The most important thing is to enjoy your life - to be happy - it's all that matters.
- Audrey Hepburn

WHAT SILENTS & PRE-CODES HAVE YOU SEEN LATELY?

Moderators: Sue Sue Applegate, movieman1957, moira finnie, Lzcutter

User avatar
charliechaplinfan
Posts: 9087
Joined: January 15th, 2008, 9:49 am

Postby charliechaplinfan » March 1st, 2008, 11:20 am

I've just watched Tell It To The Marines with Lon Chaney, William Haines and Eleanor Boardman. I wasn't sure if I was going to like this film. I wasn't mad on William Haines in West Point, I can see why his character didn't translate well to the 1930's. I had liked him in Show People and surprisingly I liked him In Tell It To The Marines. He still plays a brash man about town but he had really good chemistry with Lon Chaney.

Lon Chaney, how refreshing to see the man behind all the makeup and in a very good role. The more and more I see of him my admiration just grows. I would have gone for O'Hara hands down not Skeet Burns but O'Hara was married to the Marines whereas Burns went on a journey and came out of it worthy of Norma.

It's probably only me who thinks it but Eleanor Boardman is a beautiful woman and great actress.

Another beautiful restoration from TCM. Thanks Gagman :)

User avatar
Gagman 66
Posts: 614
Joined: April 19th, 2007, 11:34 pm
Location: Nebraska

Postby Gagman 66 » March 1st, 2008, 1:27 pm

Alison,

:) No indeed, Eleanor Boardman in films like SOULS FOR SALE (1923), WINE OF YOUTH (1924), THE CIRCLE (1925), and REDEMPTION (1930), was a very beautiful Woman! So you are not the only one to think this by any means. Boardman's beauty was certainly deliberately downplayed in THE CROWD, and maybe under-emphasized in TELL IT TO THE MARINES, but She was still a very attractive Woman.

:roll: This recording of TELL IT TO THE MARINES is from December of 2003! It's been shown a couple three times since than, but I always managed to miss it somehow.

I first saw this film when it debuted on TCM in Prime-time in October of 2000. The movie left an immediate impression, up to that time, it was one of my favorite Silent films. Stunning print, and a superb score by Robert Israel, really set's the mood for the film.

:? I believe it was only the second time that I had seen Billy Haines? The first having been Pickford's LITTLE ANNIE ROONEY many years before. I have always liked Haines, but sometimes I feel that his character is made a little two abrasive. I have seen him in about another 8 films over the years, and He pretty much played the same Smart-Alleck in all of them. Even the Talkies. I agree that it's debatable in some of the films, if Haines really deserving to end of with the girl over his rival or not? Has He matured that much, and earned his second chance??? You tell me???

:o TELL IT TO THE MARINES is still probably my favorite among Chaney's films. I don't really care all that much for HE WHO GETS SLAPPED (1924), although many others see to really enjoy that picture. With a big name director like Victor Seastrom, and three Huge name Actor's, I was just expecting the film to be really something Special, and to me it isn't. Both Norma Shearer herself a budding Star, and especially John Gilbert, already an established Star, are painfully underutilized. I guess that personally, I find TELL IT TO THE MARINES to be much more entertaining viewing. It has drama, comedy, romance, and suspense, all rolled into one.

My favorite of the Tod Browning Chaney's is probably THE BLACKBIRD. Maybe with a different score, and a re-mastered print, I will think more of THE UNHOLY THREE?
Last edited by Gagman 66 on March 1st, 2008, 2:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
charliechaplinfan
Posts: 9087
Joined: January 15th, 2008, 9:49 am

Postby charliechaplinfan » March 1st, 2008, 2:21 pm

I really enjoyed The Blackbird. I was surprised quite how much. After watching The Show and The Blackbird I'm beginning to really get into Todd Browning.

User avatar
Ann Harding
Posts: 1271
Joined: January 11th, 2008, 11:03 am
Location: Paris
Contact:

