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Silent Film Enthusiast Wonders...


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Alright, so maybe I'm too new to be a true enthusiast. I recently purchased Wings to add to my Academy Award Winners collection, and I was enchanted by the novelty of silent film, and the unique way it entertained that talkies do not. If some true enthusiasts could recommend some "don't miss" classics in this genre to get me started, it would be wonderful. Thank you!

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Many of my favorites like King Vidor's THE BIG PARADE (1925) with John Gilbert, and Renee Adoree, A KISS OR CINDERELLA (1925) with Betty Bronson and Tom Moore, James Cruze OLD IRONSIDES (1926) with Charles Farrell and Esther Ralston, and BEAU GESTE (1926) with Ronald Colman and Mary Brian, are not currently on DVD and never have been.


Harold Lloyd's THE FRESHMAN is also out of print in America at the present time. So is Chaplin's CITY LIGHTS. Buster Keaton's SEVEN CHANCES was recently released on Blu-ray by Kino. This has always been my favorite of his films.


I would reccomend the Garbo Silents set from Warner Home Video. It ioffers 3 films and a documentary including Clarence Brown's FLESH AND THE DEVIL (1926) with John Gilbert, and Lars Hanson.


Pick up the Norma and Constance Talmadge Collection discs from Kino. Hardly collections, as both conntain just two film. But these sets are terrific. No more delightfuil viewing than Clarance Brwon's KIKI (1926) Starring Norma with Ronald Colman. There are two more Romantic Comedies with Colman as Constance leading lady on the other disc HER NIGHT OF ROMANCE (1924), and HER SISTER FROM PARIS (1925) oth directed by Sindney Franklin. Highly recommended.


However, Herbert Brenon's PETER PAN (1924) with Betty Bronson, Esther Ralston, Mary Brian, Ernest Torrence, Anna May Wong and an All Star cast is available from Kino. The print is beautiful from original Nitrate, and has an excellent Orchestral score by Philip Carli. If you like Clara Bow one of her most popular films MANTRAP (1926) is included on the Treasures From The American Film Archives 5 Set called Treasures West. There is also a fine Richard Dix Western with Esther Ralston called WOMANHANDLED (1925) in the same set.



Warner Achive has many great titles. Including three popular marion Davies features THE RED MILL (1926), THE PATSY (1928), and SHOW PEOPLE (1928). If you like Lon Chaney, or William Haines TELL IT TO THE MARINES (1926) with Eleanor Boardman is a long awaited recent release. One of the best Warner Archive releases is CAPTAIN SALVATION (1927) with Lars Hanson, Pauline Starke, and Mareceline Day. A great screwball comedy is A LADY OF CHANCE with Norma Shearer and Johnny Mack Brown.



Lots of great stuff from Flicker Alley. Some of their titles you may enjoy include BARDLEYS THE MAGNIFICENT (1926) with John Gilbert and Eleanor Boardman, and De Mille's CHICAGO with Phyllis Haver and Victor Varconi. There early Doglas Fairbanks box set called , A MODERN MUSKETEER is outstanding.



One of my favorite movies Rowland V. Lee's BARBED WIRE (1927) with Pola Negri, and Clive Brook was just released on DVD by Grapevine Video. This is one of the best Anti-War films ever made. A great partial Talkie Paul Fejos LONESOME (1928) with Barbara Kent Glenn Tyron and was just released by Criterion Collection. ion both DVD and Blu-ray. the new Criterion release of Chaplin's THE GOLD RUSH is outstanding. Giving us for the first time on DVD the complete restored 1925 Silent version with Full-Orchestral score.



I'm just getting started here.

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Hey Lizzyanne,


Welcome !!! Like you, I feel I'm "too new" to be a "true" enthusiast, but Gagman66's list is GREAT !!


A couple of my favorites are:


* "Broken Blossoms" aka "The Yellow Man and the Girl" a 1919 D.W. Griffith film starring Lillian Gish, Richard Barthelmess and a very young Donald Crisp.

* "The Blot" Lois Weber's 1921 film. She is often considered the first American woman movie director of note, was huge in the industry. The movie is STUNNING.... imho

* "The Penalty" directed by Wallace Worsley, starring Lon Chaney Sr. is amazing, too. But then, I'm partial to Lon.... and like his non-horror roles; "Tell It To The Marines" as Gagman66 mentioned. Add " Laugh, Clown, Laugh" from 1928 w/ a teenage Loretta Young, "The Unknown" w/ a young Joan Crawford and a wild twist at the end! All are great views.

* "The Thief of Bagdad" from 1924 starring Douglas Fairbanks has some amazing special effects!

So, what are YOUR favorites thus far????

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A tremendous DVD set from Criterion is the Von Sternberg Collection which features beautiful prints of UNDERWORLD (1927) with George Baqncroft, Evelyn Brent and Clive Brook. As well as THE LAST COMMAND (1928) with Emil Jannings, Brentm, and William Powell, and THE DOCKS OF NEW YORK (1928) with Bancroft, and Betty Compson. Three of the finest American films of the late 1920's. All have superb Orchestral scores by Robert Israel. Speaking of Janning's don't want to leave out F. W. Murnau's FAUST (1926) from Kino. Stunning print with two scores. The former by Timothy Brock is outstanding.


A great film you might be able to pick up cheap on DVD from Image Entertainment is Ernst Lubitsch THE MARRIAGE CIRCLE (1924) with Florence Vidor, Monte Blue, Marie Prevost, and Adolphe Menjou. Maybe Erich Von Stroheim's QUEEN KELLY (1929) with Gloria Swanson from Kino. Fairbanks THE BLACK PIRATE (1926) with Billie Dove and filmed in Two-Color Technicolor is on DVD and Blu-ray from Kino. Not really a personal favorite, but a chance to see a very good Silent Swashbuckler in Color. You can't go wrong with any of the Barrymore's. DON JUAN (1926) will blow you away. You can find this on the Warner Archive label. WHEN A MAN LOVES (1927) with John and gorgeous Wife Dolores Costello is another fine release


Speaking of which, the De Mille Domestic Comedies such as MALE AND FEMALE, WHY CHANGE YOUR WIFE, and DON"T CHANGE YOUR HUSBAND all starring Swanson with big name supporting casts are allot of fun. As is THE AFFAIRS OF ANATOL (1921) which Stars Wallace Reid with Swanson, and Bebe Daniels. All of these are on DVD from Image.



The Lubitsch in Berlin set from Kino is excellent Includes several highly innovative and imaginative films. Among them THE OYSTER PRINCESS (1919), THE WILDCAT (1921), and THE DOLL (1921). prints of these are excellent with good scores. Most of Lubitsch major Silents like OLD HEIDELBERG (1927) with Ramon Novarro, and Norma Shearer still are not on DVD or Blu-ray.


A great DVD set is the John Ford Silents Collection from Fox which includes one of the best American films of the 20's FOUR SONS (1928). Every film in the set is very good.


Would be re-miss not to mention that Grapevine just re-released ELLA CINDERS (1926) Starring Colleen Moore last month.

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