Classic Film : Favorite silent movie stars

Favorite silent movie stars

We had a similar thread on the CFB a while back (I think Strelnikoff started it).

Female:

Lillian Gish

Theda Bara

Mary Pickford

Olive Borden

Eleanor Boardman

Male:

Lon Chaney

John Barrymore

Richard Barthelmess

William Haines

John Gilbert

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Re: Favorite silent movie stars

Chaplin, while not a personal favorite is perhaps the most brilliant of them all.

Glad to hear you love silent films, nimda!! :)

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Re: Favorite silent movie stars

Chaplin is indeed an icon, not many are known simply by their last name. Bogart. Garbo. Chaplin. The man is legend!

His honorary Oscar in 1972 was well-deserved!

Re: Favorite silent movie stars

Female:

Lillian Gish
Maria Falconetti
Greta Garbo
Janet Gaynor
Clara Bow

(I don't remember seeing Theda Bara, but I think she would probably be on the list if I had.)


Male:

Charlie Chaplin
Buster Keaton
Emil Jannings
Lon Chaney
John Gilbert
William Powell

Re: Favorite silent movie stars

I've never seen William Powell in a silent, do you know if there are silents still around that feature him?

William Powell

The one I remember the best is The Last Command (1928), co-starring Emil Jannings and directed by Josef von Sternberg. Very good film.

Here it is on youtube (best seen full screen):

Re: Favorite silent movie stars

Ok thanks so much spiderwort, I've bookmarked it for weekend viewing!

The Last Command

I haven't seen it in about 20 years, but I remember really liking it. In fact, when I got the link for you, I looked at a bit, and I might have to look at it over the weekend, too.

Re: Favorite silent movie stars

I did a sneak peek of the first scene with Powell and it looks intriguing, thanks again for the recommendation and link!

You're welcome! (nm)

nm

Re: Favorite silent movie stars

:)

Re: Favorite silent movie stars

Buster Keaton must be named and acknowledge in this category.

simple like so

Buster Keaton

Couldn't agree more. Keaton was a giant, right up there with Chaplin in terms of his extraordinary skills - acting, producing, writing, and directing.

His directorial genius in The General (1927) (shared with Clyde Bruckman; tragic story, that one) is rather breathtaking, especially for an art that was still in its infancy.

Re: Favorite silent movie stars

Harold Lloyd, Louise Brooks, Fritz Rasp, Mabel Normand, Eric Campbell, Charlie Chaplin, Roscoe Arbuckle, Buster Keaton.

Disney is CIA for kidz!

Re: Favorite silent movie stars

Two names for me to ponder: Fritz Rasp, and Eric Campbell. I know their films, but can't find pictures of them, so I'm not sure who they are. I look forward to discovering that.

And I just wanted to comment on Mabel Normand. She's of great interest to me because of her history before Hollywood and while in Hollywood. You seem to be highly educated in classic films, so you probably know this. But for those who don't, here's just a bit of her story, forgoing the well-known scandals:

Before she came to Hollywood she worked at the Miller Brothers 101 Ranch in Bliss, Oklahoma, performing in their Wild West show, along with Will Rogers, Tom Mix, Buck Rogers and others. A bit later she began appearing in films they made through their Bison film company in California, which got her to Hollywood.

And once in Hollywood, she became not only a star, one of the most successful and popular of the early silent screen comediennes, but was also a pioneering female writer and director. Mabel's Blunder (1914), is a good example of one that she wrote, directed and starred in.



All things considered, I find it so fascinating that this New York born silent star first performed in an Oklahoma Wild West Show before finding her way to Hollywood. I've always felt that her life story is a good film waiting to be made.

Re: Favorite silent movie stars

Hi Spiderwort,

Here's Fritz Rasp:





Eric Campbell:





I'm the opposite - I know their faces but can't recall some of their movies!

Rasp and Campbell

Oh, thank you, mike! Yes, I know these faces (especially Campbell), and now I know their names. Campbell had such a unique face. He almost upstages Chaplin at times - and, honestly, who can do that? I remember Rasp primarily from Metropolis, but I know I've seen him other films, too; titles, who knows? Thanks again for filling in the blanks.

Re: Favorite silent movie stars

Harold Lloyd.

I loved him in a few of his "talkies" also.

Harold Lloyd

You know, I've spent my entire long life watching and making films, but for whatever reason I never experienced the Harold Lloyd phenonemon. I've always regretted that. I've seen clips, but not entire films. When I think of him, I see him hanging from that clock. Shame on me.

Can you recommend a particular film that I should use to introduce myself to him and his acknowledged genius?

Harold Lloyd

Nobody mentioned Rudolph Valentino! He was HUGE in his day,

Valentino

Oh, yes! His death stopped the world. The next time that happened was with James Dean.

That said, I'm not really familiar with his work. In fact, I don't think I've seen one of his films, only clips. I need to remedy that one of these days. Same with Ramon Navarro.

Harold Lloyd

Gosh, there are so many.

For me, I really liked "Speedy" as one of his silent pictures.

And for a talkie, try "Movie Crazy".

Harold Lloyd




The reason you seldom, if ever, saw a Harold Lloyd movie on television or in a revival house is because Lloyd believed that audiences in the 1960's and 1970's held silent movies in derision (and there was much truth to that).

He owned all his features and only released them to museums for selected showings. After his death in 1971, the collection went to his daughter. When they looked at the movies they were nearly in pristine condition. The actor was fanatical about taking care of them, even though few people were ever going to see them in his lifetime.

Lloyd's daughter finally struck a deal to re-master and release them on dvd a few years ago. The man's entire collection of silent and sound features, plus the shorts he had done prior to 1920 are included in the collection, along with hours and hours of extras, new music scores and a documentary on Lloyd. It's an astounding body of work.

The most famous image of the actor is, of course the clock. That one moment and the lack of access to his movies for so long gained him a reputation as a daredevil, but he was so much more than a stunt artist. He was a genius in the art of the gag and a brilliant actor who could turn comedy to drama and back in the blink of an eye.

Only three comedians of the silent screen have been universally hailed by critics and fans with the appellation "genius", Chaplin and Keaton and Lloyd. The movies in the box set conclusively prove why Lloyd deserves every word of such praise.

While Safety Last is considered his magnum opus, my favorite is The Kid Brother, released with a beautiful score by Carl Davis, in which Lloyd proves that not only was he one of the most gifted comedians of all time, but a strong dramatic actor, as well.

If I seem overly effusive about Harold Lloyd, you will probably better understand it after you have seen a few of his movies.

The man who feared his movies would be laughed at instead of laughed with would be surprised to learn just how much they are admired today by a new generation of fans, one hundred years after they were made.

Thank you, Harold Lloyd, wherever you are.

And This, Too, Shall Pass Away

Harold Lloyd

Wow, that's a great summary on Lloyd. Had no idea about how he had preserved and isolated his films that way.

Thanks for the info!

Harold Lloyd

I highly recommend watching The Kid Brother. Carl Davis's beautiful score will bring tears to your eyes.

While Safety Last is the favorite among most Lloyd fans, The Kid Brother is his best overall work. The showdown with the main villain is surprisingly long and violent for a comedy of that period. And it also has my favorite Lloyd co-star, Jobyna Ralston.

And This, Too, Shall Pass Away

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Re: Favorite silent movie stars

Jack O'Halloran

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Re: Favorite silent movie stars

Lilian Gish, Buster Keaton, DW Griffith, Louise Brooks, Mary Pickford, FW Murnau

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