1930-?? silent moviemaking

Open, general discussion of silent films, personalities and history.
User avatar
2 Reel
Posts: 83
Joined: Wed May 17, 2017 10:34 am
Location: Earth, for the time being

1930-?? silent moviemaking

Unread post by 2 Reel » Sun Jan 07, 2018 5:57 pm

Here's a challenge for Nitratevilleans: my son need to show his film class 10 silent movies made from 1930 to today. I can only think of a few [City Lights, Modern Times, Tabu, Dragnet Girl, Mel Brooks' Silent Movie, The Artist]. What others would you suggest?
They call me "Dangerous Dal"

User avatar
boblipton
Posts: 6144
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 8:01 pm
Location: Clement Clarke Moore's Farm

Re: 1930-?? silent moviemaking

Unread post by boblipton » Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:13 pm

You've already mentioned Dragnet Girl. Almost everything Ozu did through 1936 was silent. If they have a taste for soap opera, show 'em the silent Floating Weeds, as well as the sound one. I've already reviewed Where Now are the Dreams of Youth in this year's "What's the Lat Silent You Watched" thread and late last year I was very impressed by Uchida's Keisatsukan (1933).

And if they wish to look at a Chinese movie, how about Shen Nu (aka The Goddess: 1934)?

Bob
Life's too short to sit on our rears watching other people's work.
— Bob Fells

User avatar
Harlett O'Dowd
Posts: 2103
Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2008 8:57 am

Re: 1930-?? silent moviemaking

Unread post by Harlett O'Dowd » Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:14 pm

2 Reel wrote:Here's a challenge for Nitratevilleans: my son need to show his film class 10 silent movies made from 1930 to today. I can only think of a few [City Lights, Modern Times, Tabu, Dragnet Girl, Mel Brooks' Silent Movie, The Artist]. What others would you suggest?
CLAIRE, the silent ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT. And there are some silent Asian films from 1930-onward, aren't they?

User avatar
Smari1989
Posts: 434
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2012 2:14 am
Location: Norway

Re: 1930-?? silent moviemaking

Unread post by Smari1989 » Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:15 pm

Mario Peixoto's LIMITE (1931).

User avatar
Rick Lanham
Posts: 2022
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2009 10:16 pm
Location: Gainesville, FL

Re: 1930-?? silent moviemaking

Unread post by Rick Lanham » Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:20 pm

“The past is never dead. It's not even past” - Faulkner.

User avatar
MaryGH
Posts: 315
Joined: Thu May 14, 2015 6:10 pm
Location: FL
Contact:

Re: 1930-?? silent moviemaking

Unread post by MaryGH » Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:36 pm

Petition: Turner Enter./Warner Bros: Please digitalize Tom Tyler's FBO silent film westerns

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

http://triggertomblog.blogspot.com/

User avatar
Hamilton's Grandson
Posts: 388
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2016 10:56 pm
Location: Tacoma,WA

Re: 1930-?? silent moviemaking

Unread post by Hamilton's Grandson » Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:50 pm

If you go by release dates, then perhaps you could consider City Girl 1930 which had a silent version (Murnau) that is available on DVD and a sound version (different director that finished film after Murnau protested the addition of sound) by Fox movietone that is lost. Filmed at Fox Studios LA, Pendleton and Athena, OR in mid-1928 and 1929. but released in Germany and US in spring of 1930.
Mark Hamilton (I) is on imdb.com
Joseph Hamilton (I) is on imdb.com
Gertrude Brooke Hamilton is on imdb.com

All Darc
Posts: 1226
Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2011 11:13 pm
Location: Brazil

Re: 1930-?? silent moviemaking

Unread post by All Darc » Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:59 pm

I remamber something about Dracula 1931 have a silent version, using intertitles for the same footage, for theaters that wasn't equipped for sound films.
Keep thinking...

Image

User avatar
Mike Gebert
Site Admin
Posts: 6082
Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2007 3:23 pm
Location: Chicago
Contact:

Re: 1930-?? silent moviemaking

Unread post by Mike Gebert » Sun Jan 07, 2018 7:58 pm

The Russian comedy Happiness, and the sci fi film Cosmic Voyage are both late silents.