Postby Ann Harding » March 3rd, 2008, 4:05 am

Yesterday, I saw Le Brasier Ardent (The Burning Brazier, 1923) by & with Ivan Mosjoukine. This film is very much ahead of its time by its powerful images and editing. This film was produced by the Albatros company founded by Russian émigrés in the 20s, outside Paris. I have now seen quite a few of their productions and I am very impressed by their films. They are entertaining for sure, but at the same time, they are quite unusual in their use of sets and their scripts. The French Cinémathèque has saved a lot of their films thanks to a bequest by one of the Albatros producers.
The wife (Nathalie Lissenko) is having a nightmare. She sees herself being dragged towards a burning pire by a man chained on it. There follow a succession of sequences where she is confronted with the same man in various guises....She wakes up in her bed. Her rich husband is older than her and a bit worried about her. He enters a strange house where a stern butler tells him that they can 'bring back his wife'. The place looks like a detective agency fashioned by Salvator Dali. The husband hires detective Z (I. Mosjoukine) to help him recover his wife's soul. When he is confronted with the wife, she immediately recognises him as the man in her dream....
This film's script is rather hard to describe. It mixes a dream-like atmosphere with surrealism. But, as the story unfolds, the wife's nightmare starts to make sense. Her loveless life of luxury is slowly transformed into a burning passion, explaining the brazier of her dream. The film's sets were really amazing with all sorts of strange trap doors as well as a grand design. I enjoyed again Mosjoukine's performance. He is a mixture of a burlesque comedian (rolling on the floor with childish enthusiasm) and a Russian dramatic actor. His then wife, Nathalie Lissenko played the wife and I like her personality. She could be haughty or temperamental; you never quite know what she is going to do next. A very intriguing picture. 8)

User avatar
charliechaplinfan
Posts: 9087
Joined: January 15th, 2008, 9:49 am

Postby charliechaplinfan » March 5th, 2008, 3:24 pm

I've watched What Price Glory from 1926 directed by Raoul Walsh. For a war film I enjoyed it (although not quite as much a The Big Parade)
I liked the characters of the two Sargeants (as they were at first) I much preferred Flagg although the ladies seemed to like Quirt more.

Dolores Del Rio is their love interest and as it is a precode film some of the scenes are quite direct. All the better. I've seen Dolores in a few silents now and she plays a flirtaious character in this film.

The film can't quite decide whether it is a comedy or a war film and I think it suffers slightly as a result.

There are some fantastic shots in the film particularly a tracking shot filmed over the trenches.

The soundtrack was second to none. I like the use of My Man.

Thanks Gagman :D

User avatar
Gagman 66
Posts: 614
Joined: April 19th, 2007, 11:34 pm
Location: Nebraska

Postby Gagman 66 » March 5th, 2008, 6:59 pm

Alison,

:) This movie was indeed Fox's attempt to Top MGM's THE BIG PARADE, but in fairness it should be noted that Fox bought the rights to WHAT PRICE GLORY?, which had been a huge Stage-hit before production actually begin on THE BIG PARADE.

:o The version I sent you is the 1931 re-issue of the film. Believe it or not, this was broadcast on the old AMC here in the States in 1996! A friend of mine recorded this on Super VHS in SP mode back than, so it turned out great! Later transfering to DVD-R well! The print is much better than the Killiam version found on the Critic's Choice VHS release. Which was taken from an old Blackhawk films 16 Millimeter reduction print.

:D As far as I can tell nothing was cut from the '31 re-release. The Movie-Tone soundtrack is by Erno-Rapee, and Lew Pollock, who composed the beautiful melody "Charmaine" for the original release of the film in 1926. The following year, in 1927, the tune from the films Cue-sheet Orchestral release score, became a Number One Hit Record, with lyrics added, for Guy Lombardo, and His Royal Canadians. "Charmaine" was of course the name of Delores De Rio's character in the movie.

:? Raoul Walsh like King Vidor, was a great Director in the Silent days who's work today is not as well known as it should be. Though WHAT PRICE GLORY? failed to equal the unprecedented success of THE BIG PARADE, it was still a Blockbuster for Fox, and made Major stars of Victor McLaglen who played Captain Flagg , and Del Rio! Edmund Lowe, who played Sergeant Quirt, was already an established Star.

:? Have to say, while I agree that the picture is not quite as good as THE BIG PARADE, it has still become one of my favorites, and I would love to see a proper restoration and DVD release of WHAT PRICE GLORY? from Fox one of these days! It's certainly one of the great Fox Classics and really should be on DVD!
Last edited by Gagman 66 on March 6th, 2008, 11:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
charliechaplinfan
Posts: 9087
Joined: January 15th, 2008, 9:49 am

Postby charliechaplinfan » March 6th, 2008, 3:10 pm

I do agree with you Gagman. I hope I didn't sound too harsh in comparing What Price Glory to The Big Parade. I recognise that it is an important film and well deserving of a DVD release. War films aren't really my thing but a very good one can hold my attention and this one certainly did that. I too love Raoul Walsh as a director, I think my favorite from this period is Sadie Thompson but I haven't watched many.

