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Silent Feature Films at the Leavey Library (DVDs): Titles M

Titles M

The Man Who Laughs
"Gwynplaine is doomed to live life wearing a perpetual grin. Carved on his face because his father, Lord Clancharlie, had offended England's king. Gwynplaine grows up alongside the beautiful but blind Dea and they fall in love. Queen Anne, meanwhile, has ascended the throne and when she learns that the femme fatale, Duchess Josiana is in possession of the Lord's estates, she decrees that the Duchess must marry Gwynplaine, the rightful heir. Gwynplaine realizes that the duchess' attraction has legitimized his right to love Dea, renounces his title and follows his heart to the new World."

"Society-girl thrillseeker Lydia causes the death of motorcycle policeman and is prosecuted by her fiance Daniel. While she's in prison she reforms and Daniel becomes a wasted alcoholic."

The Martyrs of the Alamo
"D.W. Griffth produced in 1915 this film about the famous battle."

Menschen am Sonntag: Ein Film ohne Schauspieler
"An effervescent, sunlit silent film about a handful of city dwellers enjoying a weekend outing that offers a rare glimpse of Weimar-era Berlin. A unique hybrid of documentary and fictional storytelling, the film was both an experiment and a mainstream hit that would influence generations of film artists around the world. People On Sunday represents an astonishing confluence of talent, an early collaboration by a group of German filmmakers who would all go on to become major Hollywood players."

"The future. Metropolis is a wonderful city, high above the ground its towers stand. The people prosper, the economy is flourishing, the suspended streets are busy. But Metropolis also has a great secret, so hidden that not even Freder Fredersen, son of founder Joh Fredersen knows about it. He is spending his free time in the Eternal Gardens, when suddenly a woman shows up, with what looks like a class of children. They're from the City of Workers, in the depth, Freder learns. "These are your brothers, " she tells the children, before she is forced to leave. Freder is so intrigued he follows them into the depth and doesn't like what he sees. The workers are exploited, they must do labor like robots. Freder tries to convince his father to change, while the woman tries to keep workers' morale high by predicting a man will stand up that will mediate. Someone that will use both hands and head, someone that will be the heart." -- This newly restored version of the film is the closest yet to the version Fritz Lang debuted to theatrical audiences in 1927 Berlin. In 2008, a duplicate negative created from an original 1927 Argentinian theatrical print was discovered in Buenos Aires' Museo del Cine. Extensive preservation work on that and other footage, in addition to a newly acquired copy of Gottfried Huppertz' original performance score, and intertitles translated into English from German censorship records, has led to a newly edited story line, with rearranged shots and scenes."

"A great, aging artist succumbs to despair when the young model and pupil he adores leaves him for a woman. Although the story is discreetly played at a father/adopted son level on the surface, the homosexual subtext is quite clear in this early Dreyer film made in Germany."

Miss Mend: An Adventure Serial in Three Parts
"An action-packed adventure serial in three feature-length episodes, produced in Russia with the goal of rivaling, and possibly even surpassing, the most entertaining American movies of the 1920s. Instead of the avant-garde works of Sergei Eisenstein and Dziga Vertov, Russian audiences were enchanted by fast-moving American films starring serial queens like Pearl White, swashbuckling heroes like Douglas Fairbanks, and comedians from the Keystone Cops to Lloyd, Keaton and Chaplin. Based on a 1923 pulp novel allegedly written by the American 'Jim Dollar' (actually the nom-de-plume of a Russian woman, Marietta Shaginian). The film's heroine, Vivian Mend, is an elegant urban professional who earns her own living and raises a child without the help of any man. Includes some pointed comments on labor relations, racism, excessive wealth, gratuitous violence and even rape."

"In a striking performance Lon Chaney proves his talents were not confined to prosthetics and makeup."

Modern Times
"A devastating satire on the effects of mass production on the lives of factory workers. Shows Charlie as a factory worker, jailbird, night watchman, and a singing waiter. Primarily a silent film with music and sound effects, but voices emanate from TV sets and radios."

The Monster
"Lon Chaney plays the monsterous Ziska who gathers candidates for his eerie experiments by causing roadway accidents."

Monte Cristo
"[John] Gilbert is Admond Dantes, a sailer unjustly imprisoned for twenty years, time he spends acquiring education and finesse. Later the accidental heir to a vast fortune, Dantes reinvents himself as the Count of Monte Cristo, and wreaks revenge on those symbols of the decadent monarchy that wronged him."

"A young revolutionary dies fighting against the misery and poverty of Tsarist Russia in the pre-war revolution of 1905, and, in doing so, brings about the political awareness of his mother."

Mr. Wu
"Lon Chaney essays dual characters as the sage Grandfather Wu and his grandson, the mandarin Mr.Wu."

Der müde Tod: ein deutsches Volkslied in sechs Versen
"A young woman confronts the personification of Death, in an effort to restore life to her dead fiancé."

My Best Girl
"Maggie, a shopgirl in a five-and-ten-cent store, falls in love with the owner's son, who gives up his society sweetheart for her. Learning of their relationship, the boy's father unsuccessfully tries to buy Maggie off, but is ultimately convinced of her worth and agrees to their marriage."


My Boy
"Jackie Blair's father was killed in France. His mother died traveling in steerage. This leaves little Jackie Blair alone when he appears at Ellis Island, and the immigration officials want to send him right back. Captain Bill appears on the scene asking for a job - but he's too old and no one wants him. He sees lonely little Jackie, pities him and asks the eight Pinkosuwitz children to include him in their games. Thus, the Captain unwittingly engineers Jackie's escape. The orphan is mixed in with the Pinkosuwitzes when they leave the immigration building. When they find they've gained a ninth child, they send him on his way. This leaves Jackie to follow Captain Bill back to his very modest home - for which the old salt is unable to pay the rent. Jackie tries to make himself useful. He even sings and dances with an organ grinder to make money for the Captain's medicine..." - J. Spurlin


The Mysterious Lady
"An attractive Russian spy seduces an Austrian officer in order to get some important plans, but when she actually falls in love with him, both of them are placed in a dangerous situation."