BuckingBroadwayStreet

Out of the clear blue whatever, I decided to watch only silent movies for the month of February. (Yes, that means no TV.) With an arbitrary upper limit of around 60ish titles – mostly features, some exceeding 3 hours, as well as a few shorts – here’s a rough sketch of my program sorted by available format or outlet:

[* means I’ve seen it already]

DVD, Blu-ray, or Other:

  • Asphalt (Joe May)*
  • The Docks of New York (Josef von Sternberg)*
  • The Last Command (Josef von Sternberg)*
  • Underworld (Josef von Sternberg)*
  • Les Vampires (Louis Feuillade)*
  • Fantômas (Louis Feuillade)*
  • Nana (Jean Renoir)*
  • Whirlpool of Fate (Jean Renoir)
  • The Late Mathias Pascal (Marcel L’Herbier)
  • Harakiri (Fritz Lang)
  • The Wandering Shadow (Fritz Lang)
  • Four Around a Woman (Fritz Lang)
  • Street Without End (Mikio Naruse)*
  • Every Night Dreams (Mikio Naruse)*
  • Apart From You (Mikio Naruse)*
  • Flunky, Work Hard! (Mikio Naruse)*
  • Die Nibelungen (Fritz Lang)*
  • The Spiders (Fritz Lang)*
  • Modern Times (Charles Chaplin)*
  • Street Angel (Frank Borzage)*
  • Lazybones (Frank Borzage)
  • Lucky Star (Frank Borzage)*
  • Battling Butler (Buster Keaton)*
  • The House on Trubnaya Square (Boris Barnet)*
  • Seduction (aka Erotikon) (Gustav Machaty)
  • Tartüff (F.W. Murnau)
  • The Strong Man (Frank Capra)
  • Grandma’s Boy (starring Harold Lloyd)
  • The Iron Horse (John Ford)
  • Days of Youth (Yasujiro Ozu)*
  • Robin Hood (starring Douglas Fairbanks)
  • The Cameraman (Keaton/Sedgwick)*
  • October (Sergei Eisenstein)
  • The Wedding March (Erich von Stroheim)*
  • Zvenigora (Alexander Dovzhenko)
  • The Bridge (Joris Ivens)
  • Four Sons (John Ford)
  • Straight Shooting (John Ford)
  • Bed and Sofa (Abram Room)*
  • Miss Mend (Boris Barnet and Fedor Ozep)
  • Leave ‘Em Laughing (with Laurel & Hardy)
  • Hangman’s House (John Ford)
  • Daydreams (Yevgeni Bauer)
  • Ménilmontant (Dimitri Kirsanoff)
  • The Ring (Alfred Hitchcock)
  • The Lodger (Alfred Hitchcock)
  • The Rat’s Knuckles (Leo McCarey)

Netflix:

  • Nosferatu (F.W. Murnau)*
  • The Thief of Bagdad (Raoul Walsh)*
  • Dr. Mabuse, der Spieler (Fritz Lang)*
  • Strike! (Sergei Eisenstein)*
  • The Wildcat (Ernst Lubitsch)
  • I Don’t Want to Be a Man (Ernst Lubitsch)
  • Anna Boleyn (Ernst Lubitsch)
  • The Doll (Ernst Lubitsch)*
  • Sumurun (Ernst Lubitsch)

Hulu:

  • assorted Charles Chaplin shorts (some *)
  • assorted Harold Lloyd shorts (some *)
  • Safety Last! (Fred C. Newmeyer and Sam Taylor)*
  • Speedy (Ted Wilde)
  • Master of the House (Carl Theodor Dreyer)*
  • A Woman of Paris (Charles Chaplin)
  • The Passion of Joan of Arc (Carl Theodor Dreyer)*
  • Walk Cheerfully (Yasujiro Ozu)*
  • That Night’s Wife (Yasujiro Ozu)*
  • A Straightforward Boy (Yasujiro Ozu)*

A few thoughts. In terms of acclimation, I don’t see any difficulty in the undertaking – as you can see, I’m no stranger to silent cinema. The only challenge will be the sheer number of titles. As I was jotting them down on paper, it dawned on me that I could easily make a list two or three times as long, and scratch only the surface of what’s immediately available to any cinephile who cares to look around the internet for a few minutes.

You might notice there’s nothing here by Griffith, Méliès, or the Lumières, to begin with. It’s not as if they were unworthy of inclusion. I merely began by looking at the later years of the silent era, allowed my thoughts to wander a little, spent a solid 10 minutes tracking John Ford silents on YouTube (spoiler: NOT MANY), and walked away from the list when it began to seem overwhelming. I could easily remain silent for March, and restrict myself to Griffith, Méliès, and the Lumières, among other unintentional omissions.

Heck, I could make a year of this. Anybody up for that?

vampires