An appreciative, uncritical look at silent film comedies and thrillers from early in the century through the 1920s. It starts with a 1905 look at French comedy, goes through the 1910s with ...
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An appreciative, uncritical look at silent film comedies and thrillers from early in the century through the 1920s. It starts with a 1905 look at French comedy, goes through the 1910s with Sennett, Chaplin, and Fairbanks, and into the 1920s with Max Roach, Snub Pollard, Harry Langdon, Al St. John, Charlie Chase, and the teaming of Laurel and Hardy. Thrillers feature Houdini and serials, with special attention to Pearl White, Ruth Roland, and Monty Banks. The film often lets the silent pictures speak for themselves, running entire one-reelers or significant chunks of an old movie. Written by
This film makes extensive use of Chopin's "Tristesse" and Franz Von Suppe's "Morning, Noon and Night in Vienna". See more »
In the opening sequence, a filmed fight between the hero and the villain is supposedly projected in slow motion. Yet, the villain's coat moves in real time, indicating that the actors had staged the slow-motion effect. See more »
[Last lines; a 1910 audience departs from a nickelodeon]
These, then, were the days of thrills and laughter. A time so long past, that the youngest members of this departing audience are today in their fifties. As for the laughmakers and thrillmakers, they too have vanished. Leaving behind no successors, but only moving shadows. So the crowds depart. The show is over. And alas, dear friends, our little show is over, too.
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"Days of Thrills and Laughter" opens with what the narrator calls "the first double-feature title" in which the opening credits are shown on the right-hand side of the screen while an excerpt from the 1922 Snub Pollard comedy "The Movies" is displayed on the left.
When the credit for the film's composer-conductor appears, the narrator calls out, "Hold it!" and both sides of the frame freeze. "OK, bring up that name," intones the narrator, as "Jack Shaindlin" expands to nearly the full width of the frame. The narrator declares, "That's enough!," the name shrinks back to its original size, and the movie starts up again, with the narrator explaining, "Sorry, folks, it's in his contract."
At the end of the credits sequence, the movie freezes once again so producer-writer Robert Youngson's name can do a cartwheel while expanding to large size. To which the narrator exclaims, "What a showoff! Take Youngson down - all the way down!" as the name shrinks and disappears. See more »
Unsatisfying compilation, but the best bits are cherishable.
Robert Youngson compilation of excerpts from silent movies. The 'thrills' feature some bizarre Hollywood action films, daredevil stunts, villainous villains, terrifying cliffhangers, hurtling trains, impassive heroes and knowing, smiling, up-for-it heroines. The 'laughter' is by far the most pleasurable section, recovering sadly obscure comics such as Snub Pollard, and paying testament to their bounteous invention, thoughtfulness and sheer good humour. The presentation of the film grates, especially with a narrator far too pleased with himself.
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