Category: Silent movies

December 23rd, 2014 by Calvero

So it’s Christmas time once again, and I thought I would share some of the things I like to watch around this time of year. In no real order. Except Charlie Brown. Charlie Brown always comes in first!

A Charlie Brown Christmas

What is there not to like in this classic 1965 cartoon? Everything is so perfect that I can’t imagine it any other way. The characters, the wonderful, upbeat music, how just about every line is quotable.

And it was amazing that it was made at all.

Added bonus – If you are as old as I am, you might remember the special being preceded by this CBS intro

The Blue Carbuncle

The beautiful Granada series that starred Jeremy Brett and David Burke as Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson in this wonderful story set at Christmastime. Ah, a Victorian Christmas! This is one of my favorite episodes of the show. Back when VHS reigned supreme this was the only episode I bought (they cost $15-20 each back then!)

This is based off the original Sir Arthur Conan Doyle story of the same name (text from Wikisource; audio part 1 and part 2 from Project Gutenburg, a fantastic reading!)

Mork’s First Christmas

From the Mork and Mindy tv series, this one has recently been added (though I have seen it at least a dozen times since August). Mork finds out what the true meaning of Christmas is (not a horrible plague…watch to find out his telling of his first encounter with Christmas) And what a sweet ending!

The Greatest Gift

From one of my favorite scifi shows, Warehouse 13 (I miss that show! 🙁 ), this is their Christmas episode from season 3. Something happens to Pete where he wakes up as if he never was born. The story and title comes from the short story written by Philip Van Doren Stern that led to the film classic “It’s a Wonderful Life”.

Unfortunately, I am not able to find the full episode, so here is a clip from near the beginning:

If you have Netflix, it’s on there.  Amazon also has it.  Or you can buy it from Google

(Another tv episode that was inspired by It’s a Wonderful Life was also from Mork and Mindy, “It’s a Wonderful Mork“, but it’s not a Christmas episode so I don’t really include it in this list.  But it’s really good, and a bit of a tearjerker due to recent events).

It’s a Wonderful Life

There was a time when I was growing up that this movie would be on a bunch of channels, sometimes at the same time. You turn to one channel and it would be at one scene, and go to another channel and it would be at another scene. And it remains and endearing movie, full of heart and makes you realize how much you can make a difference to someone else, even if it’s a small one.

A true classic starring Jimmy Stewart, Donna Reed, and Henry Travers.

The Gold Rush

Not exactly a Chistimasy type of movie, but it takes place over Thanksgiving and Christmas. This 1925 silent film by Charlie Chaplin is considered to be his best. Charlie, as the Little Tramp, goes to the mountains in hopes of finding gold. He encounters a friend. and enemy, boils and eats a shoe, does a dance with rolls, and falls in love.

The below version is the 1942 (tweaked) re-release with Chaplin’s own narration (in place of the typical silent film title cards) and musical score.  While I like this one better overall, I like the story of the original better (mostly the same version, just a couple important cuts that Chaplin took out)

A Christmas Carol

Take a classic Charles Dickens story, and the 11th Doctor, and you get Doctor Who’s 2010 Christmas episode (my favorite Who Christmas episode so far, though I didn’t quite understand the whole thing about the fish and shark).  And there is the absolutely beautiful, operatic song, “Silence is All You Know

As with Warehouse 13, the full episode is not online for free (that I can find), so below is a trailer and a clip.

This episode is on Netflix, Hulu Plus, Amazon, and a few other places.

Until next time….

Posted in Charlie Chaplin, Mork and Mindy, Nostalgia, Peanuts, Sherlock Holmes, Silent movies, television, Warehouse 13 Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

June 29th, 2014 by Calvero

Continuing on with Chaplin’s 125th anniversary of his birth and 100th anniversary of his first film! HUZZAH!

I was listening to a song, Perpetuum Mobile by Penguin Cafe Orchestra, and it popped in my head of a scene from a not-so-well-known Charlie Chaplin film that was never released (until a few years ago).  The song itself does not necessarily remind one of Chaplin, but the tempo reminded me of the stop motion building of his studio from the film, How to Make Movies (a kind of “behind the scenes” type movie).  And other things just fell into place.

Below are embeds of the film (no need to adjust the volume, there is no sound at all for the film), and two different places to listen to the song (your choice). I start the song right after the “Hollywood, Cal.” title card (about 0:14), and the song ends as Charlie finishes eating the lemon and skips away from the camera.

Here is the song on YouTube:

Have Spotify? (Where I first heard the song.)

It’s not a 100% match, but it does match quite a bit of it especially since it’s not an obvious song choice (Maple Leaf Rag always reminds me of Chaplin), and ends at a good spot. Fun to watch 🙂

Some thoughts on the film:

Although the film was never released to the public, Chaplin did release the beginning part of it when he put together three of his silent films together, A Dog’s Life, Should Arms, and The Pilgrim, in 1959 for The Chaplin Revue. He added music (which is wonderful! Especially for guy who couldn’t read or write music) and narrated short intros before each of the three films. Right before A Dog’s Life, he narrates parts of HTMM.

Such as the scene where the 1918 Charlie arrives at the studio, older Chaplin says “Now you see my arrival. (Charlie gets out of car) That’s me. I looked much younger there. (laughs) That was at least ten years ago” he says, 40 years later! Always makes me chuckle.

I just tried looking for it online, and (as of right now) it’s been removed and I cannot find another one.

It is an amazing look (albeit staged) at how he worked at that time of his career. And a lot of fun to see him, for a good amount of the film, as his own person, no costume. Interacting with his cast, directing, going over gags, putting on, and later taking off, his famous tramp costume, and some golf outtakes from The Idle Class.

And like many of his other films, he wrote, produced, directed it, and starred in this one.

The lemon that Chaplin eats is from citrus trees that grew on the lot. The land was covered with them, and when Chaplin build his studio, he kept a few standing.

And now I’ll head off and watch one of The Chaplin Revue collection movies, Shoulder Arms…

Posted in Charlie Chaplin, classic comedy, Silent movies Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,

August 21st, 2008 by Calvero

This is my test to see how WordPress has improved embedding videos, especially YouTube videos. I was having one heck of a time (more like 2 or 3 heacks) with the older version and could not get it to work, even reading others fixes and trying different browsers.

The video below is one that one of the members posted to the Charlie Chaplin Forum. The montage is from a number of Chaplin’s films ranging from 1915 to 1940.  And the song is by Moby called Run On.  I think the video is awesome and well timed.

[EDIT 7/22/14 — I was checking out some of my earlier posts and saw the previous embed was no longer working. So I updated it :). Enjoy!]

Posted in Charlie Chaplin, classic comedy, Silent movies, YouTube Tagged with: , , , , , , ,

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