Monday, October 5, 2009

100 followers - 100 movies (pt 1/4)


When I saw that the number of followers of my blog started to reach a three-digit-number, I felt that I had to do something special to celebrate my blog's popularity. Because that number certainly overwhelms me - how can as many as a hundred different people decide to sign up to follow my unprofessional classic film blog? Simply amazing, and I am very thankful. It gives a purpose to my burning passion, and confidence to keep it up. Of course, people might drop out and make this blog post x 4 embarrassing, but I choose to ignore that possibility.

What I decided to do was simply to list a 100 films, one movie from each year between 1909-2009, and do a 100 one-sentence-reviews of them. In order to manage the one-sentence-thing I will of course have to stretch the English grammar and language to it's limits - and just even a little bit more. Don't hate me.

Before I start off with my first 25 (1909-1934), I just want to add that the movies chosen are not necessarily my absolute favorites of those years - just movies I wanted to highlight on the blog. I also tried to provide you with either YouTube- or Internet Archive links to the films, if I could find them.

Again - thank you for supporting a dreaming film devotee. If I become famous one day I will make sure not to pay you back.



If you're not familiar with this Shakespeare play, this 12 minute film adaption (the play's first film adaption!) will probably confuse you - but see it anyway for it's disturbing qualities and the weird donkey!


A Danish melodrama you at least have to see for "Die Asta's" incredibly sexy dance number!


French comedian Max Linder follows his doctor's prescription of a glass of red wine a day, but the generous size of the wine glass causes a deranged drunken town visit and unfortunate encounters with a bunch of police officers.


Mary Pickford plays (under the direction of D. W. Griffith) a girl mending a fisherman's nets, but her fiancée and his old love who won't let him go, and her violent brother, disturbs the peace and causes big time kerfuffle - with a pinch of gunfire.


Max Linder watches a bullfight and gets inspired to become a toreador, and starts right away by practicing on bicycles, trains and cows.


Charlie Chaplin tears away from Mabel Normand's side to marry an unattractive farmer's daughter (in the form of an adorable Marie Dressler) who just inherited a fortune from a newly deceased uncle - but what happens if the rumors of the uncle's death happened to be a bit exaggerated...?


The first historical epic (again by D. W. Griffith) takes three hours of our time to describe the American South before, during and right after the Civil War - the camera work is just as shocking and admirable as the political incorrectness of the plot is shocking and disturbing!


Charlie Chaplin makes his best to unintentionally screw up a fire station and its employees, but manages in the end to save the well-dressed Edna Purviance and win her heart!


Max Linder boards a ship, when a beautiful girl realizes that she has forgotten to bring her bag - and off our French hero goes, runs and God-knows-what to find it, and hopefully get some romance as a finders fee.


The Tramp is accompanied by a dog in the search for food, beer, trouble and romance.


In the Cecil B. DeMille comedy that made a star out of Gloria Swanson, a housewife ends a routine filled life with a cigar smoking husband to find a more luxurious life in the high society among clean gentlemen - but soon has to confront the truth that diamonds are only a compressed form of charcoal.


Lon Chaney plays Blizzard, the criminal and sadistic amputee leader of San Fransisco's underworld, with a task to take out revenge on the surgeon who needlessly removed his legs after an accident in his youth.


The Tramp accidentally finds himself with an abandoned child, and raises him up to follow his out-of-the-law footsteps - but unfortunate events forces them to fight for their relationship.


Gloria Swanson and Rudolph Valentino act together in a long thought lost classic, about a young woman who marries an old millionaire, but falls in love with a handsome nobleman her own age on the honeymoon.


The most classic Harold Lloyd comedy, about a young man who sets his mind on making himself some money before he can marry the girl he is in love with - something that ends up with him risking his neck to climb outside of a high building and leaves him hanging from the hands of a clock.


Directed by the legendary Swedish director Victor Sjöström, this film tells the story about an ex-inventor (Lon Chaney) who after suffering humiliations among his colleagues starts working as a circus clown, and falls in love with the beautiful Norma Shearer who is completely unaware of his feelings.


