The Show is the best, like, ever

April 24, 2017 at 2:27 pm (Randomosity) (, , , , , , )

I don’t review a lot of the silent movies I watch on this blog (or anywhere, truthfully) because I know you guys don’t care about silent movies as much as I do.

It’s like y’all are my daughter, rolling her eyes at me every time she hears the word “silent.”

But that will all change once you see Tod Browning’s The Show.

BECAUSE IT IS THE BEST EVER.

I love this movie so much if it was possible to marry a movie I would marry this movie, so take that, junior high taunters.

It’s got John Gilbert (and his ridiculous mustache) playing a carny who goes by — are you ready for this? I know you think you’re ready, but you’re probably not ready. Anyway, gird your loins, because this is awesome — COCK ROBIN.

And oh my god you guys, his costume!

Cock Robin!

Yes, I know it’s a nursery rhyme, but that’s OBVIOUSLY not how they meant it.

And, of course, because it’s a Tod Browning film, everything takes place at a circus/carnival, because when you live in a Tod Browning movie, it is all carnival all the time. So there’s random freak show girls and the adorable Renee Adoree and a total POISON IGUANA and Lionel Barrymore, the second hottest Barrymore of all.

Of course I meant John Barrymore! Granddaughter Drew is my third hottest Barrymore, and that’s final.

Now, the plot: Lionel Barrymore is totally dating Renee Adoree, who used to date Cock Robin (hee!) because she has terrible taste in men for reasons that will be later revealed. Also, Lionel Barrymore is a really bad dude. (And so is his character in the movie, ha, ha, ha.) So he straight-up murders this guy so he can rob him, but the guy’s billfold is empty! And it turns out the dead guy left the money with his daughter, a random girl who is in love with COCK ROBIN! (Ahem. Hee!)

Pictured here: A scene with Lionel Barrymore and Cock Robin, and they’re all like: “I’ll cut you,” “No, I’ll cut you.”

Cock Robin ends up with the money and Renee Adoree’s love, which really ticks off Lionel Barrymore. So he decides to murder Cock Robin, but instead of just shooting him like he did the first guy he murdered, he decides to do it in a roundabout way during a staging of Salome, so that Renee Adoree will see her lover’s head brought to her on a silver platter!

Let him die, Renee Adoree! He tried to wreck up your pretty face!!

MWA HA HA HA!

Anyway, that belabored plan doesn’t work for some reason, and Cock Robin has to go into hiding in Renee Adoree’s attic. Whilst there, he learns that she reads letters to a blind man from the blind man’s soldier son. THEN he learns that the son isn’t a soldier, but is actually a prisoner set to be hanged! Then the blind old man hears his voice and thinks it’s his son and he’s just SO HAPPY he takes Cock Robin back to his apartment and DIES OF JOY.

And then we learn that it’s actually Renee Adoree’s dad, who wasn’t even nice to her because he only loved his criminal son, and that explains her terrible, terrible taste in men, because she only knows criminals and jerks.

“Don’t leave me, Cock Robin! You are seriously the least horrible man I know!”

The good news is this leads to a change of heart for Cock Robin, and they start to fall IN LOVE.

BUT WAIT! You’d forgotten Lionel Barrymore and his needlessly complicated murder plans, hadn’t you??? You’d forgotten the POISON IGUANA!!! Well, not to worry, because Lionel Barrymore has totally sneaked into the attic to try to murder Cock Robin using a venomous lizard, because of course he would. And it is GLORIOUS.

I am so sad that this is the only picture of the POISON IGUANA I could find.

Anyway, Lionel Barrymore doesn’t succeed, and the movie ends with some girls at the carnival whispering about how Renee Adoree kept Cock Robin locked up alone in her house with her for weeks, and another girl hears them and delivers the best line, as she eyes John Gilbert in his tight-fitting costume:

“Who wouldn’t?”

*SIGHHHHHHHH*

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So you think you’re dating a silent film star: A modern teen’s guide

December 3, 2014 at 1:00 pm (Top Ten) (, , , , , , , , , )

Modern teens should love silent films and silent film stars more, don’t you think? That way, they’d know for sure if you’re dating one of these fabulous superstars of the 1920s:

1. Is your girlfriend known as “The Girl with Beestung Lips”? People in the ’20s came up with terrible nicknames, didn’t they? Anyway, Mae Murray was a super-famous movie star for several years and, if you ever asked her, she would insist she was always and would always be a super-famous movie star, even when she was sleeping on a park bench. Poor Mae Murray.

Beestung? Maybe. Pursed? Definitely.

Beestung? Maybe. Pursed? Definitely.

2. Does your boyfriend get mocked mercilessly by jealous journalists? Then you’re dating Rudolph Valentino, who was sometimes called “The Pink Powder Puff,” because 1920s reporters hated the guys that got all the ladies.

ESPECIALLY if they were Italian.

ESPECIALLY if they were Italian.

3. Maybe your girlfriend is called “America’s Sweetheart.” Mary Pickford was called that, despite being Canadian by birth, because Americans loved her the most.