The Thief (1950s) is kind of a pantomime-wordless film, not silent per se (if we define silent movies as, they can talk to each other but we can't hear their dialogue).

Luc Besson's debut Le Dernier Combat is, as I recall, dialogue-free.

Sidewalk Stories (1980s) is a Chaplinesque film.
“I'm in favor of plagiarism. If we are to create a new Renaissance, the government should encourage plagiarism. When convinced that someone is a true plagiarist, we should immediately award them the Legion of Honor.” —Jean Renoir

User avatar
Donald Binks
Posts: 3113
Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2011 10:08 am
Location: Somewhere, over the rainbow

Re: 1930-?? silent moviemaking

Unread post by Donald Binks » Sun Jan 07, 2018 8:18 pm

Do Jacques Tati's films qualify? I have always considered them as silent or basically silent. There is also "The Red Balloon" from 1956 which is I think is a long short.
Regards from
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:..."

User avatar
greta de groat
Posts: 2123
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2008 1:06 am
Location: California
Contact:

Re: 1930-?? silent moviemaking

Unread post by greta de groat » Sun Jan 07, 2018 10:22 pm

You didn't say how old your son is. Blancanieves (2012) is an interesting silent, but despite the fairy tale title i'm not sure i'd recommend it for kids.

The Call of Cthulhu (2005) might be a good choice, though.

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

TheyHadFaces
Posts: 85
Joined: Mon Oct 28, 2013 10:42 am

Re: 1930-?? silent moviemaking

Unread post by TheyHadFaces » Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:28 am

I know Modern Times is considered a silent, but there are several scenes with talking or singing

All Darc
Posts: 1226
Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2011 11:13 pm
Location: Brazil

Re: 1930-?? silent moviemaking

Unread post by All Darc » Mon Jan 08, 2018 6:43 am

This raises a interesting question :

1-How was small productions (very short on money) in the late 20's and early 30's ? Was it often as today or much more rare ?

2- I there was small productions with spare budget, is logic to presume that would be more silent production in early 30's, since the early sound technology was very expansive ?
Keep thinking...

Image

Rob Koeling
Posts: 39
Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2008 7:50 am
Location: Brighton, UK

Re: 1930-?? silent moviemaking

Unread post by Rob Koeling » Mon Jan 08, 2018 7:43 am

Two modern silents. Neither one is gimmicky, nor trying to recreate silent film. The stories are just told very effectively without dialogue:

Hadaka no Shima (1960) (AKA The naked island)
Directed by Kaneto Shindo

A hauntingly beautiful film where the story is told without any words (and doesn't need any words).


Themroc (1973)
Directed by Claude Faraldo

User avatar
boblipton
Posts: 6144
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 8:01 pm
Location: Clement Clarke Moore's Farm

Re: 1930-?? silent moviemaking

Unread post by boblipton » Mon Jan 08, 2018 7:50 am

All Darc wrote:This raises a interesting question :

1-How was small productions (very short on money) in the late 20's and early 30's ? Was it often as today or much more rare ?

2- I there was small productions with spare budget, is logic to presume that would be more silent production in early 30's, since the early sound technology was very expansive ?
In the United States, silents were viewed as having no commercial value after 1931. While silent movie-making techniques survived in newsreel footage, which was typically shot wild, and in documentary and pseudo-documentaries (like the Frank Buck stuff), they were typically given soundtracks and voiceovers. By 1933, even Columbia and Universal had stopped releasing alternate silent versions of their movies. Any remaining unwired theaters were running old films.

Interestingly, one survival was in cartoons, where "synchronized" techniques survived and were used for decades.

One might add to the program efforts like Freleng's Rhapsody in Rivets (1961) and Chuck Jones' Roadrunner cartoons and even High Note (1961).

Bob

Bob
Life's too short to sit on our rears watching other people's work.
— Bob Fells

All Darc
Posts: 1226
Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2011 11:13 pm
Location: Brazil

Re: 1930-?? silent moviemaking

Unread post by All Darc » Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:05 am

So what happened to the low budget guys who could not afford to sound recording equipment os sound dubbing ?
Keep thinking...

