Early history of silent movies


Silent movie posters


watch silent movies online

watch silent movies online


A silent movie intertitle . Intertitles were first

used in 1901 and last used in 1929 .

Silent movie


Silent Movies: The Birth of Film and the Triumph of Movie Culture


 Silent movie classics


American Silent

Film Classic paperback

on the Silent Era







The silent era of movies lasted from the inception of motion pictures in the late 19th century till  the late 1920s when films such as The Jazz Singer were able to match motion and sound. Movies grew from a novelty  to a multi-million dollars business and America's fifth largest industry by the late 1920s.


American movies came to be dominated by the studio system which  evolved during the WWI.  An important moment came in 1924 when Marcus Lowes Metro Picture Corp, Golwyn and Mayer Pictures merged to form MGM. After WWI, postwar angst fueled a golden age of expressionist film with stylized sets and lighting.


Many German stars and directors were lured to America such as Emil Jannings, Pola Negri, Ernst Lubitsch and F.W. Murnau, who directed Sunrise for Fox.Because silent films had no synchronized sound for dialogue, onscreen intertitles were used to narrate story points, present key dialogue and sometimes even comment on the action for the cinema audience.


In Japan, films had not only live music but also the benshi, a live narrator who provided commentary and character voices.


Silent film actors emphasized body language and facial expression so that the audience could better understand what an actor was feeling and portraying on screen. With the lack of natural color processing available, films of the silent era were frequently dipped in dyestuffs and dyed various shades and hues in order to signal a mood or represent a specific time of day. Blue represented night scenes, yellow or amber meant day. Red represented fire and green represented a mysterious mood.




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