One of my favorite genres of film is the screwball comedy, at their peak in the 1930's but i saw an excellent silent screwball last night. Kiki starring Norma Talmadge and Ronald Colman. This is my first chance to see Norma in anything. She is better known for her dramas and was one of the very biggest stars of the silent era, so many of her films are lost and it becomes difficult to appreciate what she was like.

Judging by Kiki, she deserved her fame. She gave a marvellous performance, one of the best by a screwball comedienne. I have two favorite scenes one where Ronald Colman asks her if she's ever been kissed and promptly kisses her, very sexy. A whole segment where she is in a catatonic state and has to keep her body rigid whilst other actors move her.

Ronald Colman isn't known for being a screwball comedian or even a straight man for the comedienne but this film just shows that he could have been. He's very nice, perhaps his most seductive role. It's probably just as well that he didn't completely corner the screwball market as he had a lovely voice and was excellent in films like A Tale Of Two Cities and The Prisoner Of Zenda.

I wish more of the Talmadge sisters work were available.

feaito

Postby feaito » March 6th, 2008, 8:23 pm

The other day I watched "The Trail of '98":

I became a Dolores del Río fan, especially of her Silent Screen Persona, ever since I saw the awesome "Evangeline" (1929) and I'm glad I saw her in this wonderful, rousing adventure film. A very well done, swiftly paced movie, with some awesome stunts and actual filming on location in the mountains and rivers...I read that some people (extras or stunts) lost their lives during the filming of the scenes in the rapids. Dolores is beautiful in the principal role and Ralph Forbes is very good as her love interest. A wonderful supporting cast includes Cesare Gravina, a scary Harry Carey and Karl Dane. I'm sure I spotted Polly Moran playing Dane's abandoned wife at the beginning of the movie.

A wonderful Silent!!

User avatar
Gagman 66
Posts: 614
Joined: April 19th, 2007, 11:34 pm
Location: Nebraska

Postby Gagman 66 » March 6th, 2008, 11:38 pm

feaito,

:? I think about a reel toward the middle of THE TRAIL OF '98 (MGM, 1928) is missing, and considered lost? Along with a few key sequences. TCM has not aired this movie in a good five years in the States. But I have a copy. In-fact I have to copies as a couple weeks ago, I pulled a newer recording off a forign version of TCM. Although the newer one has beeter picture quality, it likewise contains translations, beneath the English Title-Cards.

:o As Alison and I were discussing, have you seen WHAT PRICE GLORY? (1926) This is the film that established Delores as a Top Star! I have a very good recording, with the Vintage Movie-tone track of this feature.

:( Probably De Rio's second most famous Silent film, RAMONA (1928) is apparently lost? However, THE RED DANCE also 1928, with Charles Farrell, another Fox feature Directed by Raoul Walsh, still exists! I sure wish that I could get my hands on a copy! If Fox ever put's out a Walsh DVD set, or maybe a Charles Farrell one, hopefully this film will be included! :wink:

User avatar
Ann Harding
Posts: 1271
Joined: January 11th, 2008, 11:03 am
Location: Paris
Contact:

Postby Ann Harding » March 7th, 2008, 3:07 am

Alison: Actually Colman made quite a few comedies during the silent era. I suspect Norma Talmadge selected him as her leading man because he had already starred in two comedies with her sister, Constance Talmadge. These two comedies are Her Night of Romance (1925) and Her Sister from Paris (1925), the latter was remade (badly) as Two-faced Woman, Garbo's last picture. :wink:
I would like very much to see these two films which are still extant. :P

feaito

Postby feaito » March 7th, 2008, 5:27 am

Gagman 66 wrote:feaito,

:? I think about a reel toward the middle of THE TRAIL OF '98 (MGM, 1928) is missing, and considered lost? Along with a few key sequences. TCM has not aired this movie in a good five years in the States. But I have a copy. In-fact I have to copies as a couple weeks ago, I pulled a newer recording off a forign version of TCM. Although the newer one has beeter picture quality, it likewise contains translations, beneath the English Title-Cards.

:o As Alison and I were discussing, have you seen WHAT PRICE GLORY? (1926) This is the film that established Delores as a Top Star! I have a very good recording, with the Vintage Movie-tone track of this feature.

