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Seven sketches by Henry Raleigh (1880 - 1944) depict the sorts of silent film characters that were likely to be seen in the 1920s W.W. I movies. These dramatic sketches are accompanied by some dry words by the Vanity Fair editors:

"No matter how much we may wish to lose sight of the war, it can't be done. There will always be reminders of it. You suppose that, just because a little thing like peace has been declared, the playwrights, the theatrical managers, and the moving picture producers are going to let a chance like the war get by? Since we have become accustomed to German spies, Red Cross nurse heroines, and motor corps vampires, we could never go back to the prosaic mildness of innocent little country heroines, villains in fur-lined overcoats and cub reporter heroes. No actor will ever again consent to play a society role in evening clothes with flap pockets and jet buttons, when he can appear in a war play wearing an aviator's uniform and going around in a property airplane."

Pictured above is the American actor Buddy Rogers, who played the happy-go-lucky pilot who gets the girl (Clara Bow) in the film Wings (1927).

This 1918 silent movie was certainly mocked for its predictability...

     


Predictable Characters from the Silent War Movies (Vanity Fair, 1919)

Predictable Characters from the Silent War Movies (Vanity Fair, 1919)

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