Silent Films and the Lexicographers (Motion Picture Magazine, 1916)
This small notice appeared on the pages of the March, 1916, issue of MOTION PICTURE MAGAZINE reporting that the overwhelming popularity of the new entertainment medium, and the public's curiosity with the manner in which they are produced, is beginning to have an impact on the everyday language of the English-speaking world:
"When a thing takes hold of a whole people its idiom enters the language; its individual verbiage begins to limber-up the common speech."
"So the idiom of active photography has entered the English language, at least wherever the English language is Americanized. The self-conscious valedictorian is told not 'to look into the camera'. The reporter writing of a street murder terms his description of the underlying cause a 'cut-back'."
- and most interestingly, one of the most popular elements of Hollywood verbiage is mentioned as having been noticed by the lexicographers: "close-up".
The N.Y. TIMES reported that the verb "to film" was entered into the dictionary in 1914,.
''Let's Go to the Moving Photograph Show!'' (Motion Picture Magazine, 1915)
Attached is the reminiscence of a movie-goer named Homer Dunne who recalled his feelings upon first attending a "moving photograph show" during the closing days of the Nineteenth Century. He described well the appearance of the rented shop-front, the swanky ticket-taker, the unimpressed audience and has a laugh on himself for failing to understand the significance of the medium.
Scenario Writers and Plagiarism (Motion Picture Magazine, 1916)
The attached is one from a series of articles that appeared in MOTION PICTURE MAGAZINE penned by a Hollywood insider during the high-fashion days of silent film. The reader will be alarmed to read that even as early as 1916, "plot-stealing" and other forms of Hollywood plagiarism were in full swing.
A few weeks earlier, a California Representative had introduced an anti-plagiarism bill to Congress.
Click here to read about the Hollywood plagiarism game of 1935.
Mary Pickford: An Appreciation (Motion Picture Magazine, 1916)
I haven't a clue as to whether California lawyers had the "Restraining Order" as one of the tools in their arsenal back in 1916; but if they had, Mary Pickford might have chosen to deploy just such a legal measure in order to defend herself from this obsessed fan who wrote the following essay for the editors of MOTION PICTURE MAGAZINE:
"She is adorably feminine, from her curls to her toes. In Tess, Caprice, the forlorn waif of the desert island in "Hearts Adrift", she is feminine in everything she does. She can storm, but she storms like a warm-hearted, human woman, not a virago; she can coquette, but it is never the cold blooded type of flirting; Mary Pickford couldn't be cold blooded if she tried. Men of all ages, women of all types, children of both sexes respond to this wonderful little girl in a manner no other star is able to arouse. They are all good and have done some wonderful work, but Mary is child, sweetheart and friend of the whole world, and no one can ever take her place in our hearts."
Click here to read a 1923 comparison between Norma Talmadge and Mary Pickford.
Obsessed with Hollywood Stars (Motion Picture Magazine, 1916)
Attached is a single page cartoon from 1916 that illustrated quite clearly that the relationship between movie fans and their film star magazines have not changed at all during the past ninety years.
Charlie Chaplin and His Imposters (Motion Picture Magazine, 1916)
With the popularity of Charlie Chaplin (1889 - 1977) came a large number of artificial, bootlegged Charlie Chaplin movies and a host of fraudulent 'Charlies'. All the fake Chaplins were clad the same and all answered to the same name yet all had different biographies and were not terribly funny in the slightest degree. Chaplin No. 1 did not care for this one bit and did not hold back while talking to this correspondent from "Motion Picture Magazine".
*Watch this Chaplin Clip*
Charlie Chaplin's Salary and Other Concerns (Motion Picture Magazine, 1916)
This short column appeared in 1916 answering the question for so many concerning the salary of Charlie Chaplin who served as his own inspiration for his famous character, "the Little Tramp".
Erich von Stroheim: an Immigrant's Story (Motion Picture Magazine, 1920)
Silent movie legend Erich von Stroheim (1885 – 1957) gave an account of his life and career in this 1920 interview printed in Motion Picture Magazine. The article touches upon von Stroheim's roll as producer for the movie "Blind Husbands" (1919), but primarily concentrates on his pre-Hollywood life and his disappointment with the "provincial" nature of American films.
Blanche Sweet Interviewed (Motion Picture Magazine, 1916)
An interview with the silent film actress, Blanche Sweet (1895-1986) who, at that point in her career, had been a "photoplayer" (ie. an actor) for only six years. Prior to her contract with The Lasky Company, where she was obliged to perform at the time of this interview, she had toiled in the vineyards of such studios as Reliance and Biograph (where she was nick-named, "The Biograph Blonde"). Unlike her co-swells in that young industry, who liked to read and re-read their recent interviews from Motion Picture Magazine while loitering around the sets, we read that Blanche Sweet was very fond of reading Tennyson, Kipling and the novels of Edward Phillips Oppenheim (1866-1946). During the course of her career she had appeared in well over one hundred films.
Click here to read magazine articles about D.W. Griffith.
Click here to read articles about another Hollywood blonde: Marilyn Monroe.
Pictures of Charlie Chaplin (Motion Picture Magazine, 1916)
Attached are five assorted photographs of Charlie Chaplin as they appeared on the sleekly printed pages of a 1916 issue of MOTION PICTURE MAGAZINE.
*Watch a Clip from a Charlie Chaplin Movie*