Greatest Hits

January 10, 2011 at 2:18 am (Of No Redeeming Value)

This month marks the third anniversary of the Silent Movie Blog. You’ll notice that only six or seven months’ worth of posts are still online, as I customarily tore down the oldies after a few months to keep things fresh around here.

As promised, the blog will be closing down soon. (Very soon.) But a lot of you missed out on its early days, so I thought I’d dig through the ol’ archive and bring back some memorable images from posts gone by.

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Just another idyllic day in small-town America, 1915. The umpire is actually a film actress by profession. Bessie Love is the name. And the town is Hollywood. In the distance, a movie set is under construction; it’s going to be a Babylonian temple for a film the world will know as Intolerance (1916).

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Seemingly at a loss for words, Mary Pickford is greeted at the St. Louis Airport by the world’s tallest man, Robert Wadlow. October 1938.

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Laurel and Hardy swing out with Orson Welles and his hot sax. Orson’s between scenes for Jane Eyre (1944), and The Boys are shooting Jitterbugs (1943) elsewhere on the Twentieth Century-Fox lot.

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It’s the Hollywood premiere of The Wizard of Oz, and while Harold Lloyd is thrilled to meet a Munchkin, this doesn’t seem to be the highlight of Harold Jr.’s evening. August 15, 1939.

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Cougar attack! Former silent star Hope Hampton lunges for the gyrating hips of Teddy Randazzo in Hey, Let’s Twist! (1961).

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This lobby card wasn’t especially popular with blog readers, but I love it, so here it is again. All hell’s breaking loose in Chapter 3 of The House of Terror (1928).

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Nothing got the page view numbers soaring like a girl getting spanked. Here, the veteran Sennett director Roy Del Ruth coaches Gordon MacRae on the finer points of spanking Doris Day between takes for On Moonlight Bay (1951).

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Director King Vidor decries the shocking state of the men’s rooms at Dodger Stadium.

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Rudolph Valentino returns to the Blood and Sand look for this costume party. Manuel Reachi (Agnes Ayres’ husband) and Pola Negri stand next to him. Rudy, is that a lance in your pants, or are you just happy to see us? March 1, 1926.

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Nothing in the history of the Silent Movie Blog horrified readers more than this excerpt from a 1930s “Tijuana bible.” Trust me, it was worse before I censored it.

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My friend Gerald Smith discovered the filming location for the final shot of Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times (1936), and I snapped this photo for John Bengtson’s incredible book Silent Traces.

There endeth the silent era.

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– – – Christopher Snowden

 

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