Lon Chaney plays the immortal character of Erik, the disfigured composer who inhabits the catacombs underneath an opera house, sabotaging the operas and kidnapping the beautiful singer Christine whom he is madly in love with - all this beautifully filmed with some scenes in two-strip Technicolor!


Co-written by Stan Laurel, this crazy short tells the story about a divorced woman who just re-married when she hears that she can't inherit her rich aunts money if she has had a divorce - the natural solution of course being to, when dear auntie visits, pretend that she still is married to her first husband (Oliver Hardy), while pretending her real husband is just renting a room in the house.


Clara Bow is the ultimate flapper in the ultimate comedy about an office girl with "it", who falls in love with her ignorant boss, and does everything to get his attention - but when she helps her unwed room mate and friend to avoid loosing her baby to the authorities, a newspaper article results in some unfortunate misunderstandings.


In a self produced film Gloria Swanson plays the ex-prostitute Sadie Thompson who arrives in Pogo-Pogo to start a new life - but a sadistic priest in the form of Lionel Barrymore is not willing to leave her sinful past alone.


The first talkie on my list combines the professionals Basil Rathbone and Norma Shearer in a high society drama/comedy about Mrs. Cheyney (Shearer) who charms the rich people around her while trying to sneak away with their jewelry - but a young Lord Arthur Dilling (Rathbone) keeps his eyes on her.


A young married couple, of the modern, equal sort, face troubles when the wife (Norma Shearer) finds out that her husband (Chester Morris) has been cheating on her, and to make things even she "balances their accounts".


Two newly wed couples check in at a hotel, but realize too late that the wife of one couple (Norma Shearer) now is room-mate with her ex-husband (Robert Montgomery), the husband of the other newly wed couple - intriguing!


In the probably naughties pre-code movie ever, Jean Harlow sets out to seduce her married boss (Chester Morris), but will never stop for anything as long as the grass is greener on the other side.


The most insane, absurd and surreal war spoof there is - banned in Mussolini's Italy at the time - with the irreplaceable Groucho Marx as the dictator of Freedonia, Rufus T. Firefly.


The first and best film in the series about the married detective couple Nick and Nora Charles (William Powell and Myrna Loy) - and of course, their trained dog Asta and heck of a lot to drink.


Kim said...

Congratulations on reaching 100 subscribers. Although you shouldn't be surprised your posts are both intelligent & enjoyable. :)

And this is a very fun idea for a post. I actually am ashamed to admit I have not really seen many movies prior to 1930 so this gives me some ideas of some films to check out.

Courtney said...

I love The Thin Man! It became one of my favorite movies, thanks to a willingness to share from a previous co-worker.

Mykal said...

Lolita: You made the century mark! Congratulations! You have a great blog; and I love this list of movies. I really have to make an effort to see more Twenties movies. It's a real failing of mine. -- Mykal

Lolita said...

Thanks a lot! I'm very surprised at how much people seem to enjoy my blog - I have no idea what I'm doing right, but I will just continue with it whatever it is! ;)
Great, that was the idea! Many YouTube links you can click on any time you want!

It's a lovely film! A enjoy the rest of them too (a lot), but they can't beat the first one!

Lolita said...

Thanks for the kind words, they keep me warm with the Autumn coming and all! :) At least check up Lon Chaney more, if you haven't seen anything - with your specific movie interest he must be something for you to worship!

Let's see if you can relate more to the next three issues of the list ;)

Mykal said...

Lolita: You smart girl, you guessed right. the Penalty is one from your list that I have seen! I have also seen The Kid and everything by D.W. Griffith. Not very good on the Danish films, I am ambarrased to admit, although I am going to place The Abyss right up their on the list of things to see. What a striking and sexy still you have provided! I love the cop in the background, his thumbs stuck into his pants as he watches.

I am also determined to appreciate Jean Harlow more that I do. -- Mykal

Jorgé said...

Congratulations on the three-digit-number!

Happy to see that more than one of Chaplin's films made the list. Then again, the silents just wouldn't have been the same without the tramp.