Image

User avatar
boblipton
Posts: 6144
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2008 8:01 pm
Location: Clement Clarke Moore's Farm

Re: 1930-?? silent moviemaking

Unread post by boblipton » Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:23 am

All Darc wrote:So what happened to the low budget guys who could not afford to sound recording equipment os sound dubbing ?
They did something else.

Bob
Life's too short to sit on our rears watching other people's work.
— Bob Fells

User avatar
Mike Gebert
Site Admin
Posts: 6082
Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2007 3:23 pm
Location: Chicago
Contact:

Re: 1930-?? silent moviemaking

Unread post by Mike Gebert » Mon Jan 08, 2018 11:57 am



They made movies like this.
“I'm in favor of plagiarism. If we are to create a new Renaissance, the government should encourage plagiarism. When convinced that someone is a true plagiarist, we should immediately award them the Legion of Honor.” —Jean Renoir

Eric Cohen
Posts: 137
Joined: Mon Feb 01, 2010 6:34 am
Location: Chicago

Re: 1930-?? silent moviemaking

Unread post by Eric Cohen » Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:07 pm

The last commercial silent feature of the 20th century, the 1999 Finnish B&W Juha made by Aki Kaurismaki.

BTW, his latest award-winning (sound) film, The Other Side of Hope, is currently at The Music Box theatre here in Chicago in 35mm.

earlytalkiebuffRob
Posts: 3324
Joined: Tue Oct 15, 2013 11:53 am

Re: 1930-?? silent moviemaking

Unread post by earlytalkiebuffRob » Mon Jan 08, 2018 12:39 pm

THE WOMAN FROM CHINA (1930) was one of the last British silents, and was recently uploaded onto YouTube...

User avatar
Dean Thompson
Posts: 179
Joined: Fri Jan 22, 2016 10:21 am
Location: Way Down South

Re: 1930-?? silent moviemaking

Unread post by Dean Thompson » Mon Jan 08, 2018 1:09 pm

Though it has a brief sound prologue spoken (eloquently) by Chief Yellow Robe, The Silent Enemy (1930) is another that you might consider.

Gary Newman
Posts: 160
Joined: Sat Mar 21, 2009 12:36 pm
Location: White Plains, NY

Re: 1930-?? silent moviemaking

Unread post by Gary Newman » Mon Jan 08, 2018 3:03 pm

The animated feature The Red Turtle (2016) from Studio Ghibli has music and sound effects, but no dialogue, not unlike Don Juan (1926). I highly recommend it.

User avatar
2 Reel
Posts: 83
Joined: Wed May 17, 2017 10:34 am
Location: Earth, for the time being

Re: 1930-?? silent moviemaking

Unread post by 2 Reel » Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:19 pm

These are terrific suggestions! Thank you all.

Interesting to ponder: exactly why does a movie qualify as a "silent" movie?

I agree that there is a difference between a vintage silent movie and a later action movie with no dialogue, although the difference is slight. Is a movie truly "silent" only if it is presented without any music, sound effects, choral, or occasionally speech? If so, then there never has been a truly "silent" movie . . . even vintage 1900-1929 silent movies often had piano and/or orchestra-provided sound effects along with music.

But if the inclusion of music, sound effects, choral, or occasional speech strikes a title from a list of "silent" movies, then All is Lost (2013), Modern Times (1936), Mel Brooks' Silent Movie (1976), and The Artist (2011) have to be struck from the list because they all contain words spoken by at least one character somewhere in the movie.

(I just know one of you is going to ask, "If a sound movie plays to an empty theater, and no one is around to hear it, does it make any sound?)
They call me "Dangerous Dal"

User avatar
Donald Binks
Posts: 3113
Joined: Fri Jun 17, 2011 10:08 am
Location: Somewhere, over the rainbow

Re: 1930-?? silent moviemaking

Unread post by Donald Binks » Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:22 pm

2 Reel wrote:These are terrific suggestions! Thank you all.

Interesting to ponder: exactly why does a movie qualify as a "silent" movie?

