Tag Archives: 1920s

Herbert Blaché & Winchell Smith – The Saphead (1920)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

The Saphead is a 1920 comedy film featuring Buster Keaton. It was the actor’s first starring role in a full-length feature and the film that launched his career.

The plot was a merging of two stories, Bronson Howard’s play The Henrietta and the novel The New Henrietta by Victor Mapes and Winchell Smith, which was meant to be an adaption of Howard’s play.
Read More »

Yakov Protazanov – Otets Sergiy AKA Father Sergius (1917)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

One of the few pre-Revolution Russian feature films to survive, Father Sergius is an elaborate picturization of a Tolstoy novel. Ivan Mozzhukin plays a young, libertine officer who thinks nothing of committing casual sins while in the service of the Czar. He comes to regret his misdeeds as he grows older, his past debaucheries manifesting themselves in his wizened face and desiccated body. He wanders up and down the countryside, searching for redemption. Director Feodor Protazanov emphasized the high and low points of Mozhukin’s life by filming in the actual palaces and private clubs described by Tolstoy in his novel. The overall theme of corruption in high places automatically resulted in Father Sergius being banned by the Czarist censors, though the film found a more receptive audience once the government passed into the hands of the revolutionaries. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide
Read More »

Yakov Protazanov – Chelovek iz restorana aka The Man From Restaurant (1927)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Based on story by Ivan Shmelev.
The movie action starts very close before February democratic revolution in Russia in 1917.
Fate is cruel to waiter of capital city restaurant Skorohodov: his son dies on front, his wife perishes from grief, his daughter is excluded from grammar school because of lack of money to pay tuition.
Skorohodov decides to rent one of rooms in his poor apartment to a decent young man named Sokolin who is working as a courier in war industry committee .
The lodger and a girl fall in love with each other and soon decide to get married.
In meantime the father appoints his daughter as a violiinist in restaurant orchestra.
But rich factory owner Karasev rudely molests young blonde violinist and through blackmail expects to make her his mistress.
Read More »

Yakov Protazanov – Don Diego i Pelageya aka Don Diego and Pelageya (1928)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Careless and merciless bureaucratic machine turns a case of 80 year old peasant Pelageya Demina about crossing a railroad in a wrong place into criminal offense. Her oldman seeking help to get her out of jail. Read More »

Yakov Protazanov – Sorok pervyy AKA The Forty-First (1927)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

The Forty-First, Boris Lavrenyev’s novella, written in only two days, has proven enduringly popular. It tells the story of a young woman snarpshooter fighting with the Reds in Turkestan. She misses her forty-first victim, a handsome White lieutenant, and ends up escorting him, by boat, into captivity across the Aral Sea. A storm, however, strands the two on an island. Sick with pneumonia, the lieutenant is nursed back to health by his Red escort, and the two fall in love. At the last, however, Mariutka shoots him dead when he tries to escape, thus making him “the forty-first.”
Sorok pervyy had been filmed as a silent, from the author’s own script, by Yakov Protazanov in 1927.
Read More »

Yakov Protazanov – Aelita (Аэлита) AKA Revolt of the Robots (1924)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Directed by Soviet filmmaker Yakov Protazanov made on Mezhrabpom-Rus film studio and released in 1924. It was based on Alexei Tolstoy’s novel of the same name.

AllMovie wrote:
The Marxist struggle reaches outer space in this fanciful Russian science fiction film from the silent period. Los (Nikolai Tsereteli) is an engineer who dreams of traveling to other worlds and imagines that a beautiful woman named Aelita (Yuliya Solntseva) lives on the planet Mars. Frustrated with the petty political conflicts that are a big part of life on Earth, Los builds a spaceship and travels to Mars, where he discovers that the lovely Aelita really does exist and is Queen of the Planet. However, the realities of political struggle do not escape him; it seems that the Martian proletariat are attempting to rise up and take power just as the Russian rank and file did, and Los once again finds himself standing between the ruling leadership and the workers attempting to take control of their own lives.
4/5
Read More »

Robert Wiene – Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari AKA The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari [2014 Restored Version] (1920)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Here is an HDTV rip of the brand new digitally restored version of the absolute masterpiece “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari”. The film has been restored using the original camera negative, the result premiered on February 9th 2014 at the 64th Berlin International Film Festival.

New York composer and multi-instrumentalist John Zorn presented a new composition on the Karl Schuke organ at Berlin’s philharmonic to accompany the film. This is the version that has been shown at the festival with his music.
Read More »