a traveling salesman whose wagon sports a sign that I took as funny. Maybe it's not meant to be.

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

Unread post by Jim Roots » Tue Mar 27, 2018 12:03 pm

drednm wrote:Down Home (1920) is no Way Down East, but is a decent rural drama involving town gossips, an innocent heroine (Leatrice Joy), a stalwart blacksmith (Edward Hearn), and an evil syndicate intent on getting Joy's family farm which has rich salt deposits. Among the highlights are a small-town revival meeting where Joy's drunken daddy (William Robert Daly) is saved, and a blizzard scene where daddy gets lost. Future director Sidney Franklin plays a traveling salesman whose wagon sports a sign that I took as funny. Maybe it's not meant to be.
Good lord, what a compendium of silent-film cliches! Did the evil landlord have some long moustaches to twirl?

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

Unread post by earlytalkiebuffRob » Tue Mar 27, 2018 12:43 pm

What looked like a decent copy of FEEL MY PULSE (1928) compared to the miserable copies usually available turned out to be not terribly good either, with the film coming over rather flatly to me.

In this early feature from Gregory la Cava, Bebe Daniels plays an heiress who has been brought up in a germ-free atmosphere and has become a bit of a hypochondriac. Seeking refuge from her 'no-nonsense', cigar-puffing uncle, she heads for a sanitarium - one of her many legacies. Unbeknown to her, the place has been taken over by rum-runners, led by a seedy William Powell, and is anything but a haven of peace. On hand, however, is reporter Richard Arlen, out to turn out an expose for his rag.

FEEL MY PULSE starts off pretty well, and livens up somewhat towards the end, but to me sags heavily in the middle, with an excess of titles which begin to get pretty wearying after a while, with the bootlegging side of the plot being fairly done to death. A bit of a disappointment, although some of the contemporary reviews didn't seem terribly enthusiastic, either.

Note - I did travel to the National Film Theatre over forty years ago to see this film (amongst others) but alas it had to be cancelled...

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

Unread post by Mike Gebert » Tue Mar 27, 2018 1:23 pm

I saw this at Cinesation in 2011, fwiw:
Feel My Pulse (***)— Slight but fast and funny silent comedy (directed by Gregory LaCava) with Bebe Daniels as a young woman raised a hypochondriac, who decides to run off to a sanitarium her family owns... unaware that the caretaker (Charles "Mr. Muckle" Sellon) has handed it over to a gang of rumrunners led by William Powell. Lots of slapstick and a sly performance by Powell made this easy to take, though the print was too contrasty.
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Re: What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2018]

Unread post by drednm » Tue Mar 27, 2018 1:37 pm

Jim Roots wrote:
drednm wrote:Down Home (1920) is no Way Down East, but is a decent rural drama involving town gossips, an innocent heroine (Leatrice Joy), a stalwart blacksmith (Edward Hearn), and an evil syndicate intent on getting Joy's family farm which has rich salt deposits. Among the highlights are a small-town revival meeting where Joy's drunken daddy (William Robert Daly) is saved, and a blizzard scene where daddy gets lost. Future director Sidney Franklin plays a traveling salesman whose wagon sports a sign that I took as funny. Maybe it's not meant to be.
Good lord, what a compendium of silent-film cliches! Did the evil landlord have some long moustaches to twirl?

Jim
No twirling but it's an entertaining film maybe BECAUSE of the old melodrama cliches. I'm not familiar at all with William Robert Daly but his performance as old Joe Pelot was extremely good. He got be be a noisome drunk, a saved do-gooder, and the tragic figure lost in a blizzard.
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Re: What's The Last Silent Movie You Watched? [2018]

Unread post by earlytalkiebuffRob » Wed Mar 28, 2018 1:12 pm

Mike Gebert wrote:I saw this at Cinesation in 2011, fwiw:
Feel My Pulse (***)— Slight but fast and funny silent comedy (directed by Gregory LaCava) with Bebe Daniels as a young woman raised a hypochondriac, who decides to run off to a sanitarium her family owns... unaware that the caretaker (Charles "Mr. Muckle" Sellon) has handed it over to a gang of rumrunners led by William Powell. Lots of slapstick and a sly performance by Powell made this easy to take, though the print was too contrasty.
Yes, and of course a good, receptive audience would make all the difference...

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

Unread post by Brooksie » Thu Mar 29, 2018 12:44 pm

Peau de Pêche (1929) is a reasonably obscure late French silent which I knew almost nothing about going in. I've since discovered it was screened at Bologna in 2016 and Bonn in 2017 (Nitrateville's own Arndt reviews it in this thread). Long thought lost, a copy was found at the French Department of Agriculture, of all places.

Like Arndt, the film put me in mind of Gribiche, in that it focuses on a charismatic child lead and, at least initially, follows a similar plot. Street urchin 'Peach Skin' (Jimmy Gaillard) - so named for his propensity to blush - is enchanted by a beautiful woman he sees being married at the Sacre Coeur in Montmatre, where he lives with shiftless foster parents. The woman, lonely because her husband is at war, befriends the boy. Which war is not specified; we can presume that it's World War I, though the fashions remain late-1920s throughout the film.