I agree that there is a difference between a vintage silent movie and a later action movie with no dialogue, although the difference is slight. Is a movie truly "silent" only if it is presented without any music, sound effects, choral, or occasionally speech? If so, then there never has been a truly "silent" movie . . . even vintage 1900-1929 silent movies often had piano and/or orchestra-provided sound effects along with music.

But if the inclusion of music, sound effects, choral, or occasional speech strikes a title from a list of "silent" movies, then All is Lost (2013), Modern Times (1936), Mel Brooks' Silent Movie (1976), and The Artist (2011) have to be struck from the list because they all contain words spoken by at least one character somewhere in the movie.

(I just know one of you is going to ask, "If a sound movie plays to an empty theater, and no one is around to hear it, does it make any sound?)
This point is much argued. My opinion is that a picture can be classified as silent if it has no dialogue - or is mainly focusing on pantomime for over 90% of the time.
Regards from
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:..."

Daniel Eagan
Posts: 793
Joined: Wed Dec 19, 2007 7:14 am
Contact:

Re: 1930-?? silent moviemaking

Unread post by Daniel Eagan » Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:37 pm

Maybe the distinction could be how the soundtrack is used. I consider Sunrise silent because although there is a synchronized score with ambient sound and occasional words, there is no real attempt to synchronize words to an actor's mouth. Unlike The Jazz Singer, which is predominately silent (and shot that way, with intertitles) until Jolson's segments with synchronized sound.

It's still hard to consider a film "silent" if there is a score, crowd noises, car horns, etc. A truly silent movie is one without any soundtrack at all. Early Méliès and almost all Edison's not only didn't have soundtracks, they couldn't as there was no process to include them on film. (Edison did experiment with synchronized sound as early as 1893, and released some pretty good synchronized sound shorts around 1912.)

There are true silent movies still being made, ones in which there was no intention of including sound. Many Stan Brakhage films have no soundtracks. The late Peter Hutton specialized in non-soundtrack films. Ken Jacobs is still shooting material without soundtracks. You can find dozens of other examples by abstract and experimental filmmakers.

I actually prefer seeing some silents without any accompanying music, although that's usually not how they were projected. The silence lets me focus more on cinematography, performance, editing. It's like landscapes after snowfall.

FilmGauge
Posts: 90
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 7:43 pm
Location: Connecticut

Re: 1930-?? silent moviemaking

Unread post by FilmGauge » Mon Jan 08, 2018 4:44 pm

Doug Fairbanks produced a silent version of the 1932 MR. ROBINSON CRUSOE. Both sound and silent versions are around, and are P.D.

User avatar
Saint-Just
Posts: 139
Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2016 3:15 pm

Re: 1930-?? silent moviemaking

Unread post by Saint-Just » Mon Jan 08, 2018 5:03 pm

The Czech film Tonka of the Gallows from 1930 has a synchronized soundtrack that does have two brief passages of the title character singing but no dialogue - I forget if it had sound effects but of course it does have a recorded score.

pathe16mm
Posts: 61
Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2010 3:51 pm
Location: Rochester, NY

Re: 1930-?? silent moviemaking

Unread post by pathe16mm » Tue Jan 09, 2018 1:41 pm

The films of performance artist Eleanor Antin are available from Milestone Film on DVD. She made films under the guise of a fictitious early Soviet filmmaker Yevgeny Antinov. Her MAN WITHOUT A WORLD (1992) is very good.

User avatar
Peg of the PreCodes
Posts: 31
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2013 10:29 am
Location: Washington, DC
Contact:

Re: 1930-?? silent moviemaking

Unread post by Peg of the PreCodes » Tue Jan 09, 2018 6:05 pm

The animated short The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore (2011). Bonus: Morris is clearly modeled on Buster Keaton.

There are almost certainly other post-1930 animated works that would qualify (not that I could name any of them).

User avatar
silentfilm
Moderator
Posts: 9360
Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2007 12:31 pm
Location: Dallas, TX USA
Contact:

Re: 1930-?? silent moviemaking

Unread post by silentfilm » Wed Jan 10, 2018 12:22 pm

This thread from earlier this year covers several silent films that were released in 1930.

If you check William Drew's book The Last Silent Movie Show, he documents quite a few silent films produced in Europe and Asis in the 1930s.

Post Reply