1921-1930

Alexandre Volkoff – Kean (141-minute version) (1924)

Quote:
This is a biopic of the 19th Century actor, Edmund Kean.

You may remember him for his famous last words: “Dying is easy, comedy is hard.”

Made some 90 years after his death, the film tells of the greatest actor of his time, a man toasted as the greatest actor of all time.

Great though he may have been on the stage, his personal life was a wreck.

He was hounded by creditors, had a problem with alcohol, and to make matters worse, had fallen in love with the wife of an ambassador. Read More »

Kote Mardjanishvili – Komunaris chibukhi aka Trubka komunara aka Pipe of Communard (1929)

After the defaet in the Prussian war, famine and riots exploded in Paris. The wife of Lui Ru, a carpenter, could no longer stand proverty, left her son with his father and eloped to Versailles with a butcher. Lui died on the barricades. His comrades got executed. Lui’s son was among those executed. For the sake of his own entertainment the officer aimed at the pipe that Lui’s son was holding in his mouth and shot him to death. Read More »

Oleg Frelikh – Prostitutka aka Prostitute (1927)

From Imdb:
Prostitution, Statistics And Harangues, 13 November 2009
5/10
Author: FerdinandVonGalitzien
“Prostitutka” (1927) is a Bolshevist silent rarity, unusual because of its subject matter, that being prostitution in the U.S.S.R. The world’s oldest profession requires a treatment both delicate and balanced, not an easy topic for a first time director like Herr Oleg Frelikh. Actually, this little known work was Frelikh’s only film as a director (prior to this, he had been an actor) and it’s a flawed but interesting effort. Read More »

F. Richard Jones – The Gaucho (1927)

Douglas Fairbanks as The Gaucho
A girl is saved by a miracle after she falls from a cliff in the Argentine Andes, and is blessed with healing powers. A shrine is built on the site, and a whole city grows around it, rich with gold from the grateful worshipers. Ruiz, an evil and sadistic general, captures the city, confiscates the gold, and closes the shrine. But the Gaucho, the charismatic leader of a band of outlaws, comes to the rescue. Read More »

Jess Robbins – The Lucky Dog (1921)

The Lucky Dog is the first film to include both members of the famous comedy duo of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy, later known as Laurel and Hardy and is the first occasion that they worked together. Though they appear in scenes together, they play independent of each other and not as the comedic team that they would later become. Read More »

Herbert Brenon – Beau Geste (1926)

IMDb user comments
Both this original and the Wellman remake are marvellous Golden Age films – it’s difficult to compare silents with talkies, or either to the book. In the book you use your imagination, this 1926 original had a cast of thousands, ’39 was a populist version with identical screenplay, full orchestra and name changes, ’66 only had 2 brothers and muzak, whilst if made today would probably have nothing real in it at all. Read More »

Jean Renoir – Le Tournoi dans la cité AKA The Tournament (1928)

IMDb:
This isn’t really a Jean Renoir-originated film. It was commissioned by a historical society to commemorate 500 years of history in whichever French city it was that this was made. Portions of the film are apparently lost, and what I saw was a three-reel reconstruction made much later, probably by the BBC. It runs about 30 minutes. It kind of tells a complete story. Read More »