The above clip is from Mantrap a 1926 American black-and-white silent film based on the novel by Sinclair Lewis.
Harry Sinclair Lewis (February 7, 1885 – January 10, 1951), better known as Sinclair Lewis, was an American novelist, short-story writer, and playwright. In 1930, he became the first writer from the United States to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature, which was awarded “for his vigorous and graphic art of description and his ability to create, with wit and humor, new types of characters.” His works are known for their insightful and critical views of American capitalism and materialism between the wars. He is also respected for his strong characterizations of modern working women. Source Wikipedia
Watch this timeless speech from Charlie Chaplin which couldn’t be more relevant today. Taken from his 1940 movie The Great Dictator, Charlie delivers a hair raising speech that we should all take a moment to think about! The man famous for not speaking, comes up with one of the greatest speeches ever.
The Gold Rush is a 1925 American silent comedy film written, produced, directed by, and starring Charlie Chaplin in his Little Tramp role. The film also stars Georgia Hale, Mack Swain, Tom Murray, Henry Bergman, and Malcolm Waite. Chaplin declared several times that this was the film for which he most wanted to be remembered. Though a silent film, it received an Academy Awards nomination for Best Sound Recording.
Plot: The Lone Prospector, a valiant weakling, seeks fame and fortune with the sturdy men who marched across Chilkoot Pass into the great unknown in the mad rush for hidden gold in the Alaskan wilderness. The Lone Prospector, his soul fired by a great ambition, his inoffensive patience and his ill-chosen garb alike made him the target for the buffoonery of his comrades and the merciless rigours of the frozen North.
Caught in a terrific blizzard, the icy clutches of the storm almost claim him when he stumbles into the cabin of Black Larsen, renegade. Larsen, unpityingly, is thrusting him from the door back into the arms of death when Fate, which preserves the destinies of its simple children, appears in the person of Big Jim.
The renegade is subdued by Jim in a terrific battle, and the Lone Prospector and his rescuer occupy the cabin while their unwilling host is thrust forth to obtain food. Starvation almost claims the two until a bear intrudes and is killed to supply their larder.
Cast: Charlie Chaplin as The Tramp (labeled as The Lone Prospector) Georgia Hale as Georgia Mack Swain as Big Jim McKay Tom Murray as Black Larsen Malcolm Waite as Jack Cameron Henry Bergman as Hank Curtis
In 1953, the original 1925 film possibly entered the public domain in the USA, as Chaplin did not renew its copyright registration.
In a a few, bloody years — 1925 to 1932, from the rise of Al Capone to the release of the film borrowing Capone’s nickname for a title — Chicago cemented its image in the popular imagination. The Cubs come and go; Chicago’s gangster mystique remains steadfast.
Here are six stops on the timeline of those key years in the making of Chicago’s corrupt, violent popular image.
1925:Brooklyn-born Alphonse Capone, later nicknamed “Scarface” by a Tribune reporter, takes over the Chicago activities of New York racketeer Johnny Torrio. By 1927, Capone is the world’s most revered and famous gangster, coddled by Chicago mayor Big Bill Thompson until Thompson considers Capone a drag on Thompson’s political advancement. By 1928 Capone relocates to Florida and spends most of the ’30s behind bars.
1926: Ex-Tribune police reporter Maurine Dallas Watkins writes a comedy about a couple of Chicago killers. Originally titled “Play Ball,” the play is renamed “Chicago” and opens on Broadway. Cecil B. DeMille produces a silent film version in 1927; Ginger Rogers stars in a 1942 film adpatation, “Roxie Hart”; Bob Fosse directs and choreographs the 1975 stage musical; the movie version of the musical wins the Academy Award as best picture of 2002.
1927: Another Chicago crime reporter, Bartlett Cormack, writes “The Racket,” a play set in a police precinct on Chicago’s outskirts, about an honest cop beset by corrupt superiors and pliable politicians in league with local bootleggers. The character of underworld kingpin Nick Scarsi is a thinly disguised Capone stand-in. Edward G. Robinson plays the role on stage; when the touring production of “The Racket” is banned from Chicago, reportedly at Capone’s urging, it travels instead to LA and the movies discover Robinson, who stars in “Little Caesar” in 1930, after the medium learns to talk and spit lead at high volume.
In case you haven’t seen it, Buster Keaton’s “The General” is one of the greatest movies ever made. No hyperbole needed or used: the movie is the pinnacle of the silent film era, combining some of the most jaw-dropping stunts and hilarious physical comedy ever captured on celluloid. Read more from Jared Rasic’s article.
The first talkie appeared a year later 1927 bringing about the end of an era.
Preview: At the center of the film East Side-West Side is Lory James (Eileen Percy), her poor east side roommates Kit (Maxine Elliott Hicks), Eunice (Lucille Hutton), and her wealthy west side boss Duncan Van Norman (Kenneth Harlan). Money is the central divide.
Principal Pictures released this six reel melodrama, which was adapted from a Broadway play, in 1923. The film was later released on the 16mm home market in a five reel Kodascope version and that’s what we present here with a terrific score by none other than Jon Mirsalis.
[Silent films had music but synchronized dialogue, aka “talking pictures” or “talkies” were not available in feature length films until 1927.]