Discussion in 'Movies' started by ClassyCo, Jun 17, 2018.
Any fans of silent cinema here? Who are your favorites?
Aside from the comedians (my favorites being Chaplin, Harold Lloyd, Buster Keaton, and Laurel & Hardy, who also were in talkies), most of my fav stars from the 30´s also did silent movies, though I associate some of them more with talkies. However, actresses like Lillian Gish or Gloria Swanson are to me stars from the silent era.
Only Greta Garbo had a career that, in quality and quantity, could be divided into two equally interesting phases: the silent ones are intensely romantic and a prelude to her subsequent movies, and the talking ones add the singularity of her deep voice and the production values of Hollywood to the also romantic nature of the films. She also did a few remakes of her silent movies. It´s amazing how different movie careers were back at the time. All in all, I think I´d choose Garbo over any other star who began in the silent era.
Lillian Gish and Gloria Swanson, both great stars in their heyday, have careers that would exclusively, in my book at least, define them as silent screen queens. They each made talkies, of course, but their star power was never the same. It dimmed, as it seems, the minute the microphone was employed. Swanson did, however, make a legendary impression as fictional silent era actress, Norma Desmond, in Billy Wilder's Sunset Boulevard. Unfortunately, her career fizzled afterwards, and she was never used to her potential again. Gish, from what I remember from the little I've researched of her, worked rather steadily in the sound era, but never achieved the same status again.
Greta Garbo was, by many accounts, the ultimate star of the silent screen, albeit in its final days. Her entry into the Hollywood sign in 1926 was met with great acclaim, and throughout the silent era's last years, she appeared in a screen of screen romances, all great successes. Her debut in the talkies was pushed back further than any other star; waiting until 1930's adaptation of Anna Christie. Her voice, as many biographers have wrote, "completely fit" what the audience wanted her to sound like. The quality of her early talkies, however, were anything but superb. It seems she struggled significantly with her lines and finding the best way possible to get an understanding of them to effectively play deliver them before the camera. Still, "Garbomania" was as hot as ever. As time lingered on, though, she allowed her close friend and screenwriter, Salka Viertel, to have more control over her screen image. Viertel had an idea of Garbo that was quite different from the one that had proved popular in silents and early talkies. Garbo became a sad, unapproachable, and distant figure on the screen, resulting in outings like Anna Karenina (1935) and Camille (1936), both of which proved successful and have become classics. Ninotchka (1939), her first attempt at comedy, revived her career, but within two years it had crumbled and she quietly exited stage rear.
To clarify, yes I love Garbo, too. She's one of my favorites from her era.
Laugh Clown, Laugh is a current favourite but there's so many good ones.
Don't know if I've seen or even heard of that one.
A Lon Chaney feature. It's really good.
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