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I Love Silents - Silent Movies

Okay - I am the type who enjoys making lists - ya know, "top ten movies of all time", "least favorite blah, blah, blah" - you get the idea. This is fun for me, that's why it's here.



Okay - let's get it started:

  • OSCAR BEST PICTURE WINNERS RANKED IN ORDER - FAVORITE DOWN TO LEAST FAVORITE (I'll give it a go anyway):
    Each film is followed by a "very approximate" count of the number of times I have seen that film.
    1. The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) - seen 17 or so times - love, love, love!
    2. The Sound of Music (1965) - 30 times - love, love, love!
    3. Marty (1955) - 6 times
    4. Casablanca (1943) - 12 times
    5. Rebecca (1940) - 7 times
    6. Gigi (1958) - 12 times
    7. Gone with the Wind (1939) - 7 times
    8. Terms of Endearment (1983) - 5 times
    9. All about Eve (1950) - 4 times
    10. Oliver! (1968) - 15 times
    11. Titanic (1997) - 8 times
    12. Mutiny on the Bounty (1935) - 10 times
    13. Wings (1927) - 4 times
    14. Annie Hall (1977) - 8 times
    15. Ordinary People (1980) - 8 times
    16. My Fair Lady (1964) - 8 times
    17. The Apartment (1960) - 5 times
    18. From Here to Eternity (1953) - 10 times
    19. It Happened One Night (1934) 5 times
    20. You Can't Take It with You (1938) - 4 times
    21. How Green Was My Valley (1941) - 8 times
    22. West Side Story (1961) - 7 times
    23. Ben-Hur (1959) - 3 times
    24. Chariots of Fire (1981) - 4 times
    25. Kramer vs Kramer (1979) - 7 times
    26. American Beauty (1999) - 2 times
    27. A Beautiful Mind (2001) - one time
    28. The Broadway Melody (1929) - one time
    29. Lawrence of Arabia (1962) - 3 times
    30. The Great Ziegfeld (1936) - 3 times
    31. Amadeus (1984) - 4 times
    32. Mrs. Miniver (1942) - 3 times
    33. Out of Africa (1985) - 3 times
    34. The French Connection (1971) - one time
    35. Grand Hotel (1932) - 3 times
    36. One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest (1975) - 5 times
    37. The Godfather (1972) - 4 times
    38. Braveheart (1995) - one time
    39. Schindler's List (1993) - 2 times
    40. Shakespeare in Love (1998) - one time
    41. Unforgiven (1992) - one time
    42. Gladiator (2000) - one time
    43. The English Patient (1996) - one time
    44. The Silence of the Lambs (1991) - one time
    45. Dances with Wolves (1990) - one time
    46. Rocky (1976) - 2 times
    47. Gandhi (1982) - 2 times
    48. Slumdog Millionaire (2008) - one time
    49. The Godfather Part II (1974) - one time
    50. All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) - 2 times
    51. An American in Paris (1951) - 3 times
    52. Going My Way (1944) - 2 times
    53. The Last Emperor (1987) - one time
    54. The Sting (1973) - one time
    55. On the Waterfront (1954) - 2 times
    56. Million Dollar Baby (2004) - one time
    57. The Lost Weekend (1945) - one time
    58. Driving Miss Daisy (1989) - one time
    59. The Departed (2006) - saw one time
    60. Midnight Cowboy (1969) - one time
    61. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) - one time
    62. Patton (1970) - one time
    63. Gentleman's Agreement (1947) - one time
    64. Cimarron (1931) - one time
    65. In the Heat of the Night (1967) - 2 times
    66. Forrest Gump (1994) - one time
    67. Tom Jones (1963) - one time
    68. No Country for Old Men (2007) - one time
    69. Rain Man (1988) - 2 times
    70. The Hurt Locker (2009) - one time
    71. The Greatest Show on Earth (1952) - one time (barely remember)
    72. The Life of Emile Zola (1937) - one time (barely remember)
    73. All the King's Men (1949) - one time (barely remember this - saw a LONG time ago)
    74. Around the World in 80 Days (1956) - one time
    75. Platoon (1986) - one time
    76. Crash (2005) - one time
    77. The Deer Hunter (1978) - only saw once, in the theater when it was new - and hated it. However - I was a young one, so should see again for reevaluation.

