[identity profile] emeraldarrows.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] silent_films
I started watching silent films a couple years ago and have since seen all of Mary Pickford's films that are available on DVD or VHS, as well as Ben-Hur and Wings. I'd like to watch other silent films, too, but aren't sure where to start. Could someone please recommend some to me? I prefer drama to comedy, or a film with a mix of the two. Many thanks for any ideas!

Date: 2013-05-23 01:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cosmosmariner.livejournal.com
There are a few movies that I recommend to folks who want to see more silent films:

Sadie Thompson (don't let the fact that it's partially reconstructed scare you off, it's just the tail end of the film)

The Big Parade

The Crowd - DEFINITELY The Crowd. That movie tears you apart and puts you back together again. Plus it's fun to watch it and see what modern movie directors have ripped off from it.

I know you mentioned not liking comedy so much, but you have to watch "Sherlock Jr." - it's a shorter film, and it's absolutely one of the most clever movies I've ever seen. Ever.

And give "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" a try - my husband, who usually does not like silent movies, likes that movie.

Date: 2013-05-23 02:40 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shecountscrows.livejournal.com
I'm a big fan of the Cat and the Canary (1927)

You know the genre that always starts with
the decease of a wealthy, reclusive, elderly relative the main character barely knew,
then moves on to
the reading of a will with a rich cast of characters, and spending the night in an eerie mansion (with a murderer and/or ghost and/or "escaped lunatic" sneaking around in it) to get an inheritance,
plus some comedy thrown in here and there for relief?

Well, Cat and the Canary is the film-origin of that genre, and it's quite fun.
Even by today's standards, it has some fairly suspenseful parts, too.

If you have netflix, you can watch it on their instant streaming service.

Date: 2013-05-23 03:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shecountscrows.livejournal.com
Glad to be of help, soldier ;)

So far, what silent movie have you enjoyed the most?

Date: 2013-05-23 03:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] thedabara-cds.livejournal.com
Douglas Fairbanks, Louise Brooks, Greta Garbo's silent films, and Lon Chaney Sr.

Date: 2013-05-23 07:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oreadno1.livejournal.com
Broken Blossoms, Tol'able David, The Big Parade, La Boheme, The Wind, The Crowd, He Who Gets Slapped, The Hunchback Of Notre Dame

Date: 2013-05-23 08:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oreadno1.livejournal.com
I've been interested in Mary Miles Minter (the actress in my icon) ever since I first read of the William Desmond Taylor murder about 25 years ago.

Date: 2013-05-24 01:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] oreadno1.livejournal.com
She was an actress in the Mary Pickford tradition (some say prettier than MP) but she had the proverbial stage mother and never got t enjoy her career so when the WDT murder scandal threatened to end her career, she let it. Only a very few of her films survive, but they are had to find: The Eyes of Julia Deep, Nurse Marjorie, and The Ghost of Rosy Taylor. If you're interested in reading about the Taylor scandal and its' aftermath, Taylorology (www.taylorology,com) is where to go. It has everything about the crime plus a great deal about the stars and the era. (He was murdered in 1922)

Date: 2013-05-23 08:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] imagine-peace.livejournal.com
I love Greta Garbo movies, personally.

Date: 2013-05-23 08:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] imagine-peace.livejournal.com
Flesh and The Devil. But all are good. Even her talkies. I really can't say enough about her. :)

Date: 2013-05-23 11:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] majolika.livejournal.com
The film is butchered in any available version, but everybody should have seen Stroheim's "Greed".

If you like Pickford, you should perhaps continue with Gish (Broken Blossoms, Orphans of the Storm, Way Down East etc. (all Griffith)

Personal favourite: The Man Who Laughs, a wonderful mix of drama and horror with the most incredible acting effort ever (Conrad Veidt).

Also, do give the famous German silents a try (Caligari, Nosferatu, Metropolis, Mabuse #1)

Big epic drama with special effects & an unshaved Valentino: The 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse (Actually the only Valentino film still watchable today, in my opinion. Has war & tango.)

A beautiful, surprising film is Abel Gance's Napoléon, it needs some patience though.

Personal favourite for Lon Chaney is the bizarre and less known film "The Penalty".

Date: 2013-05-26 10:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rootstraps.livejournal.com
Dreyer's The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928) is amazing...way ahead of its time in many acting moments as well as in use of the camera.
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