Looking forward to the other 3 parts. I'm sure they will be as fun a read as this one was, as always your post are.

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

Much congratulations. And well deserved.

Mary said...

Congratulations! I can't wait to see the rest of your 100 movies.

Kate Gabrielle said...

Congratulations Lolita!!!! :D

I need to see a lot of the 1909-1930 films you picked.. I think the only one's I've seen are the Chaplin ones (eek!) but they all look so good! Thanks for the YouTube links!

I can't wait to see parts 2,3 and 4!

Oh, and I love that picture of Gloria Swanson at the phonograph! I actually just used it for something on my blog two days ago!

Elizabeth said...

It goes without saying, but I loved all of your selections! Hurrah for all the Max Linder!

MissMatilda said...

beautiful post, adoring the early
Norma Shearer photographs xxx


Elsie said...

Thank you for all the Max Linder links! He's so much fun.

Funny I haven't seen 'Sadie Thompson' yet despite my love of the story (and Somerset Maugham in general.)

Lolita said...

I'm not good at Danish films neither, but The Abyss was great - and a classic film fan has to see at least ONE film starring the first international film star ever, Die Asta! And that dance routine IS shockingly sexy - it's only in 1910!

Jean Harlow was good as a bad girl - see Red-Headed Woman and Red Dust!

Thank you so much! You're very kind - and Chaplin is irreplaceable! Would have needed more Buster Keaton though, but I couldn't fit in everything in these posts!

Oh, thank you! :)

You'll see them soon! Thank you!

Kate G:
Thanks, girl! It's fun to be able to provide a way for my readers to watch the films I'm talking about - after all, if I awaken an interest it's also in my interest that people get it satisfied!
Fun on Gloria, can't believe I missed that! I have to go through your blogs with a magnifying glass ;)

Great! And than YOU for introducing me to Max Linder ;)

She was a beauty of her own - I adore her. Thanks for leaving a comment!

He really is! Much of his available work is with French and German text though, but luckily enough it's so little that you can figure out what it's saying anyway!
Oh, go see it! If you can find it, of course. I have it on my computer, maybe I should upload it on YouTube. The fascinating thing is that Gloria herself took the initiative to make the movie - she had a hard time getting the rights for it! (Including a personal visit to W. S. Maughaum!)

Anonymous said...

Good choices of course.

I like more D. W. Griffith's Birth of a Nation but I get liitle bit disturbed with the Ku Klux Klan option but its a really great film.

My second is Duck Soup and after this come The Kid. All this films are real masterpieces but for the Danish Melodrama I don't have idea.

I don't now much for Danish cinema exept the kind of cinema called Dogma - I m not a fan of this. Recently I saw a Danish trilogy called The Pusher and it was raw but marvellous.
My favorites from this period are German films. Nosferatu and Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans. Also Bronenosets Potyomkin.
But your list is terrific.
Charlie Chaplin with Harold Lloyd and of course Clara Bow and the ultimate Groucho Marx are the history of cinema.

Sorry for my English I know the are poor.
So long.

Lolita said...

Don Michael Corleone:

Thanks! Yes, the racist-thingy about Birth of a Nation is greatly disturbing, but fascinating in the matter of history.

Since I'm Swedish I haven't seen much Danish films neither, though I love Lars von Trier. And the German films had to step aside (as many other marvelous films) since I only could choose one film for each year!

I'm glad you commented, and your English is good enough to understand ;) English isn't my first language neither, so I'm not perfect neither!

Christopher said...

I recently posted that Die Asta clip on my Facebook page..I those the one with the more foreboding music tho..kinda spooky came Auntie

Mykal said...

Christopher: Thanks for posting the Die Asta clip. Wow! Nearly a century ago and still sexy and shocking. Again, Wow! -- Mykal

Tom said...

I'm loving this wonderful series. Wow, you did alot of research on this project. Love all the artwork.

Lolita said...

That dance is enchanting - great that you posted it in the comment section :)

Isn't it fascinating? Some things never grow old, obviously.

Great! Thank you. Yes, there was a lot of cruising around on the internet to find THE poster for every film! Hang on - there will be two more posts!