    78. Chicago (2002) - saw half, need to see again as I was really drowsy
    79. Cavalcade (1933) - saw once, don't remember at all
    80. Hamlet (1948) - haven't seen yet
    81. A Man for All Seasons (1966) - haven't seen, or don't remember
    82. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) - haven't seen yet


    • FAVORITE SILENT FILM SCORES:
      - Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921) score by Carl Davis

      - Napoleon (1927) score by Carmine Coppola

      - Seven Chances (1925) score by Robert Israel

    • LEAST FAVORITE SILENT FILM SCORES:
      - Kino's Christmas Past - painful

      - Tom Sawyer (1917) score by Maria Newman - saw this score performed live at Cinecon 36 and, to be honest, I was so engaged with looking at Jack Pickford's adorable face on the big screen I didn't notice the score that much. When I saw this film screened at a later date on TCM - the music really bothered me, another painful to listen to score.

      - Cleopatra (1912), as screened on TCM - hideous

    • SCORES I LIKE THAT I HAVE HEARD OTHERS SAY THEY HATE:
      - Rock score for Metropolis (1927) by Giorgio Moroder done in 1984 - I saw this screened at a theater in Westwood Village in 1984 when it came out, and really enjoyed it. I have the album.

      - The Idol Dancer (1920) score by Jim Roberge - I think it goes well with the movie somehow.

      - Rosa Rio at the Hammond Organ on Video Yesteryear silents - I have heard some say they don't like, I do like.

      - Recent score for Lorna Doone (1922) shown on TCM - I didn't catch who the composer was but, hey, I really like this music - I guess I'm close to the only one, considering some of the comments I've read or heard from others. Ah, well.

    • BEST PLACE TO SIT WHILE WATCHING A MOVIE: In the Theater - Very near the front. (When I was a kid I liked to sit in the back of the theater, often the back row. When I was in college and all through my 20s I liked to go to Westwood Village - in it's crowded heyday then - and see all the new movies in a really good theater and sit in the middle of the middle of the theater - middle row, center. Then into my 30s to now I like to sit very close to the screen - I hate to sit so far back it looks like your TV set!) - - - At Home - In my reclining chair - feet on the pull-out foot rest; if it is early morning - in my PJ's. If it is midday - in my loungies. If it is evening - in my PJ's. Lights out, of course.

    • BEST L.A. THEATER THAT I HAVE SEEN A SILENT SCREENED AT: Egyptian Theatre (the Alex is good too).

    • WORST L.A. THEATER THAT I HAVE SEEN A SILENT SCREENED AT: Royce Hall at UCLA (and Shakey's - - - and how 'bout that little room at the Red Lion Hotel where they screened Edison's Frankenstein with the logo running through it at Cinecon 33 - talk about poor sight lines; I'm little - I could barely see it.)

    • NUMBER OF PEOPLE MY MOM THOUGHT WOULD BE ATTENDING CINECON THE FIRST TIME I WENT: 20
      (hey, my mom said years ago "You are such a strange girl" over the fact that I had seen every I Love Lucy episode 50 times. She thought I went over the top to be interested in silent movies, and thinks there are *few* others like me. And now I have seen every I Love Lucy episode 150 times.)

    • SPEAKING OF "I LOVE LUCY" HOW ABOUT THIS - - REFERENCES TO SILENT FILM ACTORS IN I LOVE LUCY EPISODES: (done from memory so the dialogue is not accurate word for word - will update next time I see said episodes)
      - Lucy, Ricky, Fred, and Ethel are watching TV. They find an old movie and Lucy says: "This is a real old movie - that's Margaret O'Brien isn't it?" Someone says: "Look again - that's Shirley Temple." Someone says: "Look again - that's Mary Pickford".