She was, literally, the most famous person in the world for a good decade.

She was, literally, the most famous person in the world for a good decade.

4. Perhaps your boyfriend has a propensity for action and adventure, and being shirtless in an era where most people didn’t even admit they had chests. Then, you lucky soul, you’re dating Douglas Fairbanks. Don’t tell Mary Pickford, though.

Nobody had any problem with Doug Fairbanks' upper body, though. For some reason.

Nobody had any problem with Doug Fairbanks’ upper body, though. For some reason.

They were such a famous couple, they were probably called Dairy or Mug, or some other stupid portmanteau.

They were such a famous couple, they were probably called Dairy or Mug, or some other stupid portmanteau.

5. Does your girlfriend totally have a secret thing for D.W. Griffith? Lillian Gish totally had a secret thing for and/or with D.W. Griffith. Also, it wasn’t very secret.

Later, the Smashing Pumpkins used her (and sister Dorothy's) last name to title their debut album. Trivia!

Later, the Smashing Pumpkins used her (and sister Dorothy’s) last name to title their debut album. Trivia!

6. Your boyfriend is suffering from a crippling morphine addiction, which will end in tragedy. Wallace Reid suffered from a crippling morphine addiction, which ended in tragedy!

He died young and then his wife went on to make a series of educational movies about drugs, so it's harder to say which is the real tragedy.

He died young and then his wife went on to make a series of educational movies about drugs, so it’s harder to say which is the real tragedy.

7. Your girlfriend is a total diva. She was such a diva, she was the obvious choice to star in Sunset Boulevard decades later.

In the best dictionaries, when you look up "diva," it just says: "See Swanson, Gloria."

In the best dictionaries, when you look up “diva,” it just says: “See Swanson, Gloria.”

8. Your boyfriend looks better without a mustache. Everyone looks better without a mustache, but especially John Gilbert, because why did ladies want him hiding part of his face like that?

Stupid Internet, having all these damn mustache pictures.

Stupid Internet, having all these damn mustache pictures.

9. Your girlfriend’s so famous, she doesn’t even need a first name! In your faces, Cher and Madonna: Nazimova went by Nazimova and, damn, did she work it.

Also, "Alla" is kind of a silly first name anyway.

Also, “Alla” is kind of a silly first name anyway.

10. Your boyfriend is Ramon Novarro, because I ran out of clever things to say. He was too sweet to out-seduce Valentino, and too gay to out-seduce John Gilbert, but nobody cared because he had that face.

And a tiny little puppy on his shoulder! Squeeeee!

And a tiny little puppy on his shoulder! Squeeeee!

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He Who Gets Slapped is just, like, the best

July 22, 2014 at 12:50 pm (Top Ten) (, , , )

This weekend, I watched 1924’s He Who Gets Slapped. It is one of the best movies ever, and I love it, and here’s a list of reasons why:

1. It’s got Lon Chaney without makeup in it. Or maybe it doesn’t, I don’t know.

This is maybe what Lon Chaney really looked like?

This is maybe what Lon Chaney really looked like?

2. Norma Shearer is just adorable as a horse-riding countess in the circus. Yes, she’s a countess and she rides a horse in the circus.

Time were tough for nobility, but at least she got to wear that awesome tutu.

Time were tough for nobility, but at least she got to wear that awesome tutu.

3. John Gilbert doesn’t have a mustache.

Also, and you can't see them perfectly in this image, but he has the BEST PANTS.

Also, and you can’t see them perfectly in this image, but he has the BEST PANTS.

I just don't enjoy mustaches. Or what years of heavy drinking do to people's faces.

I just don’t enjoy mustaches. Or what years of heavy drinking do to people’s faces.

4. The reason it’s called He Who Gets Slapped is because after various terrible things happen to Lon Chaney, he goes mad, and joins the circus as a clown named HE – Who Gets Slapped. Probably less awkward in the original Russian.

Lon Chaney wants you to know that everything about that last paragraph makes absolute, perfect sense.

Lon Chaney wants you to know that everything about that last paragraph makes absolute, perfect sense.

5. The actress playing Lon Chaney’s duplicitous wife has a very readable face, without overplaying. She’s all, like, subtle about her betrayal, but not so subtle you can’t tell what’s going to happen.

6. Sure, there’s clowns in it, but they’re hardly scary at all, and you know that, underneath the makeup, one of them is Lon Chaney. So that makes it all OK.

Kind of OK.

… Kind of OK.

7. The effects are pretty impressive for 1920s film. God bless those hardworking technicians, who made all my favorite special effects of black-and-white movies possible!

8. It’s kind of surreal and weird, but not so artsy-fartsy that it hurts.

9. It doesn’t have a happy ending. Some movies just don’t need them, and this is one of them.

Spoiler alert: Lon Chaney dies. Er, and also in the movie.

Spoiler alert: Lon Chaney dies.
Er, and also in the movie.

10. Last, but definitely not least, and, in fact, is the absolute best thing of all: Lon Chaney totally murders two guys with a lion. With a lion!

This lion, in fact!

This lion, in fact!

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