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Very informative.

Luke Blanchard said:

7 Myths About Swords YouTube video (some bloody imagery)

Does anyone have any favourite silent films? The ones that leap to my mind are Metropolis (although it has longueurs) and Nosferatu. Other better ones I've seen include The Phantom of the Opera (Lon Chaney), The Black Pirate (Douglas Fairbanks), Die Nibelungen (dir. Fritz Lang), Modern Times (Charlie Chaplin, from the sound era), and Steamboat Bill, Jr. (Buster Keaton).

Science fiction triggers 'poorer reading', study finds

A telling excerpt:

So when readers who are biased against SF read the word ‘airlock’, their negative assumptions kick in – ‘Oh, it’s that kind of story’ – and they begin reading poorly. So, no, SF doesn’t really make you stupid. It’s more that if you’re stupid enough to be biased against SF you will read SF stupidly.”

"Does anyone have any favourite silent films?"

You've mentioned the biggies. I would add charlie Chaplin's City Lights to the list, as well as The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. There are a few others I've seen in my film class in college (Birth of a Nation and The Potemkin come to mind, but I wouldn't exactly call either of those "favorites"). Maybe something by Buster Keaton or the Keystone Cops...? There are silent versions of Wizard of Oz and Tarzan which I have never seen but woulfd like to.

The Laurel and Hardy shorts from the silent era are just as funny as their talkies. One of my favorites has the boys as Christmas tree salesmen in sunny California. Unfortunately I don't recall the title.

Luke Blanchard said:

Does anyone have any favourite silent films? The ones that leap to my mind are Metropolis (although it has longueurs) and Nosferatu. Other better ones I've seen include The Phantom of the Opera (Lon Chaney), The Black Pirate (Douglas Fairbanks), Die Nibelungen (dir. Fritz Lang), Modern Times (Charlie Chaplin, from the sound era), and Steamboat Bill, Jr. (Buster Keaton).

Thanks, guys. I've seen The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, and the Odessa Steps sequence from The Battleship Potemkin.

The Odessa Steps sequence is brilliant, but the Eisenstein film I've seen through, Strike, I didn't find gripping or memorable. The only part I remember is the robotic firemen. The lecturer talked of Eisenstein as trying to make a hero of the mass instead of the individual. If that was his objective, I think it didn't work. Art theories are sometimes mistakes.

I have seen the 1918 Tarzan of the Apes, but it hasn't stuck with me, except for the very end. I don't mean that as a knock. Given the date, it might be in the public domain. 

Baum's own Oz films might be too, and reportedly the 1925 The Wizard of Oz is. It was a vehicle for a comedian called Larry Semon. They are reputed to be awful.

The most The Wizard of Oz-ish film I've run into is The Blue Bird (1940), starring Shirley Temple. It's from a play by Maurice Maeterlinck that was apparently a staple children's play back then. It's more pretentious, but I remember it as looking good.

A B&W version of the children's musical Babes in Toyland appeared in 1934. It has Laurel and Hardy in it, but it's not really their film, and I don't know it benefits from their presence. The splendid part is the stop motion march of the wooden soldiers at the end. (It's also known as March of the Wooden Soldiers.)

I was just rewatching the 1924 The Thief of Bagdad, with Douglas Fairbanks, which is what prompted me to ask the question. The second half is made up of a series of fantasy adventures the thief has on a quest to obtain a valuable treasure. (He only succeeds because a series of figures generously help him out.)

I've long suspected the invisible vortex in which the Stranger conceals himself, Magneto and the Toad in X-Men #11 was based on the film's invisibility cloak effect. The bit with the idol's eye in the first instalment of the Captain Marvel Monster of Society of Evil was certainly taken from either this film or its 1940 remake.

I recently saw the 1924 Peter Pan. It holds up better, IMO, than the Disney cartoon and most of the more polished remakes.

In the 1925 version of The Wizard of Oz, Oliver Hardy plays the Tin Woodman.

Thanks, gents.

Here's a short commentary on The Time Travelers (1964) by its director, Ib Melchior, from the Trailers from Hell series.

I didn't watch the Three Stooges enough to have many memories of them, but I know some of you gents are fans. YouTube has a series of clips with Moe Howard from different episodes of The Mike Douglas Show. In part 5 he recounts the history of the act.

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