      - Lucy says: "The studio is planning to make Ricky into the next Valentino." Lucy's mother says: "Ha ha - why he isn't fit to touch the hem of Valentino's burnoose."

      - Lucy's mother arrives in Hollywood and wonders which stars Lucy and Ricky have seen and says " I hope I see some of my favorite stars. Have you seen Ramon Navarro or Francis X. Bushman?"

      - In the episode "Lucy Does the Tango", Lucy and Ricky are, yes, rehearsing a Tango routine for some upcoming show and Ethel says "Gee, you look just like Vilma Banky and Rudolph Valentino".

    • MOST MEMORABLE (OR STRANGE - OR FUNNY) THEATER-GOING EXPERIENCES:
      - When I was in the 4th grade, my mom was leader of my Camp Fire Girls troop. She and my dad took the whole troop to a big, old L.A. theater with a balcony one afternoon to see the new movie Oliver! (1968) - - and my dad teased and teased me during the car ride home about having a crush on Mark Lester (but secretly my heart had been stolen by Jack Wild - ya know I used to love it when he sang Mechanical Boy in Pufnstuf - note, a few years later I did love Lester), and I suddenly, for some reason, came out of my shell and shyness with the other girls while in the car, and for the rest of the year I was no longer shy at our troop meetings!

      - As a young "Valley Girl" in my elementary school years - my school, Darby St. Elementary, used to sell these booklets of tickets to attend weekly Tuesday afternoon kiddie screenings all summer long. We would go every year. So every week my mom would drop us off at the Fox Northridge and basically the way I remember these screenings is this: a big old theater completely PACKED with screaming kids and candy, popcorn, and pieces of chewing gum flying through the air - we used to sit in the back row to avoid the flying candy (terrible - I actually got a piece of flying gum in my hair once at one of those screenings)!

      - When I was eleven, my dad took my sister and me to a rather odd screening to take two young girls - Boxcar Bertha (1972) playing with 1000 Convicts and a Woman (1971) - and it was kinda weird 'cause the theater was all full of men. Now there is a memorable moment! (And here is another weird part of the story - I had a black eye that evening, for the first and only time in my life. A day or two before, my mom had dropped us off at a local multiplex to see a double feature - Ben (1972) and Tales from the Crypt (1972) - yeah, I really loved scary movies when I was that age - and as I was climbing out of the car, the car moved and the door hit my eye.).

      - Around 1980 or so - I went with my dad to see Abel Gance's Napoleon (1927) at the Shrine Auditorium with a live orchestra. This was my first screening of a silent on the big screen - I absolutely LOVED the movie, I was hooked on silents. And the music by Carmine Coppola - I loved that too and went right out and bought the album.

      - In 1982, my mom, my sister, and me all went early morning to the Cinerama Dome to see the world premiere of E.T. (1982). We waited 3 hours in line and ended up in the second screening of the film, at around 10:00 A.M. in the morning. We were quite near the front of the line for the second screening, so ended up with nice seats in the front row of the first balcony and we all loved the movie. I have only seen that movie once or twice since then, it never really seemed as good as it did that day.

      - Also 1982, I went with my boyfriend one Friday night to the opening night screening of Pink Floyd The Wall (1982) at the Village Theater in Westwood Village. I liked my music loud then (well, hey, I pretty much still do) and the theater didn't disappoint. The theater was literally shaking with the blasting sound - that movie has never seemed as good as it did that day either.

      - Oh, and to link this up with my silent movie theme - sometime in the early 80s I pretty much forced my boyfriend (the same one that took me to the Pink Floyd movie - see above) to see Safety Last (1923) with me at the L.A. County Museum of Art's Bing Theater. After the movie, he thanked me saying "That was really funny - thanks so much for making me see it". Wow - a convert. While in the theater I saw a strange guy sitting alone and dressed up like Harold Lloyd. When the movie was over I noticed him slip quietly off into the darkened night, sort of in the direction of the La Brea Tar Pits. Many years later, at another screening of a Harold Lloyd film, I saw the SAME guy dressed as Harold Lloyd, with a much older-looking, yet still the same face, and the same outfit - and again, saw him slip off alone into the night.

