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Silent Movie History

               Silent Movie History Film Clips

Civilization: An Anti-War Film (The Atlanta Georgian, 1917)

Attached is a brief review of Civilization, the silent anti-war film produced by Thomas Ince in 1917. Sadly, Ince underestimated the power of film as a means of persuasion; World War I raged on for another year and a half following it's release.


Converted Film Haters (Photoplay Magazine, 1920)

Tin Pan Alley songster (and later Hollywood musical composer) Howard Dietz (1896-1983) penned this verse for Vanity Fair in celebration of the persuasive charm of film:

"We used to sneer at movies; they were vulgar

To our aesthetic, cultured sort of mind;

Amusement for the lowbrows or people who had no brows..."

Click here to read magazine articles about D.W. Griffith.


The Advantages of Silent Movies Over Theater (Photoplay Magazine, 1920)

Strong arguments were put to verse by the popular song writer Howard Dietz (1896 - 1983) as to why the up-town theater crowd had it all wrong.

"The picture theater is always dark
So things you throw won't hit the mark.

The actor in the movie play
Can't hear the things you often say.

The spoken drama's always longer;
The movie hero's always stronger."

Click here to read more comparisons between film and stage.


Fearing German Filmmakers (Current Opinion, 1921)

Teutonic film producers must have gotten a good guffaw upon reading the attached article that announced how insecure Hollywood producers felt when faced with the filmmakers of Germany. These intimidated studio heads and distributors believed that the Germans had a leg-up on Hollywood due to the high quantity of well-trained actors, crew and writers who had benefited from the traditions set forth generations earlier in German theater - so much so that they beseeched the law givers in Washington to protect them from these Germans...


The Silent Movie Producers of 1919 (Vanity Fair, 1919)

In three short pages this article outlines the growth of the film industry beginning in 1909 to the time of this printing, in 1919.

In 1930 Adolf Zukor was listed as one of the most powerful men in Washington...


Irving Thalberg: Hollywood's Boy Wonder (Collier's Magazine, 1924)

An article covering the early career of twenty five year-old Irving Thalberg (1899 1936): legendary Hollywood executive and movie producer, whose natural abilities in the Dream Factory catapulted his meteoric rise to greater power, leaving a long string of hits and well-admired film productions in his wake before pneumonia got the better of him twelve years after this article went to press.


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