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Silent Movie History

               Silent Movie History Film Clips

A Predictable Silent Movie I (Vanity Fair, 192?)

Attached is a Vanity Fair cartoon from the days of silent film illustrating how unsophisticated those movies truly were and how wildly predictable the plots and characters always seemed to be. This cartoon, along with a number similar magazine articles on this site, illustrate that such thinking was not entirely rare.

Another anti-silent film article can be read here...

This critic didn't like silent movies either - -


1914 Hollywood (American Legion Monthly, 1934)

This is excerpt from a longer article about the goings-on in 1914 presented an interesting (if incomplete) list of Hollywood's offerings for 1914:

The most popular screen performers were Mary Pickford, John Bunny, Ethel Barrymore and May Irwin.
The most popular films were "The Peril's of Pauline" and an Italian film titled "Cabiria" (directed by Giovanni Pastrone, aka: Piero Fosco).

This reminiscence pays tribute to a stand-up comedian named Jack Gardner and his skit, "Curse You Jack Dalton", in which he interacted with the performers on a movie screen, "ordering" them about, cracking wise and even having the audience believe that he had shot one of them.


A Predictable Silent Movie II (Punch Magazine, 1916)

This cartoon is yet one more piece of evidence on this site that serves to show that silent movies, although compelling and at times addictive, were still recognized by some of the brighter members of society, to be highly predictable form of entertainment.

-an additional article from the 1920s defaming silent film can be read here...


British Actor James Knight (Picture Show Magazine, 1919)

If you've been jumping from site-to-site for the past twenty minutes looking for reliable information regarding the early career of a silent film actor of the U.K. persuasion who was known as James Knight (1891 - 1948) - you have found it. Click the title above, gaze at the digitized image of his smiling mug and read on!


Typical American Films... (Vanity Fair, 1916)

The Conde Nast cartoonist Ann Fish wanted her swank readers to know that she was another Brit who recognized the reoccurring formula that young Hollywood relied on all too often and even though the film business was still in it's infancy, there was such a thing as "a typical American movie".


Anti-Plagerism Legislation Introduced (Photoplay Magazine, 1916)

Attached is a small column that credited U.S. Representative Charles Hiram Randall (1865 1951) of Los Angeles for having proposed legislation before Congress that sought copyright protection for the benefit of scenario writers in Hollywood:

"Congressional Randall [Prohibition Party] of California has introduced a bill in the House of Representatives for the protection of scenario authors, by providing for the issuance of a copyright on the scenario upon reciept of two typewritten copies to the proper department in Washington."


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