This short film recreates the experience of watching films shown during the silent era in what were called nickelettes, since admission for an evening's entertainment cost five cents. The newsreels presented include New Yorkers going speed crazy in being able to travel seven miles in three hours, and a race between a motor vehicle and an airplane. Following is one of the features, The Wonderful Chance (1920), which starred 'Rudolph Valentino' in one of his earliest roles, but in character not often portrayed by him, namely the gangster. A short commercial and a live musical interlude precede a second feature in which a dastardly villain abducts the helpless heroine, a secretary, who must be saved from doom by her boss. Throughout the evening's entertainment, the narrator providing the voice over has his tongue planted firmly in his cheek. Written by
This is another of those we're-so-modern short subjects made during this period, showing how foolish silent movies were. Unlike the series of "Goofy Movies" at MGM, however, it lacks good writing and Pete Smith's snarky delivery of benshi-style, sarcastic narration cut-up of silent movies.
Some times these movies are of interest because they contain the only known survivals of otherwise lost early silent pictures -- Annette Kellerman is one of them. Presumably they might have raided what was left of the Vitagraph vaults for this one, but it looks like more of a Sennett piece. Perhaps someone will identify the original, which would be of more interest to me than this awful short.
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