Sunday, November 21, 2010

A few comments on silents

Tonight's Silent Sunday Nights feature on TCM is The Viking, coming up at midnight ET tonight. Some of the plot elements -- a Viking and his English slave falling for the same woman -- may sound similar to the later The Vikings, but that's where the similarities end. The earlier silent is interesting for any number of reasons. First, it stars Donald Crisp as Leif Ericsson. It's easy to forget that that Crisp had a relatively distinguished career in the silents, when he would go on to win an Oscar for a movie like How Green Was My Valley. Secondly, the movie is in two-strip Technicolor, one of a few silents entirely in two-strip.

Today also marks the birth anniversary of Jobyna Ralston (1899-1967), who is probably best known for her role opposite Harold Lloyd in The Freshman (pictured above). Ralston is one of the many whose careers effectively ended with the end of the silent era, thanks to a speech defect she had.

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