Saturday, November 23, 2013

I watched a pretty good silent movie the other night.

It was "The Thief of Bagdad", starring Douglas Fairbanks and made in 1924.

It was made a year before the first talking film, 'The Jazz Singer' with Al Jolson was made.

It was pretty good when you consider the 1924 technology and Fairbanks was as graceful as a ballet dancer. Back then they didn't have stunt men and the actor had to pretty much do it all.

While there are a few Jackie Chan types that do their own stunts these days, a lot of lead actors and actresses have stunt doubles.

In watching an old silent film you have to realize that the actors had to sort of overact to keep the audience knowing what is going on. They didn't have audio to work with. They were simple moving pictures and the actors had to let the audience know what was going on with body language.

A lot of people bore easy these days because when they go to see a movie they expect all sorts of special effects. I guess they simply don't know how to slow down a bit and look at something for what it is. They ask for too much out of entertainment.

One time a couple of us were sitting around drinking beer and an old science fiction movie came up on the tube. We left the volume off and started taking the parts of the various actors and ad libbed lines. It was hilarious. 

Still, the Fairbanks movie was pretty entertaining because it was amazing watching the actors move with such grace while climbing around up cliffs with such grace.

People don't look at things for what they are. They're too caught up in modern technology. This movie was made back in 1924 and they didn't have much to work with back then. When you put it in that context you have to admit that it is nothing short of amazing.

I'm glad I watched it and although I have seen the remakes years ago I think this is yet another case where the original hasn't been beaten yet.

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