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Joan Crawford in Silent Films

At the time of this writing, we’re only a few hours away from the first night of Joan Crawford films on TCM, as she is star of the month. What makes tonight most notable is that this lineup features a lot of her silent work. There’s some really quality work in that early period, so it’s great that it’s being shown. The Unknown, on at 8PM EST, is particularly strong and is the work of one of my favorite directors of the period, Tod Browning. In total, there’s nine silent Crawford films this evening, some of which I will be seeing for the first time. I would now like to suggest two additional Crawford silent films you won’t see tonight, both very different from each other.


The first is the 1925 drama film The Circle, which Crawford plays a supporting but important role in. Crawford plays a young married woman conflicted in love. Ultimately, she decides to leave her husband for her lover. Decades later, the woman her son married faces the same dilemma (hence, the circle). It’s not a role that gives Crawford a ton of screen time, but there are really strong characters throughout, making this a very compelling story of human relationships.

The other is the 1926 comedy film Tramp, Tramp, Tramp, in which Crawford plays the love interest of the under-appreciated Harry Langdon. In addition to be an opportunity to see an early Crawford film, it also serves as a good introduction to the comedy of Langdon. This is one of the films at the peak of Langdon’s career, with the legendary Frank Capra at the helm. If you’re looking to expand your silent comedy horizons, this is definitely one to see.

A short clip of Crawford in The Circle can be seen here and Tramp, Tramp, Tramp is available in full here.


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