Summer Under the Stars is over, but there still aren’t a lot of silent films on TCM this month. There are eight total, three of which star Greta Garbo.
Within Our Gates: A very historically significant film, this is considered by some to be a response to DW Griffith’s Birth of a Nation. It is a counterpoint to Griffith’s film, showing the unfair treatment of African Americans in the United States. Directed by Oscar Micheaux, it is the oldest surviving film directed by an African American.
Exit Smiling: This comedy was directed by Sam Taylor, frequent collaborator of Harold Lloyd. Beatrice Lillie makes one of her very few film appearances, alongside Jack Pickford, brother of Mary Pickford.
A Lady of Chance: Although considered a silent film (the last star Norma Shearer would make), additional dialogue scenes were added in the wave of partial talkies. Shearer does not speak in the scenes.
Love: Although you wouldn’t be able to tell based on the title, this is an adaptation of Anna Karenina. Greta Garbo and John Gilbert, the biggest on screen couple at the time, star.
The Single Standard: Garbo stars in this one as well, playing a woman who decides to break society’s rules and have an affair.
Wild Orchids: Yet another Garbo film, where she plays opposite Nils Asther (her romantic interest).
Torrent: Yes, this is yet another Garbo film. In this one, she plays a peasant turned opera star.
The Phantom of the Opera: This is the famous Lon Chaney Sr. version, arguably one of the most well known films. It also features early Technicolor use. TCM will be airing the 1930 reissue, the most commonly seen version, which runs shorter than the original release.
The Merry Widow: This Erich von Stroheim film was adapted numerous times in the sound era. A technicolor scene is also in this film, although the surviving print does not contain the scene. Joan Crawford and Clark Gable make uncredited appearances.