Classic Movies · Stuff You Should Know

Book Review: Slapstick Divas

Film historian/author Steve Massa released one of the most essential books on silent movie comedy back in 2013—Lame Brains & Lunatics—and in my review of this wonderful reference in August of 2016, I mentioned that his next project was going to expand on the female comediennes touched upon in Lunatics, titled Slapstick Divas.  Divas hit… Continue reading Book Review: Slapstick Divas

Advertisements
Classic Movies · Movies

Buried Treasures (literally!): The Lost City of Cecil B. DeMille (2016)

In his 1959 autobiography, legendary movie director Cecil Blount DeMille wrote: “If 1,000 years from now, archaeologists happen to dig beneath the sands of Guadalupe, I hope they will not rush into print with the amazing news that Egyptian civilization, far from being confined to the Valley of the Nile, extended all the way to… Continue reading Buried Treasures (literally!): The Lost City of Cecil B. DeMille (2016)

Classic Movies

“To something new!”

Returning to stately Osterna Castle after two years of being abroad, Graf (Count) Greven exhibits a demeanor vastly different than his pre-travel behavior.  He instructs his staff to put Osterna on lockdown, because for unexplained reasons he’s quite paranoid and fearful—with no explanation forthcoming.  His faithful manservant (Bernhard Goetzke) contacts a minister (Hermann Picha) who… Continue reading “To something new!”

Bad Movies

“Daughter of the night…what music she makes!”

Yes, this tired Dracula pun is about the only enjoyment I got out of watching Daughter of the Night (1920), an edited version of a German film entitled Der Tanz Auf Dem Vulcan/Der Fluch der Menschheit (a.k.a. Dance on the Volcano).  The joke referencing the 1931 horror classic is appropriate (though your mileage may vary) because Daughter is one of the earliest films featuring Glen… Continue reading “Daughter of the night…what music she makes!”

Classic Movies

“He’s all speed…the fastest thing in horseflesh…”

In a booklet that was originally supposed to accompany the DVD collection Becoming Charley Chase (it’s still online—which was a tremendous relief because the copy I downloaded succumbed to the recent hard drive clusterfudge), Richard M. Roberts had this nice take on why the comedian didn’t do more feature film work: “He wasn’t particularly ambitious.  Chase never… Continue reading “He’s all speed…the fastest thing in horseflesh…”

Classic Movies

Buried Treasures: Little Orphant Annie (1918)

The members of the Thrilling Days of Yesteryear faithful comprise a very erudite crowd (okay, you can take your hands out of your pants pockets now—I’m not asking for money) and they’re no doubt aware that if I were to mention “James Whitcomb Riley” their immediate reaction would be to think of his famous 1885 poem Little Orphant… Continue reading Buried Treasures: Little Orphant Annie (1918)