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astairegirl

How many of you LOVE silent movies?

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So far, I'm the only one I know that enjoys watching silent movies. It's very entertaining. It shows how simple life was and how people made movies back then. People now days do not take the time to appreciate what people did a hundred years ago. if it weren't for them, we wouldn't have a theatre to go to or a movie to watch! Does anyone agree with me?

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I enjoy them immensely! The first ones I ever recall seeing where Orphans of the Storm w/Lillian and Dorothy Gish and Son of the Sheik w/Rudolph Valentino. They were shown on our local PBS station and I was hooked.

 

I think part of the reason they don't get there due, is the change in acting styles. When people who haven't seen silent films, think of them, they see the over exaggerated movements and expressions.

 

Also, with silent films you have to pay attention to what is going on. With sound films, you can step away for a few moments and still pretty much know what is going on. With silent films, you have to follow every step of the way. Quite the rewarding experience for those who chose to do so.

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I will guess that there is a large group who love silent movies, Astairegirl.

 

And I am one of them!

 

Sure, in some instances one does have to get used to a bit different pacing, but most often with the classics the energy expended is well worth the effort.

 

I would particularly like to see more films by Rex Ingram, and would like to see Valentino in "The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse", besides seeing any films by Griffith like "Way Down East" or the oeuvre of Erich von Stroheim, Seastrom, Dreyer or early foreign classics by Lang, et cetera.

 

Stars of the silents, like Little Mary and Doug, Richard Barthelmess, the Talmadges, Florence Lawrence, or Vilma Banky and Rod La Rocque would be fun to see in some of their less famous vehicles.

 

I love silents...I can eat potato chips and watch, and not miss any dialogue!

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We silent film fans can really be happy now because I just read on my local news site that a long lost Valentino film has been found in the Dutch National Film Archive. I've posted the web site below, but I'm not sure how long it will be available. Boy, Valentino AND Gloria Swanson. How great is this! We need to petition TCM to get their hands on this as soon as possible!

 

http://www.nbc4.tv/entertainment/4349644/detail.html

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I love My Best Girl with Mary Pickford. If you have not seen this silent, it is a funny little love story and you would enjoy it. It is available on DVD and for me it's adorable.

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My local PBS affiliate showed a documentary on Mary Pickford on Monday night 4/4. She really had a tough life. Bless her.

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Add my name to those who LOVE the Silent movies, regardless of whether they are drama or comedy. I've learned to see things in all of them which gives me a total appreciation of the actors and actresses of the times, and also of our Film History that had it's beginnings here. :)ML

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brackenhe, wasn't that documentary fascinating? She was not only WAY ahead of her time, a la Lucille Ball, in the fact that she was into movie production as well as acting, but her home life was none too easy either.

 

Like Lucille Ball, her art was her life, and she suffered personally because of it. And, in a final parallel, Douglas was the love of her life (you can SEE that in their photos, it is heartbreaking) just as Desi was Lucille's soulmate.

 

I hope Mary knew at some point that she was a bellwether of the movie industry. She was a pioneer, just as all the other touted male media moguls were.

 

I applaud her.

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Astairegirl,

 

I, too, am a big silent film fan. While I appreciate the lengths that TCM goes to to show Classic Hollywood films, I wish they would show more silents.

 

A day devoted to Von Stroheim, Gloria Swanson, Doug Fairbanks, Sr, Mary Pickford, the silent films of directors who went on to become legends: Hawks, Walsh, Ford and the incredibly underappreciated Alan Dwan.

 

The movies as we know them today were created out of whole cloth by the men and women of the silent era. We should never forget them. An encore preformance of "Hollywood: An Appreciation of American Silent Film" should be done this year. I think that series more than any other would be a delight not only to us the silent film fans, but give the folks that don't know about silent film a chance to learn and possibly want to know more and see more silent films.

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"Beyond the Rocks"...how cool!

 

I have a photo in a silent screen book I have from this film, and Valentino looks quite fetching in it. And with Swanson, this should be a really interesting mix of personages.

 

Much appreciation for the link!

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I read that "Beyond the Rocks" was being released in the U.S. by Milestone theatrically this fall, and then I imagine they'll release it on DVD subsequently.