:( Probably De Rio's second most famous Silent film, RAMONA (1928) is apparently lost? However, THE RED DANCE also 1928, with Charles Farrell, another Fox feature Directed by Raoul Walsh, still exists! I sure wish that I could get my hands on a copy! If Fox ever put's out a Walsh DVD set, or maybe a Charles Farrell one, hopefully this film will be included! :wink:


Hi Gagman,

I did not really realize if any reels or sequences were missing from the film. I was so immersed in the plot and enjoying it :D

I have never seen either "What Price Glory?" or "The Red Dance". It's sad that "Ramona" is lost, it is surely one of Del Río's greatest hits of the1920s...I like the title song from it. I think that I have the 1910 or 1916 version included in one of the "American Treasures" Collections, which some friend shared with me some months ago, but I have not yet seen it.

User avatar
Gagman 66
Posts: 614
Joined: April 19th, 2007, 11:34 pm
Location: Nebraska

Postby Gagman 66 » March 8th, 2008, 1:04 am

feaito,

:) I actually have four Vintage recordings of the RAMONA (1928) song. One by Ruth Etting, another by Ben Selvin Orchestra, with James Melton Vocal, and I even have one sung by Delores Del Rio herself! I will need to check on the other version, as I don't recall the artist off hand?

:? As far as I know, the film is long since gone? I have searched for a copy for years with no results! But maybe it will turn up one of these days? That would be wonderful! Not so wonderful, if all they do is stick it right back into another Vault again though, and no one even get's to see it barely at all!

Alison,

:o Wow, I would love to have a copy of KIKI (1925)! That would be fabulous! Beda would go crazy to know that you have this title! She loves anything with Ronald Coleman! I actually have seen more of Constance Talmadge than Norma. She looks more than a little like Marion Davies. I find her very funny, and quite attractive.

:roll: I have a few of Sister Norma's films but have never really watched any of them as of yet. I have dozen's of Silent's that I have had for a long time, but never have found the time to see. Hopefully, one of these days!

feaito

Postby feaito » March 8th, 2008, 11:45 am

Gagman 66 wrote: :? As far as I know, the film is long since gone? I have searched for a copy for years with no results! But maybe it will turn up one of these days? That would be wonderful! Not so wonderful, if all they do is stick it right back into another Vault again though, and no one even get's to see it barely at all!


Let's hope for that and that it will be made available for all to see

I have dozen's of Silent's that I have had for a long time, but never have found the time to see. Hopefully, one of these days!


It sounds like me too....I have dozens of Tapes, DVD-Rs & officially released DVDs to be seen! I think that to be able to watch them all I'd have to retire and isolate myself from the world :wink:

User avatar
charliechaplinfan
Posts: 9087
Joined: January 15th, 2008, 9:49 am

Postby charliechaplinfan » March 10th, 2008, 5:37 pm

I've watched the first disc of my American Treasures set. The big film on this disc was Hell's Hinges. I've never seen William S Hart in any films before and it was good to see him in one of the films he became famous for. It's a highly moralist tale. A Preacher who isn't as sure as his family is about his calling is sent to an unruly town in the Wild West. With him comes his sister and Mother. The crime ridden town decide to get rid of the preacher and concoct a plot. Willian S Hart plays Blaze who gets an awakening when he sets eyes on the preachers sister, the truly religious one. She exudes a calm and an attraction that captures him. What follows is a tale of good versus evil a good old fashioned moralist tale.

It was filmed in 1916 I was struck by how different the women look, they are quite full of figure and long curly hair. It makes me think how much womanhood progressed during the war years and early years of the twenties. William S Hart himself was a huge star at the time and was asked to join United Artists. I think the legend is that he was ready to until he realised he had to use his own money.

All the other flims on the set delighted me. The Lonedale Operator with Blanche Sweet is an early adventure movie with the heroine caught in a cash office as robbers try to break in. Help comes after she sends a telegraph, ridong aboard a train.

My favorite short is entitled The Nicotine Fairy a strange little film with gorgeous little fairies and tabacco. I really can't explain it any better apart from to say he made me think so much of those pictures taken in the twenties of fairies at the bottom of the garden.

A small excerpt of Groucho Marx's home movies. I hadn't seen him out of character before he looks quite different.

Can't wait to carry on with viewing this disc

User avatar
silentscreen
Posts: 715
Joined: March 9th, 2008, 3:47 pm

Postby silentscreen » March 11th, 2008, 9:55 pm

I haven't had the chance to get through the whole Treasures I set, but from what I've seen, it's splendid! William S. Hart's avenging angel in Hell's Hinges reminded me of Clint Eastwood in High Plains Drifter. Hart lets his body and the contours of his face express his emotion. This is the first movie of his that I've seen, and I was impressed.
"Humor is nothing less than a sense of the fitness of things." Carole Lombard


Return to “Silents & PreCodes”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests