It’s a week late, but there’s plenty of great silent films on TCM later this month. Here’s a look.
The Wizard of Oz: No, this isn’t the one you’re thinking of. The classic Judy Garland version was far from the first adaptation of the story. There were nine different adaptations or sequels prior to that version, some more faithful than others. The one TCM is showing is the 1925 version, and features many major departures. Oliver Hardy plays the role of the Tin Man.
City Lights: This is heralded as an all time classic, so if you haven’t seen it by now, now would be a good time. This Chaplin film, released when he was the lone holdout still making silent films, is both hilarious and a touching love story. It’s one not to missed. For those looking for a physical copy, the Criterion Blu-Ray release is superb.
The Thief of Bagdad: Considered by Douglas Fairbanks to be his best film, this is one of many swashbuckling roles which he excelled at during the 20s.
The Conquering Power: This starring vehicle for Rudolph Valentino was a major point in his career. Coming off the heels of The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, this was the final film he made for Metro Pictures, at which point he made the blockbuster The Shiek.
The Mark of Zorro: Yet another swashbuckling film starring Fairbanks, this one could be called the original one. It certainly set the tone for future films of the type.
Haxan: The most expensive silent Scandinavian film ever made, this film was banned in the US (among other places) at the time due to it’s use of nudity and torture. When it was finally released in the states in 1968, around forty minutes were shaved off. The version TCM is showing will be the complete version.
A Woman of Paris: A departure for Chaplin, this is a serious drama in which he makes only a brief and uncredited appearance. It didn’t perform well at the box office at the time.