Friday, 26 July 2019

Friday Five: 1920s Films

Friday Five


Here are five must see films from the roaring 20s!

#5. Nosferatu (1922)


#4. The Sheik (1921)

Roller Mania; Bieber Fever; Directioner, er, Whateverer - none of them have a patch on the obsessive love of Rudolph Valentino's fans. His death in 1926, aged just 31, heralded mass hysteria. Up to and including an all day riot requiring 100 mounted officers and the NYPD police reserve to control. Add that to the sex sensation that was Edith Maud Hull's best selling novel and you can't help but have a winner.

#3. Metropolis (1927)

The storyline, depending on cut, can be overlong and unwieldy but the cinematography is so cool you end up not caring anyway!

#2. Sex in Chains (1928)

This one sounds like it's going to be really hardcore and, I suppose, by 1928 standards it is rather shocking. The original German title is Geschlecht in Fesseln - Die Sexualnot der Strafgefangenen, which literally translates into something more like 'Sexuality in Custody - The Sexual Distress of Prisoners'. Or, in other words, dudes have to turn to each other in prison because of the lack of conjugal visits. Most modern critics aren't keen on its generous helpings of melodrama but, if like me, that's your kind of thing, this is a gem of a film. Lots of emotion, tragedy, and close-ups of William Dieterle's wonderful bone structure as he angsts over Alfred (Hans Heinrich von Twardowski)...

#1. It (1927)

Until I hit my late teens the only silent films I'd ever seen were early Laurel and Hardy shorts which didn't do much for me at all. I never was a big fan of slapstick. It wasn't until I started seeking out vintage horror that I attempted to actually sit and enjoy silent film. And I found it hard work. I'm of a generation used to multitasking all day, every day. Normally I'd listen to a movie, look up occasionally, and write / draw / read / browse as applicable.

It was the first silent film that managed to hold my attention the whole way through. It was also the first silent film that felt like a modern movie to me. I laughed, I cringed, I hoped for a happy ending. If you have a secret - or not so secret! - soft spot for a rom-com, you'll love It just as much as I do. :)

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Friday Five

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