Elliott Dexter

Silent Room

e2002eb8aa3a7e02d28d3b73cf17b5aeElliott Dexter, the gentlemanly star of a dozen films for Cecil B. De Mille, appeared in some of the biggest hits of the silent era and co-starred with some of the great divas, but his name is not well remembered. He retired from the screen in 1925

Dexter’s birth year has been reported as anywhere from 1879 to 1870. He was a stage actor and appeared in seven Broadway plays between 1905 and 1915, the year he quit the stage and entered films. He was between 35 and 45 years old. It was also the year he married the stage and film star, Marie Doro (who was born in 1882.

See Fritzi Kramer’s blog for more on the birth date issue http://moviessilently.com/2014/03/13/silent-star-mini-biography-elliott-dexter/

MV5BNzRmZmZjNjktNzg2Mi00ZWJkLWE4OWUtNGI5YmUwNTFhNGEyXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMTcyODY2NDQ@._V1_His first film was for Famous Players (later Paramount) with Marguerite Clark in a “north woods” drama called Helene of the North. The next year he starred…

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The Crazy Ray

You can watch the full movie on the following link – https://backtothepastweb.wordpress.com/2017/01/27/the-crazy-ray-1924/

scifist 2.0

(7/10) The first feature film dealing with the stopping of time, French experimental movie Paris qui dort is a poetical comedy that uses science fiction trappings to recapture the romanticism of a Paris before the hustle and bustle of the modern speed-crazy world of the 1920s. 

The Crazy Ray (Paris qui Dort). 1924, France. Written, directed and edited by René Clair. Starring: Henri Rollan, Madeleine Rodrigue, Charles Martinelli. Cinematography: Maurice Desfassiaux, Paul Guichard. Produced by Henri Diamant-Berger. IMDb score: 7.3. Tomatometer: N/A. Metascore: N/A. 

kinopoisk.ru Russian poster.

In 1924 filmmaker René Clair thought the French cinema had fallen into a bit of a slump, and wanted to make a film to comment on the problem. Thus we got Paris qui Dort (literally Paris Asleep), one of the few French sci-fi films before the country completely fell off the genre map for almost three decades. Available for home viewing is primarily…

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Zasu Pitts

Silent Room

d21a9e784460371f16998a914e68c24fZasu Pitts. The sad eyes. The fluttery voice. The fluttering hands. She is familiar from scores of films from the 1930s and 40s as the fussy old maid or wise-cracking second lead. She starred in a series of comedy shorts with Thelma Todd. She also appeared in more than 70 silent films dating back to Uneasy Money 1917 with Billy Franey.

Pitts’ career in silent films was not restricted to comedy shorts. She worked with many of the biggest stars and directors of the era. She co-starred in three films with Mary Pickford: Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, The Little Princess (both 1917) and a lost film called How Could You, Jean? (1918). She also co-starred with Douglas Fairbanks in A Modern Musketeer (1917).

pittspickfordZasu Pitts and Mary Pickford in The Little Princess

She appeared with Lillian Gish in The Greatest Thing in Life (1918) directed by D.W. Griffith and with…

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Week of July 13th, 1918

Grace Kingsley's Hollywood

sid_grauman1927 Sid Grauman, 1927

One hundred years ago this week, Grace Kingsley had a big news flash:

An announcement of much importance to the film world was made yesterday [July 16th], when Sid Grauman announced the fact that he and his father, D.J. Grauman, are on the eve of incorporating as motion-picture producers, and also that they are building a new theater here.

They planned to incorporate as the Grauman Feature Players Company within the next three months, and renovate an existing studio. Sid Grauman told her that by being a theater owner, he’d learned a lot about what the public wanted in films. He outlined his plan for success:

In the first place, he declares he means to give all the time possible to the making of his pictures, producing only three or four a year; and, while he states he does not have in mind the engaging…

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Blanche Sweet

Silent Room

MV5BNTA4NGFiNDEtNDUyNS00Y2I2LWE1YjItZGVlN2ViNzRiYWU1XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMTcyODY2NDQ@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,760,1000_AL_One of the great ironies in the transition from silent films to talkies occurred in the 1930 film, Show Girl in Hollywood. The plot has showgirl Alice White going to Hollywood to try to get into films. She happens to meet a woman who used to be a star but who is struggling in the new Hollywood. The actress (played by Blanche Sweet) eventually tells White that at age 32, she’s all washed up in films. She then sings the sad song “There’s a Tear for Every Smile in Hollywood.”

In a poignant instance of art imitating life, Sweet found herself in the same predicament as her character … except that she was 34 years old. Sweet, a big star in silent films, made only three talkie features, all in 1930, and retired from the screen. Although she continued to work on stage and radio, she made only a few…

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David and Saul 1911

Image result for David and Saul 1911

This old Bible story does not need any description. It is not, however, the story of David and Delilah, but is the tale surrounding the time when David had Saul at his mercy and cut off only a portion of Saul’s garment.

Director: Henri Andréani

Production Co: Pathé Frères


Mary Pickford used to eat roses

The Bioscope

Of all the subjects that might have been chosen as the theme for a contemporary popular song, the formation of the United Artists film company must come as one of the least expected. But such is the theme of ‘Mary Pickford’, the new single by Katie Melua. I shall not pass judgement on its musical or lyrical merits – simply to say that it is written by Mike Batt, and tell us in simple words that Mary Pickford, her husband Douglas Fairbanks, Charlie Chaplin and D.W. Griffith got together to form the United Artists Corporation, which indeed they did in 1919. It was the first film company to be formed by film artists, rather than businessmen, and was of course intended to produce and distribute the films of the quartet (as well as others) and retain power and profits for themselves. Famously, Richard A. Rowland of Metro Pictures Corporation, on…

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