A series of events propel the plot into completely different territory, when 'Peach Skin' is adopted by a distant cousin and moves to the country, befriending a young boy known as La Ficelle ('The String') and falling in love with life on the land. The theme of war, with its deadly harvest of young men contrasted to the natural cycles observed on the farm, moves more fully to the fore when the family loses a son.

Ten years pass, and a love triangle between La Ficelle, Peau de Peche and his relative Lucie - now grown into a comely young lass - dominate the final third, and though its conclusion is a little pat and abrupt, there is much to enjoy on the way. I could not figure out why Lucie looked so familiar to me, until I looked her up. It turns out she is the possessor of the most famous eye in filmdom - she's the girl in that notorious sequence of Un Chien Andalou. Don't seek out what became of her later unless you'd like to get very depressed.

Variety indicates that Peau de Pêche received extensive trade screenings in America and was positively received, but I've seen no evidence that it was released here. The date will tell you why. It is quite possible that this screening, shown as part of Portland's Church of Film program with a decent needle-drop score, represented its American debut. It's a charming film that deserves a wider audience.

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

Unread post by Battra92 » Fri Mar 30, 2018 8:20 am

Going through my list of films that I need to watch I settled on Barbed Wire (1927.) This film was alright but a bit predictable and not really all that ground breaking. Clive Brook has a look of "This is how to look sad" plastered on his face and could've been replaced with a robot. Pola Negri was excellent

My toddler decided that she had to be awake and sit with me and wanted to watch the whole movie. Obviously she didn't get what was going on but she seemed to keep quiet for most of it.

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

Unread post by Big Silent Fan » Fri Mar 30, 2018 9:25 am

Battra92 wrote:Going through my list of films that I need to watch I settled on Barbed Wire (1927.) This film was alright but a bit predictable and not really all that ground breaking. Clive Brook has a look of "This is how to look sad" plastered on his face and could've been replaced with a robot. Pola Negri was excellent

My toddler decided that she had to be awake and sit with me and wanted to watch the whole movie. Obviously she didn't get what was going on but she seemed to keep quiet for most of it.
Perhaps predictable, but seeing the German teach the people about the importance of forgiveness certainly must have been a moving ending for the 1927 audience. Those of us who watched, and posted here recently were still moved by how it ended.

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

Unread post by Big Silent Fan » Sat Mar 31, 2018 12:52 pm

For the Term of His Natural Life (1927) was brought to mind recently and remembering little about what it was about from memory when I last saw it (more than a decade ago), I decided to look again.
YouTube has it listed as a 1929 film, but it has been carefully reconstructed, using 'stills' and informational titles as necessary. I think all of that was missing when I watched before.

I attempted unsuccessfully to view this convoluted story yesterday. Because of the sometimes long titles, too often, I missed reading the end of the intertitle or supplemental titles before they were gone and the film resumed, There was lots going on, but also much to read in the first hour of the film. I must have gotten distracted and not been paying close attention since suddenly, I'm watching two young boys in a 'suicide pack' kissing and then jumping off a cliff to their death? Add to that one of the titles encouraging other convicts to try eating one of there number with the title, "I've done this before; it tastes like pork!" I gave up and stopped watching.

Determined to understand the film, I went to Wiki for the synopsis of the novel, but that too was a convoluted story that was difficult to follow.

Today, I decided to try again, this time pausing at many titles to thoroughly read and understand them before proceeding. Now, with some knowledge of the story and a familiarity with the main characters I managed to get through the 95 minutes with little difficulty. I understand the film, even who those two boys were who jumped off the cliff to their deaths, and in spite of the dual story (in the final part), depicting both escaped & starving convicts and Rufus Dawe, the innocent man who had been sent from England to the Australian penal colony.
The story is complete thanks to several 'stills' with explaination titles. A lot of work was done to make this an improvement over what I saw about 15 years ago. They should have at least done a final edit to remove the repeated scenes, or titles and scenes that weren't shown in the correct order.
If you decide to give it a look, be sure to watch carefully. Even the comments I later read at IMDB don't quite have the details correct.
PS: Leave it to YouTube to supply information concerning this subject. This was today's suggested view; a seven minute documentary about the first prisoners sent to Australia. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UToptGN4990

