Tag Archives: silent films

Hats Off to Silent Films

Rudolph Valentino and Nita Naldi in Cobra.

Rudolph Valentino and Nita Naldi in Cobra. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Logo I created for the Twilight Saga Wiki

Logo I created for the Twilight Saga Wiki (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To read my endorsement of silent films, see my post  “The Twilight Saga: To Stare or Not to Stare?”


2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,100 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

THE ARTIST: Film Review

I watched THE ARTIST twice and loved it.  Just as silents transitioned into talkies, THE ARTIST transitions from a silent to a talkie.  As much as I liked the main characters, “George Vallentin” and “Pepper Miller,” I think the dog gave the best performance.  What an act!  I view “Vallentin” and “Miller” as truly fictional, with a nod to John Gilbert and Douglas Fairbanks SR.

“Vallentin’s” mannerisms reminded me of Gilbert’s mannerisms.  Beyond that I did not see much of a connection. Gilbert’s last silent film was DESERT NIGHTS. “Valentin’s” last silent film reminded me of DESERT NIGHTS. (John Gilbert intended to make DESSERT NIGHTS a talkie.  Charlie Chaplin, who opposed talkies, convinced him not to.)    According to Hollywood lore, Gilbert had difficulty transitioning from silents to talkies, but in reality, he made 11 talkies between 1929 and 1934.  He would have made more, but poor health intervened.  He was about to make a talkie with Marlene Dietrich when he succumbed to heart failure January 9, 1936.

I don’t know much about Fairbanks SR except that he played in a number of swashbucklers.  Gilbert only made one–BARDELYS THE MAGNIFICENT.  In THE ARTIST, we see a glimpse of “Valentin” on the set in swashbuckling clothes.

“Pepper Miller” did not remind me of any star in particular.  I was amused when she used Garbo’s famous line: “I want to be alone.”

My daughter watched THE ARTIST with me.  “Geroge Vallentin” reminded her of Gene Kelly.  She also noted that in one scene “Pepper Miller” wore the same outfit that Debbie Reynolds wore in SINGING IN THE RAIN.  THE ARTIST, which ends with a song and dance routine, not only pays homage to silent film stars but also to the Gene Kellys and Fred Astaires of talking pictures.

The music in the THE ARTIST complimented the story nicely, but it was the VERTIGO theme in the last third of the film that really grabbed my attention. I loved it!

THE ARTIST is one of the most entertaining “contemporary” movies that I have seen in a long time.  It’s not exactly a silent film–and certainly not a talkie–but strikes me as a hats off to both.

NOTE:  My film review began as a comment to “BEC” on www.ricksflicks.wordpress.com .  I recommend www.ricksflicks.wordpress.com to all film buffs who like to read about and write about films.