marie prevost

UPDATED ANNOUNCEMENT: Community Moved to Dreamwidth

Hello all. I'm currently the only active moderator on this community. Due to LiveJournal's newest Terms of Service, I will be leaving LiveJournal soon.

I have moved the community over to Dreamwidth, and it can be found here at silent_films (As of 3:00PM Central time on 7 April 2017, it's in the process of being transferred over to DW; please allow a day or so for all the posts and comments in the community archive to show up.)

While the community will remain up here on LiveJournal, it won't be active and I may not be around to moderate. Please contact me if you'd like to be a moderator, or if there are any issues here on silent_films now or in the future. You can find me at agent-mimi over on Dreamwidth.

Silent Film Scene Suggestions?


I was wondering if anyone on this board might be able to make suggestions of silent films/particular scenes that might illustrate these concepts:

Creating suspense
Shocking the viewer
Teasing the viewer
Showing not telling

Many thanks in advance!
smharlow2 from ailes_de_verre

Piccadilly (1929)

Has anyone seen this great Anna May Wong film? It's a British silent (which must explain the bizarre billed Charles Laughton cameo...can someone explain to me why having Laugton play a grumpy customer would attract audiences? He's there for five minutes! At least he distracts us form Gilda Gray's horrible dancing) made at the end of the era. There's some great dramatic camera shots and editing. It's plot is on the meladramtic side, but it's all in good fun. Anna May completely steals the picture and rightly so. I wish more of her films were around to see (at least more that I can get access too).

Read moreCollapse )
Geraldine Farrar

Please check out my friend, Matías Bombal's Facebook and Youtube page for his program, Hollywood

Originally posted by irigaraysw at Please check out my friend, Matías Bombal's Facebook and Youtube page for his program, Hollywood
"Matías Bombal’s Hollywood" presents movie reviews of new films currently playing or coming soon at a theatre near you. This page takes you behind the scenes and allows you to interact with the show's host, Matías Bombal.

Matías is an old friend and one of the people who got me interested in older films. He is a silent film, early film, and early recording aficionado.
Geraldine Farrar

Calling ALL "old technology" technophiles AND FANS of STRONG FEMALE LEADS in silent cinema

I'm currently working on a dissertation that involves the development of mechanical, electric, and eventually digital technologies in the United States and STRONG FEMALE LEADS. So far, it's been a wild ride and an amazing endeavor to start on my own. TO START, I'd love to communicate with a community of people who share my interests of silent film of the early 20th century. If you want to discuss a little on how these films were made and to what desired effect, that is an added bonus!

I've been watching silent films mostly from early opera singers and other women actresses who worked in Hollywood such as Geraldine Farrar and Mary Garden. I'm also looking into early talkies of figures, Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich. So far I'm intrigued with how early cinema developed with some of these great films as a young Cecil B. DeMille's Carmen, and Von Sternberg's films of Dietrich.

I plan to watch a series of films (out of sequence in year) and comment on them here. Please feel free to watch them alongside me. I can provide clips for the pivotal scenes if I can find them on Youtube. The one I'm starting with is Carmen by Cecil B. Demille. Released 1915, starring the most famous woman of the stage at the time, the Met's favorite prima donna Geraldine Farrar. There is an especially riveting scene with Farrar in this film in the "fight scene" where she attacks the writer Jeannie Macpherson, who was left bloody, shaken, and crying after the scene. This was quite a shift from the "prima donna" style of acting that was typically much more controlled and refined than this style of realism. It was considered one of the most important accomplishments for cinema to date, because of a young Cecil B. DeMille's skills as a director, and the star appeal of Geraldine Farrar. But also because film was not considered reputable for public consumption yet in the United States. This film helped convince the public and the critics...Stay tuned.
sm9thdoctor and rose from icons_of_isis

"The Butler" (1916) causes drama after almost 100 years

"The Butler" is a 1916 short film that Warner Brothers' currently owns. It stars Davy Don and Florence Williams. I'm assuming it's still around (I haven't seen it yet) because I doubt WB would cause such a fuss over a lost film. WB has sued TWC for using the title of "The Butler" for their new film starring Forrest Whitaker and Oprah. A judge recently reversed the appeal by TWC (according to and so unless they want to pay $25,000 every day to promote the film, they'll have to change the title.

I think it's funny that even a little short silent film can still be important enough in this day and age. I read somewhere else that WB mainly made the fuss because they want the rights to "The Hobbit", but whatever. They won anyway. TWC will probably change the title to "Butler" or something instead.

Anyway, go silent films for still counting in this day and age - even if it's just to cause trouble. It just goes to show those big studios that you can't forget about any film - even if it's almost 100 years old!
smtorchwood from icy_imaginary.jpg

Entertainment Weekly's top 100 films issue

EW released what they consider the top 100 films. Of course, not a lot of silents were on the list. "Sunrise", "The Gold Rush" and "Intolerance" might have been it (I'll have to check it out again. I'd post a link, but I'm crunched for time here. I'm sure someone can find it online).

What upset me the most though, was no Buster Keaton. I mean, I know Chaplin's number one, but where's the Keaton love? Keaton's films are so sweet, funny, full of great stunts and usually cleverly done. "Sherlock jr" would have been my pick, but most critics choose "The General". What does everyone else think?


I started watching silent films a couple years ago and have since seen all of Mary Pickford's films that are available on DVD or VHS, as well as Ben-Hur and Wings. I'd like to watch other silent films, too, but aren't sure where to start. Could someone please recommend some to me? I prefer drama to comedy, or a film with a mix of the two. Many thanks for any ideas!
smcharmed2 from creation_corner.png

tcm's summer under the stars 2013

I've heard through the grapevine that the only silent star represented this year is Ramon Novarro and it's on August 8th (my birthday!). Guess that means we'll see "Ben-Hur" at least. Wallace Beery (aug 17th) also started in some shorts, so maybe we'll see some of his - though doubtful.

I'm starting to really get into silent films, so I'll def have to check this out!