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I was pretty late to the silent film genre, except for Keystone Cop comedies and other similar films which I checked out of our local library (Super 8mm format!) while in my teens, I'd like to thank TCM for introducing me to them. Actually, I'd like to thank other members of these boards (like paty, littletramplover ...) because, even though I was a fan of the station, I wasn't motivated enough to tune in and/or tape the Sunday silents every week until I read some things on these TCM message boards. Subsequently, however, I have learned to love them and haven't missed one in almost two years now ... though I may never get through all that I'm taping this month;- )

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I enjoy them, Joan of Arc was very capturing I could not turn from it. Buster Keaton they all have so much expression you just don't see anymore, or as much in cienma.

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I do love silents. My favorites are Tess of Storm Country (the 1922 version), Stella Maris, The Patsy, and Nosferatu (its so dang creepy! those long fingernails!). I wish I could see more Pickford days. I would LOVE a whole day dedicated to her. The Patsy was really great, I just watched it again last night. I wish TCM could get their hands on some more Marion Davies silents...or any more for that matter! But don't get me wrong, I do appreciate what they give us. Thanks TCM :)

 

Val

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Now why even ask such a question? Why & what could anyone garner from viewing a silent? Very little I suspect. I mean even trying to look at the Marx Brothers held me watching for only a few moments--they are too hyper, silly and downright stupid. I could go on but just want to say again as I have before,silents can be lloked upon as what & how performaces were when motion pictures was starting, how innovative (4 that time) camera set ups were BUT, after that like today, hell, watch a David Lean, Fellini or John Huston film if one wants to see film making which by the way is ALL lost on most of the directors & actors. SSo please stop with all this silent nonsense!

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I think some of the greatest films of all times are silent films. I love Mary Pickford, Gish Sisters, and Lon Chaney especially. There is so much art in the camera angles and sets. There is also the great art of pantomine, acting with your body and emotions, and art that is all but lost.

 

Trying to compare these silent films or even the Marx Brothers to people like David Lean or Fellini is totally ridiculous and unfair. It's like comparing apples and oranges. Both have their place, and both are works of art.

 

To tell you the truth, while I adore David Lean, I'm not as big on Fellini, especially early films like La Strada and the "White Shiek," as well as "Armacord." In fact, I find some of Fellini's movies to be pretentious, overblown, and downright strange.

 

I've always found Fellini's contemporary, Vittoria De Sica to be a lot more contemporary, believable and accessible than Fellini. De Sica's films pack a whole lot of a larger emotional punch with me than do Fellini's.

 

Don't get me wrong. I think Fellini is a great filmmaker, but so is D.W. Griffith or Mary Pickford. If it weren't for the pioneers, Fellini would never have gotten anyway.

 

How about stop this silly nonsense of bashing silent films? If you don't like them, that's fine. You have a right to your opinion. It's immaterial to me. As for the Marx Brothers, they may be silly, but compared to so-called present-day comedies, where everyone has the IQ of an amoeba, the Marx Brothers are intellectual by comparison.

 

As I said, I respect your right to your opinion. But, you shouldn't refer to what other people like as silly nonsense. I'm sure there are people out there who might think what you like is silly nonsense.

 

Deborah

 

Deborah

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Count me upstanding in the Silent Film Lovers line!

 

Big big Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd fan - as well as Swanson, Clara Bow, Lon Chaney and Louise Brooks. I probably have more books on silent cinema than anything other topic, as well as being a Taylorology follower.

 

Leo, isn't there someplace else you'd rather be?

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Pay no attention to Leo, Deborah. He is just giving us our weekly dose of 'silent bashing.' The fact that many of his favorite directors were probably influenced by the many great filmmakers of the silent era is lost on him. That he doesn't like silent films is fine. But the continuous dismissal of all on this message board who love these films is really just a cry for attention, help, or god knows what. Pay no mind.

 

It takes patience and imagination to appreciate the art of silent film. As I've stated in earlier posts, the first silent film I saw was THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA. I saw it on PBS when I was 7 or 8 years old and was completely hooked! Lon Chaney scared the bejesus out of me, and remains one of my favorite film actors of all-time. From that day on, I have been completely fascinated, even obsessed, by silent films. I have seen so many from all genres and many countries and still get excited when I find a silent film I've never seen before.

