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294

The 'cab' is hinged round the bottom of the box structure, probably released by Keaton at the appropriate moment, and very likely sprung to assist the demolition. The rest is just balanced on top and will fall at the slightest provocation. You only see it move about 6 feet, so it doesn't have to last long. As I can see no evidence of a rope to pull it [and ...


117

Film was exposed only once and the quality was not good enough to film the projection of a movie in order to add subtitles underneath in a copy. The only editing tool was cutting and that's why movies had intertitles (text cards) between shots. As a note, George Méliès, among others, did experiment with multiple exposures but it made parts of the movie ...


85

It seems they did use scripted dialogue. From the article Silent Movie Revisited with an emphasis of mine, Third, one should also stress the important contribution of this book to the critical reappraisal of many stereotypes concerning the early years of the cinema, such as the (completely false) idea that silent movies were not scripted or that the ...


55

You're right about the cost. As recently as 1970, subtitles were expensive. Eg polish budget film Hydrozagadka had an actress recite credits instead of displaying text - just because it was cheaper. Our mindset is spoiled by computers applying subtitles effortlessly, but in film times it was huge work. Even when the technology was perfected it was ...


26

Intertitles were never called "intertitles" during the silent era. They were just "titles". We call them intertitles now to distinguish them from subtitles and the main titles of a film. Subtitles were used occationally, like in Clarence Brown's FLESH AND THE DEVIL (1926), when John Gilbert hears Garbo's character name "Felicitas" over and over. The main ...


22

The link in Neil Baker's comment to Luke McKernan's "Tied to the tracks" article also gives a very detailed history of a woman being tied to the tracks, occasionally by the evil villain twirling his moustache. And all those who do know silent films know that such scenes were hackneyed even before films were invented, and the few films that did show them ...


16

This made me think of an 1913 movie that Mack Sennett made called Barney Oldfield's Race for a Life. If I recall correctly, this film featured not only a mustachioed villain, but a woman tied to the train tracks! Possibly the earliest version.


15

The purpose of subtitles is to generally allow audience members to mentally pretend that the words they're hearing are actually in their own language. In most cases, the purpose of intertitles is to allow the audience to pretend that they can hear things that they see the actors saying. In order for the latter mental substitution to work, however, the ...


11

According to IMDB, Keaton and Chaplin were rivals at first, but consolidated their relationship when Keaton's career declined: He and Buster Keaton had an interesting relationship. Long considered rivals but always having avoided commenting about each other in the press, Chaplin hired Keaton for a part in Limelight (1952). Keaton, who was flat broke at ...


7

In these three examples, you can find different ways of doing it. It is denoted with "Spoken Title", "Sub-title" or just "Title" instead of the number of the shot/scene. Here are examples from the links: (1) The Sidewalks of New York (1923) Scene 13--The battlers break and glare at Reagan. One of them, a freckled specimen with dangerous eyes, asks: ...


7

It seems to me that, in addition to the various other reasons mentioned, that even if it were a viable option to use subtitles, they might not have been preferred to intertitles for silent films, because they require the audience to choose whether to read or to watch the action. When silent films were current, the moving images were a spectacle, and people ...


6

Your question isn't restricted to feature films - so it includes short films. The Giornate del Cinema Muto (Silent Movie Festival Pordenone) had a section FILM MUTI DEL XXI SECOLO/21ST CENTURY SILENTS with modern silent movies. You can search for films of this sections in the GCM-database. Most of the films I remember were short films, made by students. ...


5

Brand Upon the Brain!(2006) is a silent film directed by Guy Maddin, also rated 7.2 in IMDB.


5

They were rivals because they were going after the same fan base. Chaplin and Keaton were both masters of "Physical Comedy", a type of comedy that relies on what can be seen as opposed to what can be said. Being they were from the "Silent Era", that makes sense, however, few were able to truly master it and those few became the biggest stars. Keaton and ...


5

To answer the first part of your question, there are a couple of decent resources for old movie scripts, Simply Scripts being a good one. As for Birth of a Nation, it was my understanding that Griffith did not commit a script Per Se to paper, but rather had the whole film in his head at the time of shooting. The interstitial cards were added in retrospect ...


5

It depends on the country and the individual factors can be complicated. But the easiest way is to check if it already appears on a list of public domain films. For example, Wikipedia's "List of films in the public domain in the United States" has plenty of information about determining public domain status, including: If a film appears on the list below,...


4

Also films were made for an international audience. Intertitles could be cut out and new ones put in for each language.


4

While color film was only experimental until the early 1920s, probably at least half of all silent movies had some kind of color. It could be tinting (where the clear parts of the frame are a particular color) or toning (where the dark parts of the frame are a particular color) or even both. The French company Pathé was famous for their hand-stenciled color ...


3

Twenty Minutes of Love is an early Chaplin Keystone Comedy that involves sets of lovers and a stolen watch. It doesn't exactly follow the scenario you describe, but if it is a Chaplin film you are thinking of, than this is probably it! If this is not it, you might look into other Keystone Comedies that do not feature Chaplin. They very much relied on ...


2

Charlie Chaplin's Essanay short In the Park(1915) has a very similar storyline. While a count (Leo White) sweet-talks a woman on a park bench, a pickpocket (Lloyd Bacon) steals her purse. When the thief meets Chaplin, he attempts to pick Chaplin's pocket, but Chaplin ends up stealing the stolen purse instead. It is next briefly stolen by Bud Jamison, but ...


2

I suspect that part of it was that, for an artistic standpoint, lack of dialogue was just part of the medium and they were all about action and gesture and writing a dialogue script wasn't part of the process. Even with modern sound films the decision between dubbing and subtitles for foreign language sis difficult and both have pros and cons. A particular ...


2

Here's a list of silent movies in the last 20 years: La antena(2007) - A city without a voice.. - 7.4 IMDB rating The Call of Cthulhu (2005) - The Call of Cthulhu is HP Lovecraft's most famous story.. - 7.3 IMDB rating Single Bound (2010) - With the desire to leap tall buildings in a single bound, one boy tests the strength of faith and power... - 7.3 IMDB ...


1

Some of Buster's films were produced by United Artists, a company founded in part by Chaplin, so one would think that they had to have been on friendly terms, at least in a business sense.


1

Although there's some dialog, Pixar's Wall-E (2008, IMDb 8.5) is virtually a silent film and would work well with the dialog replaced with intertitles. "Analysis of Wall-E and Silent Films" says: This movie, just like all silent movies, consisted of body language, music, and other sounds for providing the setting of the movie, and even the personalities ...


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