F.W. Murnau – Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927)

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Roger Ebert wrote:
The camera’s freedom to move is taken for granted in these days of the Steadicam, the lightweight digital camera, and even special effects that reproduce camera movement. A single unbroken shot can seem to begin with an entire city and end with a detail inside a window — consider the opening of “Moulin Rouge!” (2001). But the camera did not move so easily in the early days. Continue reading

Paul L. Stein – One Romantic Night (1930)

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Plot: A fairy-tale ball, first kisses, broken hearts, and a beautiful princess wooed by a handsome prince. So much can happen during One Romantic Night! Two great ladies of the screen who could scarcely be more dissimilar – waiflike, vulnerable Lillian Gish (in her Talkie debut), who excelled at heart-wrenching melodrama, and barrel-figured, bulldog-faced Marie Dressler, who excelled at everything – make a marvelous team as a monarchical mother and daughter in a romantic comedy about love and marriage among the crowned heads of Europe. Based on Ferenc Molnar’s play The Swan, the film was remade in 1956 featuring Grace Kelly in Gish’s role, just before she became the real-life Princess Grace of Monaco. From the DVD! Continue reading

Dziga Vertov – Chelovek s kino-apparatom aka Man with a movie camera (1929)

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Quote:
This playful film is at once a documentary of a day in the life of the Soviet Union, a documentary of the filming of said documentary, and a depiction of an audience watching the film. Even the editing of the film is documented. We often see the cameraman who is purportedly making the film, but we rarely, if ever, see any of the footage he seems to be in the act of shooting! Continue reading

Arnold Fanck & Georg Wilhelm Pabst – Die Weiße Hölle vom Piz Palü AKA The White Hell of Pitz Palu [+Extras] (1929)

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Plot Synopsis
While enjoying a romantic stay in a remote mountain cabin, Maria and Hans (Leni Riefenstahl and Ernst Petersen) discover a logbook revealing the tragic tale of Dr. Johannes Krafft (Gustav Diessl). He lost his wife in an avalanche, and wanders the faces of Pitz Palu seeking to reclaim her frozen corpse. On the anniversary of her death, Krafft appears at the cabin, and Maria and Hans volunteer to join him on the next leg of his grim expedition. A series of unfortunate events leaves the three stranded on the dreaded north face without shelter or supplies. While Johannes’s loyal friend (Otto Spring) leads a spectacular torch-lit rescue effort through the icy glacial caves, Johannes, Maria and Hans face the realization that they cannot all survive, and someone is fated to perish in The White Hell of Pitz Palu. Continue reading

John Ford – 3 Bad Men (1926) (HD)

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Storyline: In 1876, an old man finds gold in the Sioux lands, provoking a gold and land rush from immigrants to Dakota. On the way to Custer, the lonely cowboy Dan O’Malley helps to fix the wheel of Mr. Carlton’s wagon and flirts with his daughter Lee Carlton. Later, Lee and her father are attacked by horse thieves and Mr. Carlton is murdered; however, the outlaws “Bull” Stanley, Mike Costigan and “Spade” Allen save her from the criminals and head with her to the camp where the pioneers are waiting for President Grant proclamation to explore the lands. In the site, the corrupt Sheriff Layne Hunter rules with his henchmen with horror and injustice. The trio of outlaws decides that Lee needs to get married and select Dan to be her husband. When Bull’s sister Millie Stanley is murdered by Hunter’s right arm Nat Lucas, “Bull” organizes the men to chase Hunter. But it is 1877 and the gold and land race of wagons is ready to start. Continue reading

Michael Curtiz – The Matrimonial Bed (1930)

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Plot:
It is the fifth anniversary of the death of Adolphe Noblet who died in a train wreck. His servant and friends still worship him but don’t care much for his wife Sylvaine’s second husband Gustave with whom she has recently had a child. Sylvaine’s friends recommend that she use a new hairdresser, Leopold Trebel. However, when this womanizing coiffeur arrives, he turns out to be Adolphe suffering from amnesia. A doctor restores his memory using hypnosis but in the process wipes out everything that has happened to him over the last five years. Continue reading

Frank Lloyd & Josef von Sternberg – Children of Divorce (1927)

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Synopsis wrote:
A young flapper tricks her childhood sweetheart into marrying her. He really loves another woman, but didn’t marry her for fear the marriage would end in divorce, like his parents’. Complications ensue.

aclassicmovieblog wrote:
To contemplate Clara Bow and Gary Cooper together onscreen is to fear these irresistibly watchable stars will cancel each other out. After all, what else could happen when two performers who consistently steal scenes in other films appear with each other? In the 1927 silent Children of Divorce, nothing quite that dramatic happens, it’s pure pleasure to see them together. Now the film is available in its DVD/Blu-ray world premiere, in what is also the 50th release for the always meticulous Flicker Alley. Continue reading