      - One day I went with my mom to see Star 80 (1983) at a theatre in Westwood Village - my sister's boyfriend at the time has a sister, Tina Willson, who has a small part (Bobo) in the film and we had met her once or twice. When we sat down I said something to my mom about the tall man in front of me and that I couldn't see - a man seated next to my mom leaned over and kindly offered to move down a seat to the left so we could move over a seat - it was Ron Howard with his wife (and my mom then whispered to me in a very loud whisper "that's Ron Howard!"). My mom said during the film she noticed him scratch his - um, man area - and then looked embarrassed when he noticed my mom saw (shouldn't my mom have been watching the film?!).

    • FAVORITE CHILDHOOD "OLD" MOVIES (in my pre-movie-buff, under age 16 years):
      - The Wizard of Oz (1939) - my very favorite movie as a kid - and what kid doesn't love this?! Still love it. The two TV events I used to look forward to the most in the 60s were the annual screenings of The Wizard of Oz and Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer.

      - The Bad Seed (1956) - we were the only kids in the neighborhood "allowed" to watch this. It seems pretty tame compared to what kids see now.

      - Gidget (1959) - great beach musical I used to watch as often as it was on in my younger days. Actually, I still do.

      - Pillow Talk (1959) - ditto - - used to watch this every time it was on, I still do.

      - Beach Blanket Bingo (1965) - well, I used to really have a patch in my junior high years of loving all the "Beach" movies. Gidget and Beach Blanket Bingo were my two favorites.

      - The Nanny (1964) - not exactly an "old" movie when I was a kid, but seemed old to me then - maybe 'cause it's in black and white. Funny thing, now it seems kind of recent.

      - Hans Christian Anderson (1952) - Danny Kaye musical, I used to watch a lot when I was a kid. I used to like to sing some of the songs from this (oh gosh - actually, I still do), namely: "Wonderful, Wonderful Copenhagen", "Inchworm", and "Thumbelina".

      - ALL Shirley Temple movies, especially The Little Princess (1939)

      - ALL movies with giant insects, Godzilla, King Kong, etc. - I loved all those movies as a kid and actually found them "scary".

      - X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes (1963) - I actually haven't seen this in years, but when I was a kid I used to watch it every time they showed it. This fun sci-fi film used to really catch my fancy for some reason.

    • FAVORITE MOMENTS FROM SOME OF MY FAVORITE SILENTS:
      - Napoleon (1927) - My very favorite scene in this four-hour movie is right near the beginning. I LOVE the snowball fight - and my fave moment in the snowball fight is a really neat shot of the face of young Napoleon leading the battle which is flash cut back and forth with shots of the fight. The fast-paced editing gets faster and faster until all you see is his face filling the screen. Love it. That part of the movie also happens to have my favorite segment of music from the Carmine Coppola score.

      - Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921) - The whole movie is one great scene after another - but I think the part I look forward to the most is a neat shot in the middle of the film. The "stranger" relates the story of the four horsemen to Valentino and his manservant-partner-guy and we see images of the horsemen on screen as the story is told, including my favorite shot - the four horsemen riding across the screen and right into the camera.

      - The Crowd (1928) - Again, this is a movie full of great scenes. I think the scene I enjoy the most is the Christmas Eve scene where poor hubby has to contend with the arrival of a VERY sour mother-in-law and brother-in-laws who clearly don't think too much of him. He finally is sent to get booze from a pal of his, but ends up frolicking with a flapper (flapper: "you're just a big piece of heaven" - or something like that), and doesn't come back 'til the middle of the night. Really amusing.

      - Girl Shy (1924) - Favorite scene is the quite amusing enactment of a couple of Harold's "Love Affairs" - "My Flapper" and "My Vampire" - from the book he is writing called "The Secret of Making Love" (by one who knows and knows).



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