 

Case in point, Tomorrow night, on TCM Silent Sundays, the 1920 film, SOMETHING NEW, will be shown. I've never seen it, let alone heard of it. So I will definitely be looking forward to it. I am a lover of films from all genres and all eras. I am relentless in my search of interesting films and still think there is good deal of life left in this tremendous medium of entertainment. But I gotta say, I will always have a place in my heart for films from the silent era. There's so much to enjoy for those who are willing to give them a try.

 

Also, I am ALWAYS suspect of anyone who doesn't like The Marx Brothers. That's just me, though......

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Deborah--You just said you weren't a Fellini fan but please give La Strada & Nights of Cabiria a 2nd chance. They are lovely (and lonely) films and Guileta Masina is just wonderful in both. Since only Sophia Loren & Roberto Begnini are the only lead actors to win Oscars, it was totally unfair for her not to be considered for one or both roles. Great, great acting.

 

As far as the Marx Brothers go, I happen to think that Groucho was just about one of the funniest men ever to make a movie. Watching Animal Crackers, Horse Feathers and Duck Soup were such a treat. That was the first time I had seen Animal Crackers and I just laughed in spite of myself. You could tell that good ole Margaret Dumont could hardly keep a straight face. Funny stuff.

 

For the record, there are plenty of silents that are great. Leo just doesn't have the intellectual capacity to enjoy great art. It's just that simple. Look at the overwhelming response to this thread. And he wants us to quit talking about them because HE HATES THEM. Again, go away, Leo. We don't want you here if you can't treat people with respect. We don't all have to agree on everything but there's no need to talk down to people because you don't like the same thing they like. I hate film noir but I don't chastise you all the time because they're your favorite. Buzz off!!!

 

 

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Hi, Helen:

 

My sentiments exactly. Everyone has their own tastes, likes and dislikes. I happen to like film noir, but if other people do not like it, that is fine with me. Not everyone can like the same things, and it would be boring if everyone did. My relatives are that way: they cannot understand why we don't like what they like, no matter what it is. They are offended or take it personally if you don't like something or tell you are wrong. I said, "No one can be wrong about something that is a matter of taste."

 

Oh, by the way, I guess I was a little vague in my post beforehand. I love "La Strada." It's one of my favorite films. I have never seen "Nights of Cabiria," but I know "Sweet Charity" is based on it.

 

I don't hate Fellini. It's just some of his movies I don't get. Fellinis doesn't move me the way De Sica does either. Actually, next to "La Strada," my favorite Fellini film was the first one he did, "White Shiek," which was hilarious. However, there are some other of his movies I didn't care for very much, perhaps partly because I did not quite understand what was going on.

 

I thought Anthony Quinn should have gotten Oscar for "La Strada." Giuletta Masina was wonderful as the girl put in his care. That is one Fellini movie I really adore. My favorite DeSica movie is "Umberto D," about an old man and his dog.

 

Take care.

 

Deborah

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I'me a devoted silent film fan, just haven't posted anything for a long time.... Love Swanson, Pickford, Valentino, Brooks, Gilbert, Gish, Haines, Bow, Moore, Chaplin, Lloyd, Langdon, Keaton, Dressler, Shearer, Novarro, Negri, and Marion Davies! Also like Bessie Love, Bebe Daniels, and Norma Talmadge. Faves include Intolerance, Sunrise, Ben-hur, Show People, The Kid, Safety Last, Girl Shy, and Little Old New York. And Oh yeah, I used to post as DREDNM.

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Leo's rant is a perfect example of why "Hollywood: A Celebration of American Silent Film" needs an encore presentation.

 

The one thing so many people who don't like silents but love talkies seem to forget is the art of cinema was created because of silent films.

 

Those men and women created the art form that made everything that came after it possible.

 

Very few people in today's era know who these men and women were and fewer seem to appreciate their legacy.

 

Kevin Brownlow and company did us a tremendous favor by sitting down and interviewing many of those who were a part of that birthing process.

 

In their stories you learn how they were always pushing the outside of the envelope, usually in very creative ways.

 

They created an uniquely American art form that was sold around the world. It was silent so there were no language barriers. Other talented folks in other countries were soon doing the same.

 

But to bash silent film and the men and women responsible for it seems to me childish and petulant.

 

If you love film, you owe the silent film era a debt of appreciation that may be incalcuable,

 

An encore presentation of "Hollywood" would be a good start.

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