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

Unread post by Thousandvintagefilms » Sun Apr 01, 2018 1:48 pm

Jimmy Finlayson and Faye Wray (of King Kong fame) starring in "Chasing the Chaser" and as you can see from following I shall be watching hundreds more this week as I research the room full an owner of property we got gave to us. My son buys old 3 family houses, converts them into condo's and it seems one owner gave him a thousand films (700 cartoons and movies in never opened boxes new condition) a couple of hundred 1900 - 1932 excellent condition in metal cans marks Rare do not sell, and about another hundred in various larger metal cans, a couple of old world series/superbowls, US Navy & Govt films etc.
Might you be interested in them or possibly refer me to someone who might want to buy a thousand old films, a hundred or more of which are exceptionally rare (1914 thru 1932) .
I can't find these (marked rare Not For Sale on labels) almost anywhere on the net, such as first box of films I just made a list of” “ Revenge of the Range” (date ????), Billy Franey "In The Trenches" (1921) Harry (Snub) Pollard “The Dumb-bell” (1922); Chester Conklin’s “A One Night Stand” retitles as“ Behind the Scenes”; Beatrice Laplante’s “A Regular Pal film’; Larry Sermon "The Cloudhopper"(1925) (2 sets of part 1 and part 2)),and Jack Duffy’s silent 16mm films "Chicken feathers"(1927) and "Hold Still (1926)16 mm vintage films in the boxes listed on internet, except one in a school library saying as of October 2000 it was heavily scratched, Jimmy Finlayson “In The Grass”, Chester Conklin “Behind the Scenes” and one with Jimmy Finlayson and Faye Wray "Chasing the Chaser" Fandon.com is using to hook new customers into paying $ subscription service fees.
I still have to research about eighty more. Thanks if you might be good enough to advise me anytime or refer us to anyone interested in some or all of the rare silent 16mm films !
Mike DuPont [email protected]" target="_blank" target="_blank

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

Unread post by Brooksie » Sun Apr 01, 2018 1:59 pm

For The Term of His Natural Life is definitely a tricky one, Big Silent Fan. Even in its original form, it was considered convoluted and difficult to follow - the novel on which it was based is one of those twisty-turny Victorian episodic affairs, and director Norman Dawn filmed directly from it. There are also additional complications in the 1981 reconstruction you saw, including the fact that it was patched together using both the 1927 Australian and 1929 American release versions which had some significant differences. More footage has been rediscovered since then, but never incorporated into a new restoration. Dawn began his career as a special effects expert, so it's no surprise that the visuals are probably the most successful aspect of the production.

My review from a public screening a few years back is available here and may provide some elucidation, as may the curatorial notes at Australian Screen.

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

Unread post by drednm » Sun Apr 01, 2018 2:34 pm

A Tale of Two Worlds (1921) may be just a tad too farfetched for its own good. Story has Chinese bandits killing a White couple, apparently during the Boxer Rebellion (?). Ah Wing (E.Alyn Warren) takes their baby girl and steals away with her and emigrates to the US where the girl (Leatrice Joy) grows up thinking she's Chinese. Nasty Ling Jo (Wallace Beery) ends up in the same city and runs a thuggery and female slave market. He lusts after Leatrice but made a deal long ago with Ah Wing that he could have Leatrice only if he found the missing Sceptre of the Mings. Og course he finds it and demands payment on Chinese New Years. Along the way, a White guy (J. Frank Glendon), who loves all things Oriental, of course falls for Leatrice, but since she's Chinese (ha ha) their love can never be. Obviously the truth eventually comes out and all situations are resolved. Best part of the film may be the torture room with the ceiling that lowers to crush its victim. Directed by Frank Lloyd in a straightforward manner.
Ed Lorusso
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https://wordpress.com/view/silentroomdo ... dpress.com" target="_blank

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

Unread post by Big Silent Fan » Mon Apr 02, 2018 10:52 am

Rin Tin Tin's third feature, Where the North Begins (1923) appeared on YouTube yesterday and I was one of the first to view the film. It has no sound, but I was satisfied watching the 75 minute film while listening to another score.

A few years ago, I saw Rinty in "Clash of the Wolves" at the Michigan Theatre, Ann Arbor with live Wurlitzer organ accompaniment. Susan Orlean was touring with the film, promoting her new book. There are a lot of similarities between the two films, but there was less comic relief here than in "Clash of the Wolves."
Just as in "Winds of Chance," the main male character is another Frenchman, with those outrages plaid shirts, pants and coat and of course, with a big smile on his face...most of the time.

Rin Tin Tin had mastered melodrama perfectly by the time this film was made and also displayed incredible skill at jumping high, into a window (at least 10' up). It's easy to see why this dog was so very popular in Silent films.

The film reached it climax just after sixty minutes and the story seemed as if it was about to end, when suddenly, there was a lot more action in the final few minutes. Totally unexpected!
The final ending is much the same as "Clash of the Wolves" with puppies everywhere.

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

Unread post by Battra92 » Mon Apr 02, 2018 11:23 am

Big Silent Fan wrote:
Battra92 wrote:Going through my list of films that I need to watch I settled on Barbed Wire (1927.) This film was alright but a bit predictable and not really all that ground breaking. Clive Brook has a look of "This is how to look sad" plastered on his face and could've been replaced with a robot. Pola Negri was excellent

My toddler decided that she had to be awake and sit with me and wanted to watch the whole movie. Obviously she didn't get what was going on but she seemed to keep quiet for most of it.
Perhaps predictable, but seeing the German teach the people about the importance of forgiveness certainly must have been a moving ending for the 1927 audience. Those of us who watched, and posted here recently were still moved by how it ended.
I guess ... but then it also comes across as being a bit of "Goodie Two-Shoes Germans" which was probably rather annoying if not infuriating to audiences of '27.

If you're looking for something that re-humanizes the German side of the Great War, All Quiet on the Western Front is far more effective.

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