Archive for the ‘Silent Movie’ Category

Classic: City Lights – ***

Posted: September 4, 2019 in 1931, romcom, Silent Movie, USA, XXX

More Chaplin!

This time without annoying voice overs. A silent movie. With a typical silent movie soundtrack and typical silent movie sound effects.

It’s great!

Charlie Chaplin’s character meets a beautiful blind flower selling girl, who has no idea that he’s just a tramp. In the meantime, he saves an alcoholic millionaire from committing suicide and gets invited to the man’s fancy mansion and party lifestyle. Once sober, the rich man has no idea who this tramp is …

No extraordinary acting this time, but the pantomime play of Chaplin is charming and some of the choreography, especially in the boxing club, is excellent. There is real humor too and it’s not just slapstick. Some scenes are too long, but it doesn’t annoy.

More !

www.imdb.com/title/tt0021749

Back in 1942, Charlie Chaplin re-edited his favorite movie: The Gold Rush, a silent movie box office hit form 1925 ! He left out the script boards, added a voice over (done by himself) and had a orchestra perform a new score to it.

Having visited Chaplin’s World in Vyvey, which features lots of references to this classic, it’s time to finally watch it.

But… it’s not that special. The orchestra and the voice over make the whole experience more annoying than fun. It would have been better to watch the remastered original version from 1925.

Still, There are a few good scenes in it. Especially the ones with actress Georgia Hale, who – contrary to the men – does not overact at all and is perfect in her role as saloon dancer. Oh, there’s also the short but charming roll dance by Chaplin, two forks and two pieces of bread rolls. (see below)

www.imdb.com/title/tt0015864

 

DVD 2 from  Warner Brothers’ 90th Anniversary box is The Cameraman, a joyful romantic silent movie with an excellent Buster Keaton as a clumsy photographer who’s trying to impress a charming girl that works at a news office. It’s a series of individual sketches and the whole love story is just a hook, but it works fabulously. There is not one boring moment. There are several excellent scenes. The acting is superb. Buster Keaton doesn’t smile once during the whole movie, but keeps you mesmerized for the entire 75 minutes.There isn’t any current comedian who could pull that off. His slapstick routine is subtle and his clumsiness feels very natural (unlike that of Rowan Atkinson’s similar but unfunny Mr Bean for instance). Marceline Day shines as the love interest and her character is quite modern. I mean, she works, she takes the initiative to go on a date, she risks her job give him a chance …

Just too bad that the piano & organ score is too present. They also function as sound effects, which bring smiles in the beginning, but annoy after a while. However, overall totally enjoyable.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0018742

In fact, the whole movie is on youtube:

Bought myself a dvd box for the 90th Anniversary of Warner Brothers. The first of the collection is the movie that changed cinema forever: the first talkie. 

It’s the kind of movie classic that everyone knows about, but hardly anyone has seen. And with reason. It’s a bore. It must have been a huge hit back in 1927 just because of its innovation: there’s a dialogue halfway through the movie! And the guy you look at sings! However, the rest of the movie is still silent.

It’s about a  jewish kid who’s destined to be a cantor in the local synagogue just like his father and 4 generations before him. But he prefers to sing jazz tunes in a bar nearby. He’s expelled from his parental house and ten years later he is the star of a broadway show and is confronted with his parents again.

Sounds like it could be a great movie, but it’s not. The songs aren’t really captivating, the acting doesn’t feel real, the story boards are a real pain and the story is annoying.

But at least I’ve seen it now.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0018037